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Summary Meeting Notes: April 24, 2013 Watershed Health and Environment PEG

Summary Meeting Notes


Watershed Health and Environment PEG - WHE PEG

Meeting Date: April 24, 2013      
Time: 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. 

Location: 1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, Conference Room 7A

Attendees: Ann Beier, Claire Carder, Corky Collier, Mike Houck, Maryhelen Kincaid, Noelwah Netusil, Jonna Papaefthimiou, Bob Sallinger, Judy BlueHorse Skelton, Jennifer Thompson

Staff: Mindy Brooks, Sallie Edmunds, Roberta Jortner, Marie Walkiewicz, Michelle Kunec-North, Shannon Buono, Nan Stark

Facilitator: Dena Marshall, Solid Ground Consulting, assisted by Kazmiera Taylor

Guests: Pia Welch


Introductions, Announcements and Updates

Happy birthday, Mike Houck!
Welcome home from the Boston Marathon, Claire Carder!

Environmental Workshop Debrief, presented by staff

Approximately 70 people attended, including many students. Most people attended one of the following breakout sessions:

  • Healthy Economy Healthy Environment (presented by Shannon Buono). Feedback included questions about other lands suitable for development outside of the City, acknowledgement that we can’t put all of the impacts of industrial development on locals, concern about air quality near interchanges and freeways, and the ongoing issue of being a landlocked City and needing to continue accommodating new development without being able to expand the urban growth boundary. Other comments included an analogy of preventative medicine versus emergency room (protecting the environment is cheaper than cleanup), and green development.
  • Environmental Justice (presented by Nan Stark). Approximately 15-20 participants attended to learn about the history of the movement with local examples, proposed environmental justice goals and policies for the Comp Plan, followed with a discussion of neighborhood issues of concern related to environmental justice.
  • Design with Nature (presented by Marie Walkiewicz).  Approximately 15 participants attended to explore a shared appreciation for the natural environment, to discuss perceived gaps between communities’ desire to learn and venues for being engaged, and seeking a balanced approach to design with nature involving both tools.

Staff will collect, summarize, and make available a condensed version of the array of comments received during the public input period.

For further discussion:

  • What should be the next steps in the community engagement process to ensure that Comp Plan policies sufficiently reflect the full range of diverse priorities in the community?
  • How to retain and move forward with policies that may not be included in the final Comp Plan.
  • What mechanisms are in place to ensure transparency and accountability: “How will we know we are making a difference?”

Comprehensive Plan Update Working Draft Part 2

Presented by Michelle Kunec-North, Roberta Jortner and Mindy Brooks, BPS.

  • Working Draft Part 2 will be completed Summer 2013 and will include updates to the Urban Design Framework, Land Use Map, Citywide Systems Plan, Transportation System Plan; it will also include the District Working Maps, a tool for public discussion and a list of future refinement projects such as code updates. Parts 1 and 2 will be combined in the Proposed Draft to be presented Winter 2014. This report will not take into account new infrastructure investments.


  • Staff presented the map data layers relating to natural resources, natural hazards, and stormwater related constraints, including a number of stormwater “areas of concern”.  Staff explained that this information would be provided for use in preliminary discussions with community members and to inform Part 2 related decisions and products (i.e., land use map, lists of key infrastructure projects and programs, and future refinement projects.
  • In response to questions about green infrastructure, staff clarified that a fairly general level of analysis will be used to examine what combination of infrastructure investments should be used.
  • PEG members urged proactive discussions to continue around Urban Growth Boundary expansion, residential land use, and golf course conversion in addressing industrial land shortage.
  • Comment: Watersheds extend beyond geo-political boundaries.  Planning should consider the natural extent of watersheds. The City should refer to regional natural resource maps produced by The Intertwine Alliance.
  • Comment: Maps should inform the policies, rather than policies dictating maps – policies and maps need to align.
  • Overlay mapping, using GIS and LIDAR technology, will facilitate comprehensive planning efforts by providing even better methods for exploring problems and considering innovative solutions. Examples:
    • Johnson Creek– Foster Rd./East Buttes area. The maps show areas with significant natural resources Inventory, floodplain, stormwater constraints and significant development potential).
    • Colwood and Broadmoor golf courses– designated as special habitat areas as are part of important migratory corridors for birds and bats.
    • Liquefaction – the City should be thinking about plans for rebuilding after a large earthquake.  Also, PBEM wants to crosswalk the Comp Plan working draft and Part 2 products with the Natural Hazard Mitigation Plan.

Staff and PEG members agreed to discuss capitalizing green infrastructure and review the Community Systems Plan to make sure Comp Plan policies are aligned with existing and projected investments priorities.

Public comment:

  • Land use planning should consider the natural extent of watersheds, as watersheds almost always cross jurisdictional boundaries.
  • The “20-minute neighborhood” is now referred to as “complete neighborhood.”
  • This Comp Plan is predicated on building on existing investments. If we were able to start from scratch, we would not be doing it this way.

Wrap-up, upcoming meetings, and comment cards

  • Lower Columbia Estuary Science to Policy Summit: Friday May 10,Vancouver,WA Hilton.
  • Planning Commission Hearing on W Hayden Island: Tues, May 7, 5-9 pm.


Next WHE PEG meeting is Wednesday May 22, 2013 at 4:00 pm.

For more information, please contact Sallie Edmunds, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 503-823-6950 or, or Dena Marshall, 503-740-7123 or