Nearly 100 residents from Oregon City attended a design workshop for the South End Concept Plan last week. Many participants may have been nervous, not knowing what to expect and having the fear in their mind of potential change, but any nervous energy quickly turned to enthusiasm once they realized this was an event for collaborative community design.
Residents first walked into the McLoughlin Elementary Gym to a room full of tables covered with maps and other materials. Consultants, City Staff and volunteers were scattered around the room until COC’s Kirstin Greene welcomed everybody and introduced Oregon City Commission President Kathy Roth who gave an overview of the “Concept Plan” and the purpose of that night’s occasion.
The purpose of the gathering was to begin getting design ideas from the community for the future of their neighborhood as this rural area transitions to more urban uses. To achieve the objective, the night included a presentation from Laurence Qamar on designing complete communities. His presentation covered aspects of history, development patterns and best practices.
Laurence’s presentation gave the community ideas what makes great communities and how to think about possible futures for South End. Once citizens began thinking of these different concepts and how they could apply to the South End neighborhood, it was time to put some of those ideas to paper in an activity COC designed that we simply call the Planning Game.
Those maps on the tables, mentioned above, were a part of the Planning Game. Each table was given a map, game pieces to represent land uses (residential, parks, civic buildings), markers, green yarn, felt, tape, glue and a set of instructions. Each table included a trained facilitator. In the game, participants arranged the different zoning pieces into a design they liked. Residential pieces had a “value” of one point. Large lot residential took more space than multifamily and both had one point value.
In order to complete the game, residents were asked to include a mix of parks, trails, civic buildings and residential. They were also instructed to attempt to reach a residential point value of at least 10. Adding all large lot, detached residential would only allow for seven points. The point system was established to reflect the true planning framework for the area. Neighborhood retail was optional.
Some groups jumped right into the process and others took a little while to discuss concerns, but once the evening was over, we had 18 different maps that represented each table’s work. The designs ranged from mostly large lot residential to more complete neighborhoods. One big theme that arose from the night was that most of the maps included a vast network of walking and bicycling trails.
We are pleased with the results and happy that we received many positive comments from the residents. Change is always a difficult thing, but planning ahead helps to ensure that the values of South End are reflected in its future.
The compilation of maps will help establish themes to guide the development of several alternative future land use patterns for South End. The process will continue with an open house in April and continued public engagement. For more information on the South End Concept Plan of Oregon City, please visit www.southendconceptplan.org.
, Oregon City
Kirstin is thrilled to be leading a dual-language community outreach team training for community facilitators this evening at Scott Elementary School. The effort will help direct the future pedestrian safety plan for the community and the park. The outreach team is addressing concerns about the lack of safe pedestrian, active transit and bicycle access at the park entrances because of high volume vehicle traffic from Killingsworth and Highway 30. The “Let’s Build Cully Park Initiative” is a neighborhood-based community organizing initiative managed by Verde, located in the Cully neighborhood. Watch their amazing short video on vimeo. Be inspired!
Kirstin’s training will help the team develop skills for meeting facilitation, focus-group interviews and community outreach, enabling the team to better communicate community needs to government agencies during the park development process.
“We are thrilled to have Kirstin in at the outset with the community leaders as they deepen their skills in interviewing and facilitation techniques to identify ways to improve safe access to Cully Park.” Anita Yap, project consulting team lead for the pedestrian access plan.
Kirstin lives just down Prescott Street in the Sabin Neighborhood and is pleased to be part of this important effort.
See more here.
COC is delighted to announce that founding principal and long-time Planning Commissioners Journal contributing writer, Elaine Cogan, has joined the PlannersWeb as a regular columnist. Read more here.
, Planning Commissioners Journal
Thanks to Rob Hallyburton with DLCD for sharing this today…
Governor Tom McCall addressed the opening of the 57th Legislative Assembly 40 years ago this week. This is the speech that launched what became Senate Bills 100 and 101, establishing the statewide land use planning program.
The Governor addressed themes that continue to resonate – taxes, education, care for those in need, economic stimulation – and the more mundane such as reorganization of state agencies, annual sessions and federal revenue sharing. It’s long and not entirely entertaining, but it is an example from one of the state’s great orators. The full address is available here: http://arcweb.sos.state.or.us/pages/records/governors/guides/state/mccall/legis1973.html.
Some relevant passages:
“Oregon is an inspiration. Whether you come to it or are born to it, you become entranced by our state’s beauty, the opportunities she affords, and the independent spirit of her citizens.
“Oregon is an inspiration even to those who do not come here to live. The story of the Willamette River-our ecological Easter-has evoked cries of ‘Hurrah!’ Across the Nation and in distant parts of the world. And we have heard, along with applause for Oregon, lamentation for other states where progress has felled prey to expediency.”
“We have established salmon runs where we knew of none before and assisted Nature to increase her bounty elsewhere. Last month we saw in the Elk River of Southern Oregon bright, heavy-bodied fish we sent to sea three years ago, now swamping the hatchery of their birth in the monumental achievement.
“These are reflections of the determination of Oregonians to win quality in their lives. It means that after earning a living we have living that is worthwhile.
“But there is a shameless threat to our environment and to the whole quality of life – unfettered despoiling of the land. Sagebrush subdivisions, coastal ‘condomania,’ and the ravenous rampage of suburbia in the Willamette Valley all threaten to mock Oregon’s status as the environmental model for the nation.
“We are dismayed that we have not stopped misuse of the land, our most valuable finite natural resource.
“Umbrage at blatant disrespect for sound planning is not taken only at Salem. Less than a month ago the Jefferson County commissioners appealed to me for a moratorium on subdivision because the speculators had out-run local capacity for rational control.
“We are in dire need of a state land-use policy, new subdivision laws, and new standards for planning and zoning by cities and counties. The interests of Oregon for today and in the future must be protected from grasping wastrels of the land. We must respect another truism: that unlimited and unregulated growth leads inexorably to a lowered quality of life.”