What's Changed

This document may be considered "notes," capturing the status of the discussion regarding this idea.  As more individuals and groups have the opportunity to weigh in, elements will evolve.  For easy reference, this section will highlight any elements that have changed based on continued community input, after 9/27/16.  If you have thoughts, feedback, concerns, suggestions, please let us know!

  • 10/2/16
    • Changed name to "Collaborative Community Objective Setting" to further clarify the distinction between the broad Envision Eugene Goals and Pillars, and the more detailed objectives that would be an outcome of this process.
    • Based on community conversation, simplified the proposed outcomes of the process- moved specific area determinations and infrastructure needs into localized planning phase, and separated the lexicon into a separate process, leaving the two expected outcomes for the CCOS process as identifying the share of homeless/low-income sites for each area, and determining the parameters of growth in each area.
    • Added section on what comes after CCOS.  Added more information on Team selection and composition.  Added more information on the proposed timeline.  Added more information on who is considered "affected."  Added information on the lexicon.

What is Collaborative Community Objective Setting?

"Collaborative Community Objective Setting" (CCOS) is a community process that provides a bridge between the broad Envision Eugene Pillars and goals, and the specific, on-the-ground strategies that will be developed in localized planning efforts, such as refinement plans or area plans.  It would provide a common understanding of terms and concepts across neighborhoods and other interested parties, and would provide enough specific information to ensure that the benefits and burdens of growth are distributed among different areas fairly. It would also help different areas are able to work collaboratively towards city-wide and cross-neighborhood goals, while also providing flexibility for them to develop specific, localized solutions and policies that meet their neighborhood needs.

Why is this being suggested?

For some time now, our city has struggled with how to conduct constructive, positive discussions that lead to plans that achieve broad support within our community, and lead to tangible actions to achieve the widely-supported goals.  This difficulty has become most obvious recently with the controversy surrounding the South Willamette Special Area Zone. A key lesson learned from the proposed SWSAZ and associated process is that the City of Eugene needs to back up and develop a bridge between Envision Eugene’s broad goals and objectives, and the more specific plans and complex zoning needed to achieve those goals.  Without such a community-supported bridging process, and without clarity regarding common goals, concepts and terminology, neighborhood residents living in affected areas will feel left out and threatened, will lack information needed for productive informed engagement, and will likely strongly oppose proposed changes.  The result, as we have seen, will be continued stalemate and a loss of public trust. Through Collaborative Community Objective Setting, we hop to ensure neighborhood livability and economic vibrancy while also accomplishing broader city-wide goals, thus maintaining the integrity of Envision Eugene’s seven pillars.

What would the outcomes be?

The outcome of the Collaborative Community Objective Setting process would be a specific recommendation to City Council, for City Council to vote on, from the community Team that answers the following two questions:

  1. For each of the six key transit corridors and downtown, what are the parameters of new development of each type (multi-family, single family, missing middle, etc.) that reflects each area's "share" to accomplish broader community goals and appropriately manage growth?
  2. How many sites for homeless and very-low-income housing are needed in each region to ensure that these needed facilities are distributed fairly and not concentrated in one area.

Who would participate?

The specific details will still need to be determined, as part of an ongoing discussion.  However, several different types of groups would have roles in the process:

  • City Council and the Planning Commission will have their established governmental roles-- City Council will both initiate the process and be the final decision making body. The Planning Commission to review citizen involvement processes, review the Team's recommendation, and vote on whether to forward that recommendation to City Council.
  • The Team is made up of citizens of various backgrounds, charged with working collaborative and constructively to create a recommendation to City Council that answer the above questions. The Team is also responsible for both soliciting and incorporating feedback from citizens into their thinking, and for explaining the rationale for their decisions to citizens.  The Team will be large enough to represent diverse interests, yet small enough to allow for productive, collaborative discussion and true multi-directional conversation While the specific configuration and selection process of the Team still need to be determined, participants could include:
    • Representatives from relevant neighborhood associations
    • Residents (including both homeowners and renters) from the relevant areas
    • Property owners and landlords from the relevant areas
    • Business owners and employees who work in the relevant areas
    • Representatives of local development and real estate interests
    • Representatives of transportation interests
    • Experts in relevant topic areas (climate recovery, architecture, services to low-income individuals, etc.)
    • Representatives of city commissions, including Planning, Human Rights, and Sustainability
    • Representatives of other key stakeholders (for example, the University)
    • Representatives from the city- staff and council
  • All citizens will be able to provide input to members of the Team, staff, Planning Commission, and Council, and a wide variety of tools will be used to ensure that any interested citizen is able to have clear information and provide feedback.
  • A facilitator--a neutral expert in collaborative decision making and land use processes without a specific interest in the outcome of the discussions--will have a responsibility to ensure that a code of conduct and civility is being followed by members of the Team, will assist with logistics (times and locations for meeting, coordinating between Team and City Staff, ensuring that requested data is gathered and presented clearly), will keep the conversation stays on track towards achieving the goal, will ensure that all decisions reflect the collaboration of the entire Team, and the Team's discussion is balanced so that no particular interests or points of view are drowned out.
  • City Staff provide technical expertise, supply information/data and context, do the technical work to translate of translating the decisions into official language (including checking back with the Team to ensure the decision was captured correctly), shepherd the recommendation through the official approval process, and in conjunction with the Team, facilitator, and City Council, conducts public outreach.  

How is the Team Selected?

The specifics of how the team would be selected is an area that still needs substantial discussion, to ensure that different interests and areas are represented fairly.  Simply selecting one representative from each of the potential interests above would not only clearly create a team that is too large for productive discussion, but would also not necessarily create a balanced team-- for example, just asking that each neighborhood association appoint one member to the team would not take into account the fact that the Bethel neighborhood includes a population similar in size to the FAN, SEN, SHiNA, and Amazon neighborhoods combined, nor that not all neighborhoods have functioning or robust neighborhood associations.  As the community conversation regarding CCOS continues, identifying a constructive solution to this tricky topic will need to be a key focus.

How does this connect to other processes that have been recommended, such as refinement plans?

Collaborative Community Objective Setting is a complementary process that would precede, but not replace, localized planning efforts such as refinement plans or area plans.  Areas and neighborhoods should still to work to create a refinement plan or other localized plans. Since all refinement plans must be consistent with the city-wide plan, the Collaborative Community Objective Setting process helps to ensure that refinement plans are successfully aligned and help achieve both local and city-wide goals.  The process can also help resolve conflicting interests or needs among different neighborhoods.  

After Collaborative Community Objective Setting and localized/refinement planning, there will need to be a third step of implementation, where projects and initiatives identified in the localized planning efforts are scoped and added to the work plans of relevant departments and refinement plan policies are translated into code language and added to the City land use code.

How does this connect to Envision Eugene?

The Collaborative Community Objective Setting process is not a reworking of Envision Eugene.  The Seven Pillars of Envision Eugene, including concepts such as focusing growth along key transit corridors and promoting twenty minute neighborhoods, are widely supported by the community. Collaborative Community Objective Setting is a process to involve citizens in implementing the vision Envision Eugene outlines.

How are Citizens involved in this process?

Citizens in Eugene are involved in many ways.  First, all citizens will have multiple opportunities at all stages of the process to become informed about what is being recommended and provide input and feedback. Outreach will occur throughout the Team's work to develop their recommendation, and upon release of the recommendation before it goes to the Planning Commission. The Team will share the reasoning behind the recommendation and incorporate additional comments.  Once the recommendation is presented to the Planning Commission, public notification and opportunity for public comment would follow established city procedures (i.e. Hearings and comment sessions prior to both Planning Commission and City Council decisions.)

What are the steps that need to happen?

After City Council approves the CCOS concept as the next step, they will need to select a facilitator, a method for appointing the Team determined and the Team appointed, and begin initial citizen outreach.  The Team would meet multiple times over several months to develop consensus recommendations and develop the lexicon.  After the recommendation has been drafted, there would be additional public outreach and revision in order to verify the recommendation captures the community consensus.  Finally, the recommendation would go through the established Planning Commission and City Council approval processes.  This would probably take about a year to a year and a half.  Once the Collaborative Community Objective Setting Process has been completed, individual areas could create their own localized plans, such as refinement plans.

What happens after CCOS?

After the City Council has approved the outcomes of the CCOS, more work still needs to be done.  Individual areas would need to do localized planning to determine what specific locations along the key transit corridors should be the focus of initial planning, what kind of infrastructure investments (parks, transportation, incentives, etc.) are necessary in that area to create true 20-minute neighborhoods, how to coordinate with other areas on decisions or recommendations that have a broader impact, and the specifics of how to balance changes with preserving neighborhood character.  This would involve refinement planning or another localized planning process for the individual areas. 

After the localized planning has been completed, the plans would need to be implemented.  This would include both modifying city land use code and comprehensive plan designations as needed to reflect the outcomes of the process, and as well identifying, prioritizing and incorporating into city workplans the projects necessary to accomplish identified infrastructure improvements and other changes.

How Long will this take?

The expectation is that the actual meetings of the Team to develop the recommendation would take approximately two months.  However, prior to the Team meeting, there would need to be some time devoted to gathering information and data, communicating with the larger community, and selecting a facilitator and Team members.  After the Team has produced a recommendation, there would need to be some additional time devoted to community discussion and outreach.  Ideally, the full time from the time Council initiates the process until a recommendation is ready to go through the established approval processes through the Planning Commission and City Council would be approximately six months.

By clarifying the objectives of local plans and creating a more robust framework for localized planning, the localized planning that would follow would be able to be accomplished more efficiently.

How are Neighborhood Associations involved?

For those neighborhoods that have active Neighborhood Associations, the Neighborhood Association would play an important part in helping to provide a forum for gathering input and discussion with the community at large.  The specifics of how the Team is selected still require work, but given that this is a city-wide process, the method would have to be fair and equitable for both citizens who are well represented by their Neighborhood Associations as well as those who live in places where neighborhood associations don't exist or don't have the resources to provide representation. 

Who is "Affected"?

Oregon's Goal One for Citizen Involvement in Land Use Planning indicates that planning shall include a "cross-section of affected citizens."  In addition, citizen is defined broadly, to include not just residents or homeowners, but also businesses, non-profits, property owners, and others who would be impacted by the decisions. 

The CCOS process continues the Envision Eugene goal to focus growth along key transit corridors, but recognizes that it is not just properties that directly front the key road that are affected.  The current thinking is that for the broader objected setting process, "affected" areas would include both the road itself and areas within half a mile of the road itself, barring major features (such as the river) that would prevent access to the key road.  As half a mile is the typical distance that someone can walk in 10 minutes, this would mean that those who are part of the "20-minute neighborhood" centered on the corridors would be represented in the initial process. 

This does not mean that zoning or land use would necessarily change for that entire area; the later localized processes would need to examine the specific characteristics of each corridor to help determine what kind of growth makes sense in each area.

What is the "Lexicon" and how is it connected to this process?

In addition to clearer objectives, another area that has been identified as important to support successful localized planning efforts is greater consistency and understanding of terms and concepts related to the topics under consideration.  Some concepts have specific meaning in Eugene code, but these are not well-understood or always used consistently.  Other concepts and terms are frequently used as part of the discussion, but are not well defined or understood the same way between different individuals and groups.  Examples include both concepts like "affordability," "low-income housing," and "workforce housing," as well as specific terms for housing types and concepts-- for example, when we discuss missing middle housing, what are we talking about?

Creating a lexicon, so that concepts and terms are more clearly defined and used consistently between different plans and groups, as well as allowing reporting on outcomes (for example, reports from the permitting department on units added) would be a key tool to help ensure both the success of localized planning efforts and a clear ability to determine if the plans created are successful at accomplishing their goals.  However, the process for creating the lexicon may need to be different than that for determining the community objectives, given the different nature of the task.

How was this process created?

Removing the South Willamette Special Area Zone from consideration lead to the question "what comes next?"  Discussions among many groups and individuals-- those who opposed the SWSAZ, those who supported it, and those who had no strong opinion about the SWSAZ but cared about the broader community goals-- indicated that a step had been missed between the broad Envision Eugene process and the specific South Willamette process.  The concept of Collaborative Community Objective Setting was developed in active collaboration with many different groups and individuals, reflecting a multitude of perspectives and interests. What they shared was a desire for a solution that would move us towards a truly community supported outcome.

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