Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Lake Oswego City Council Does the Right Thing: Approves Foothills Urban Renewal Plan With $6.5 Million in TIF for Affordable Housing.

By a 4-3 vote the Lake Oswego City Council on Tuesday night adopted an Urban Renewal Plan for Foothills that includes a $6.5 million TIF authorization for affordable housing; this occurred at the end of a continuation of a public hearing that started at the December 4th Council meeting.

While modest given the community wide need and the projected $574 million as completed assessed value of the Foothills project, this committment :
  • Is the first ever LO local commitment of (future) funds for affordable housing;  
  • Is equivalent to 8.75 times the Clackamas County 2012 HUD HOME allocation of $743k.
The City Council action caps a year long effort that was only successful because of the support of members of the City Council, the Planning Commission, dedicated work from City staff and their consultants, and repeated testimony and support of multiple non profit groups and local citizens. [I count in excess of 10 Foothills meetings in the last year].

My testimony for the December 4th public hearing is HERE; similar testimony was presented by Enterprise Community Partners, NW Housing Alternatives, NOAH, the Fair Housing Council of Oregon, Housing Development Center, and Housing Land Advocates.

Video from Dec. 4th Meeting
During the first City Council meeting on December 4th, I offered oral testimony as did Martha Mclennan from NW Housing. Martha and Michelle Haines from REACH have attended several Foothills related City Council sessions and I very much appreciate their in-person participation.

I have loaded a VERY large video of December 4th public hearing to Internet Archive HERE and embedded it also below. Public testimony starts at 11:50; my testimony and Martha's start at 35:47. You can either view this video on line or download it (1.2GB!).

In a day or so you should be able to view the Dec 18th City Council meeting video on line from the cable access website HERE.


For their support this past year I want to specifically recognize these individuals and organizations:

Mayor/City Council 

Mayor Jack Hoffman
Counselor Tierney 
Counselor Moncrief  
Counselor Jordan

Lake Oswego Planning Commission

City Staff and Consultants

Brant Williams
Jane Blackstone
Sin Sidaro
Denny Egner
Sara Selden

Elaine Howard; Elaine Howard Consulting, LLC
Abe Farkas, Nick Popenuk; ECONorthwest
Christe White, Matt Brown; Williams, Dame, and White
John Warner, Bluetree Strategies

Housing Non Profits
Pegge McGuire, Fair Housing Council of Oregon
Bill Van Vliet and Rob Prasch, Network of Affordable Housing
Amanda Saul, Enterprise Community Partners
Robin Boyce and Cathey Briggs, Housing Development Center
John Miller, Oregon Opportunity Network
Martha McClennan, Northwest Housing Association
Ellen Johnson, Rebecca Kennedy, Christopher Marin, Jenny Logan; Housing Land Advocates
Michelle Haines and Dee Walsh; REACH

LO Citizens
Tom Brennan, 50+ Board Chair, CAC Member
Scott Bullard, Board member, Northwest Housing Association
Michelle Haines (REACH Housing Development Director)

I am worried that despite my best efforts, I may have forgotten someone; if so PLEASE bring to my attention and I will update the listing in this post. 

The Future; Foothills Benefits Far Exceed 6 Cents a Year Average Annual Cost to LO Homeowner
The changes in Lake Oswego City Council membership effective in January 2013 will no doubt cause a reexamination of the Foothills Plan. As a Lake Oswego resident I am confident that a fair review of the plan will find the benefits from the projects included in the plan (including affordable housing) FAR exceed the costs.

The Benefits:
  • 9,000 years of income restricted affordable housing.
  • Physical benefits include additional parking, street improvements, a new pedestrian plaza, and significantly better access to Foothills Park and the river.
  • Financial benefits include a 10% increase in city wide assessed values and a 4500%+ increase from current Foothills property tax revenue; a $35 million in increased property tax revenue that will be SHARED with taxing districts during the UR Plan; and a $7.6+ million annual increase in property tax revenue after the plan is completed. 
The Costs: An Average of 6 Cents a Year.
  • For a LO home with an assessed value of $250,000 the projected cost impact is an average of 6 cents a year during the life of the urban renewal plan. 
The administrative record of the last year is replete with testimony and data on the need for affordable housing in Lake Oswego and the feasibility of financing that future housing without any impact on current property tax revenues.

Sustaining Progress From This Year Will Require Others to Step Up Monitoring in the Coming Months/Years
I will continue to work to try to occasionally monitor Foothills progress but won't be able to make the same time intensive commitment as I did during the past year.

I  am looking to others to monitor planned meetings of the LO City Council, LO Planning Commission, and LO Redevelopment Agency and to alert me so that I can publish related information on the blog. 

Thanks again to all that participated in this important year long effort.

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Tom, for your great advocacy. John VL