"Mike Fisher said he was in favor of appealing"
Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association Emergency meeting Date: September 16, 2008, 7pm, Duniway Elementary School library Subject: Appeal of recent decision by City of Portland Bureau of Planning to accept the inclusion of the Parker House in the Reed College Master Plan Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association (ENA) president Gretchen Sperling called the meeting to order at 7pm. ENA board members in attendance included Mike Fisher, Chelly Wentworth, Bert Sperling, Elspeth Taguay-Koo, Richard Pierce, Kathy Ten Pas, Bill Ten Pas, Denny Stenzel, Steve Baker, Bill Nichols, and Gretchen Sperling. Eastmoreland neighbors in attendance included Susan and Alan Campf, Jim and Sandy Wygant, and Milo Ormseth. Gretchen Sperling outlined the purpose of the meeting, which was whether the ENA should appeal the recent decision by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning to accept the inclusion of the Parker House in the Reed College Master Plan. The issue would be appealed to the Portland City Council. Earlier this Spring, the board had previously approved an appeal if Reed prevailed in their request to use the Parker House for non-residential use. However, it was decided to vote again on the appeal. Gretchen Sperling noted that the necessary quorum was present for a valid vote on the subject of the meeting. Mike Fisher said he was in favor of appealing the decision, and felt there was several points during the recent hearing testimony in the ENA favor. He noted all Moreland Lane neighbors but one were in favor of the appeal. The one household not actively in favor of the appeal was tired of the process and was ambivalent about the issue. Richard Pierce also declared his support to proceed with the appeal process. Kathy Ten Pas said that she is concerned with the „slippery slope‟ of further Reed encroachment into the Eastmoreland neighborhood. She also said the Reed assumptions regarding the family use were excessive, based on the typical family found in similar Eastmoreland neighborhood homes. Elspeth Tanguay-Koo asked if there was a penalty for incorrect permit application. Mike Fisher said there is, and Reed is not allowed to use the Parker House until the Plan is approved. Elspeth Tanguay-Koo suggested that the work may not have been allowed, and as such, the work should be removed. Bill Nichols said he was concerned that, if approved and allowed as part of the Master Plan , then Reed could use the house in any manner that they pleased. He used the experience of the Willard House as an example, where Reed changed the use from a residence to office and „warehouse‟ space, without any recourse available since the house was now included in the Reed Master Plan.. Bill Ten Pas noted that this is not just a Moreland Lane issue, but affects the entire Eastmoreland neighborhood. Growing up in Corvallis, he had seen firsthand the decay of its neighborhoods as OSU expanded its facilities beyond the normal campus boundaries. Steve Baker asked about the effect of RenFair on Moreland Lane. Mike Fisher said the impact was minimal. Richard Pierce said the blocking of the Woodstock Blvd bike lane was more of an issue during Reed concerts and other events. Jim Wygant asked about a loading zone which was mentioned in the decision document. Richard Pierce said there is room for a loading zone to be carved out of the Parker House property, but there are drawbacks to the use of such a loading zone. Bill Ten Pas made a motion of continue the appeal procedure, with the idea that discussion could be continued after the motion is on the floor. Elspeth Tanguay-Koo seconded the motion. Gretchen Sperling noted that Reed has been reluctant to address and/or enforce current off-campus parking issues. She said the Portland Department of Transportation would like Reed to work toward mitigating the problem, but Reed has not worked to this end. Bill Ten Pas pointed out that student auto registration has not worked in Corvallis. Milo Ormseth said he favoring Reed in this issue, and revealed that he has pleasant past history with Reed through various extracurricular activities. Also, he is a past partner in the Stoel Rives law firm which is representing Reed College. He said that a a large home adjacent to his home (on SE 29th St.) suffered a fire and sat vacant for a year while insurance issues were settled. Mr. Ormseth was “terrified” that the vacant and damaged house would have an adverse effect on his and other nearby homes. Then John and Jim moved in and restored the house to grandeur. Milo Ormseth said that proposed use of the Parker House would not be excessive and should be allowed. Mike Fisher and Richard Pierce asked Mr. Ormseth if John and Jim had events every day. Since they did not, the argument was made by Fisher and Pierce that the Parker House use is not the same as that of a personal residence. Jim Wygant and Sandy Wygant pointed out the Reed is no longer the Reed College of memory, which has since slashed programs, been acquisitive, and arrogant in their behavior. Sandy Wygant said that all homes in Eastmoreland neighborhood are equally important, whether „grand‟ or humble. Jim and Sandy Wygant pointed out that they have been residents for 40 years and feel that the proposed use of the Parker House is simply not the same as that of a single family, regardless of its size. Milo Ormseth said enforcement would not be a problem because zoning code specifically addresses procedures for fines and penalties. Richard Pierce and Mike Fisher objected, stating that it would be up to the neighbors to the monitor and document any non-permitted use. Milo Ormseth pointed out that there is specific code language that can ultimately lead to revocation of the conditional use permit, and this threat is sufficient to ensure Reed‟s adherence to the terms of the conditional permit. Richard Pierce and Mike Fisher responded that there are no effective methods to respond to any Reed violations and a conditional use permit has never been revoked in the Eastmoreland neighborhood. Sandy Wygant used the new Reed Language House as example of Reed pushing the boundaries as hard as they can, and that they are not trustworthy. Jim Wygant described the “charette” process as an example of the Reed‟s current attitude towards dealing with the Eastmoreland neighborhood. He suggested that the meetings would be more accurately described as a “charade.” Milo Ormseth said in conclusion that he feels that is no longer prudent for the ENA to continue to confront Reed on the behalf of the entire neighborhood. He feels that the ENA should accept the existing Reed concessions, “declare victory”, and vote to accept the Reed Master Plan as it currently exists. Moreland Lane residents would be free to continue the appeal as individual citizens. Gretchen Sperling declared that it is for the „greater good‟ of the ENA to act on the behalf of all its residents, and represent the wishes of the residents who would be most impacted by the Parker House. Denny Stenzel asked Mike Fisher and Richard Pierce where the other Moreland Lane residents were. Mike Fisher said all residents gave testimony in opposition of the MP at the hearing, and that he and Richard Pierce were representing their wishes at emergency ENA meeting. Alan Campf pointed out to Milo Ormseth that Reed is no longer a educational institution but has changed to become more of a business institution, with the emphasis on business. To think otherwise is to dwell in the past. Bill Ten Pas addressed Milo Ormseth with the statement that the ENA cannot step back from this issue, and that the quality of the entire Eastmoreland neighborhood is ultimately at risk. There was some discussion between Richard Pierce, Mike Fisher, and Gretchen Sperling that the ENA would not be required to pay for the appeal, whereas another non- community organization may otherwise need to pay $8,500. At 8:15pm, Gretchen Sperling thanked all parties for coming to discuss the issue, regardless of their feelings regarding the matter. She called for a vote, on the motion which was on the floor. A show of hands was requested. 10 board members were in favor of the motion, with one abstention (Denny Stenzel). There were no dissenting votes. With that, the meeting was adjourned. People stayed to talk among themselves for another ten minutes. Minutes taken by Bert Sperling, board member.