Feb 21, 2006

LUBA is a four letter acronym

It seems that a citizen has filed a notice of intent to appeal to LUBA the Troutdale City Council's decision last week to change the minimum height and width restrictions within the exception area of the central business district. (Boy, that's a bureaucrat's mouthful).

We did vote to reconsider these issues, but I have no idea what path the City Council will take. Keep them the same? Refer them to a committee or two or three? I have no idea.

For now, the new height and width restrictions will take effect on February 24, 2006- hey that's this Friday. Time sure goes by fast.

I have already said I've had second thoughts on the new 45 foot minimum height. With a variance, that could be a little too tall for downtown Troutdale.

On one hand, I detest the new urbanist density being shoved down our throats by Metro. On the other hand, I'd like to see the City give property owners some design flexibility in downtown Troutdale. Especially the south side of Historic Columbia River Highway. Especially for the burned out Marino property.

The best bet is to find out what our community wants to do. I'm all ears, or all blog comments.

Comments, anyone?

This is my new blogchalk:
United States, Oregon, Troutdale, English, , , . :)

4 comments:

K.R. Bents said...

Two questions: (1) will the LUBA appeal place the design-code changes in pendency, tolling the 2-24 effective date? (2) will you explain by what dictum, authority, document METRO is forcing urban density upon Troutdale and whether Troutdale must obey and abide?

Dare!PDX said...

It's funny. I really can't see Gov. Tom McCall supporting any system which forces decision making away from the local level. Our current system is a frakenstein monster compared to what it was ment to be.

I understood the motivation behind SB100 and protecting our state from condomania and leapfrog subdivisions. What LUBA has evolved into is a home court advantage for extreme-environmentalist and NIMBY freaks. Ultimately a far cry from the system designed to protect farmers and foresters from an unfriendly world.

The real irony is the fact that our land use system coupled with urban renewal financing has actual exacerbated condomania. Again, something tells me that Tom McCall would be calling for reforming SB100's modern system right along side Oregonian's in Action (a little different reform, but reform none the less).

Troutdale Councilor Canfield said...

There has been no LUBA appeal on the proposed zoning changes. The design code changes were in effect as of February 24.

Metro controls nearly ALL the transportation tax dollars coming into the Portland metro area, including Troutdale. Metro enforces its density requirements by threatening to withhold those transportation tax dollars from any city or county jurisiction that dares to ignore Metro's socialist agenda.

Troutdale Councilor Canfield said...

The Troutdale City Council will reconsider the new 16 foot minimum width/ 45 foot maximum height zoning changes within a small strip of our central business district tonight.

I'm fairly confident that even if we decide to keep these changes in place, the new height and width standards will survive any appeal to LUBA.

However, I favor turning back the 45 foot minimum to the old 35 minimum. The property owner/developer could then apply for a variance on the height restriction.

The problem with the new 45 foot height restriction is that with a variance, we could see 60 foot high buildings in downtown Troutdale. That's too high.

Of course, I'm sure there are plenty of folks, including on the City Council, who may disagree with me.