Metro LUFO Appeal for Columbia River Crossing


Land Use Board of Appeals hearing 9am on Thursday, September 29. Decision due by October 28th, 2011.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


September 27, 2011


Contacts: George Bruender, Land Use and Transportation Co-Chair, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, (503) 267-8979, gbruender {at} comcast.net


Mara Gross, Policy Director, Coalition for a Livable Future (503) 294-2889, mara {at} clfuture.org


Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods and Coalition for a Livable Future Appeal Metro’s Land Use Final Order on the Columbia River Crossing Highway Mega-Project


Land Use Board of Appeals hearing to take place at 9am on Thursday, September 29


550 Capitol Street NE, 1st floor, Salem


Portland OR: At 9am this Thursday, the Land Use Board of Appeals will hear arguments in the appeal of Metro’s recent decision to approve a Land Use Final Order (LUFO) for the Columbia River Crossing mega-project (CRC).


The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN) and the Coalition for a Livable Future (CLF) have joined forces to petition the Land Use Board of Appeals to stop Metro’s attempt to short cut the land use process. Former State Senator Bob Shoemaker is representing NECN and CLF in the appeal. Other petitioners challenging the LUFO include Jantzen/ Angel LLC, Plaid Pantries, and Weber Coastal Bells.


“Our neighborhoods will be heavily impacted by the proposed changes to I-5. We already have unacceptably high asthma rates. Our residents can’t afford the additional traffic and pollution this project will bring,” said George Bruender, Land Use and Transportation Co-Chair for NECN, which represents twelve culturally diverse and vibrant neighborhoods in inner North and Northeast Portland.


“This is a very risky project. We shouldn’t gamble by skipping the steps provided by Oregon’s land use process,” said Mara Gross, CLF’s Policy Director.


NECN and CLF argue that the Land Use Final Order law was narrowly tailored for a particular light rail project and was never intended to be used for a massive freeway expansion fifteen years later. The CRC, the most expensive public project in our region’s history, is primarily a highway and interchange expansion, not a light rail development. Three-quarters of the project’s cost is for highway construction.


NECN and CLF, organizations both focused on livability and equity in Portland, are opposed to the current plan for the CRC highway mega-project for reasons including the following:




” Time and again research has shown that widening highways leads to more traffic and more pollution.


” Interstate 5 already brings much traffic and the associated health and environmental problems to inner North and Northeast Portland communities. For neighborhoods that already experience unacceptably high asthma rates, more traffic and more pollution is a clear public health risk.


” The CRC will exacerbate the already bottlenecked Rose Quarter. Estimates indicate that once the project is complete there may be over eight hours of congestion in this area at the heart of Northeast Portland.


” There is no clear plan to pay for the highly expensive project. Income and traffic projections may be inaccurate due to flattening traffic levels and unanticipated impacts from tolling.


” The project’s financial toll may have a negative impact on other infrastructure and traffic safety projects that are sorely needed in our neighborhoods, our region and across our state.


” The CRC public participation process has been neither inclusive nor timely. The project is coming to be seen as just one more in a long history of destructive projects in neighborhoods that have long struggled to be heard.


The Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods is an independent 501c3 community nonprofit working to strengthen diverse voices by supporting neighbors and businesses, addressing neighborhood concerns and creating opportunities. We actualize community- initiated ideas and projects and can help get your voice heard.


The Coalition for a Livable Future unites over 100 diverse organizations and hundreds of individuals to promote healthy and sustainable communities in the Portland-Vancouver region. By connecting issues, people and organizations, CLF empowers communities to take action together to shape the big decisions affecting the region’s future.


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Click here to download a PDF of the Press Release.

Spirit of Portland Awardees announced

Spirit of Portland awardees to be recognized at East Portland Community Center Oct. 27


From 90 nominations submitted by the community, a selection committee has selected the 2011 Spirit of Portland awards. The awardees will be recognized by City commissioners at the 26th annual event on Thursday, October 27, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Ave, near Mall 205, next to Floyd Light Park. A reception with cake and beverages will follow the awards presentation.


 


The Spirit of Portland awards are a wonderful tribute to the many amazing community and neighborhood leaders who contribute to our thriving civic life in the City of Portland, says Commissioner Amanda Fritz, commissioner-in-charge of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement.


 


Awards were determined by a selection committee of representatives from the Mayors and City Commissioners offices, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, the Neighborhood District Coalition offices, Business Associations, diverse non-profit community organizations and past award winners. In addition, the Mayor and each commissioner have recognized individual and organizational leaders.


 


Nominees were evaluated in each of the following areas:



  • Participation in outstanding projects
  • Enrichment of our community and neighborhoods
  • Providing a special service to the community
  • Demonstration of responsiveness, creativity and civic values
  • Raising cross-cultural awareness

The award recipients and the categories for which they are being honored are:


 


THE MAYORS AWARD:


 


Organization:     11:45 Mobilizing the Church for Community Action Committee; Rev. Marcus Pollard, Dr. W.G. Hardy, Dr. Mark Strong, Pastor George Merriweather, Bishop Steven Holt, Rev. C.T. Wells


 


THE COMMISSIONERS AWARDS ARE:


 


Commissioner Amanda Fritz:


Individual:          Gil Frey


Individual:          Senator Bob Boyer


 


Commissioner Nick Fish:


Individual:          Tom Lewis


Organization:     Amber Baker and the Village Market Team


 


Commissioner Randy Leonard:


Individual:          Greg Madden


Organization:     Timbers Army


 


Commissioner Dan Saltzman:


Individual:          Michael Schrunk


Organization:     Portland Police Bureau  Family Services Division


 


THE SPIRIT OF PORTLAND WINNERS (CHOSEN BY COMMITTEE) ARE: