Yesterday (2/19/2014) the Eugene City Council met for a work session to discuss possible acquisition of the 26 acre Beverly property for open space parkland. Just before the session was convened Southeast Neighbors presented our petition to the mayor with over 2,000 signatures calling for the acquisition.
The council discussion which was continued from the February 10 council meetings was preceded by a presentation from the Public Works Dept providing the council with more detail regarding the status of the 2006 parks bond funds and Parks and Open Space plans for using the funds.
Councilor Taylor moved to direct the city manager to make an offer for the purchase of the Beverly property with financial considerations determined during the executive session. Councilor Brown spoke in favor of the motion. Councilors Poling and Clarke were opposed. Councilors Evans, Pryor, Syrett, and Zelenka expressed varying levels of support as well as some reservations about moving forward with the purchase.
Councilor Clarke moved to table the motion and this motion passed on a 4-5 vote.
City attorney Klein suggested a new motion directing the city manager to offer to engage in conversations with parties interested in making financial contributions to purchase the Beverly property and come back to council. This motion was made by councilor Evans and a friendly amendment added by councilor Zelenka requesting the city manager to explore options to purchase only part of the property and to provide information about the city’s SDC (System Development Charge) funds in relation to park property purchases. This motion was passed unanimously.
Please stay tuned for further developments.