The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development has informed the Rose City Park Neighborhood Association that objections raised by neighbors to the rezoning of a 1927 single-family residence at 3430 NE 50th Ave. to mixed use/residential-commercial have been overruled. The property with an adjoining commercial lot and another private residence at 5024 N.E. Fremont St. have been on the market since last summer as a “development opportunity.”
Emily Courtnage, co-owner of the home immediately to the south of the 50th Avenue house, spearheaded the objections and said, “The state rejected our appeal outright, without addressing the merits, finding that we had no standing to object because we did not participate in the comprehensive plan process at the local level.”
Courtnage claimed she and dozens of neighbors “had no meaningful opportunity to participate at the local level because we were never informed of the proposed land designation change – not by the owner, not by the Rose City Park Neighborhood Association Board either before or after they recommended the change, and never by the city’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.”
Tamara DeRidder, the association’s chair, said she agreed with Courtnage’s contention that the city failed to notify her and other neighbors of the zone change. “This is a very broken element in the Oregon land use system since the process used is one of legislative review and not quasi-judicial.” DeRidder noted that in this case, only the property owner facing a change in zoning was notified.
Because of this and several other issues surrounding the review and comment process, DeRidder said, “The experience of this process inspired our Land Use and Transportation Committee to develop a land use review protocol to attempt to overcome this notice gap.”
DeRidder, a land use planner in the private sector, expressed her dismay at the “huge communication gaps created by the legislative review process,” and added that she has offered to work with Courtnage to propose an amendment to Oregon Revised Statutes and Administrative Rules that would require all property being rezoned, whether quasi-judicially or legislatively, to be publicly posted at least one week prior to a public hearing. The new zoning designation takes effect in May.