Chris Quint, PCCC City Council Liaison
July 6, 2016
Housing continues to be a major focus for the Council
The Portland City Council Housing Committee met on June 22 to continue their work to address the housing challenges in the city.
City housing staff walked the Committee through their Housing Policy Work Plan memo from June 17 which provides information and data, compiled by city staff at the request of committee members, on a list of 17 policy recommendations that the Committee wanted to explore in greater detail. The 17 policies were part of the larger 135+ list that was compiled from over four months of public meetings held by the Committee.
At the June 22 meeting, the Committee and staff discussed the following policy recommendations:
1. A one-page tenant rights handout
2. Housing replacement ordinance - prohibit replacement units from being "luxury".
3. Housing Replacement Ordinance – instead of paying a fee, owners can make a market rate unit in another building affordable to low income households.
4. Housing Replacement Ordinance – Mandate developers pay into the Housing Trust Fund when replacement units are not at “affordable” levels.
5. Tighten up condo conversion regulations to clarify tenant rights, proof of notifications, and timing to better capture future intent of landowners.
6. Continue to provide tax increment financing to housing development projects to help financially support and encourage the development of more low and middle income housing.
7. Create a TIF for individual property owners who create affordable units within their properties as a means of financially encouraging the creation of more affordable units.
Committee members did not make any final decisions about which of these, or the other 10 policy recommendations in staff’s memo, they wanted to move forward on. The Committee will finish working through the remaining policy recommendations at their July 13 meeting, after which they have indicated they will make some decisions as to which policy, or policies, they want to pursue an ordinance for public comment.
Updating the ’16-’17 work plan associated with the Portland Economic Development Vision and Plan
The Economic Development Committee received an update from Greg Mitchell, Economic Development Director for Portland, on the status of his work preparing the 2016-2017 work plan. (Greg’s memo, the Economic Development plan with two associated past work plans, and the proposed work plan for 2016-2017 can be found here, starting on page 73)
The Committee voted to forward the updated plan to the City Council as a communication.
City Staff recently held two forums on the comprehensive plan where Portland residents and stakeholders were able to learn about initial goals and strategies, provide input and share ideas. The City Council had initially scheduled a workshop for July 11 to receive their own update, however that meeting has been cancelled. We will make sure to let everyone know when that meeting is rescheduled.
Office of New Mainers
At the July 5 meeting of the Economic Development Committee, Jon Jennings, City Manager, and Julie Sullivan, Chief of Staff, provided the Committee with information about what staff has learned from their research into the possible creation of an Office of New Mainers.
The Committee will continue this conversation throughout the summer and fall, and will be working with staff to plan a conference to be held at USM in late October. The conference will feature speakers and presenters from around the country who have experience creating or overseeing a similar office in their city or state, and experts on the challenges New Americans face in communities all across the country.
The City Council created the Pesticide and Fertilizer Task Force to review the draft pesticide ordinance under consideration in South Portland, ordinances in other jurisdictions, as well as scientific literature regarding the effects of pesticides on public health and the environment. The Task Force, which has met twice and will continue meeting throughout the summer and fall, has been charged with coming back to the City Council with a recommendation on a course of action for the Portland.
- The PWM Master Plan was presented to the City Council on June 13.
- City Manager Jennings presented a memo outlining the improvements to the Solid Waste & Recycling Program to the City Council on June 13.
- The Bayside Transportation Master Plan was presented to the Energy and Sustainability Committee on June 15.