By Kate Mitchell and Stephanie Stewart
Our monthly meeting on February 19 meeting drew a large crowd, including many people concerned about the City moving ahead with its plan for disconnecting the three iconic reservoirs on Mt.. Tabor Park.
MTNA Land Use Chair Stephanie Stewart noted the reservoirs all have National Historic Registration listing. The current proposed disconnection plan includes 1.5 years of construction in the park, the removal of 50 trees, closures and restrictions of paths, roads and the off leash area, and digging 850 linear feet of 10 ft wide by 10 ft deep trenches with 12 ft impact areas on each side.
On February 18 Stewart was notified that the land use case regarding the disconnection of the reservoirs was changed from a Type II classification to a Type III classification. This would mean improved public notification (more neighbors notified by the city) and a longer comment period.
However, Commissioner Nick Fish subsequently indicated he does not intend to change the classification to Type III on the Environmental review … it will remain Type II. Only the Historic Resources Review will upgrade to Type III.
The higher Type III classification would require Water Bureau to more broadly distribute notice of this project (informing more neighbors) and it would involve the Historic Landmarks Commission at a sooner point in the review process (providing better oversight for this historically sensitive area)
More info about this process and actions you can take are on the Mt.. Tabor Land Use blog: www.mtna-landuse.blogspot.com.
The Water Bureau did not involve our neighborhood in the process of planning this project. Our first notice came on Jan 28. Water Bureau has done no outreach in our neighborhood regarding this project. Volunteers with MTNA are pouring through plans and documents now, and discovering this project will indeed have significant impact on park neighbors and users.
Stephanie will write MTNA’s official comments for this case, along with a team of neighborhood stakeholders which have agreed to serve as Land Use Committee members and consultants. They are Dawn Smallman, Kim Lakin, and Mark Bartlett.
From the Friends of Mt.. Tabor Park, Mary Kinnick and Darvel Lloyd spoke about the Weed Warriors project. In 2007, 97% of the natural areas were in poor or severely degraded condition. The work of the Weed Warriors group has removed invasive plants and planted native plants. Learn more at www.portlandonline.com/bes/mttabor
The project is slated to continue until 2017 and going forward, the goal is to develop and implement a new multi-partner Stewardship Alliance that is of sufficient capacity and sustainable for native habitat restoration needs in Mt.. Tabor Park from June 2014 – 2017 and beyond.
The next meeting will be Wednesday, March 19, at 7 pm at Mt.. Tabor Presbyterian Church at SE 54th and Belmont, with a social time starting 6:50 pm.
For more information, go to www.mttaborpdx.org.