Saturday, July 22, 2017
Dist. 2 list grows
There are some excellent candidates who hope to run against Rep. Greg Walden, as Rob Brostoff stated in his July 19 letter, but please also add Jamie McLeod-Skinner to the list of people to check out.
She is an eastern Oregonian who has been a planner for the water district. She also co-founded a public-private partnership to reduce greenhouse gases while streamlining government red tape for housing development. Her experience as an attorney and an engineer and her love of Oregon make her an excellent candidate.
Her website is McLeodSkinner4OR.
The children of the ruling classes (those who created, and have always run the show) have always been raised by servants. The very first thing these children learn about their parents is: “Mommy and Daddy care more about their money and power than they do about me.”
These children become parents. Their children learn the same thing. Do you see the problem here? The show has always been run by people who learned from their parents that money and power are more important than people. Our problem is not mysterious. Our problem is not complex. Our problem is simple.
Westside Plan questions
In response to the July 15 “Another Voice” entitled “Hood River planning: Don’t leave folks on the other side of the gate,“ I both agree with and question the underlying assumptions regarding planning for growth and in particular, planning for affordable housing.
I see developers who wish to build large units whether they are single family homes, townhomes or apartments. Creating more density does not necessarily create affordable housing. Planning for parks and other community infrastructure should be done first with ways to pay for these amenities. Without careful and detailed planning, the whole Westside plan becomes developer driven, which decreases both affordability and liveability. What model was used to develop this zoning plan?
I googled the Oregon State Land Use Planning Law and discovered that cities the size of Hood River are exempt from specific residential and urban growth boundary planning requirements, including periodic review of local land use law. This is required for cities with populations over 10,000. The Westside plan would essentially double the size of Hood River. My question is: What led to the Westside plan in the first place?
I do believe in planning for affordable housing across all age levels. Perhaps we need a better definition of “affordability” as well as examples of what other communities have done to achieve this goal. I live in a single-family home in a Westside neighborhood of clustered homes of 850-1200 square feet. To keep our homes affordable, we have restrictions on long- and short-term rentals. Our only wish is for open space for gardens and a community center for meetings. Perhaps more creative and “human-sized” clustering around a common space or park would be an alternative to upzoning for large multifamily homes with no green space or room for natural views.
Some residents responded to the Westside Concept plan survey with interesting ideas like co-housing and more efficient Additional Dwelling Unit (ADU) process approvals. My question for Hood River planners and for the community at large is: Do we have the creativity to generate and implement an alternative vision?
Address all needs
Insitu has been part of the greater Gorge community since 1994. Naturally, the area has changed a lot since then, but I want to be abundantly clear about one thing that will always remain the same:
Insitu is here for the long haul.
That said, the need for additional housing in our area is real, but it must be addressed responsibly. Insitu is growing more than ever and we are managing and accommodating that growth internally. We also maintain the vital understanding that we must have a seat at the table to determine solutions that will help our community absorb the impact of bringing more people into the Gorge.
Adding housing inventory is but a small part of a bigger plan that needs to incorporate the development of the infrastructure to support an expanding population. Of the many points that have been brought up, preserving green space and parks have been taken into account, but we can’t forget about the addition of schools, access to medical care, adaptive traffic management practices, bike ways, pedestrian paths, utilities and beyond. While the Westside Area Concept Plan brings up some of these issues, it does not holistically address the total needs of the community. I urge those closely involved to take a step back to ensure that all of Hood River’s needs are taken into consideration and I look forward to our continued engagement in ensuring a balance of growth for our community while preserving Insitu’s ever-expanding presence here in the Gorge.
To reiterate, Insitu is here to stay and we intend on maintaining our current positive growth trajectory. We just need to work together to ensure it has an equally positive impact on the communities we call home.
Ryan M. Hartman, Insitu President and CEO
Be forewarned! If you put money into a parking meter in town and it is not working (it may say “fail”), you will still get a parking ticket if you park there. You are to call the parking desk in city hall, but you cannot leave your car there. The cost is a $25 ticket. And they do not refund the coins you may have put in.
There is something not right/fair about this policy.