Here are some of the topics of interest recently discussed at Southeast Neighbors meetings. All neighbors are invited to attend.
Southeast Neighbors has been fighting to preserve the Amazon Headwaters for over a generation. This property is particularly important because it holds the key to water quality in the Amazon Creek Watershed that cascades down to the health of the flora and fauna that inhabit it and beyond into the Long Tom Watershed. It features three Amazon creek headwaters streams as well as beautiful, relatively unspoiled and undeveloped forest land, wetland and riparian areas. We are concerned about the imminent clear cutting of the forest for roads and houses and the subsequent erosion which will follow.
The Southeast Neighbors neighborhood association board discussed the competing proposals for purchasing the Civic Stadium and agreed to express opposition to the Fred Meyers proposal. The financial advantages offered by the proposal for a large retail center are out-weighed by the long term impacts and costs that will be imposed on south Eugene by the development. The competing proposals are under discussion and the board has not reached consensus on supporting the YMCA or City of Eugene bids.
Neighborhood Cell Towers
There are several neighborhood proposals for the installation of wireless facilities to improve connectivity for voice, data, and text, ensuring a stronger and more reliable network in the area. A few neighbors have spoken out about the need for improved cell phone service in the neighborhood but many more have expressed serious concerns with the potential environmental and health impacts of the microwave radiation, the impact on scenic values for the neighbors as well as the nearby Amazon Greenway, and impacts on property values for nearby neighbors. The board has not reached consensus on supporting or opposing any existing proposals.
Pesticide Free Parks
The Board of Southeast Neighbors voted unanimously to add our signature to the petition for pesticide free parks currently being circulated by Beyond Toxics . We urge the Mayor and City Council to act as soon as possible to adopt policy that will minimize herbicide and pesticide applications and eliminate the use of neonicotinoid pesticides on all city properties.
Rest-Haven R-1 Land Re-designation
On December 16, for the Willamette St/Rest-Haven site, the Eugene Planning Commission voted as follows: 3 of the 6 Commissioners voted to recommend approval of the proposed designation/zone change, and the other 3 of the 6 Commissioners voted to recommend approval of the proposed designation/zone change provided a requirement to protect a buffer area from development is added. The 3 Commissioners that that felt a buffer requirement should be added to the site as part of the re-designation also voted on which mechanism would be the best way to address the intended buffer area. Some neighbors are concerned that the buffer will not be enough. No development has currently been proposed on this site.
South Willamette Street Improvement Plan
The South Willamette Street Improvement Plan will explore options for people to easily and safely walk, bike, take the bus, or drive in an eight-block study area from 24th Avenue to 32nd Avenue. The goal of this study is to help South Willamette Street become a vibrant urban corridor accessible by bicycle, foot, car, and bus. The board has not reached consensus on supporting or opposing any of the proposed options.