Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Eugene Tax Cartography Project Shows Industrial Park Inefficiency

You might remember in August a note in passing about Eugene's Greenhill Technology Park.

According to the Register-Guard,
[it] has struggled­ to attract companies since it was planned in the 1990s by former Eugene mayor and lumber executive Ed Cone.
Lots for Sale at Greenhill Technology Park


Greenhill Technology Park
Fern Ridge path in blue,
West 11th Ave/OR-126 borders on the south edge
It turns out the City of Eugene has recently shared a Strong Towns/Urban3 analysis of property tax value!* Even when lots in Greenhill have been developed for high-tech or other industry, the property tax/acre they yield is basically the same as what single-family housing yields - the same coarse buckets anyway. Big boxes on large parking lots are inefficient!

Here's approximately the same area (tilted a little)
Even where it is built out,
the value/acre is like single-family housing

Single-family housing in North Eugene is also green and tan

By contrast, here's downtown, with much higher value/acre
(And check out that Ninkasi outlier!!!)
Salem really should do a similar analysis.

It's like bananas: By the bunch, or by the pound
Especially if you have spent any time in Eugene, check it out. It is helpful to see the mapping technique and analysis on a known geography rather than considering it in the abstract for a wholly unknown city.

(We will almost certainly revisit this analysis as analogous situations in Salem suggest comparisons.)

* The City of Eugene says
This project began in 2015 after a public presentation in Eugene by Urban 3’s Joe Minicozzi. Urban3 has pioneered techniques for representing a city’s financial resources through 3D maps, and Minicozzi shared insights on financial sustainability that are based on their analysis approach. The event was a part of the AIA-SWO’s Design Excellence Lecture Series in Eugene....

Minicozzi’s presentation inspired city staff to conduct a similar analysis of Eugene’s resources in what has become the Mapping Values in Eugene project. Staff developed a model that graphically shows property tax revenue on a per-acre basis across the city. This analysis is intended to be a communication tool to increase staff’s and the community’s understanding of municipal revenue and how development patterns affect it.
Minicozzi himself came to Salem this past July, so it is interesting to see something like a two-year cycle on developing Eugene's analysis. Strong Towns posted it to social media earlier today.


Anonymous said...

What a concept! You mean some places sponsor expert speakers to come to their town, learn something from them, and then apply what they learned!!?? This just blows me away. I've gotten so conditioned to Salem where we have experts come and the city does nothing with the information... or continues to do the opposite... or puts out long winded, circular excuses for why they can't do that here.

Walker said...

Does anyone have insight into the bin widths in the Urban3 analysis -- why the weird enpoints on each range?
Are those equal area per bin, or equal number of parcels, or equal aggregate value per bin for all included parcels?

Salem Breakfast on Bikes said...

Good question! The project page gives this as the contact email:

Let us know what you find out!

Mike said...

Anonymous, at least you get city staff to come to hear these speakers. keizer doesn't even bother to send anyone.