October 4, 2022

Whole Community News

From Kalapuya lands in the Willamette watershed

Neighbors ask City Council for vote of the people on middle housing

4 min read
After LTD proposed removing a bus stop serving a new five-story development, neighbors want more answers about transit, parking, and housing density.

After LTD proposed removing a bus stop serving a new five-story development, neighbors want more answers about transit, parking, and housing density.

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Should middle housing changes go to a vote of the people? From the Southeast Neighbors Transportation Committee, Jess Roshak.

[00:00:07] Jess Tuerk Roshak: The code amendments are sort of a discussion everywhere and we thought to zero in on the specifics of how transportation-wise, the code amendments might affect our neighborhood and dig down just on that specific issue. And so there’s a lot of concerns that haven’t been addressed in writing. And for those reasons we feel like, transportation-wise, there’s too much at stake. The stakes are so high that there’s too many questions that are still there, that, we have inquired as to the idea, if the Council would suggest putting it on the ballot for the voters in the May election. More time and answers need to be provided. And we don’t see those time and answers coming to people, just based on the transportation issues alone.

[00:00:55] Neighborhood Chair Dennis Hebert: Well, I got a question for Matt. Can the City Council put the whole code amendment up for a vote in May stating something along the order of: ‘Does the City wants to just adopt the minimum standards or does the City want to adopt the planning commission recommendation?’

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[00:01:14] Councilor Matt Keating: I would suspect so, Dennis, but I don’t know for sure. So let me get back to the committee.

[00:01:19] Dennis Hebert: Would you please, because it would make a lot of sense since, I don’t know how you feel, but we feel like our last meeting was just another dog and pony show. We’ve got no real answers whatsoever from the Planning Commission and lots of people around are talking about that, and this is just being shoved down our throats and why doesn’t it go out to a vote of the people.

[00:01:40] John Q: The letter asks for better coordination, seeing Lane Transit District as out of sync with City planners. Shortly after the City approved a five-story development, LTD’s ‘Transit Tomorrow’ proposed removing its bus stop and reducing service.

[00:02:01] Councilor Matt Keating: You know, when I ran on the promise of housing along Tier One transportation links, building up and not out, that was very intentional. I’m talking Sixth, Seventh, West 11th, Franklin, Coburg, River Road. Willamette is not a Tier One transportation route, and now suddenly we’re being told that within a frequently used transportation link, a quarter mile— and I’m not seeing that anywhere either. I’ve been consistent, but I also want to ask the questions to properly represent our community. And if it means pulling back and doing a more measured approach that’s a little more ‘Encourage’ than it is ‘Incentive’ because these questions haven’t been answered properly, I think it’s a perfectly reasonable approach. So is inquiring whether or not this can be in front of the voters. So let me get back to the committee. I’m going to communicate with the City Manager’s office and find out what the process is for Council to take that action and/or for a citizen to take that action.

[00:02:56] I would suggest not limiting the testimony from the committee just to Council. I would put it in front of the Planning Commission as well, and maybe try and seek answers before it comes to Council, so it’s a little more preemptive than late in the game.

[00:03:13] Board member David Monk: if you ever want to have a private conversation, I know a lot of people in that marketplace and it’s not going to be what we’re hoping so that seems like really the only option. It would be fabulous if the council would put it in front of the public for a vote. I think that’s a really good ask because that’s exactly what should be happening. Thanks for doing this.

[00:03:34] Board member Emily Fox: Yeah. I’d just like to say, I really appreciated the letter and all the details that you put into it and the thought behind it. So I wanted to mention that and I forgot, but thank you for writing the letter and the whole base of the letter, I really agreed with, so thank you.

[00:03:49] John Q: Still waiting for answers, neighbors ask the City Council to send middle housing to a vote of the people.

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