The Agenda for the Portland City Council's meetings this week shows a long list on Wednesday morning, nothing on Wednesday afternoon, and items on Thursday afternoon. There are three Time Certain items on Wednesday morning, which usually entail a staff presentation and invited testimony. If you're interested in other issues, I suggest bringing snacks - lunch may be a while coming.
Usually in these previews, I run through the Agenda in order, from Citizen Communications through Consent, Time Certain items, and the rest. Today, I'm pulling a set of items from way down the list up to the top:
888 Approve the First Amendment to the Lents Town Center Urban Renewal Plan to expand boundaries by 140.05 acres, increase maximum indebtedness by $170 million and extend expiration date to June 30, 2020 (Second Reading Agenda 812)
889 Approve the Twenty-Eighth Amendment to the Downtown Waterfront Urban Renewal Plan to remove 47.03 acres from the Plan area and standardize Plan amendment process (Second Reading Agenda 813)
890 Approve the Tenth Amendment to the South Park Blocks Urban Renewal Plan to remove 3.20 acres from the Plan area and standardize Plan amendment process (Second Reading Agenda 814)
891 Approve the Amended and Restated River District Urban Renewal Plan to expand boundaries by a net 41.98 acres, increase maximum indebtedness by approximately $325 million and extend expiration date to June 30, 2021 (Second Reading Agenda 815)
892 Approve the First Amendment to the Amended and Restated River District Urban Renewal Plan to expand boundaries by 8.53 acres and increase maximum indebtedness by $19 million (Second Reading Agenda 816)
Fascinating hearing last week... which also went on too long. The Oregonian's Editorial yesterday identifies some key issues. Since the hearing, Commissioner Saltzman is proposing to add the David Douglas school site to the Lents District, rather than making it a satellite of the River District. While more compliant with State law by being geographically contiguous, this suggestion highlights other issues with funding school construction with Urban Renewal dollars. How will constructing a school for the David Douglas district support housing and jobs in Lents, when the boundary of the school districts is such that families in Lents are in Portland Public School's Marshall High School area, not David Douglas? What will not get done in the Lents Town Center, if tax increment money is dedicated to the school?
OK, back to the usual format, starting with the Time Certain items:
837 TIME CERTAIN: 9:30 AM - Adopt Portland Fire & Rescue revised and updated Standard of Emergency Response Coverage (Resolution introduced by Commissioner Fish)
838 TIME CERTAIN: 10:00 AM - Accept report on Airport Futures Aviation Forecasting (Report introduced by Mayor Potter)
*839 TIME CERTAIN: 10:30 AM - Approve 21-year tax exemption extension requested by the Hazelwood Group LLC for the portion of Hazelwood Retirement Community required to be reserved for households at or below 75 percent area median family income (Ordinance introduced by Mayor Potter)
The Airport Futures report, especially, may take time. It's unfortunate it's scheduled on a Wednesday morning, as many citizens with weekday jobs would likely want to hear and testify about the impact of the airport on their homes and lives.
There are 36 Consent Agenda items, with lots of contracts that look interesting - OK, interesting to me. I find them so. Here's one whose sheer magnitude should be of passing note to most Portlanders:
*851 Authorize a borrowing of not more than $30,000,000 in anticipation of the Fire and Police Disability and Retirement Fund levy for FY 2008-2009 (Ordinance)
I notice in Next Up at City Council, 5/23/07, the amount borrowed last year was $20,000,000. I wish we'd really fixed the way we pay our obligations to injured and retired public safety officers, instead of continuing the current system of borrowing for each year's payments and paying for them with this year's property taxes.
First on the Regular Agenda:
877 Adopt the Sgt. Jerome Sears United States Army Reserve Center Reuse Master Plan and recommend redevelopment of the site for a mixed-income, rental and ownership housing development that includes permanent supportive housing for homeless single adults and homeless families with special needs and designate Community Partners for Affordable Housing as the preferred developer of the Sears site (Resolution introduced by Mayor Potter and Commissioner Fish)
I attended the hearing a couple of weeks ago, at which six alternatives were presented by worthy, earnest citizens, and a healthy stream of testimony ensued. This choice, of housing rather than school or emergency services uses, conforms with the zoning of the site selected in the Southwest Community Plan.