The River Road -Santa Clara Neighborhood Plan and Code Amendments

(Summary by Jon Belcher)

Councilors present: Leech, Yeh, Zelenka, Semple, Groves, Clark, Evans, Mayor Vinis

absent: Keating,

Commissioners: Ceniga, Buch, Farr, Lovall, & Trieger

Link to Agenda and Video timeline:

Staff presentation and formalities: (6:30à16:10)


Bill Kloos (Start at 16:20) Representing Action Rental on River Avenue. Stated code amendments will run River Avenue out of business (did not acknowledge Staff recommending removal of River Avenue from code amendments). No basis in plan for removing Auto Oriented Businesses. Asserts that being a non-conforming use is a death knell for business

Teresa Bishow (19:05) Represents Action Rental. Businesses affected aren’t Auto Oriented. Amendments conflict with Goal 9. No basis in plan for amendments.

to Electeds

Tiffany Edwards Eugene Planning Commission Chair (21:56) Refers to Commission Memo to Electeds in support of adopting entire plan. Spoke to Covid, New State Controls & Staff turnover which changed the trajectory of plan. (I thought there was going to be another commissioner to give minor position but there was not)

Mike Reeder (25:05) represents Meekers of Clemens Marina on River Avenue. Oppose the Code amendments.

Louie Vidmar (27:56) CAC member. Spoke to the Neighborhood’s efforts despite difficulties including waning support from City.

Clemens Marina (30:00) Mr. Meeker outlined Marina’s history and products.

Jolene Siemsen (33:15) Please approve reduction of C-2 Height (especially in Greenway and adjacent to R-1 residences) and limit auto oriented businesses (because we need more other use businesses). Please add back commercial business requirement in mixed use developments.

Louisa de Heer (36:00) described the involvement process. Promised neighbors that efforts were valuable, and results will be enacted. Only a few needed code changes remain in proposal. If only aspirations are approved, it will reduce trust in community.

Jon Belcher (39:00) asked record to be open a week.  Request 3 key issues be reviewed.

  1. Lack parking enforcement. Ask Council to direct staff to report on solutions. 
  2. Potential Loss of Commercial Property.  Request language to require commercial on ground floor and feasibility study. 
  3. (time elapsed before requesting reconsideration of Staff’s proposal of one size fits all ordinance for densifying Key Transit Corridors).

Dawn Lesley (42:00) Described suspicion from Sewer Wars, We told neighbors that this time things will be different.  Please pass the code amendments to show them their trust is justified.

Hillary Kittleson (44:15)  Adopt code amendments and add requirement for commercial on ground floor of C-2. Lost robust code amendments so please pass remaining amendments to avoid a document left on the shelf.

Kate Perle (46:30) requested record stay open, Described extensive outreach process. Needed unprecedented collaboration with staff and neighborhoods. We took uncomfortable role as bridge between them. If code amendments aren’t passed, an opportunity will be lost

Staff Comments (49:05) normally would respond to issues raised in hearing but because both elected bodies must approve identical ordinances, will return with response later.

Elected questions/response (most thanked the neighbors who participated and many thanked staff)

Councilor Clark (50:15)

How will you justify 3.5 in support of businesses and land use plan to promote businesses?

Terri Harding: goal 11.2 & 14.1 economic development policy in plan. Will elaborate more in memo. 

Clark: respond to allegation proposed code changes will harm businesses.

Harding: River Avenue is removed from code amendments.

Commissioner Buch: (53:50) Concerned with commercial on first floor removed.

Harding: removed from proposal as Commercial is allowed but not required anywhere in Eugene. Additional reason is that state requires cities to remove/waive barriers to housing.

Councilor Groves: (56:10) 

Will Public record be kept open? 

Atty Lauren Summers: record doesn’t close until decision.

Groves: Supports mixed use. Doesn’t understand business concerns outside River Avenue, will look for information from staff. Likes the process other than how long it took. Wants a debrief of process.

Commissioner Farr (59:30) Raised time spent working on parking issues especially ECCO apartments. Include how parking will be treated in staff memo. 

Commissioner Ceniga (1:01:15) Please discuss incentives for mixed use in staff memo. Supports reduction of C-2 height. Concern over Auto oriented restrictions but they seem to be removed.  Agrees that parking enforcement is an issue.  Hears neighbor’s frustration.

Councilor Zelenka (1:02:55)  Glad River Avenue has been removed from proposed code amendments.  Agrees that code amendments are needed for Plan to have teeth. Sees this as a different approach and backing out of proposal will be a big mistake.

Commissioner Loveall (1:04:30)  Heard a lot of frustrations in testimony.  Supports mixed use but how will we attract them?   Wants incentives to attract businesses as they did in Springfield (who reduced SDCs & created support programs)

Councilor Groves (1:04:44) Parking concerns biggest problem for neighbors. Also concerns about current height allowed in C-2 especially along River edge but also River Road Corridor.

Mayor Vinis (1:06:55) honored Carleen Reilly

City Council 4/22 deliberation and possible action. Lane County Commission on 4/23.

We can submit testimony until decision made but encourage input by 10 AM. 4/22.

County voted to approve second reading. 

Video ends (1:11:10)

Summary of Issues mentioned by Electeds:

Limiting Auto Oriented Businesses:

Councilors Clark, Groves

Commissioner Ceniga

Limiting C-2 Commercial Maximum Height:

Councilor Groves

Commissioner Ceniga

Supporting mixed use/commercial use on C-2 ground floor:

Councilor Groves,

Commissioners Buch, Ceniga

General Support for Code Amendments:

Councilor Zelenka,

Parking Enforcement issues:

Councilor Groves

Commissioners Farr, Ceniga 

Requested Process Debrief:

Councilor Groves

Mentioned Neighborhood Frustration with Process:

Commissioners Ceniga, Loveall,