Minutes from the FAN Executive Board Meeting - December 10, 2012

  PRESENT:  Bernie, Andrew, Carlos, Matt, Nancy Ellen, Greg, Christine, Nancy C., Bruce, Marv, Deb, Rex, Kristina

ABSENT: Edward, Carly

  GUESTS:  Reed Dunbar, Associate Transportation Planning, City of Eugene; Steve Ochs, Associate Planner, City of Eugene; Mary Walston and Craig Smith, 4J School Board; Randy Prince, Co-chair, Amazon Neighborhood Association; Dennis Hebert, Friends of Civic Stadium.

18th Avenue Repaving: Reed Dunbar explained that there are five blocks, Friendly to Polk that have no center turn lane, unlike the rest of 18th. The lanes are undersized. The city is proposing to remove on-street parking in order to "right size" the lanes, i.e. get the bike lanes to 6 feet, parking to 8 feet, and travel lane to 11 feet. Marv questioned removing the parking, if lanes are narrow, maybe people will go slower. He doesn't feel squeezed when driving there. Maybe just time the lights. Christine asked if there are any pedestrian crossings and have they reached out to those directly affected. Reed said that they want to add a stutter light at the Friendly crossing. Rex shared that it is very uncomfortable for biking. The bike lane is narrow, and with no center lane for cars to swerve into, it's a dangerous road to bike on. Greg said that because 18th is very busy, he is concerned about pedestrian crossing as well. If they removing parking from one side there could be more people crossing to the other side. Andrew is concerned about uniformity of the street and thinks that the current crossing at Friendly is dodgy. Greg thinks they should put another crosswalk in (painted in). Nancy Ellen also wants better crosswalks.

As far as the project timeline, Reed said it will go out to bid in February and start work in April. Andrew would like to see a schematic drawing. Nancy Ellen asked how far it is between crosswalks. Reed said it's 1/2 mile, which he thinks is too long. Christine asked what the uses are. Reed said, mostly residential. Others added that there are several daycares and preschools, concentrated at 18th and Polk. Reed said that more parking is available on the North side of 18th because less cross streets intersect, creating superblocks. Carlos pointed out that residents of the superblocks don't have the option to park on side street, so it would be better for them to have the parking on that side. Reed thought that they might have a stripping plan available by Mid January, that happens at 60% of the planning process. Andrew thought it would be nice to have the plan at the January general meeting (on the 24th). Reed will try to talk to Transportation and get back to us.

20th and Oak application for up-zoning: Steve Ochs shared information about upzoning. The Metro Plan designates land for uses. The applicant at 20th and Oak was going to apply for R3, against staff advice, but is now seeking a change to R2. Steve addressed items from a neighbor's letter, saying that a sewer upgrade would not be part of the plan change, but would be part of the building permit. Christine confirmed that it does follow the refinement plan. Carlos would like to make sure the public right of way in not fenced off for construction. Steve will work with Public Works to see about minimizing that. Rex thinks we should encourage density to avoid increasing the urban growth boundary. He also shared that BPAC has been trying to work on fenced right of way issues with the Capstone project.

Roosevelt Middle School rebuilding: Mary Walston and Craig Smith, of the 4J school board, told us that every 10 years, Oregon school districts are required to evaluate facilities. They reported that Edison Elementary is off the table for consolidation consideration. They said that there is no clear board consensus for Roosevelt right now. Craig told us that some people think that locating it closer to the high school has benefits. Kristina asked how many kids they expect to use the high school programs, given the larger class sizes and less money for schools, can the high school handle increased use by middle school kids? They replied that population and birth rates are going down, so they expect a lower student population in the future. Also, only 20-25% of people in Eugene have school aged kids.

Carlos is concerned about ADA, and that it is more expensive to rebuild than retrofit. Craig responded that school design is changing, remodeling might not fit the new models for teaching. The traffic issues are better on the current site. Carlos relayed that studies have shown that there is more crime, and that it is less effective to have middle and high schools close to each other. Craig pointed out that the study was in New York city, that it does not necessarily translate to Eugene. Greg is concerned about the safety of students at the Civic site. Biking at 20th and Willamette is an issue. Christine pointed out that schools are an important part of the neighborhood as a gathering place, hub, etc... Christine also said that there is property on the south fields of the high school, they could rebuild Roosevelt there. Another issue she brought up was that if the schedules match to facilitate shared resources, you solve one problem but create a traffic nightmare. Parents will be dropping off and picking up students at the same time for both schools.

Rex questioned how much social and environmental consideration would be given. Kristina asked when South Eugene High School would need to be rebuilt. If looking at the long term, can the high school be rebuilt at the south end of their property, then it will be close, right across the street to the existing Roosevelt site. Mary said that it is not a priority now, that South is in OK condition. Kristina said that if we think 20 years ahead, there is that option. Randy Prince wanted to know if there is an overall inventory of the safety of the building seismically. Craig said they've been working on seismic upgrades for years. Randy has heard that there are seismic issues with South. Andrew voiced concern about how small businesses would be affected and school tradition. Carlos reiterated that if you build a new school, it can't be less accessible than it was before. Has accessibility law been considered? Mary said not specifically, although they are aware of accessibility issues. Greg said that traffic on Willamette between 24th and 20th is very fast because there's no slow down, that should be a safety concern.

Nancy Ellen wonders why 4J is so interested in co-locating with the YMCA. Mary said that they just serve a lot of the same kids. Christine wants them to think of topography, and how that affects accessibility. The City has done lots of traffic studies in the area, they should be reviewed. Civic is historic, that should also be considered. If they can include the YMCA on the Civic site with the school, why not have Civic stadium and the school? It seems like it's one or the other. We need to think of the future's future, maybe we'll get a bunch more kids. Craig said that they should have a recommendation by early January. The process follows; we provide input to the school board, they provide input to the superintendent, the superintendent provides a recommendation, then they come up with a bond measure. Carlos added that Roosevelt is outside of our neighborhood but civic is in it. They might see that if there is a bond measure that includes Civic, that could be a deal breaker. Craig said that additional comments can be sent to them. Their email addresses are on the 4J web site and they read all of them.

January General Meeting: Andrew relayed the upcoming deadline for the newsletter. Nancy Ellen thought we should ask neighbors what their priorities are. Carlos wants to have some suggested topics to ask them about. He believes that disaster preparedness is the most important issue facing residents. Outreach subtopics include map your neighborhood, CRT, etc... Andrew suggested we present a broad and narrow list of subcommittees, including Civic Stadium. Bernie recapped our neighborhood's successes due to very strong participation in subcommittees. We need to draw people in from the neighborhood. Christine wondered what draws people to the meetings. Civic, it's known and been discussed. Kristina suggested the theme of New Years Resolutions, starting with a sort of state of the neighborhood address. We can review what's been going on in the past year and talk about what we want to accomplish next year. Other subcommittees suggested were transportation and government relations. We will discuss online and finalize at the next meeting.

Bernie moved that we extend the meeting until 9:15. Carlos seconded. Passed unanimously.

Next board meeting: Michael Kinneson wants to have a mediation rundown. People are concerned that there is not much time between the next board meeting and the next general meeting. Should we move general meeting from the 17th to the 24th? Everyone agreed.

Newsletter: Andrew told us that Cindy will be crediting our account for the summer newsletter cost discrepancy.

Greg asked us to approve the application for Eugene Neighbors Inc, which he had completed. Everyone agreed to.

Minutes: Andrew moved that we accept the November minutes. Carlos seconded. 12 in favor, 1 abstention. Motion passed.


Submitted by Kristina Lang. 1/13/13

Meetings are held the second Monday of the month at the Washington Park Recreation Center, 2025 Washington Street, Eugene, OR. The public is invited to attend. For more information go to www.FriendlyAreaNeighbors.org