Does Street fee include new city income tax??

As the City Council prepares to discuss the controversial street fee proposal on Monday, support is growing for it to include a progressive city income tax to fund maintenance and safety project.

Representatives of several organizations recently endorsed the concept of a progressive income as part of the final street fee proposal. They include 1000 Friends of Oregon, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, the Coalition for a Livable Future, the Community Alliance of Tenants, the Community Cycling Center, Elders in Action, OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, AARP Oregon, the Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon Food Bank, the Oregon Opportunity Network, Oregon Walks, the Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership, and Upstream Public Health.

“We strongly support a progressive revenue structure with adequate discounts for low-income members of our community. Portland is experiencing an affordability crisis and growing income inequality, with rising transportation costs a major factor,” reads part of an Oct. 8 letter to the City Council signed by most of the representatives.

The letter says tax payments should be capped at $200 a month — or $2,400 a year — for those earning the most money.

“This proposal helps move us towards a city where everyone can prosper,” the letter says.

The letter also says several issues must still be addressed in the final proposal for their organizations to support it, however. They include whether the fee will raise enough money to make a significant difference, and whether it will be evenly split between maintenance and safety projects.

The letter also says the fee sunset after 10 years, although the council could decide whether to continue it. The letter did not specifically say whether or not the fee should be approved by the voters before it is enacted.

No such proposal has actually been introduced for the City Council to consider, but it will be discussed as one of several options during a work session scheduled for Monday afternoon. It is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

A council vote on a final proposal is tentatively scheduled for Nov. 12.

Commissioner Steve Novick says he prefers a progressive income tax to a flat fee on households, which was included in the original street fee he proposed with Mayor Charlie Hales in May. Novick has not yet endorsed a new proposal, however, and will not until after the work session.

“Well, I’ve made it clear that I prefer something income-based, so naturally I would look more favorably on something where higher income people pay significantly more than middle-income people,” Novick says.

“But we’ll see how things shake out.”

A progressive income tax is among the options considered by three work groups appointed by Hales and Novick to help draft a new fee proposal that responds to criticisms of the original one. Making poor and rich residents pay the same for street-related projects was one of the criticisms.

Also discussed was assessing a fee on businesses that varies according to their size and category. It would replace the business fee in the original proposal, which was based on the number of motor vehicle trips that are estimated to generate.

Allowing discounts or exceptions for governments and nonprofit organizations was also discussed.

The street fee originally proposed by Hales and Novick was intended to raise around $53 million for maintenance and safety projects. It was designed to raise the revenue 50/50 from residents and businesses, and to spend the funds 50/50 on maintenance and safety projects. The Oct. 8 letter says those principles should apply to the final proposal.

“Applying these principles and our on-going support for building a livable, engaged community for all ages, AARP Oregon supports the passage of a revenue proposal that includes a 50/50 expenditure split between safety and maintenance projects and a taxation that is progressive, preferably with a $200 cap for those with highest wealth and income,” AARP Oregon Director Gerald Cohen wrote in a separate Oct. 9 letter.

 

 

Tips for staying warm this winter-from Clean Energy Works

Tips for Staying Cozy this Winter

From Clean Energy Works

 

After a hot summer, temperatures are finally dropping—and winter is just around the corner. Grab a coffee or a hot apple cider, put on your favorite flannel, and cuddle up to your sweetie because we’ve got you covered when it comes to the best tips for keeping toasty indoors.

 

Take advantage of winter sun. Yes, there is sun, even in Oregon winter! When it’s shining, be sure to open south-facing window curtains, drapes, and blinds during the day, so the sunlight can naturally heat your home. Close window coverings at night to keep the heat in.

 

Cover drafty windows. Tape a do-it-yourself, clear, plastic film to the inside of your window frames. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame. Installing window treatments, such as blinds, drapes, or shades, can also help reduce heat loss.

 

Adjust the temperature. Set the thermostat 10 to 15 degrees cooler when you’re not home to use less energy and lower utility bills. Lowering the temperature slightly at night and adding an extra blanket to the bed keeps the whole family extra cozy.

 

Give your home a free check up from Clean Energy Works. Your home does a lot for you—everyone needs a check up every once in a while. We’ll give you a complete look at all the ways you can improve your home: becoming more efficient, creating comfort, providing better air quality, and even being safe during an earthquake. Take an online eValuation, and use HomeScope to see what your neighbors are doing for their homes—with all kinds of information on rebates and financing available when you’re ready for a home upgrade. It’s all available at: www.cleanenergyworksoregon.org

 

Reed Neighborhood Meeting schedule for 2015 – ALL are welcome

All meetings are Forum Style.

The meetings will be held every 2nd Tuesday of the month starting at 6:30 pm.

January  13th – Board Meeting

February  10th– General Meeting

March  10th-Board Meeting

April 14th -Board Meeting

May  12th– General Elections for the Board

June 9th– Board Meeting

July 14th–  Board Meeting

August 11th– Board Meeting

September 5th – Saturday   Neighborhood PICNIC!

September 8th – Board Meeting

October 13th– General Meeting

November 10th– Board Meeting (if needed)

December – No Meeting

If you have any questions about the meetings or topics.

Please contact Reed Neighborhood’s Current Chair.

Marisha Childs  at   <marisha.childs@gmail.com>

Clarification on Proposed City land uses

Hello Reed Neighborhood, 

As many of you have emailed me recently about the piece of mail you have received from the City of Portland I wanted to be clear on what zoning changes are currently being proposed in our neighborhood.  There are two proposals that the City of Portland, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is considering for the upcoming Comprehensive Plan.  Both of these proposals came from the Reed Neighborhood Association (RNA) and have been voted on (and unanimously passed) by the neighborhood during meetings over the past several years.  The RNA supports these changes to the zoning.  If you voted for further protection of the neighborhood and are against lot splitting then you should also seriously consider supporting these changes.
I’ll describe in detail the changes at the end of this email.  First I want to encourage you to visit the Cities Map App and comment – one way or the other.  This is a critical step to letting the City know how we feel about the proposals.  In particular the zone change between Schiller and Raymond is facing an uphill battle and needs major support to be adopted.  I’m seeing very little in the way of comments on the website – especially compared to some of our neighbors.  Now is the time, please go and comment!
In case there is confusion, here is how you comment:
1. Click ‘View the Map’
2. Zoom into our neighborhood either with the +/- symbol or with the wheel on your mouse
3. Click on the orange box surrounding our neighborhood – there are two separate ones.  You can and should comment on both.
4. Click on ‘Add / View Comments’
5. Click on the + symbol and type your comment
The details:  The verbage on these is confusing.  There are two proposals and while they are both referred to as ‘changes’ in reality the end result of adoption would be that our neighborhood would be better protected from lot splitting and tear downs and thus would remain intact and looking like it does today.
Simply put an R7 neighborhood allows / requires larger lots and less density.  The portion of Reedwood from Steele to Raymond was built as an R7 zone and has always been an R7 zone.  During the last comp. plan in the mid ’80s the City targeted this area to be turned into an R5 – a more dense neighborhood zoning.  The first proposal currently being considered is to keep the R7 in place for Reedwood between Steele and Raymond.  Support of the proposed ‘change’ would keep the existing R7.
The second proposal is for the area of Reedwood between Raymond and Schiller.  Currently that area is an R5 neighborhood and as a result has been subject to the 2 big Renaissance Homes projects that have torn down 2 ranch houses and replaced them with 5 much taller houses.  If you walk down Raymond street you can see that both sides of the street are the same neighborhood.  The houses were all built at the same time and share many characteristics.  In my opinion – and in the opinion of many in the neighborhood – there is no reason for different zones on each side.  Thus the proposed change in this area is for the zoning to be changed from the R5 to the R7 for a more cohesive Reedwood.  If you agree with this notion you should voice your support for the proposal.  As I mentioned this proposal is an uphill battle and the city really needs to hear from us (again).
If anyone has any more detailed questions or wants to see some of the data on the areas please feel free to email me.
Thanks and hope to see you all at the upcoming picnic.
Gabe

Gabriel Headrick, AIA
Steelhead Architecture l c. 503.348.8874

Water saving Tips from Water Providers Consortium

 

 

 

Contributed article by the Regional Water Providers Consortium

 

 

Author: Lindsey Berman, Conservation Program Manager, Regional Water Providers Consortium

 

 

 

Waterwise Gardening: 10 Simple Ways to Save Water and Money this Summer

 

 

 

Landscapes add value, beauty and livability to our homes. With water use often doubling in the dry summer months due to outdoor watering, lawns and gardens also offer great potential to save time, money and water by making simple waterwise improvements.

 

 

 

In the Portland area, we receive 90 percent of our rainfall October through May. That means we use the most water during the very same months that we get the least rain. Being efficient with your water use makes sound economic and environmental sense, and helps our region meet its long-term water supply needs.

 

 

 

Waterwise gardening doesn’t have to look like a typical southwest cactus and rock landscape. Rather, waterwise gardening practices that incorporate efficient watering tips can create beautiful landscapes that are multi-colored, vibrant and bountiful, even during the hottest summer days.

 

 

 

The Regional Water Providers Consortium—a group of 20+ local water providers and Metro—offers Reed residents the following 10 tips for creating and maintaining waterwise landscapes.

 

 

 

  1. Adjust your sprinklers to water your lawn and garden, not the street or sidewalk.
  2. Water early in the morning (before 10 a.m.) or later in the evening (after 6 p.m.) when temperatures are cooler and evaporation is minimized.
  3. Water established lawns about one inch per week (a bit more during hot, dry weather). Use a watering gauge or tuna can, along with a timer, to determine how long it takes your sprinkler to water one inch.
  4. Set it, but don’t forget it! Whether you have a manual sprinkler or an automatic system, adjust your watering throughout the summer to meet the needs of different plants and lawns. Check out the Weekly Watering Number at www.conserveh2o.org to see how much to water your plants and lawn each week.
  5. Inspect your overall sprinkler system for leaks, broken lines or blockage in the lines. A well-maintained system will save you money, water and time, as even small leaks can waste hundreds of gallons of water each month.
  6. Consider replacing some turf area with low-water plants and ornamental grasses. They are easier to maintain than turf, look beautiful and require far less water. Visit www.conserveh2o.org to download a free water-efficient plant guide.
  7. Group plants with similar watering needs. Creating “watering zones” in your garden will allow you to give each plant the water it requires—not too much or too little.
  8. Add a shut-off nozzle to your garden hose and save about five to seven gallons each minute your hose is on.
  9. Adjust your mower to a higher setting.  A taller lawn provides shade to the roots and helps retain soil moisture, so your lawn requires less water.
  10. Apply only the amount of water your soil can absorb. Water thoroughly, but infrequently. If runoff or puddling occurs, reduce longer watering sessions into several short sessions. This will allow for water to more efficiently soak into the soil between each watering session.

 

 

 

For more tips to help you save water and money this summer, visit the Regional Water Providers Consortium at www.conserveh2o.org.

 

 

 

About the Regional Water Providers Consortium:
The Regional Water Providers Consortium (a group of 20+ local water providers plus the regional government Metro) is committed to good stewardship of our region’s water through conservation, emergency preparedness planning, and water supply coordination. The Regional Water Providers Consortium provides resources and information to help individual and commercial customers save water.www.conserveh2o.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo caption: Regularly check your irrigation system for leaks. Even small leaks can waste hundreds of thousands of gallons of water a month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RISE Village- Age at Home

     The national Village Movement began over a decade ago when 11 older adults living in Boston, MA joined forces to create a way for themselves to “age at home” and remain independent as long as possible. There are now over 130 established Villages nationwide with over 150 more in development, including 7 here in the Portland-Metro area!

This kind of village is neither a real estate development nor a retirement community. Village members continue to live in their own homes and can be homeowners, renters, sharing housing, or living with relatives. Villages are neighbor helping neighbor. They are networks of volunteers and reduced-cost professional support that

foster independent aging in community. RISE Village is a spoke of the Villages North West hub that is the administrative body supporting the development of villages in the Portland-Metro area: Eastside Village PDX (12 neighborhoods between I-84 and Powell), Northeast Village PDX (neighborhoods north of I-84), Viva Village (Beaverton area), Village Without Walls (Forest Grove, Cornelius, Aloha-Reedville), Three Rivers Village (Lake Oswego and West Linn area), and others developing in the south Portland/Multnomah Village/John’s Landing area. When launched, RISE Village will serve Portland’s 11 neighborhoods south of Powell Boulevard, including Lents. This will make it possible for seniors and adults with disabilities living in those areas to grow old in the homes they love.

To get involved in RISE Village, meetings are held at Kenilworth Presbyterian Church on SE Gladstone at 34th on the third Wednesday of each month from 6:30-8:30pm. To learn more about the Village Movement visit www.VillagesNW.org or attend a Villages 101 presentation (please RSVP to info@risevillage.org) :

â–ª June 8 Fruit Face Smoothie Bar 9201 SE Foster 2pm

â–ª June 10 Sacred Heart Villas Comm. Room 3911 SE Milwaukie 6:30pm

More Information Sessions will be posted on the Villages NW website.

Minutes from Board Meeting 2.4.14

Reed Neighborhood Association Board Meeting

6:35 p.m., Tuesday, February 4, 2014 @ Tucker-Maxon Oral School (new location)

Present:  Doug Menely, Mark Gossage, Heather Fields, Lloyd Lemmermann, Kathy Truman, Marisha Childs, Kelly Fedderson, Gabe Headrick.

 

Meeting convened at 6:40 p.m., Quorum present

 

Prior to moving on to any agenda items, meeting minutes from October need to be approved.  Marisha brought this to the attention of the group.  Gabe motioned to approve the meeting minutes from October, Doug seconded.  All voted to approve.

 

Financials Update

  • Michelle not present, RNA has $2571.78 in account, unchanged from last report.
  • Doug discussed neighborhood clean-up with Eastmoreland to bring in additional revenue.

 

SE Uplift update

  • Kelly Fedderson present to discuss visioning.
    • Brainstorm flyer options
    • March 4th from 6-8, Tucker-Maxon in the gymnasium, kids welcome (Marisha will secure location…done).
    • Marisha moved to allow Kelly to spend no more than $300 of communications fund for visioning flyer.  Gabe seconded.  All in favor, no opposed.  Passed.

 

Reed College Update

  • Kevin Myers no present due to scheduling conflict, will likely send a representative in the future.

 

Website update

  • Mark discussed ideas from communicating with website person to steer traffic to our website.

 

Meeting Schedule

  • Should the meeting schedule change?  Mark and Gabe addressed the issue of meetings.  Marisha had the bylaws read the section regarding frequency of meetings.  Perhaps the meeting frequency should be changed?  Kelly suggested perhaps restyling the meetings into forum with invited guests or allowing neighbors to pick a topic to discuss.  Issue was tabled for now, maybe after the visioning it will have a more clear direction.

 

Land Use

  • Gabe needs a separate evening to discuss all the land-use/Renaissance home issues that are going on, but when to schedule it???
  • Lot at 33rd and Raymond is to be divided and built into three homes courtesy of Renaissance Homes.
    • Heather and Kathy are disappointed as both their homes are negatively impacted by some new homes which have gone up by Renaissance Homes.
    • Heather’s home is now eclipsed by a RenHome and no longer receives sunlight nor does her daughter’s room have the benefit of the moon-glow at night.
    • Kelly inquired about lot splitting limiting height requirements.
      • Gabe’s short answer => there is no mechanism for this.  The only other way is the Historic Preservation.  But this is not an immediate fix, rather long term, comprehensive plan.
        • Historic Preservation would require cataloging the area; what qualifies this are to meet the definition of a “historic district”? Size of land?  Style of house?  This would be a time consuming process and has pros and cons.
        • Kelly encouraged Gabe to connect with Robert McCollough of Eastmoreland as he seems to be connected with civic leaders.  Gabe knows Robert and acknowledged his connectedness, however Gabe also pointed out that although Robert has an ability to meet with people it has not yielded action.
    • Gabe encouraged looking at the Comprehensive Plan map app on the City’s website.

 

Publications in the BEE

  • Marisha mentioned she had communicated with someone at the Bee about publishing our calendar for meetings as a way to encourage greater neighbor participation.  The BEE said it would cost the regular advertising rate.  Since this meeting Michelle and Kevin have since provided me additional information that I could publish this information in the community calendar for FREE (always a good price!).

 

Meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

City Club of Portland Views on Water/Sewer rates

Draft City Club report recommends changes to Portland water, sewer bureaus to improve oversight and build ratepayer confidence
Report recommends ‘no’ vote on proposed ballot measure, proposes alternate structure
The City Club of Portland today released a draft research report that recommends a new governance structure to improve oversight of the Portland’s water and sewer bureaus, while recommending a “no” vote on a proposed ballot measure to create a separate Portland Public Water District.
“While changes are needed in oversight and management of these bureaus, this ballot measure is not the solution,” the committee states in its report. “More modest steps can improve the process of setting (bureau) budgets and rates and enhance the effectiveness and efficiencies of the bureaus.”
New Governance Structure
The committee recommends creating a semi-autonomous Portland Water and Sewer Authority that would remain part of City government, but would provide independent management and oversight of the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services, which manages the city’s sewer and wastewater services.
The Authority would propose budgets to City Council and set utility rates. While City Council would continue to set policy for the utilities and approve their overall budgets, it would not engage in any administrative functions related to the utilities. The Authority would appoint an administrator for each utility who would oversee and manage the bureaus.
The goal of establishing the Authority is to “promote independent, accountable, sustainable and effective management and oversight,” the report states. “The Authority will better insulate the utilities from political and special interest pressure and help ensure accountability for long-term planning and efficient management.”
The report notes that Portland’s water and sewer bureaus are doing several things right in midst of challenges. For example, the city bureaus are taking expensive but necessary steps to meet environmental regulations and replace aging infrastructure, and their work in asset management is highly regarded in the industry.
Still, the research committee found several problems with the current structure, and concluded: “ratepayers are rightly concerned about how their utility dollars are being spent.” Public services as essential as sewer and water require more focused, dedicated and experienced oversight, the report concludes.
Ballot Measure Recommendation
In recommending a “no” vote on the May 20 ballot to create a new government entity, the committee found the ballot measure is poorly structured, likely to face legal challenges, and unlikely to save money. “Your committee sees nothing in the measure that will guarantee (lower rates.)  Rates will continue to be subject to upward pressure, regardless of the utilities’ governance.
The draft research report and recommendations, titled “ Rising Rates and Customer Concerns: Assessing Governance of Portland’s Water and Sewer Utilities,” will become the official position of the City Club of Portland if a majority of its members vote to approve it by March 19. The committee interviewed 31 witnesses, including supporters and critics of the City’s water and sewer bureaus. The committee also studied the governance, of water, sewer and wastewater utilities in other municipalities.
DISCUSS
City Club will host an informational town hall about the report’s findings, conclusions and recommendations,Wednesday, March 12, 5:30-7:00pm at the Green Dragon, 928 SE 9th Ave., Portland. FREE and open to everyone, but space in limited. Click here to reserve your space.
VOTE
City Club members will vote on the report and its recommendations prior to the forum on Friday, March 14, at The Governor Hotel, starting at 11:30am; doors will open at 11:00am. Voting will occur at that meeting and online. The outcome of the vote will be published on the City Club of Portland’s website and reported in the City Club Bulletin, released Thursday, March 20. Voting on City Club reports is a perk of membership, along with all these other benefits! Join today!
GET INVOLVED
Help shape the future of Portland & Oregon. Apply by Friday, April 4 to serve on a Board or Committee at City Club of Portland. We have openings on the Board of Governors, Research Board, Advocacy Board, Friday Forum, Member-Led Forum and New Leaders Collective.Click here to fill out an application.

Current trends in Land use

Trends In Land Use – March Edition
By: Bob Kellett

The amount of new development in the SE Uplift coalition neighborhoods has been significant over the past year. Apartment buildings are seemingly springing up left and right, homes are being demolished and replaced by something different, and the splitting of lots is continuing to take place. Our quadrant is clearly a place where people want to live and where developers are eager to cash in on that desire.

house3One issue that has sprung up from this new development is the impact it can have on the solar access of neighboring properties. You’ve probably seen examples of this where a single story older home is right next to a recently built modern home that is much taller and bigger in scale. The difference in height and the placement of the new home effectively blocks the older home, and its backyard, from light it used to get prior to the new home’s construction.

For many of us, access to light seems like it should be a right and when it has been taken away it feels like our rights have been violated. The Doctrine of Ancient Lights, based on English law, essentially makes that case by saying that after a number of years the owner of a long-standing building has the right to maintain her home’s level of illumination. If a neighbor wants to build something that obscures the light, the neighbor must get permission.

This doctrine has been rejected in the U.S. courts, most notably by the Florida Appellate Court in the landmark Fontainebleau Hotel Corp. v. Forty-Five Twenty-Five, Inc. case in 1959. The court ruled that a property owner does not have the legal right to the free flow of light and air across the adjoining land of his neighbor.

Even with this ruling, there are regulations that cities can enact to try to protect solar access. In fact, Portland once did this very thing. Back in 1986, Portland City Council passed ordinances that prohibited new houses from casting shadows on their neighbors. The impetus at that time was to encourage the use of a solar energy.

The regulations were met with strong resistance from the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland who argued that they limited the types of homes that could be built and drove up the cost of doing business. After three years of contentiousness, a compromise deal was reached with most of the solar access regulations being removed. What remains in the zoning code today is very little in terms of solar protection.

SolarAccess-FortCollinsThe current pace and form of new development has led to a renewed interest in exploring ways to protect solar access. For some people, solar access protection means limiting the building heights of adjacent properties. That certainly would be one option that could be explored. Some cities have had success with regulations that require developers to orient and design lots so that structures of a certain height will not block solar access to adjacent lots. This often takes the form of requiring buildings to have “step downs” in height as it gets closer to an adjacent property.

Another approach is to create “solar setbacks” for new development. These are determined by a formula that considers the height of a building, the angle of the sun when it is at its highest point, and the topography of a lot.

Other municipalities have processes for obtaining solar access permits or recording solar easements, which can establish the right to solar access for an existing or planned lot (this usually is done to protect solar panels from being blocked). A few cities have used a concept of a “solar fence” which is a hypothetical opaque fence that encircles a property at up to a certain height above the ground.

While some of these options would be difficult to implement in an urban environment like what we have in our neighborhoods, it seems that they might be at least worth considering as our city continues to try to accommodate new development while also trying to maintain the existing character of the neighborhoods.

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