From the editor (this was sent out by email yesterday; my apologies for the delay posting it here)
The heat continues and we have fire dangers. Fireworks have been banned in South Eugene, and we are contemplating at the ruins of Civic Stadium. Signs have gone up about rezoning along South Willamette and nearby streets, and people are upset.
Amid all this I have to apologize. The Board had scheduled a meeting for July 2 at Market of Choice. It turned out that almost no board members would be able to come on that date, due to other commitments. So we rescheduled the meeting for July 8 at 6 PM also at Market of Choice. I notified people I knew were coming to the meeting about the change, but there were others who had been encouraged to attend and I did not know whether they were coming or not. It was my fault that I neglected to inform them of the change. They came to the meeting and the board was not there.
This would have been annoying but it became more serious because what they were anxious to talk about is happening this Monday morning, before the rescheduled Board meeting. The planning commission is meeting about the zone changes for the South Willamette area.
The next time for public comment will be before the City Council in the fall. People are understandably upset and feel that massive changes are being forced upon them quickly without sufficient notice.
A Partial Defense
An email we received complains about the speed and “abysmal lack of timely information” about this project. In response, while admitting my fault last week, I want to defend SHiNA, and point out the city has made many efforts to obtain public input while the plan was being developed. SHiNA has been notifying people since 2011 about meetings connected with this zoning. Here are five examples, among others, from past issues of our newsletter.
(1) From Oct 2011
Redesigning South Willamette
Monday October 3rd, 5:15 to 8:30 PM, Bascom Tykeson room, Eugene Public Library will be a design workshop, or “charrette” to work in groups to imagine the future of the area and record ideas for developing an urban design plan. You will be asking yourself questions such as: What areas need to stay the same?, Where might change happen?, What is really terrific about the area and where should we have more of it? Also, where and what kinds of new buildings would fit in, how tall should they be and where do we need more open space or pedestrian connections. We hope you can be part of the team that evening! The event will be held in the Bascom Tykeson Room at the Eugene Public Library at 10th and Olive Street.
There is a brief survey that is posted so you can share what is important to you in thinking about the area’s future. You will find links to the video, slide show and survey here: http://www.eugene-or.gov/oppsiting
(2) From May 2012
1) South Willamette Area Update
The South Willamette Draft Concept Area Plan is moving forward and unfolding with exciting ideas.
Two events are planned for discussing next steps for the overall draft concept area plan. These discussions focus on the range of housing and business types, building forms and enhancing the vitality and identity of the district. Transportation discussions will be coming up this summer, as you can read below.
Eugene Planning Commission
This Monday, May 7th, the Planning Commission will hear its first presentation and hold a discussion about the South Willamette Draft Concept Area Plan, as part of ongoing Envision Eugene discussions.
11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, McNutt Room, Eugene City Hall, 777 Pearl Street. Please note that the South Willamette topic is later on the agenda and could be extended or postponed to May 21st.
See the Planning Commission meeting materials here. You can follow the meeting progress on the webcast.
Public Workshop: Next Steps for South Willamette Area Planning
Wednesday, May 30th, Bascom Tykeson Room, Eugene Public Library.
These will both be good ways to stay current with progress of the plan and you will be able to participate in discussions of next steps at the May 30th workshop. We hope to see you there!
(3) from June 2012
South Willamette Draft Concept Plan, June 2012
More and more people are joining the conversation to envision a long-term plan for shaping the future of the South Willamette district, between 24th and 32nd Avenues and Amazon Park and the base of College Hill.
A concept plan is an integrated vision for how an area might develop over time. South Willamette is an important district to plan because this area is beginning to grow and change, adding more kinds of homes and businesses. Similar to Envision Eugene, which has created a vision for our city’s growth over the next 20 years, community members are giving input to the South Willamette concept to help shape a more vibrant and walkable living and business district. You can see an enlarged version of the plan and hear a presentation on the City of Eugene’s web page at: http://www.eugene-or.gov/SWillamette.
Share your ideas! We are still looking for feedback and community input and your participation is encouraged. You may join the Interest List with the contact information below and attend an upcoming public workshop:
Public Workshop: South Willamette Area – Draft Concept Plan
– Review an updated draft concept plan, and
– Help define future building heights, setbacks, and transitions for residential and shopping areas.
June 27, 2012; 6:00 – 8:00 PM
Hilyard Center, 2580 Hilyard St.
On the South Willamette web site you will also find answers to some frequently asked questions. To learn how the district fits into the larger community vision, visit Envision Eugene.
For more information contact: Patricia Thomas, City of Eugene Urban Design Planner firstname.lastname@example.org
City of Eugene Planning Division
99 West 10th Ave.; Eugene, OR 9740
(4) in the September 2012 printed newsletter, there was an article linking the zoning plans to the dispute over restriping the street lanes.
(5) From Fall 2013
Willamette Street Request
Beyond Travel Lanes: Long Term Vision and Streetside Character
We received this message from the team developing plans for the future development of the South Willamette area. This group is separate from the group working on the options for redoing the lanes on the street.
“The Street Plan and the Concept Plan for the South Willamette Street district are closely linked. One of the next steps in refining the district vision is to explore design options for the space between the curbs and the face of the buildings along Willamette Street, or the “streetside character.” Your input on these options will help refine the concept plan.
Please consider giving your input in this shared learning process by viewing an engaging presentation and filling out a questionnaire at the following link: http://www.eugene-or.gov/SWillamette
We will be collecting responses through October 30th and hope it will include your input!”
A Plea for Suggestions
So I think is fair to say that information has long been available.
The best summary of the current state of the plan and its disputed parts is found through the links on
Our problem appears to be communication, finding ways to get neighbors to notice and take issues seriously early enough. If you have any ideas about how SHiNA can improve this process, let us know. (email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org)
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