Welcome to the River Road neighborhood

The River Road Community Organization (RRCO) involves and represents neighbors to increase the quality of life in the neighborhood.

  • Facilitating civic empowerment in decisions affecting our neighborhood. We work with city and county agencies on development and planning. We provide forums to identify, discuss and resolve neighborhood issues and meet with candidates.
  • Fostering rich social networks and relationships among neighbors. We host regular social events, encourage neighbors to volunteer in the neighborhood, and participate in work parties.
  • Guiding stewardship  of the natural world that we enjoy. We collaborate with the city and other non-profits to maintain public space.

River Road Green Team

June 4, 2008

The River Road Community Organization now has its own eco sub committee – The River Road Green Team.

There is an increasing interest in reducing our individual, family and community environmental foot prints and that is what the Green Team is about.

Its also about making friends, building community here in River Road and service to the neighborhood.

The Green Team will facilitate connecting people in the neighborhood with similar interests, it will organize workshops and projects, provide educational outreach to various neighborhood organizations like schools and churches.

Global trends relating to climate, energy, the environment and international relations all clearly point to the wisdom of living more within what planet earth can sustain. There is enormous potential to take care of more of our needs closer to home in ways that benefit ourselves, families, our neighbors, the environment and can help bring about a more peaceful world.

And have a lot more fun closer to where we live!

For more information, contact Jan Spencer, 686 6761.

Join us for Perma Jam III, starting at noon, September 20. An opportunity to see what a typical River Road suburban property can look like after eight years of thoughtful redesign and work. PJ includes a tour of on site projects to make better use of on site assets. We will look at grass to garden, solar design, reclaiming automobile space, rain water catchment, food, permaculture in the neighborhood and much more. This is a really great way to come up with ideas for how you can make changes where you live! For more info, go to www.suburbanpermaculture.org

Friday, October 3, 7 PM will be a Green Team social at Jan’s house. We will have a veggie potluck, socialize and talk about what visions we have for the neighborhood. Please join us.

For info about Perma Jam III and the Green Team, contact Jan at 686 6761 or e mail him at spencerj@efn.org

Item below posted earlier.

Great news! There is a new committee within the Neighborhood Leadership Council. It’s focus is about living more eco logically. The first meeting had representatives from seven different neighborhood organizations including River Road.

Many more people in Eugene and all over the country are are becoming more concerned with the volatile economy and increases in the cost of gasoline and food. The two are closely related because our food system is remarkably dependent on cheap fossil fuels. There are many actions people can take at home and in their own lives so we can live more within what planet earth can accommodate. Many of those actions include lifestyles closer to home.

The new neighborhood “green” commitee is working on its mission statement. Committee goals will be to offer a city-wide forum for exchange of ideas and to empower action relating to living more eco logically. The subcommittee will also work to bring diverse community groups together for positive eco logical initiatives.

This is an exciting development in our neighborhoods. The neighborhood program is a perfect place for bringing together the ideas and the many existing community organizations that can work together for greening Eugene. There are many collaborations to be made between neighborhood organizations, existing nonprofits, schools, scouts, service groups and communities of faith.

Neighborhood meetings are open to the public and newcomers are welcome. Greening the neighborhood is a wonderful way to meet your neighbors and take positive action in many ways. RRCO meets the third Monday of the month at 7 p.m. at the Annex, a block north of Goodwill on River Road. If meetings are not for you, you can connect with RRCO by calling one of the chairs or going to the website. Both contacts are listed here in the newsletter.

“Greening the Neighborhood” discussion and film series recently completed the winter and spring schedule. There were many great discussions and new friendships made. Discussions included a wide range of topics but always returned to what can we do to live more eco logically. Keep watch in the Fall Park District catalog for a listing for a monthly green discussion group. You can also call Jan at 686-6761 for information about the green discussions or other neighborhood green topics. More info, 686-6761 spencerj@efn.org. Photos and explanations of Jan’s suburban permaculture project are at http://www.suburbanpermaculture.org

Land Use Issues in River Road

June 4, 2008

By Julie Schaum and Marilyn Mohr

You may have noticed or even received notice lately of new residential infill development in your neighborhood. Infill development is new residential construction in established areas of the city. Infill development has greatly increased due to growth pressures and because it is one solution to achieve greater density within Eugene’s current Urban Growth Boundary. Done well, infill development should maintain the stability, positive character, quality, natural resources, and livability of our residential neighborhoods.

River Road’s large lots and remaining open spaces are being sought after for development. There are currently around 150 newly platted lots available for single family homes, proposed in flag lot partitions of up to 3 lots, or subdivisions ranging from 4 lots to 46 lots.

Here are some things you can do to help insure a proposed new subdivision is compatible with your neighborhood. Review the notice you receive in the mail or see posted in your neighborhood. Consider if the proposed density, character and quality of the homes fit your neighborhood. Will traffic impacts such as vehicular flow, parking and emergency access be properly addressed? Are there efforts to preserve as many trees as possible? How is stormwater proposed to be treated and are the natural waterways and drainages, unique to the River Road area, being preserved?

Also, new to the City of Eugene’s website, you can locate infill developments as they are proposed in River Road. Go to www.eugene-or.gov. Click on Land Use Applications under City Quick Links on the left side of the page. Contact City of Eugene planners or RRCO if you have questions or comments.

We can all help to make sure our coveted neighborhoods grow preserving the characteristics that we desire.

Transforming River Road: Pedestrian Improvements and Mixed Use Corridor Planning

June 4, 2008

The transformation of River Road between Chambers and Hilliard into a more attractive, green, and pedestrian-friendly boulevard is getting a few steps closer to reality, thanks to the continuing efforts of a Citizen Advisory Committee of area residents working with Eugene city planners. Details are not quite finalized, but it seems likely that the Oregon Department of Transportation will fund some additional planning work starting this summer, and continuing through the following year. A key focus of the planning will be design of an attractive, pedestrian-oriented corridor that promotes the use of walking, biking and transit, and that supports the potential for a higher density mixed commercial and residential district on both sides of River Road in all existing commercial/office zones.

Improved bicycle and pedestrian connectors to the riverbank bike path system will be part of the design. This phase of planning will also include a review of zoning and development codes to ensure they support goals for higher density, pedestrian-friendly, mixed-use development along the corridor, while also protecting adjacent historic and residential housing.

Consultants will work with the Citizen Advisory Committee and local residents to develop plans and get feedback. There will be various public meetings and multiple opportunities for public input and involvement.

In addition, according to the work plan proposed by the Advisory Committee and approved by the Eugene Planning Commission in April, the City and neighborhood organizations will work to complete several other plans and surveys identified as important to area residents. The plans are a Greenway Enhancement Plan focused on protecting and improving habitat and open space along the Greenway, and a Neighborhood Sustainability Plan focused on environmental, economic and social values–including recommendations for things like on-site stormwater management, energy efficiency, and public investments to create public gathering spaces.

The work plan includes a neighborhood survey about residents’ driving habits and their needs and desires for nearby commercial services. Also proposed is a survey of existing commercial businesses, especially about their parking requirements and aimed at helping them develop plans to accommodate parking in a way that is more compatible with an attractive, pedestrian-friendly corridor. It is possible that state funding might cover part of these other plans and surveys, or additional resources might be needed.

All of these plans and survey results will be incorporated into a draft plan for an attractive and distinctive mixed-use corridor. RRCO urges River Road residents to continue to contribute their good ideas and to participate in this dialog with our neighbors (including residents and business and commercial property owners) as we develop a common vision for revitalizing this area of our neighborhood for the benefit of all. For more information about the Rasor MUC project, visit: http://www.riverroadco.org, or http://www.rrcoplanning.ppaponline.org.