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Dear Euclidians,

Are you coming to Portland for the Legal Issues Workshop or just looking for an opportunity to network with planners from across the state? Plan now to attend a happy hour networking event sponsored by the membership committee of the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association and the Euclid Society (Garvey Schubert Barer). Bring a colleague and come on down to Quartet in the South Waterfront district of Portland the first Thursday in December!

We hope to see you there!

When: Thursday, December 5

Time: 5:00 to 7:00 pm

Where: Quartet, 1910 SW River Drive, Portland, OR 97201 (South Waterfront)

Sponsored in Part By: OAPA and Euclid Society (Garvey Schubert Barer)

Click here to register for the Holiday Happy Hour! Space is limited so please register in advance.

        

The Euclid Society came together on June 6, 2013, to engage in a lively discussion on density-related issues in the Portland area.

Parking and its relation to planning and development is a complex topic that many cities currently struggle to variously accommodate.  Some cities promote stackable parking lots, more frequent public transit as an alternative to personal vehicles, and in Portland, for many years, a no minimum parking requirement in commercial zones with proximity to public transit (the CS and CM zones). However, that rule came under fire and culminated in recent decisions by LUBA in Richmond Neighbors for Responsible Growth v. City of Portland, (LUBA No. 2012-061, February 20, 2013) and Kerns Neighbors for Rational Growth v. City of Portland, (LUBA No. 2012-085, February 26, 2013).  Although these cases did not specifically include arguments about the no minimum parking rules, the political backdrop leading to the appeals focused on a lack of parking in area neighborhoods.

As a result of the lawsuits, the City of Portland adopted new minimum parking standards in the two affected commercial zones. The minimum standards are a token to the neighbors if a large residential development is proposed, however, the no minimum parking standards remain for commercial uses.  Further, the concern for many affordable housing advocates is the disincentive for high density developments near transit in favor of building projects with only 30 units that are exempt from parking standards.

In addition to the no minimum parking outcry, another subtext in the discussion is that most properties in the affected zones are not subject to site plan and design review.  As can be seen in the materials provided at the Euclid Society session, those projects that are subject to site plan and design review show marked improvement over the massive residential cubes that many community members find aesthetically offensive.  High density residential development along transit corridors would be much more palatable if site plan and design review standards applied.

Please consider joining the conversation at one of our upcoming Euclid Society events.  Save the date for September 25, 2013, when we will present on the latest in the urban growth boundary expansion debate.

 

The Euclid Society met again on Thursday March 12, 2013, to discuss the case of David Hill Development v. the City of Forest Grove. As has been discussed before on this blog, the David Hill case resulted in a 6.5 million dollar jury verdict against the City of Forest Grove for a series of violations of the developer’s constitutional rights. The Euclid Society discussed the specifics of the case, how it happened and how to avoid such results in the first place.

The basic facts were undisputed – David Hill Development, LLC, bought several acres of farmland at the edge of the UGB and sought to develop a large subdivision. Although the property was flat farmland and generally easy to develop, it faced a few challenges. First, to the south was a phased development that had brought sewer most of the way to the property, but the final phase, which was not yet built, was where the gap would be bridged. In addition, the boundary between the two developments would be a road. In addition, a neighbor to the north, whose property was outside the UGB, was concerned that the sewer be built in such a way that his property could be served.

The City approved a subdivision for the property in September of 2005 and things quickly went downhill. The plaintiff argued that it lost a significant amount of money due to delays caused by the City and that the City treated plaintiff differently than other developers. Some of the plaintiff’s complaints included a requirement multiple sewer alignments, a stop work order that was later rescinded, requiring the sewer line to be built too deep (solely to serve the property to the north) and the requirement to build more of the road on the boundary line to the south. The City pointed to various reasons why each of those delays and treatment of plaintiff were reasonable but, ultimately, the jury, and later, the magistrate, agreed with plaintiff and found that the City had violated David Hill Development’s constitutional rights.

The discussion Thursday night began with a discussion of the timeline and some background information about the constructional provisions. The group then discussed the specific issues related to the sewer line and to the road and concluded with some discussions of the lessons to be learned. There was some disagreement about whether this was a unique case, based on the falling market and poor treatment of the plaintiff, but there were some universal lessons, including:

1. Act professionally.

2. Treat people fairly.

3. Follow the advice of your lawyer.

We would welcome any additional comments or discussion on the case and any lessons learned.

Next Tuesday the Euclid Society will be hosting a gathering  discussing the topic : You Say Tomato; I Say Tomahto: Strategies for Enhancing Planner / Attorney Collaboration.

The Euclid Society is an affiliation of land use planners, developers and consultants whose purpose is to share experiences and ideas relating to recent events and current trends in planning. To find out more about the society or to get involved e-mail: landuse@gsblaw.com

For more information about other upcoming Garvey Schubert Barer events, click here.

Last night Portland area industry professionals and representatives from ODOT, Metro, LCDC, Washington County, and several other organizations, joined the Euclid Society at the GSB Portland offices for a discussion about the recent amendments to Oregon’s Transportation Planning Rule (TPR).

Ed Sullivan opened the meeting with a history where, beginning in 1974, Oregon instituted Statewide Planning Goal 12 to provide and encourage a safe, convenient and economic transportation system. In time however, more detailed requirements were necessary and the TPR was born in 1991. At bottom the TPR requires:

• ODOT and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (“MPOs”) which are designated by the Governor to deal with transportation needs within a given region to adopt binding Transportation System Plans (“TSPs”)

• Coordination between transportation plans and comprehensive plans and among state and local agencies involved with transportation for project development

• Safeguards to assure that transportation needs are considered in comprehensive plans, as well as plan amendments and zone changes, the latter through the most litigated provision, OAR 660-012-0060, Plan and Land Use Regulation Amendments.

Oregon is unique in its view that transportation planning is integral to all land use decisions and its TPR codifies the requirements to look at each decision’s impact on local and regional transportation systems.

William Kabeiseman then took the floor, to explain the recent modifications to the TPR. These changes include the addition of an option for local governments with urban areas to adopt multi-modal mixed use areas to allow mixed use development; and a rural fix that will allow economic development projects that may have impacts on state highways to avoid a full blown TPR analysis. This portion of the presentation highlighted the refinement of the “two Oregons” where state law recognizes that different regions face different challenges when it comes to transportation planning.

How Do We Move Forward? An Update on the New Amendments to the Transportation Planning Rule, is the topic that will be discussed at tomorrow's meeting.

The Euclid Society is an affiliation of land use planners, developers and consultants whose purpose is to share experiences and ideas relating to recent events and current trends in planning. To find out more about the society or to get involved e-mail: landuse@gsblaw.com

For more information about other upcoming Garvey Schubert Barer events, click here.

On February 8th, 2012 Garvey Shubert Barer is hosting an event titled "Real Estate for Planners: What Planners Should Know About Real Estate Issues."

The discussion will be followed by a wine and cheese reception.

To find out more about the event please view here.

November 9, 2011, Ed Sullivan, Bill Kabeiseman, Carrie Richter and Jennifer Bragar presented materials to the Euclid Society about climate change policy and efforts to reduce green house gas emissions throughout Oregon.  The following is a list of resources if you are interested in digging deeper into this topic area.  We will post Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition’s White Paper, “Adapting to Climate Change on the Oregon Coast” as soon as it is published.

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We regularly update clients about changes in real estate law and on industry trends. This includes briefing clients on legislative proposals in the federal tax, housing and other legal areas affecting their businesses. Staying current enables you to anticipate and prevent legal problems as well as capitalize on new developments.
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