Meeting Minutes: Southeast Neighbors General Meeting


Date/Time: Tuesday, February 12, 2013, 7:30pm to 9:30pm
Location: Hilyard Community Center, Eugene, OR

Attending:

Kevin Matthews, President/Board Member; Lindsay Selser, Board Member; David Saul, Newsletter Editor/Board Member ; Kent Anderson, Board Member; Alicia McGraw, Board Member; Madronna Holden, Board Member; Betty Taylor, Eugene City Councilor, Ward 2;  Marcus Lanskey;  Debbie Hebert; Total attendance of 23

I.  Arrivals/Greetings: The meeting started shortly after 7:30 PM.

II.  Agenda Items:

  • South Willamette Street Improvement Plan:  presented an update on the project.  City planning staff assisted by consultants from Cogito Inc. have been engaged in a study to develop  plans to improve South Willamette  from  24th  Ave. to 32nd Ave. The goal of this study is to help South Willamette Street become a vibrant urban corridor accessible by bicycle, foot, car, and bus. The project has been meeting with stakeholders in various contexts and venues and at an initial public forum in November 2012  to gather the public’s input on how the street should be improved.  A second public forum is scheduled for February 27th  from 6-8 PM at South Eugene High School Cafeteria (400 E. 19th Ave.) Up to half a dozen design alternatives will  be presented at the forum and feedback from community members will help refine and narrow the alternatives  to three.  A third public forum is planned for sometime in May and the design alternative will be presented to the city council in the fall. Improvements under consideration include, reducing the number of driveways, repairing and improving the sidewalks, adding bicycle lanes,  and changing the configuration of  traffic lanes. The City Club hosted a discussion on this project  on January 25th and an audio recording is available for listening online at the KLCC website ( http://www.klcc.org/audio/cityclub2013_01_25.mp3 ).
  • Laurel Ridge PUD:  Bill Blix from  executive board of the Laurel Hill Valley Citizens presented an overview of the proposed PUD. A total of 608 dwelling units are proposed on  121.68 acres of open space bordering on 30th Ave.  538 of the proposed dwelling are  to be clustered in multi-unit structures.  The project may result in  doubling the current population of the Laurel Hill Valley neighborhood. Traffic access is a major issue as the only  access will be via  Spring Blvd.   Over half of the trees on the property are slated for removal. The development  will also impact  the headwaters of Laurel Hill Creek , likely having severe negative effects on threatened wildlife. Although the developer’s tentative PUD application has not yet been completed Laurel Hill Valley Citizens and Fairmont Neighbors associations are cooperating on efforts to oppose the plan. Neighbors were encouraged to support these efforts. Updated information available online at  http://members.efn.org/~lhvc/laurelridge.html
  • Deerbrook PUD:  Kevin Matthews presented an update on the Southeast Neighbors continuing efforts to block the proposed 75 unit  tentative PUD application. Kevin started by presenting some background and explaining the significance of this property in relation to  Eugene’s  eco-system.  We viewed a map excerpted from the Army Corps of Engineers Metro Waterways study that identified the property as priority for public acquisition and preservation.  The (most recent) tentative PUD application filed in early 2012 was denied by the Hearings Official.  That decision was  the subject of cross appeals to the Eugene Planning Commission by the Developer and  Home Builders Association  and the Southeast Neighbors.  The Planning Commission, guided by Eugene Planning Staff,  reached  a decision to overturn the Hearings Official’s decision and approve the  tentative PUD application with some conditions.  Southeast Neighbors believes this decision was incorrect and seriously flawed in several respects and is pursuing an appeal to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA).  Currently the legal preliminaries  for the appeal are ongoing and  Southeast Neighbors is continuing to pursue negotiations aimed at our  goal of  public acquisition and preservation for the property. The LUBA  hearing has not been scheduled yet.  Southeast Neighbors will need to raise funds to cover the legal fees for this appeal  (estimated at 10 – 30  thousand dollars) . Please  donate!   Visit http://www.saveamazonheadwaters.org/ online to get more information and find out how to help.
  • Issues Facing Eugene 2013: Kevin Matthews presented a brief summary of city issues.  Although the Envision Eugene planning did not identify any area in our neighborhood for expanding the urban growth boundary, discussions in city government have continued around proposals to develop some areas that had already been eliminated from consideration such as the Russell Creek area near Lane Community College.  The city is also rushing through a huge package including  code amendments,  Willamette Greenway permit, zoning changes, and a Metro Plan amendment in support of the EWEB Riverfront  Master Plan.  These plans are not being aired with adequate time for public review and input  and are not supported by a baseline  environmental assessment of the  property.

IV.   Adjourn:

The meeting adjourned shortly after 9:30 PM.