Notes from the Council Chamber, August 28, 2018

City Council Chambers

Planning Commission Update/River Quarter Overlay 

City Council heard from Maureen McCormmach who gave an annual report from the Planning Commission.  Much of her time was spent discussing with Council the progress they are making on updating the River Quarter (RQ) policy.  This policy was something that was enacted around 2010 which required certain development standards along the river between S. Main and SW 10th St.  It is believed that development has not occurred in this area because the design standards drive up the cost of construction prohibiting a project to be completed in an economical way. 

Land use law is designed to take time and is regulated by the State of Oregon.  Some are complaining it is taking too much time and the community is losing out on development opportunities. 

The standards were put into place in 2010 because nothing was happening.  All of the buildings in this area are probably 40 years old or older.  The City is aware of one project that was proposed for this location that didn’t work because of these standards.  The Planning Commission and staff are following a defined process to make this situation better and I have every confidence it will get done soon.

Sign Ordinance Amendment (Ordinance 3928 amending Ordinance 2775)

Staff proposed an amendment to this ordinance to eliminate the requirement for customers to make a $150 deposit to the City when erecting temporary signs to promote events.  This deposit could be withheld if the customer fails to remove the signs within the 10-day time limit in which the signs must come down after the event.  It was determined that a penalty ($500/day fine) already exists in the ordinance which the City could use to enforce the removal requirement without having to process a separate deposit.

Council approved these changes to take effect after January 1, 2019, and added a provision that political signs may be placed 90 days before the election rather than the current language limit of 14 days.

Hotel Lease

Council considered a lease to Horse Valley LLC at the airport industrial park for an $11.5M, 74 room hotel.  Council reviewed the lease and asked that it be modified to include: amending lease payments, building additional parking, and added remedies in the event of default.  It will be brought back to Council at a future meeting.

The benefit to the City of this project is nearly $70,000 in additional property tax revenue (general fund), approximately $100,000/year Transient room tax (general fund, convention center), and profit share of gross revenue (airport) which would increase over a period of time and reaching approximately $50,000/year.

As incentive, the City would be contributing preliminary site work (approximately $55,000), waiver of sewer and water connection fees (approximately $4,500), and a portion of the building permit fees based on job creation but no more than 50%.

Parks and Recreation Community Survey

A consultant provided the Council a presentation on the results of a recent survey of customers regarding the use of City parks and facilities, including frequency of use, condition of the parks, proposed new assets, etc.  This information will be used by the department to prioritize resources to better match with the desires/needs of the community.

GIS Mapping Presentation

City Council was given an overview of the most recent maps available through GIS by GIS Technician Gareth Haug & IT Technician Lieden Cook.  As we build our system, additional layers of information, the location of infrastructure, assets, etc. are being added. 

Robb Corbett, City Manager

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