Meeting Summary 6/8/10June 8, 2010
12:30pm – Street Vacation
We approved a street vacation for a dead-end segment of N Salem St. The principal issue was that the applicant was seeking to avoid moving a water main. Interestingly the Bureau of Environmental Services does not require relocation of sewer lines (they are happy with an easement). We did not change the Water Bureau’s requirement to move the water line when the property is developed or transferred, but we did include in our recommendation a suggestion to City Council that they order a review of the consistency of bureau policies on street vacations.
1:15pm – Portland Plan Citizen Involvement Committee
The CIC gave us an overview of changes in citizen involvement approaches between Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the Portland Plan and is suggesting some formal changes in policy that will be on a future Planning Commission agenda. I was glad to hear that we are now publishing key outreach materials in four languages besides English.
2:00pm – Tree Plan
We continued to process the tree plan. Key decisions today:
- Backyard tree removal will start with an initial no-fee permit and a relatively light administrative process (yeah!). The key requirement for trees between 12 and 20 inches in diameter is that all removed trees must be replaced with another tree. Trees larger than 20 inches will require a more involved process, as appropriate to their greater contributions to both tree canopy and neighborhood character.
- We approved a system of programatic permits for City agencies (e.g., Parks) and utilities (e.g., PGE) to conduct a defined set of activities under plans to be approved by the City Forester.
- We endorsed the “customer service” aspects of the system include a tree manual, a single point of contact for citizens and property owners and a 24-hour hotline.
- We also endorsed a phased implementation of the plan that will deliver the customer service elements BEFORE the new regulation goes into effect.
There are still a couple of aspects we need to resolve before final approval:
- Figure out how to transition Norway Maples from their status as a preferred street tree to an invasive species that should be avoided in the future.
- Work out a mechanism for tree management plans for campuses, golf courses, or even small properties (homeowners associations, etc.) that may have significant numbers of trees and need a more efficient management tool than applying for individual permits.