By Carleen Reilly
It’s strange to wake up to so many cloudy days in July, but it does keep us a little cooler. That’s okay with me.
River Road Neighborhood Walk with the Mayor! We finally have specific details for our walk with Mayor Lucy Vinis on Saturday, July 27. We’ve done some finessing to accommodate Mayor Vinis’s schedule. Reality Kitchen expects us to trickle in between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m. if you want to purchase coffee and/or a goodie. Lucy will join us about 9:30, along with the City’s Sustainability Manager Chelsea Clinton. We’ll round ourselves up by 9:45 to head out on the Rasor Ave. path to the West Bank Trail. We’ll be walking about 1.2 miles. We’re planning to arrive about 10:30 at the Kittleson’s on Elkay for some cool refreshments and share insights from our walk. Lucy has to leave by 11:00.
This is a chance to get our feet on the ground and eyes on the built and natural environment to be informed neighbors as we draw our Neighborhood Plan. Some obvious conversations will circle around protections for the Willamette Greenway, parks, bike and pedestrian paths, economic development, traffic safety along River Road and the Lanes, housing including lot sizes and styles of homes and what’s needed to accommodate new neighbors, trees, gardens, landscaping, stormwater drainage, schools and Safe Routes to Schools, public transit/bus services, and whatever else is on our neighbors’ minds.
Let me know if you are planning to participate. We have about a dozen people signed up, and we can accommodate about eight more.
Wear your sunhat, bring your water bottle, and put on sunscreen. We’ll stash some cars at the Kittleson’s to ferry you back to Reality Kitchen if you left your car or bicycle there. This should be a child and pet-friendly walk, as long as your dog interacts well with other dogs. We assume the people will act equally appropriate. This is a special opportunity for us to learn from our environment and from one another.
National Night Out. Neighbors in the Hawthorne Ave., Hardy, Dorris, Merieu and possibly Park Ave. are hosting a neighborhood block party to celebrate community with a NNO event on August 6.
NNO is a public safety event held across the nation on the first Tuesday of August. It is an opportunity for you to learn some safety prevention information.
National Night Out is a community-building campaign that promotes police-public partnerships to make our communities safer, more caring places to live. National Night Out enhances the relationship between residents and law enforcement while bringing back a true sense of community and provides a great opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under positive circumstances.
Neighborhood Planning update. Our NP Community Advisory Committee (CAC) met last night, and lots of work has been done by Goal Tenders and Working Groups. It is encouraging to learn that duplications are being eliminated, and actions are being moved to relevant goals. Streamlining the document will make it easier to comprehend. I appreciate their hard work in fine-combing policies and actions.
Summer outreach at each event yields a dozen signups for the NP e-news and some in-depth conversations. The fear is that 50% to 75% of our neighbors aren’t aware of our project that will affect every neighbor, renter or property owner, and business.
What are creative ways we can inform more neighbors? It seems that neighbors throw out postcards with announcements. We’ve considered billboards, putting a big vehicle out on a vacant lot with a giant banner announcing our events, door-to-door canvassing, lawn signs, postcards with children’s artwork showing their ideas for neighborhood, and others. Your ideas for outreach are needed, and your efforts to distribute flyers or posters are very valuable.
We had an update on the River Road Corridor study and saw new maps, conceptual ideas for commercial and residential housing, and written descriptions. It was exciting to discuss these concepts and understand how they would work in our neighborhoods. We gave suggestions to make them better understood by neighbors. A questionnaire will be worked up to go along with these materials so neighbors can make their preferences known. This activity will start in late summer.
HB 2001 passed by legislature. A new bill was passed by the legislature to encourage more housing in single-family zoned areas in cities. We will be talking about the implications of this as we draw out our neighborhood plan. The City of Eugene has a Frequently Asked Question link that is under development. Check it out to see if your question is answered. If not, we can ask additional questions that might be included. https://www.eugene-or.gov/4244/Single-Family-Zoning
Property Tax estimator. I often speak with neighbors who have an outsized-estimate of how much their taxes would go up if they were to annex to the City of Eugene. Our tax estimator calculator has been updated with the most recent levies. I have used it many times over the years, and it would cost me about $400 more if I annexed (if state law would permit me to–but that’s another story). At $130 a year for a library card and the public safety services I would receive, $400 would be well spent. Check out this website to get an estimate of what your taxes would be.
The next update should occur towards the end of 2019 after the taxes are certified in October.
- TUESDAY, July 20, 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Arrowhead Park Movie. Anyone want to sign neighbors up for our Neighborhood Planning Interested Parties list? Contact me or Audrey Stuart to volunteer. AStuart@eugene-or.gov
- THURSDAY, July 25, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Emerald Park Thursday Concert. Anyone want to sign neighbors up for our Neighborhood Planning Interested Parties list? Contact me or Audrey Stuart to volunteer. AStuart@eugene-or.gov
- SATURDAY, July 27, 9:00 to 9:30 for coffee. Walk with the Mayor. Leave Reality Kitchen about 9:45 and end at 11:00. Refreshments about 10:30 at the Kittleson’s on Elkay. Contact Carleen to participate: <carleenr [at] gmail [dot] com>.
- July 1 to August 29. Working Groups, CAC, and Individuals fine tune final draft of goals, policies, and actions.
- TUESDAY, August 6, evening. National Night Out in Hawthorne Ave. area. Contact me for more details.
- MONDAY, August 12, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. River Road Community Organization. Evening with our elected officials. Invites have gone out to legislators, City Councilor, County Commissioner, and Water and Park District members. It should be informative.
- THURSDAY, August 15, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Emerald Park Thursday Concert. Anyone want to sign neighbors up for our Neighborhood Planning Interested Parties list? Contact me or Audrey Stuart to volunteer. AStuart@eugene-or.gov
- SATURDAY, AUGUST 24, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Community Resilience Festival. Emerald Park. Contact Jan Spencer for details. <janrspencer [at] gmail [dot] com>
- September 2019. Next NP Community Event.
- THURSDAY, September 2, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Emerald Park Thursday Concert. Anyone want to sign neighbors up for our Neighborhood Planning Interested Parties list? Contact me or Audrey Stuart to volunteer. AStuart@eugene-or.gov
Disclaimer: The RR CRG weekly messages are my personal views and interpretation of community events and neighborhood planning efforts. I am not a Board member of RRCO (River Road Community Organization); SCRRIPT (Santa Clara-River Road Implementation Planning Team) has transitioned leadership to the Community Advisory Committee (CAC); and I have never been a City employee.