Friday, December 5, 2014

Reservoir Debrief - public hearing before the Historic Landmarks Commission

On Monday, Dec 1, the Tabor Disconnect construction project had it's Historic Resources land use review at a public hearing in front of the Historic Landmarks Commission.  It was a long but productive day (many of us were there for the full 6 hour hearing session).

The volunteers that sit on the Historic Landmarks Commission are professionals with historic preservation specialties within their respective fields.  They asked the kinds of questions MTNA hoped they would ask, and they asked for more detail on many of the same issues about which MTNA would like more detail.  They delayed their decision until a future hearing on Jan 12, 2012, so that they could 1) hear from stakeholders and 2) gather more data.  Water Bureau is to supply the HLC with the requested data before the Christmas break, likely around Dec 23.  

Additional data requested by HLC:
  • Comments from the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), now reviewing this case
  • City Council's "future-use" plan decision
  • A look at the City's legacy plans for the reservoir assets (roles, responsibilities)
  • Cost estimate, scope of work for reversing the disconnection
  • A formal review of site by a professional geo-archeologist
  • Yearly cost to keep reservoirs between .5 and .75 full (normal fill range is .5 to .75)
  • Yearly cost for functional-maintenance at the reservoirs
  • Cost to complete deferred preservation-maintenance listed in the 2009 Mt. Tabor Historic Structures Report
  • An analysis of the current "Use Determination," if it is still valid given the changes at the site.  They wanted to hear from the City Attorney and BDS on this point.
Many items in the HLC case file are available online, including the staff report from BDS, visual aids used in presentations given at the hearing, and an audio file of the hearing:

Documentary filmmaker Brad Yazzolino has made video footage of the hearing available here:

For time/date of the next public hearing, see HLC agendas here:

Next Steps
Next steps just got a little confusing, since Portland Commissioners Fish and Fritz decided to postpone their future-use plan announcement scheduled for Dec 10.  The Historic Landmarks Commissioners want to see the Parks/Water Bureau future-use plan, before HLC makes their decision; Fish and Fritz now want to wait for HLC's decision in the land use case before they announce their future-use proposal.

MTNA will make our concerns about this project known to the State Historic Preservation Office, and work for more involvement from them.   I encourage others to advocate for the conditions and mandates found in MTNA comments on this case (you can read our comments here: ).  Advocate by signing the petition!!! Go here:

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