ICS-TT Subdivisions and Edge Development Committee

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The Subdivisions and Edge Development Committee is a committee of the City of Eugene Infill Compatibility Standards Task Team.

Committee Charge

The Subdivision and Edge Development Committee’s (Sub/Edge) draft purpose statement is:

To assess the nature of infill described by patterns that cover subdivisions (including PUDs) and development within neighborhoods and in previously undeveloped tracts on the outer edge of existing residential areas and to develop proposed remedies for problem issues that are consistent with Infill Compatibility Standards Task Team goals.

Preparation for Public Outreach Phase - January, 2009

ICS-TT Subdivisions and Edge Development Committee/Notes on Outreach Information

Draft Outreach Information Guide

Committee Meeting on these issues 2009.0213

Presentation of Draft Reports for Monday, 10/13/2008

Report Sections

These are the intended sections of our presentation. Each section has a sub-page in the wiki for clarity. The draft presentation consists of this overview page plus each of the five section pages:

Discussion of Draft Proposals

Much as affordability (discussed by the Single-D committee, even if needful of more concrete definitions) is an overarching concern for community planning endeavors, including infill, the sustainability goals of natural resource protection and enhancement, and planning to meet the state-adopted emissions reduction targets, are overarching concerns which also need to be taken into account in all our proposals - if they are to meet the community standards of Eugene.

The crashes of biodiversity and climate stability, in their many local, regional, and global dimensions, constitute out-of-the-box phenomena, which we would be remiss to ignore.

Regarding the committee's draft tree proposal, the connection to infill is pretty simple. In short, current infill often causes unnecessary loss of important trees, while ironically, if preserved those mature trees can go a long way to maintain infill compatibility.

The Sub/Edge committee's draft VMT-related proposal is explicitly and directly tied to infill, in the current text of the draft. As such, perhaps it speaks for itself, though I'm sure we'll work to clarify that expression as the work continues.

The tree preservation proposal is probably most integral to the committee's fundamental approach, which we have worked out over a period of months, on how to address the "death by a thousand cuts" accumulative impacts of infill on natural resources, ecosystem services, scenic resources, the urban forest, etc. without getting lost in complexity.

The committee rolled around various different ways to respond to our fundamental observation that while incremental impacts on natural resources are challenging to regulate, to do so is nonetheless vitally important to our neighborhoods.

Trying to meet the challenge efficiently, we evolved a three level approach:

1) Short-term: Minimal specific changes to current code language to plug immediate operational loopholes. (In this area, we have looked to our own detailed experience with the local code.)

2) Medium-term: A specific focus on improved tree removal regulation, taking a comprehensive approach to significantly reducing serious abuses and readily avoidable impacts which currently occur especially in small and medium-sized developments - and which specifically reduce the compatibility of those developments. (In this area, we have drawn directly upon documented best practices from around the US.)

3) Long-term: Broader recommendations on a natural resources planning process to provide map-based protection for the wide variety of natural resource areas that do remain in our neighborhoods, yet are not effectively safeguarded. (In this area, we are looking to Portland, which has documented its own substantial approach to NR planning beyond the constraints of statewide Goal Five.)

Our committee has repeatedly tested and found consensus around this tripartite approach to addressing the tricky conflicts between infill and natural resources. We see it as a very practical approach that aims to balance the achievable and the ideal, to bring our functional development outcomes somewhat closer to our clearly-expressed aspirations.

Like others, our intent is no more and no less than to engage with the whole Task Team in a collaborative approach to addressing the real negative impacts of infill, while permitting the development of positive infill.

ICS Subdivisions Committee Members

MATTHEWS Kevin <matthews@artifice.com>, MOHR Marilyn <mmohr@uoregon.edu>, WOSTMANN Jan <jw@efn.org>,  WHITNEY, Sarah <sarah@habitatsinc.com>, WHITNEY, Aaron <aaron@habitatsinc.com>,PERLE Kate <fccf@efn.org>, "Lynn (SMTP)" <Imarx23@mindspring.com>, FINIGAN Jerry <jerfinigan@comcast.net>

Discussion of Committee Process

The Sub/Edge committee convened with representation from many of the neighborhood associations located on the edge of the urban growth boundary, design professionals, and neighbors concerned about local land use. Our conversations focused on our experiences of incremental degradation of our neighborhoods due to inappropriate land use. Both the placement of subdivisions in the landscape, and the issues of creating compatibility between them and their neighboring community were studied.

A common theme running throughout all the represented neighborhoods was the loss of natural resources and its impact on the function and livability of our neighborhoods. Many of the negative impacts caused by subdivisions, PUDs, and cluster subdivisions could be mitigated with more thorough analysis, protection and enhancement of these natural resources. A comprehensive and holistic approach to preserving natural resources within our urban environment will provide us with an ability to absorb population growth without diminishing the livability of our communities.

In looking at infill compatibility and the growth of our community we found it imperative to address where subdivisions should be located. Location based solely on market forces does not meet our need for thoughtful planning. We choose to plan in consideration of global climate change, peak oil, and the need to reduce carbon emissions. A paradigm that represents a dramatic shift in the basis for locating subdivisions is warranted if we are to meet state goals and city standards for reduction of carbon emissions.


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