Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Stealth Update on Marine Drive at Planning Commission Tonight

At tonight's Planning Commission meeting, the City's giving something of a stealth update on Marine Drive.

Staff Report to Planning Commission still shows
disputed section of Marine Drive along
Wallace Marine Park

The Staff Report, alas, does not seem very illuminating. It speaks blandly rather than frankly.

One detail to note is that the City continues to assert a length of Marine Drive along Wallace Marine Park and connecting with a Second Street extension. (Previous notes on the Marine Drive saga here.)

In a more frank Staff Report, the City would address criticism of this segment and state clearly why or why not they intend to proceed with it. Here they just show it and don't say anything beyond that.

In that franker report, the would also address the prospect of employing provisions in OAR 660-12-0065(3) to build parts of Marine Drive without also enlarging the Urban Growth Boundary. The Staff Report seems written to imply a UGB expansion is necessary, but it may very well be possible to construct it without any expansion.

The report we have does suggest it will take a while to assemble all of the parcels and segments. It includes a 2015 cost estimate, but does not update that, saying only the cost is expected to be more.

All in all the tone is not very definite and dodges some clarifying details, and may not be as helpful to the Planning Commission as they, and the wider citizenry, might like.

HB 2001 rule-making

Separately, and not on the Commission agenda, an article at Sightline published yesterday, "Oregon Just Ended Excessive Parking Mandates On Most Urban Lots" is starting to make the rounds.

Under the new state rules for larger cities and the Portland metro area, middle-housing projects on residential lots of 3,000 square feet or less can’t be required to have more than one off-street parking space, total, for the first four attached homes. For lots of up to 5,000 square feet, no more than two parking spaces can be required, total; for lots of up to 7,000 square feet, no more than three spaces. On lots larger than 7,000 square feet, a limit of one mandatory parking space per home applies....

Last week’s vote by the governor-appointed Land Conservation and Development Commission will strike down the current parking mandates in Salem (1.5 per home), Eugene (1 per home), Gresham (2 per home), Hillsboro (1 per home), Beaverton (as many as 1.75 per home), Bend (as many as 2 per home), Medford (1.5 per home), Springfield (as many as 2 per home), and many other cities.

But this value of 1.5 per home for Salem may be outdated, as our own missing middle adjustment early this year already made some reductions.

Old (left) and new (right) parking requirements

Still, the new administrative rules appear to offer a further reduction on small lots.

Presumably the City will at some point issue a clarification or, as part of the HB 2001 compliance package, offer a new round of code amendments.

This will be interesting to watch, and hopefully continues the momentum for parking reform as part of improved land use and in climate action.

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