Appeals are OVER!

June 18th, 2009

I confirmed it with the City Attorney today. The appeal process for the Council’s denial of the rezoning request for Colwood is officially over.  Thank you to everyone who engaged in the process and helped keep Colwood green.

What  now? Is the Colwood issue over?

Simply put, no.

It remains our hope of that the Colwood Partnership will work with the Trust for Public Land and the city to secure the property as a public asset. But it is unclear how that course may be set back in motion. We’ll see.

However, please send some kudos to the Council for their decision which has been clearly affirmed by LUBA and, as always, it never hurts to voice your support for keeping Colwood zoned open space and sheparding toward open public use.

Peace.

Affirmed!

May 26th, 2009

Just off the phone with the City Attorney’s Office. The Council’s decision to keep Colwood zoned Open Space has been affirmed by LUBA.So what is next? The landowners may still take their case to the Board of Appeals. They have 21 days. We’ll see…   

LUBA Hearing is Today

April 23rd, 2009

…so we will see what happens.  It isn’t a public testimony hearing, it is a court-style hearing. Stay tuned…

Speaking of the Port and Open Space…

February 26th, 2009

This action alert recently came through from the Audubon Society:

Dear Audubon Activists,

 

We need your help to prevent the Port of Portland from destroying one of the largest and most ecologically important unprotected natural areas left in the region.  The Port of Portland is asking the City of Portland to annex and rezone  826-acres of wildlife habitat on West Hayden Island to allow for the construction of a giant marine cargo facility.  There will be two important opportunities next week to send a strong message to the Port and to the City that the people of Portland do NOT support the destruction of critical wildlife habitat  to build unnecessary marine cargo facilities.

 

This is not the first time that the Port has initiated efforts to annex and rezone West Hayden Island. The Port wasted hundreds of thousands of public dollars in a failed annexation effort in 1999, but withdrew its application in the face of strong criticism from the community over deeply flawed economic and environmental analyses and its failure to work with other Ports in the region to maximize use of the existing industrial land base. This criticism came not only from the environmental community but also from organizations such at the Portland Business Journal:

 

“We are relieved to learn that the Port of Portland has decided to re-examine its West Hayden island project. The Port wants to rend the island’s fragile environmental fabric so that marine cargo facilities…can be built there…We are not convinced it’s a good trade-off.”

            Portland Business Journal Editorial—September 25th, 2000

 

“The Port of Portland should be commended for reconsidering the West Hayden Island terminals. We’re not convinced that the plan to develop the island acreage shouldn’t be permanently scrapped, But at least by putting it on the shelf for a while, it can be given further study from cost-benefit and environmental standpoints”

            Portland Business Journal Editorial– December 18th, 2000

 

   The public process to move annexation and rezoning forward is beginning next week. It is important that we send a strong message right from the start!

 

Community Working Group Meeting
Comments by Mayor Sam Adams and
Port of Portland Executive Director Bill Wyatt.
Portland City Hall, Rose Room
Monday, Feb. 23, 2009, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
1221 S.W. 4th Avenue, Portland

Community Town Hall Meeting
Q&A With Port of Portland Executive Director Bill Wyatt
Former Hayden Island
Yacht Club (across from Safeway)
Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009,
7 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
12050 N. Jantzen Avenue, Portland

 

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO SEND A STRONG MESSAGE. THERE WILL BE PUBLIC COMMENT OPPORTUNITIES AT BOTH MEETINGS. KEY MESSAGES ARE AS FOLLOWS:

 

1)  West Hayden Island is a critically important natural area:

  • It contains 826-acres of intact habitat including 39 acres of wetlands and 4% of the remaining intact cottonwood bottomland habitat between rivermile 12 and rivermile 145.
  • It is home to at least 81 species of birds, 9 mammale species, 4 amphibian species  (including sensitive western painted turtles, and provides critical habitat for federal listed salmon.
  • It is designated as Class 1 riparian habitat and a “Habitat of Concern” under Metro’s Title 13
  • US Fish and Wildlife Service State Supervisor Kemper McMaster has written the West Hayden Island is considered “an important conservation asset regardless of its location. Its presence on and otherwise highly urbanized landscape accentuates its importance.”

 

2) The Port of Portland has not justified destroying West Hayden Island to build a marine industrial facility.  It cannot say what exactly it intends to build or when it will be built, but insists that annexation and rezoning a necessary. it also has completely failed to address issues raised by Audubon and the Business Journal of Portland in 1999 regarding collaborating with the Port of Vancouver. There is no excuse for destroying critical wildlife habitat when the two Ports are not already maximizing use of the existing industrial land base.

 

3) The city should facilitate a fair and impartial review of the facts in deciding the outcome of the Port’s application.  The city’s recent use of public dollars to distribute Port of Portland propaganda and promote Port of Portland public relations events related to West Hayden Island undermine a fair and open process. The city would not fund the outreach activities of any other applicant and it should not do it for the Port either!  Destroying between 50% and 80% of the habitat on West Hayden Island to build giant parking lots is not a “Win-Win” situation for the environment and the economy as it was recently described in a City of PortlandPort of Portland Press Release.

 

4) Hayden Island is currently one of the most park deficient areas in the City. (The Port does not allow access to West Hayden Island) Protecting West Hayden Island as a natural area would create outstanding recreational opportunities to enjoy nature in North Portland and it would undoubtedly become one of the regions premier natural areas.

 

THIS IS LIKELY TO BE A LONG AND HARD FOUGHT BATTLE. WE ARE GOING TO NEED YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT THROUGHOUT THIS YEAR LONG PROCESS. YOUR PARTICIPATION NEXT WEEK IS CRITICAL.

 

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CALL OR EMAIL ME IF YOU WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION .

 

 

 

Bob Sallinger

Conservation Director

Audubon Society of Portland

(503) 292-9501 EXT 110

bsallinger@audubonportland.org

2-11-09 Update: Still on Appeal

February 11th, 2009

Is the Colwood issue over? No.The appeal to LUBA is still under way.  At this point, it is unlikely that any decision in that forum will occur prior to June or July.It remains our hope of  that when this process concludes  that the Colwood Partnership will be open to working with the Trust for Public Land and the city to secure the property as a public asset.  So, it remains a wait and see. If you are really itching to do something, it never hurts to check in with Council – especially new Parks Commissioner Nick Fish – to voice your support for keeping Colwood zoned open space and sheparding toward open public use.   

Actually, It Ain’t Over…

November 13th, 2008

I received a notice in the mail today from Lawyer, Lawyer, and Lawyer….The Colwood Partnership is appealing the Council decision to the Land Use Board of Appeal.

Where is that fat woman when you need her?

It’s Official, Council Denies Rezone

October 28th, 2008

The Portland City Council reaffirmed its earlier tentative vote and rejected the comprehensive plan amendment that would’ve rezoned most of Colwood National Golf Course from open space to industrial.

The full details are available here: Council Findings on Colwood

What’s next? Although this is the City’s final decision on this matter, the applicant may still appeal the decision to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA), within 21 days of the date of decision.

We remain hopeful that an appeal will not happen. Moreover, it remains our sincere hope that if the landowner is no longer interested in managin Colwood as a golf course that they consider working with the Trust for Public Land to transfer that property to public ownership at a fair market price.

Responses to Recent Editorials

October 2nd, 2008

Although retaining open space zoning for Colwood was unanimously supported by the Council in a tentative vote on 9/17, keeping Colwood Green is not a sure thing. Some fuel for the rezoning fire was recently provided by the Oregonian and Portland Tribune editorial boards. Both penned editorials that call the Council’s 9/17 decision to keep Colwood green into question.

At their core, these editorials assume that all assertions of economic development made by proponents to rezone the area should be taken at face value and not be subjected to any critical review or challenge. Further, both editorials imply that the  decisions made by the Hearings Officer and the Council were primarily based on politics.  It is hard imagine from where these conclusions are drawn.

The Hearings Officer is not an elected official and his review of the evidence is required to be impartial.  The Council decision on Comprehensive Plan Amendments is quasi-judicial in nature and must be based on the evidence; and it isn’t too hard to come up with examples where the Council has soundly rejected the preference of neighborhoods in its decisions.  Consider the Council’s decision to retain the zoning of industrial land in the Linnton neighborhood over the objections of local residents who wanted the area rezoned.

The fact of the matter is that both decisions were clearly reflective of the available evidence; the case to rezone Colwood does not hold up to close scrutiny.

Formal rebuttals to these editorials have been submitted to the Oregonian and Tribune.  Any decision to publish them in whole or in part is up to the editors of those papers.

In light of this, we are posting both rebuttals here so that they are available for public review and consideration:

keep-colwood-green-response-to-tribune.pdf

keep-colwood-green-response-to-oregonian.pdf

We Won!…for now…

September 18th, 2008

The Council unanimously approved a motion to reject the request to rezone Colwood Golf Course. Commissioner Leonard made the motion, Commissioner Adams seconded.  Mayor Potter was not present (which was expected).  Read more on Oregonlive.com

However, the applicant – represented by Steve Janik – made procedural request where they would be able to submit further testimony within 7 days. As such, Council will take a FINAL vote after that testimony is received. October 22 is the day they are looking at right now.

Thank you to everyone who sent in testimony or presented testimony tonight!  You voices were heard!

We encourage you to contact the Portland City Council and thank them for their action on 9/17 and encourage them to remain committed to supporting the Hearings Officer’s decision when they reconvene on this issue on 10/22.

More Press Coverage – Oregonian, Portland Tribune, and Jack Bog commentary

September 16th, 2008

The Colwood rezoning proposal came was covered in the Oregonian and the Portland Tribune today. And Jack Bog added his two-cents on this again at bojack.org (that Jack is definitely not a shy guy…)

But what we need is Y-O-U! We need you at the hearing to show support and we need you to send in testimony right away.  Written testimony will be accepted until 4 pm on 9/17.

The hearing will be  at 6 pm in Council Chambers at City Hall on Wednesday, September 17. Hope to see you there!