Councilor Greg Evans is likely to propose a motion at tomorrow's city council work session, directing staff to redirect efforts away from South Willamette to planning efforts along the River Road and Highway 99 cooridors.
The time to email your Councilor is now. A vote is possible at the noon work session on Wednesday the 19th. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org; it is useful to CC Denny.Braud@ci.eugene.or.us, email@example.com, Terri.L.Harding@ci.eugene.or.us
South Willamette started as a discussion about how Eugene could accomodate new housing and growth in a way that balanced neighborhood desires with the need to provide housing options and transportation choice to all of our citizens-- both current and future. WE CAN felt that the code proposed by staff was a fair and reasonable way to add missing middle housing in an incremental fashion and increase access to walkable neighborhoods. Others disagreed.
The debate about the merits of the code turned into a debate about the process. At this point, the original goals of the project have been, it seems, forgotten. And all the while, housing prices are creeping up and our housing crisis becomes more acute.
The process proposed by the Brown/Clark South Willamette Initiative is already months behind schedule. It is clear that it will not, in a timely fashion, produce usable recommendations to address our City wide goals. This process will not work, and continuing to try to make it do so is throwing good money after bad. Given the time and effort that WE CAN leadership has put into the South Willamette question, it is difficult to say this, but the City needs to redirect its energies and funds to neighborhoods where the ability to have productive discussion is not blocked by past controversy.
Below, you'll find the motion. Please also feel free respond to WE CAN with questions and comments.
"I move to direct the city manager to switch the city's efforts on developing special area zones or refinement plansto the River Road/Santa Clara area where significant preparatory work and planning has already occurred by area residents, and to the Hwy 99/Bethel area, which along with the River Road/Santa Clara area contains two of the city's main transportation corridors where multi-unit densities are contemplated by Envision Eugene."