Friday, February 14, 2014

Tabor Reservoir Disconnect land use cases

The paperwork for disconnecting the Mt. Tabor open reservoirs from the drinking water supply arrived on January 28, 2014 (postmarked Jan 27).  Two, complicated land use reviews are happening at once under case titles: LU 13-236792HR (this is for the Historic Resource Review) and LU 13-240530EN (this is for the Environmental Review).

Click here for the "Notice" from the city.
Click here for "Revised Notice" from 2-14-14
Click here for the plan drawings we obtained.
Click here for the Dec 2013 application narrative we obtained (this doc request took 5 days for PWB to fill).
Click here for the budget (still awaiting document request, 13 days and counting).
Click here for specific approval criteria for Historic Resources review.
Click here for specific approval criteria for Environmental review.

Public meeting
Feb 19, 7 pm:  Water Bureau did not involve our neighborhood in the process of planning this project. Our first notice came on Jan 28.  Water Bureau has done no outreach in our neighborhood regarding this project.  Volunteers with MTNA are pouring through plans and documents now, and discovering this project will indeed have significant impact on park neighbors and users.  At MTNA's regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, Feb 19th, we will share project drawings and walk meeting attendees through the various disruptions.  Meetings are in the basement of the Mt. Tabor Presbyterian church on the corner of SE 55th and SE Belmont, from 7 - 9 pm.

Public Comment Period
While we were supposed to be given 21 days for public comments, inexplicably, we are only being given 17 days.  Only 13 of those are business days during which we can get documents from city offices, and with storm related closures our public comment period has been whittled down to just 10 business days.  Unless we succeed in our appeal for a longer public comment period, your comments are due to BDS by Friday, Feb 14, at 5:00pm.  Update 2-12-14:  Our appeal was answered by Fish and Fritz's office, we have secured an extension until March 10, 2014 (three extra weeks).  Click here to read the email correspondence for this request.

Challenging the Type II classification
We take issue with the Type II classification this case was given, and believe the facts warrant a Type III classification.  A Type III classification would require Water Bureau to more broadly distribute notice of this project (informing more neighbors) and it would involve the Historic Landmarks Commission at a sooner point in the review process (providing better oversight for this historically sensitive area).  At this point, people immediately effected by this work only know it is happening because neighborhood volunteers are doing outreach.  Update 2-17-14: Tonight we emailed an appeal to Commissioners Fish and Fritz making the case for why this project should have been given a Type III procedure.  Click here to read our argument.  We ask everyone to contact the offices of Commissioners Fritz and Fish, encouraging them to support our request for a Type III classification. Update 2-18-14: At 6pm today we heard from Commissioner Fish that this land use case will be reclassified as a Type III review = good news!  To read the Commissioner's email click here.

MTNA's official comments
MTNA's official comments will be posted here once submitted.  I will write MTNA's official comments for this case, along with a team of neighborhood stakeholders which have agreed to serve as Land Use Committee members and consultants.  They are Dawn Smallman, Kim Lakin, and Mark Bartlett.  If you have particular expertise in land use we could use your help.  We are especially in need of experts in land-use law, and historic landscaping preservation.  All Portlanders have a right to submit comments to and by March 10.

Other Important Documents:

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