United Neighborhoods for Reform (UNR): Demo/Development SummitIII
Open to the public
Tues., Oct. 7, 7:00-9:00 pm — Summit III: Reaching Consensus
Grant Park Church, 2728 NE 34th Ave, Portland, OR 97212
(Please park in parking lot.)
An invitation c/o Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood Association (BWNA) and Central Northeast Neighbors (CNN)
On Monday evening, September 29th, representatives from seventeen neighborhoods gathered together for a Summit II follow-up meeting at Grant Park Church, united in addressing citywide concerns over problems associated with residential demolition/development practices.
Here’s a summary of that meeting by UNR Chair Al Ellis (email@example.com):
1.) The group now has a name: United Neighborhoods for Reform (UNR). While the focus of UNR is currently on demolition/development reform, the UNR network provides a means of uniting neighborhoods together for future collective action on other issues of common interest.
2.) The meeting was publicized as a “Prelude to Summit III”–i.e., with an objective of preparing the way for a decision at Summit III on items for inclusion in a proposal to be submitted to City Council on behalf of participating neighborhoods.
3.)UNR is pursuing a two-track approach to demo/development reform: first, support for ongoing efforts by local government to enact substantive reform; second, crafting of a UNR proposal to present to City Council on pressing issues that are either not being addressed by local government and/or are not being attended to in a timely manner in accordance with residents’ urgent concerns.
4.) With respect to the first approach, Portland Coalition for Historic Resources Jim Heuer crafted a petition on behalf of UNR urging support for demolition policy reforms under consideration by a DRAC subcommittee (Development Review Advisory Committee for Bureau of Development Services) in the areas of demolition definition, notification, delay requests, and deconstruction. Based on input from previous UNR Summit meetings, the petition takes positions on a number of DRAC subcommittee agenda items.
The objective is to gather petition “signatures” online and at neighborhood association meetings around the city and present the results to DRAC in hopes of influencing recommendations to the Bureau of Development Services (BDS), which in turn would need to submit proposals to City Council for passage. (To access petition: (http://tinyurl.com/stopthedemolitions) If BDS refuses or is unable to enact UNR-supported reforms, then UNR will draft its own proposal to bring to Council.
UNR will continue to stay engaged in the Comprehensive Plan Update process and other possible avenues for reform, but time is of the essence as developers demolish, pollute, and build big, as if in a vacuum.
5.) With respect to the second approach (a reform proposal crafted by UNR for submission to City Council), the focus is on items of concern that are not on the DRAC subcommittee’s agenda–
including size limitations on residential construction (perhaps involving a floor area ratio calculation, with lot coverage, setback, and existing-home compatibility taken into consideration), R-5 preservation (reducing the number of single family lots being transformed into multi-home lots), ecological preservation (protecting trees from removal, allowing homes with solar panels access to the sun, etc.), and watchdog verification of hazardous materials from demolitions (with loss of building permits for offenders). These and other recommendations from Monday night’s meeting will be presented at Summit III for inclusion into a UNR proposal to take to Council. At the conclusion of Summit III, a subcommittee will be formed to do further research and craft specific language for the proposal, which will then be disseminated to neighborhood associations for endorsement. (The endorsement process will require a vote to be taken at neighborhood association meetings, the scheduling of which vary.)