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Welcome to Amanda's blog
Volunteers needed for Development Review Advisory Committee
The Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) is the City of Portland’s primary community advisory group regarding development review and the Bureau of Development Services' actions. The DRAC’s members represent groups with interests in the outcome of policies, budgets, regulations, and procedures that affect development review processes. Back ten years or so ago, as a community activist I worked with Bonny McKnight and others in the Citywide Land Use group to make sure the DRAC has balanced representation from all stakeholders - neighbors, large-scale developers, small-scale developers, nonprofits, etc.
The purpose of the DRAC is to foster a timely, predictable and accountable development review process that implements the City's goals for land use, transportation, housing, economic development, neighborhood livability and the environment. The DRAC advocates for and supports consistent and fair application and implementation of regulations.
The Bureau of Development Services (BDS) provides staff support to the DRAC. BDS is currently soliciting applications for two vacant positions on the DRAC representing these stakeholder groups:
If you are interested in applying for DRAC membership, please contact Mark Fetters at BDS, at (503) 823-1028 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information about the DRAC, please visit the DRAC website: http://www.portlandonline.com/bds/index.cfm?c=46405. The DRAC meets the third Thursday of each month from 8:00 – 9:30 a.m. in Room 2500B (2nd floor) of the 1900 Building, 1900 SW 4th Ave. DRAC meetings are open to everyone.
July 29, 2014 | Comments (0) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
How to schedule accommodations for meetings needing American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters
For City of Portland meetings:
* Contact the Office of Management and Finance (Procurement services under the Bureau of Internal Business Services). The website address is: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bibs/26522? The City has recently hired ASL interpreters, on call based on contracts.
For other meetings:
* Contact Oregon Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services Program (ODHHSP) with the State of Oregon. The website is http://www.oregon.gov/dhs/odhhs/Pages/index.aspx. You can either make a request online or make a call. ODHHSP has recently contracting out with a private interpreting agency to coordinate such requests. Call Jeff, [(503) 947-5183] and see if he could refer you to appropriate private interpreting agency that ODHHSP contracts with.
* Look up on the website under http://asnwonline.com/ and schedule ASL interpreters, either call to (503) 447-5000 or click on the button "Request Online." Do this if the first one or second options are not successful.
June 14, 2014
Portland's oversight of Landslide Hazards
In light of the tragedy in Washington, many are wondering how Portlanders are protected from landslide hazards during review of proposals for new development. My staff in the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) provided the following summary.
BDS regulates and reviews construction and land division projects in areas of potential landslide hazards. Regulations administered by BDS that provide requirements for development on steep and/or sensitive slopes are in City of Portland codes: Title 24 Building Regulations and Title 33 Zoning Code, as well as the Oregon State Structural Specialty Code [Section 1803].
Geotechnical engineers and technicians in the Site Development section of the Bureau review proposals for construction activities on steeply sloped sites, sites located in environmental overlay zones, sites located in “Potential Landslide Hazard Areas” and sites located in Special Plan Districts. Land Divisions in these locations are required to provide geotechnical engineering reports prior to approval of any lot division.
Here are links to two helpful handouts about that process: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/index.cfm?a=72539 and http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/article/403947
Permit applications for commercial and residential development on steep slopes requires a geotechnical report. The report must include an evaluation of potential geologic and seismic hazards, including slope instability, and provide recommendations for mitigating the hazard. Site Development staff assigned to these permit applications, review landslide inventory maps prepared by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAM), the geotechnical report, and the permit drawings.
BDS works closely with other professionals in our regional government to respond to reports of hazardous landslide conditions and emergencies. Here is a link to the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management’s website that provides helpful links to residents whom would like to view the DOGAMI landslide inventory maps of the Portland Metro area - http://www.portlandoregon.gov/pbem/53935. Commissioner Steve Novick is in charge of Emergency Management. If you have questions about landslide hazards not related to new construction, please contact Erika on his staff.
March 28, 2014 | Comments (0) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
Outstanding public school students win golf-related scholarships
Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) is helping send three deserving students to college through our Early Adventures in Golf for a Lifetime of Enjoyment (EAGLE) program and the Western Golf Association Evans Scholarship Foundation (WGAESF) Evans Scholarship.
PP&R offers the EAGLE program as an outreach opportunity to underserved and lower-income sophomores who attend a public high school located within the City of Portland.
PP&R is proud to announce that EAGLE students Olivia Andersen and Meuy Saechao, seniors at Madison High School, and Quy Hoang, a senior at Franklin High School are the 2014 Evans Scholarship winners. They will each attend the University of Oregon this fall on a scholarship (tuition and a housing stipend provided). The scholarship is valued in excess of $50,000.
Andersen, Hoang and Saechao have demonstrated hard work and dedication both at school and as caddies at PP&R public golf courses.
As a part of the EAGLE program, Andersen, Hoang and Saechao served as caddies for 80 separate 18-hole rounds during the 2012 and 2013 summer golf seasons.
The EAGLE program encourages youth to work at golf courses, but also to learn life skills. It’s terrific that a Portland Parks & Recreation program has contributed to their success and helped them pursue higher education. Congratulations to these three Portland Public School students for their impressive success!
In a highly competitive selection process, the Evans Scholars Foundation selected the University of Oregon as the site for a Scholarship House -- the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, and the first new campus for an Evans Scholarship House in 27 years. When the house is complete, up to 50 scholarship recipients who will live together as they pursue their degrees. Only 14 other universities nationwide are residential chapters.
About the EAGLE Program
PP&R has sponsored the Early Adventures in Golf for a Lifetime of Enjoyment Program (EAGLE) program for more than 20 years, providing key opportunities for hundreds of area teens. Including Andersen’s, Hoang’s and Saechao’s awards, nearly 60 of the EAGLE program’s participants have received Evans Scholarships during that time. Scholarships are renewed for up to four years.
The EAGLE program is a unique, cooperative venture between Portland Parks & Recreation and public high schools located within the city of Portland to expose students to all aspects of golf course operation. Qualified students are paid an hourly wage, receive work credit hours, and have a mentor who monitors their progress. In addition, there are scholarship opportunities available from their involvement in our program. 57 students have successfully completed college on Evans Scholarships received through our EAGLE program.
Only sophomores are eligible to apply for this two-year program. Students who are selected for the program work in the clubhouse or on the golf course at minimum wage. All participants are required to work full time during the summer.
Other eligibility requirements are:
* Must have good attendance in school
* Must maintain a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.5
* Must come from a financially disadvantaged family
* Must go into the EAGLE Program with the expectation of
A history of interest in the game of golf is NOT required. EAGLE students successfully completing the program become eligible to apply and compete for an Evans Foundation Scholarship in their senior year. This scholarship provides college tuition and a housing stipend at the University of Oregon and may be renewed for up to four years, which is equivalent to a total exceeding $50,000.
The summer 2014 golf season is almost upon us, and PP&R’s EAGLE program is now accepting applications from qualified sophomores currently enrolled at high schools located within the City of Portland. Interested parties should contact Carolyn Lee at email@example.com or 503-823-5076.
ABOUT THE EVANS SCHOLARSHIP:
Awarded by the Western Golf Association Evans Scholarship Foundation (WGAESF).
This scholarship provides college tuition and a housing stipend at the University of Oregon and may be renewed for up to four years, which is equivalent to a total exceeding $50,000.
According to the Evans Scholarship website:
“…the award provides a housing stipend and tuition scholarships to deserving caddies across the country. Currently, more than 850 caddies are attending college on scholarship; there are more than 9,000 Evans Alumni across the country. Most Scholars attend one of the 14 universities where the Foundation owns and operates a Scholarship House.
The Evans Program is funded by contributions from more than 100,000 golfers across the country, as well as Evans Alumni and proceeds from the BMW Championship.”
Portland Public Golf manager John Zoller is a proud member of the 9,000+ Evans Scholarship alumni.
Zoller says that famed golfer Charles “Chick” Evans, Jr. grew up in the Chicago area in the early 1900s. Evans earned money by caddying at the local country club. Wanting to go to college, he found that he could not afford it nor was there anyone to help him.
In the early 1920s, Evans won both the US Amateur and the US Open golf tournaments, and with the victories came considerable wealth and notoriety. Determined to help others in his former situation, he started the Evans Foundation. It is currently the largest privately funded scholarship program in the world, with more than 9,000 alumni.
The requirements for an Evans Scholar are based on financial need, good citizenship, being in the top 10% of one’s high school class, and two years either caddying or working in the golf business.
ABOUT PORTLAND PUBLIC GOLF:
One Great City, Five Great Courses
Portland Public Golf offers affordable, quality golf to Portland's residents and visitors. Our five golf courses are conveniently located around the metro area to offer unparalleled access to our nationally recognized courses: RedTail, Eastmoreland, Rose City, and Heron Lakes (Great Blue and Greenback).
Whether you play once a year or three times a week, our beautiful courses provide the perfect venue for a business meeting, charity or corporate event, or just a chance to enjoy the game.
Portland Public Golf provides private and group lessons, banquet and meeting facilities, concessions, and Pro shops at each of our courses.
Please visit our course pages to learn more about the events and amenities at each location, or to reserve your tee time online.
For more information, call 503-823-5300 or visit www.portlandparks.org
March 4, 2014 | Comments (0) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
Applications invited to join the Parks Board
All Portlanders are invited to consider applying to join the Parks Board, an important advisory group for Portland Parks & Recreation and its Commissioner. Information about the volunteer position is posted here. Appointments are approved by the City Council, acting on the recommendation of the Commissioner in Charge and the advice of the current Parks Board.
The Parks Board currently meets monthly, from 8 - 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday mornings. Members are selected to represent the broad range of demographics and parks interests of the city as a whole. If you are interested, but unable to be at City Hall in this timeframe, please email me.
February 25, 2014 | Comments (0) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
Job opening for Compliance Officer/Community Liaison for the Police-Department of Justice Settlement Agreement
The City of Portland is seeking applicants for the Compliance Officer/Community Liaison position required in the Department of Justice Settlement on police reform. Please see the application information posted here: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/mayor/article/479352
and pass it along to anyone you know who is qualified and may be interested.
February 4, 2014 | Comments (0) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
Mountain Biking in Forest Park and other Portland Parks
A couple of weeks ago, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) staff and I informed the Northwest Trail Alliance's leaders that we cannot move forward with their proposal to build a mountain biking trail adjacent to Fire Lane 5 in Forest Park. This project was initially considered while Commissioner Fish was in charge of PP&R. There are three main reasons why I have made the decision to halt consideration of a new trail. First, Parks has no funding for a major construction project in Forest Park – neither for a new biking trail, nor for significant natural resource restoration or pedestrian improvements. We have neither staff to plan more projects, nor money to build them. Second, PP&R leaders and I believe that a citywide Master Plan for cycling recreation is needed prior to embarking on individual projects. And third, once we evaluated the proposed trail on the draft criteria in the Forest Park Project Objective Screening Tool [see here], it became clear that the project would likely not pass Environmental Review in relation to the Forest Park Natural Resources Management Plan. The POST is a tool which staff will use for initial evaluation of development and improvement proposals for Forest Park that would have some impacts in relation to the environmental, recreational, and/or wildfire aspects of the Natural Resources Management Plan.
Portland Parks has a list totaling over $400 million in identified Capital Improvement Projects desired in the community. There is very little funding to address these needs. The Parks Budget Advisory Committee has worked hard over the past four months to review the bureau's finances and recommend additional funding requests to be submitted to the Council for the 2014-15 City Budget process. While about $300,000 was added to PP&R's maintenance budget in the fall Budget adjustments, PP&R has over $450 million in deferred maintenance needs - including many projects in Forest Park. While a citywide recreational cycling Master Plan is surely needed, PP&R doesn't have General Fund resources to allocate to the project at this time.
When funding is available, and when all sides are ready to collaborate on a Master Plan for cycling facilities in Portland's parks, we will conduct a citywide public process to discuss and decide where to provide mountain biking trails and skill parks in the City of Portland. This Master Plan process will hopefully include working with other regional park providers. In the meantime, I invite leaders of cycling interest groups to work with PP&R and me to educate cyclists who use Portland’s parks regarding shared stewardship of parks and natural areas, and about the significant funding challenges faced by PP&R.
PP&R will be working to address illegal use of parks and natural areas by cyclists not using approved trails. Our natural areas in particular are essential for providing wildlife habitat and improving water quality by protecting native vegetation and trees. There are inherent conflicts with co-location of certain recreational activities, including safety issues for cyclists, hikers, runners, joggers, birders, and strollers. That’s why we need a City-wide (preferably regional) Master Plan.
There is a range of mountain biking styles from casual rides with family to professional level training rides. Not all parks are suitable for all types of mountain biking. A Master Plan would guide us on what makes sense where, and help to provide a quality user experience for all park visitors. PP&R currently lacks funding and staff for a Citywide Master Plan process. The project will be considered for prioritization in the 2015-16 budget planning public process.
February 1, 2014 | Comments (0) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
Forest Park Project Objective Screening Tool
In January 2014, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) published the approved version of the Forest Park Project Objective Screening Tool (POST), posted here. This methodology for initial screening of proposed projects in Forest Park was developed by PP&R natural resources staff, with public input over the first six months of my tenure as Parks Commissioner. The POST provides a summary of previous studies relating to this jewel in the crown of Portland's parks and natural areas, with important factors converted into a scoring grid that evaluates proposed projects to see if they would be likely to pass Environmental Review under the Forest Park Natural Resources Management Plan's standards and approval criteria.
Other information about Forest Park Management Initiatives is posted here.
If a project passes the initial test of getting by the POST, staff will evaluate whether there is funding for planning and constructing the facility. If the answer to that question is Yes, then an appliction for Environmental Review will be prepared, with defined levels of public input to the Bureau o f Development Services on whether the proposal meets the applicable standards and approval criteria. If the application for Environmental Review is approved, the project will move to the construction phase after receiving approval of necessary permits.
Currently, there is very little funding available for new projects in Forest Park. The entire PP&R has a backlog of over $400 million on the list of desired new projects, and over $450 million in needed deferred maintenance. Neighborhood parks leaders have formed district/coalition parks committees to give advice on funding priorities in each area of Portland. Please contact your neighborhood office (call 503-823-4000 to find out your local information) and join these discussions. When individuals contact me to advocate for a particular need or park, I refer them to the Parks Committee in their area. There is not enough money to do all the needed improvements, and the Parks Committees are crucial for advising me on making the difficult choices for priorities.
February 1, 2014 | Comments (0) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
Two new parks for East Portland
On Thursday, I announced that Portland Parks & Recreation will be investing over $12 million from funds paid by developers of new construction, to build two new parks in East Portland. Full details here.
Over the next few weeks, there will be further announcements about investments to expand parks facilities in every neighborhood district/coalition area of Portland. I appreciate the input of community parks enthusiasts who have helped prioritize where to spend scarce resources. While the amount available is far short of the $400 million needed to provide all the needed facilities on the Parks Capital Improvement Project list, it is wonderful to be able to get started on addressing the backlog.
Please note that this source of funds, System Development Charges, may only be used for new construction, by state law. It may not be used for maintenance or programs. Thanks to an ordinance passed by Council in 2006, all new Parks facilities are allocated additional General Fund ongoing funds to pay for operations and maintenance of the new feature. So adding new parks does not increase the $450 million deficit in Parks maintenance for the entire portfolio of 206 parks citywide.
February 1, 2014 | Comments (0) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
Volunteers needed for Golf Advisory Committee
Portland Parks and Recreation and I seek new members for the Golf Advisory Committee.
The 10 member Golf Advisory Committee advises the Parks & Recreation Director and the Commissioner in Charge of Parks on Golf program related matters. These include the Golf program’s Strategic Plan, operating budget and capital improvement projects, concession sales, management and lease contracts and proposals, marketing of the system, attracting more participants, and any other matter that furthers the public interest toward the development and operation of one of the best municipal golf systems in the country.
Members of this Committee are appointed to a three year term. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month at noon. Serving on the Committee provides members with complimentary passes to allow each volunteer to play at each of the five public golf courses once each season (20 passes annually), in order to be aware of conditions, needs and opportunities at each course.
Our 90 year old system is one of the best in the nation. Our public courses provide affordable recreation, and multiple environmental and neighborhood benefits on more than 600 acres of valuable urban open space. People representing underserved communities, such as youth, socioeconomically-disadvantaged players, and diverse areas of the city are especially encouraged to apply.
I would like to hear from anyone who is interested in preserving and expanding this legacy for generations to come by serving on the Golf Advisory Committee. Please contact Tim Crail in my office at 503-823-3988 to request an interest form. Applications are due no later than noon on Wednesday, January 8. I hope you will share this invitation with those who may be interested.
December 18, 2013 | Comments (0) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
Volunteers needed for Adjustment Committee and Historic Review Commission
The Bureau of Development Services and I seek volunteers to serve on two important community advisory groups that make decisions on development applications.
The Adjustment Committee holds public hearings to consider appeals of Adjustment decisions rendered by Bureau of Development Services staff. Adjustments are requests to modify the development standards of the Portland Zoning Code (Title 33). The Adjustment Committee meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month, if necessary, during normal business hours. Each meeting typically lasts approximately 2 to 3 hours.
Committee members serve four-year terms and may be re-appointed The terms are a maximum of four years with a maximum of two full terms. The Committee consists of seven members, none of whom may hold public elective office. The Committee must include three persons representing the public at large; two members in urban design, architecture, or landscape architecture; and two members experienced in engineering, financing, construction, building management or land development.
There are currently two vacant Adjustment Committee positions. One must be filled by an individual representing the public at large (not from one of the named professions), the other by a professional representing engineering, financing, construction, building management or land development interests.
The Historic Landmarks Commission hears proposals for large scale infill and new development in Historic Preservation and Conservation Districts. They also review appeals of smaller scale proposals to existing designated Landmarks, and alterations to existing structures in Historic Preservation and Conservation Districts. The Historic Landmarks Commission meets the 2nd and 4th Monday of every month, during normal business hours. The meetings can last from 2 to 4 hours each time.
Commission members serve four-year terms and may be re-appointed. The terms are a maximum of four years with a maximum of two full terms. The Commission consists of seven members, none of whom may hold public elective office. The Commission must include a historian with knowledge of local history; an architectural historian; an architect; two members from the following: landscape architecture, real estate, construction, community development, urban planning, archeology, law, finance, cultural geography, cultural anthropology, or related disciplines; and two members at-large.
There are currently two vacant positions on the Historic Landmarks Commission, both in the "public at large" category.
Applications should be submitted to the Office of Neighborhood Involvement with a cover letter describing the applicant’s interest, background and experience, or a resume. Applications should be submitted by January 8, 2014.
Applications from underrepresented communities such as people with disabilities, bilingual and/or bicultural individuals, and community/neighborhood advocacy groups are particularly welcome. Appointments are made by Council, with recommendations from the Commissioner in Charge (me!) and my staff.
We hope to have the positions filled in January 2014, with a potential start date at the end of January 2014 for the Historic Landmarks Commission, and February 2014 for the Adjustment Committee. For more information about the Adjustment Committee, please contact Douglas Hardy with Bureau of Development Services at 503-823-7816, or Douglas.Hardy@portlandoregon.gov.
For more information about the Historic Landmarks Commission, please contact Tim Heron with the Bureau of Development Services at 503-823-7726, or Tim.Heron@portlandoregon.gov.
Interested citizens should contact the Office of Neighborhood Involvement at 503-823-4519 for the application form. The form may also be accessed through the ONI website at www.portlandonline.com/oni.
December 18, 2013 | Comments (0) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
Response to mistletoe selling without a permit
The following is the response I sent earlier this week to Ashton Root and his daughter Madison, the Lake Oswego family who felt the young girl should not have to comply with Portland's regulations:
Thank you for your message. I hope you agree that rules should apply to everyone. As I was raising my three children, and even now that they are in their twenties, I have found things go better if the rules are clear and evenly applied.
Saturday Market is a commercial venture where people selling goods and services pay a permit fee to be part of a magnet that attracts buyers from all over the Metro region as well as tourists. It would not be reasonable to charge a vendor in the Market to sell mistletoe, while allowing anyone to sell just outside the Market area without a permit.
Portland Parks has a permit/license agreement with Saturday Market. They control who gets to sell what at the Market. Your daughter should contact Saturday Market to them about permission to sell mistletoe at the Market. Their web site is here: http://www.portlandsaturdaymarket.com. My understanding is that your daughter was told by Saturday Market’s security that she couldn’t sell there, not by Parks Rangers or Portland Police.
Portland’s parks are public spaces where permits are required to sell goods and services. Otherwise, parks all over the city could be full of vendors every day, potentially impacting the park experience for those who go to get away from the hustle and bustle of life in a big city.
Oregonians value free speech and freedom of expression. Our Constitution gives more weight to these values than the United States Constitution. People are allowed to ask for money, to play bucket drums and ask for tips, and to ask for signatures on ballot measures, both in parks and on sidewalks.
It would be legal for your daughter to stand near Saturday Market with bags of mistletoe and a sign that said, “Mistletoe – donations welcome.” When I was a little older than your daughter and began my career by earning money babysitting, I did not set a fixed price per hour for my services. I told those who hired me that whatever they felt was fair was fine with me. I found that I was paid more than my contemporaries who charged a fixed amount per hour. Your daughter may find that she makes more money suggesting she would welcome donations than by selling at a fixed price.
I hope this clarifies the rules for both Saturday Market and Parks/sidewalk policies. One component in success in business is knowing the rules and following them. I trust that the publicity this experience has garnered will help your daughter’s sales. I look forward to the day when dental care will be covered by the Affordable Care Act, so no child or parent has to worry about how to pay for braces.
Follow-up: Portland Saturday Market leaders contacted the Root family and offered a free permit for her to sell within the market. The Oregonian's Shane Kavanaugh reported on additional outcomes: http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2013/12/madison_root_mistletoe.html#incart_m-rpt-2…
December 7, 2013 | Comments (1) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
Winter Shelter options
Severe Weather Notice: The National Weather Service forecasts overnight lows between 12° and 24° F, lower with wind chill, for the evenings of Thursday, December 5th, Friday, December 6th, Saturday, December 7th and Sunday, December 8th, 2013.
December 5, 2013
Really really interesting statistics
At the City Council's first Budget session for the 2014-15 fiscal year, we were treated to informational presentations from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the state of Oregon, and polling expert Adam Davis of DHM consultants. Really, really interesting. Honestly. Please read them, and post comments below.
Portland Jobs Analysis 2013 (Powerpoint presentation)
Portland Today – Council Work Session Slides
Job Polarization Study
Oregon Opinions Survey 2013
There is also information from the City Budget Office, which gives the good news that there is likely to be a small amount of money above current service level costs, in the next budget.
FY 2014-15 Budget Outlook
November 6, 2013 | Comments (0) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
Landlord Education Classes
Fall 2013 Landlord Training classes
The Bureau of Development Services, Portland Police Bureau, and Portland Fire and Rescue will hold four training sessions for landlords, on 11/16, 11/19, 12/14, and 2/16. The content is the same at each, just pick the time and location most convenient for you.
The training will help individuals be effective property managers, become aware of maintenance obligations, and learn techniques to stop the spread of illegal activity and property damage on rental property. If you would like to register for a class, please click here. The trainings are provided without cost to attendees.
November 6, 2013
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