Saturday, April 13, 2013

Lake Oswego City Council Looking to Gut Comprehensive Plan Revisions, Including Affordable Housing Provisions?

I was alerted to changes in Lake Oswego Review letter to editor HERE.

A staff report in the City Council agenda packet from April 2nd meeting says this about comp plan provisions, including affordable housing and fair housing:
A good portion of the proposed Comprehensive Plan statements may have unintended consequences. These statements raise concerns about what should be the City’s role in implementing them. A concern could be that interest groups and individuals would point to these policies and statements as being ones the City should back up with actions. ...There are other statements throughout the plan that should be evaluated, such as the following...
Set broad ten- and twenty-year goals for the identification and production of affordable housing units in Lake Oswego along with specific five-year targets based on near-term conditions and resources
availability. (Proposed Policy C – 1, Housing Affordability)
Provide fair access to housing that does not restrict housing choice or the availability of housing
choice because of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or source of income, in addition to any other protected status under state, federal or local law. (Proposed Policy C-2, Housing Affordability)

Staff then suggests how Lake Oswego can "accomodate" affordable housing and fair housing with less "specific" comp plan statements:
For example, the above very specific statements regarding affordable housing and fair access to housing may not be appropriate for a City that has no housing program. It could just as well be accommodated by a general statement that the City will support/observe state and federal law to the extent that it engages in providing housing opportunities in conjunction with affordable housing providers.

Council is to consider a motion on this at their April 16th meeting that would 
Direct Staff to accomplish the following in the preparation of final revisions to the Comprehensive Plan before they are presented to the Planning Commission and the City Council for public hearings and final adoption:
1. Remove subject matter, goals and policies that are unrelated to land use;.........
3. Remove policies that direct the City to increase residential densities and to add mixed uses in neighborhood residential zones;
4. Remove policies that may obligate the City to future actions that would have budgetary impacts;

The Planning Commission is currently scheduled to hold a April 22nd hearing on comp plan revisions, including housing provisions. If the subject City Council motion passes at the April 16th meeting, apparently staff would strip out revised comp plan provisions that meet the criteria identified in the motion prior to the public hearing. 

Originally created and posted on the Oregon Housing Blog.

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