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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish

Commissioner, City of Portland

phone: 503-823-3589

Email: nick@portlandoregon.gov

1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Westmoreland Park gets a make over

This summer Portland Parks & Recreation is partnering with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Environmental Services and other partners to restore Westmoreland Park’s wetland area and Crystal Springs Creek.

April 1, 2013

This summer Portland Parks & Recreation is partnering with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Environmental Services and other partners to restore Westmoreland Park’s wetland area and Crystal Springs Creek.

The restoration will add 389 native trees, along with boardwalks and overlooks, paths, a picnic area, and more for everyone to enjoy.

These additions will be great for humans, but the goal of the project is for our underwater neighbors. The restoration will support the recovery of salmon and trout species, which have not had access to the stream since the 1970s.

PP&R is the only parks district in the entire nation to be certified as Salmon-Safe. When the restoration is complete, salmon will once again be able to pass through the cool, clear waters of Crystal Springs Creek.

To learn more about the project visit the PP&R website or call (503) 823-5300.

Just say “no” to ivy!

Join us tomorrow to help remove invasive plants in Forest Park.

April 2, 2013

Join us tomorrow to help remove invasive plants in Forest Park.

On Wednesday, volunteers will join forces with the No Ivy League of Portland to battle invasive English ivy in the park. The No Ivy League removes English ivy from host trees in Forest Parknot because the vine plant isn’t beautiful to look at, but because it’s destroying many of the native plants that make up the park’s ecosystem. The No Ivy League removes the invasive species by hand, rather than chemical or mechanical removal.

To volunteer in Forest Park, meet at the No Ivy League’s Field Headquarters at 10 am tomorrow near Lower Macleay Trailhead. Wear weather-appropriate clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. Gloves and tools will be provided.

Can’t make it tomorrow? The No Ivy League meets every 1st and 3rd Wednesday for mid-week restoration and invasive plant removal.

Forest Park Volunteer Day

April 3, 10 am-1 pm

Lower Macleay Trailhead

2960 NW Upshur

Community leaders support Section 8 bill

Over the weekend, The Oregonian published an editorial about House Speaker Tina Kotek's legislative proposal to reform the Section 8 program in the State of Oregon.

April 2, 2013

Over the weekend, The Oregonian published an editorial about House Speaker Tina Kotek's legislative proposal to reform the Section 8 program in the State of Oregon.

The Editorial Board wrote that while "Speaker Kotek and Commissioner Fish are right to seek a level field for all people who seek shelter and have money to pay for it," the board writes that "this bill misses the mark."

Community leaders disagreed. Over the last couple of days we noticed several letters to the editor responding to the editorial. John Miller, Executive Director of the Oregon Opportunity Network writes that "we all benefit from a thriving housing market, and this is a great step forward."

Jean DeMaster and Sarah Zahn from Human Solutions acknowledge that "HB2639 is an excellent solution to the issue of housing choice," and acknowledge speaker Kotek for "her hard work and balanced approach to this bill." The bill is further supported by Chuck Fisher, executive director of the Salem-Keizer Community Development Corporation, who states "we all live in subsidized housing."

We are proud supporters of Speaker Kotek's Legislation and pleased that leaders in our community share the value that renters statewide deserve a level playing field.

Letters: Section 8 proposal would help end housing discrimination

Kyle Busse and Victor Merced in The Oregonian

 

Letters: Section 8

Chuck Fisher and John Miller in The Oregonian

 

Letter:Section 8 bill wouldn't create an unfair burden for landlords

Sarah Zahn and Jean DeMaster in The Oregonian

Council to consider new parking requirements

Commissioner Fish will propose amendments to a proposal which will increase parking requirements for new apartment buildings.

April 3, 2013

Tomorrow, the City Council will consider a series of proposals to increase parking requirements for new apartment buildings.

As proposed, the changes will require buildings of more than 40 units to provide one parking space for every four units. They will also require loading spaces for large buildings, allow parking spaces to be provided off-site, and allow developers the option of providing fewer spaces in exchange for offering carshare and bikeshare facilities.

We have heard feedback from neighbors, developers, community groups, and others about this proposal. Some think it goes too far, while others think it doesn't go far enough. There are many factors to consider: our Climate Action Plan goals, our community's desire for ground floor retail, the additional cost to developers, the different impacts of large and small buildings, the cumulative impact of clusters of new development, and more.

Ultimately, Nick agreed that the proposal didn't go far enough. Tomorrow, he will propose an amendment which would require parking for buildings of more than 30 units, rather than 40, and would ask larger buildings to provide proportionally more parking than small. For buildings of 31-40 units, the requirement would be one space for every five units. For buildings of 41-50 units, it would be one space for every four units. Larger buildings with 51 or more units, would have to provide one space for every three units.

We believe this option is a thoughtful and balanced approach. It will help preserve the livability of our neighborhoods through a period of great change while staying faithful to our Climate Action Plan goals and our desire to promote active ground floor retail on main streets.

Nick is also concerned about the lack of affordable options in Portland's growing neighborhoods. As part of the Comprehensive Plan, he will be asking staff to research and develop recommendations for bonuses and other incentives to encourage developers to offer affordable homes.  As our city grows, it's our responsibility to make sure our neighborhoods remain open to everyone.

The Council session tomorrow begins at 2 pm and will include time for community members to address Council with their questions, concerns, and ideas. We look forward to a lively discussion of this important issue.

Fish Will Try to Amend Apartment Parking Rules on Thursday

Aaron Mesh in Willamette Week

 

Paranoid Parking

Aaron Mesh in Willamette Week

 

Portland City Council to take up proposed parking minimums for apartment buildings

Elliot Njus in The Oregonian

Habitat for Humanity is changing lives

Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East recently announced that 23 families in our community will now have a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home.

April 3, 2013

Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East recently announced that 23 families in our community will now have a safe, decent, and affordable place to call home.

The 23 families represent 119 people, including 46 children, who were living in the most desperate housing conditions in our community. Now, because of Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program, these families will be able to buy their home without paying more than 30% of their income on their monthly mortgage.

How does Habitat for Humanity’s homeownership program work?

Qualified families send in their applications, and Habitat reviews them. Families are chosen when they have the greatest need, and have the ability to pay an affordable monthly mortgage. This year, Habitat received a record 370 applications.

Habitat’s program is unique - families must contribute 500 hours of sweat equity. This means spending at least 500 hours helping to build their home, or even a future Habitat neighbor’s home.

On April 6, Habitat will host a warm welcome for the new families at Habitat’s Key Ceremony and Home Dedication where the 23 families will have the opportunity to tour a Habitat home and meet their future neighbors who have already completed the homeownership program.

Thank you Habitat for Humanity for the work you do in providing homes to our community!

photo courtesy of Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East