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Government Relations Update 11-4-15

During the last three months, CAB’s government relations efforts have focused on the following:

Portland Park Fee Increase – As reported previously, CAB has joined with five other real estate and business organizations to strongly oppose an increase in the City’s Park System Development Charge (SDC) that would be charged to all new commercial development. The increase, which ranged from a doubling of the existing rate within the central business district (CBD) to a quadrupling outside the CBD, would add between $0.15 per square-foot (warehouses) and $1.28 per square-foot (office) to the cost of permitting.

 

Despite this opposition, however, the Portland City Council voted 3-2 on May 27th to approve the increase. Commissioners Steve Novick and Dan Saltzman voted against it, while Mayor Hales and Commissioners Fish and Fritz voted in support.

 

Following that vote, our coalition of opposition organizations chose to move forward with a legal challenge to the increase in Multnomah County Circuit Court. Attorneys from the Tonkon Torp law firm filed a writ of review on July 24th, and a court hearing has been scheduled for December 17th at 11:00.

 

Metro Urban Growth Boundary Review – As required by state law, Metro has spent the last two years conducting an analysis of residential and commercial lands needs for the next twenty years. Their preliminary conclusions were that the current land supply within the Urban Growth Boundary was adequate for projected growth through 2035 and that no additions would be necessary.

 

These conclusions, however, resulted in strong concerns and many questions being raised by CAB and other real estate groups, along with nearly all of the region’s mayors and many county commissioners. In response, while the Metro Council is expected to adopt the analysis and not expand the boundary this year, they have signaled their intent to begin a new review within the next two years rather than wait until the normal six-year cycle.

 

 

Members who have questions about any of the above or who encounter problems with a government agency are encouraged to contact CAB’s lobbyist, Kelly Ross, at kelly@westernadvocates.com.