Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on September 27th, 2011 at 11:13 am
“This project is very risky. We shouldn’t gamble by skipping the steps provided by Oregon’s land use process.”
— Mara Gross, Coalition for a Livable Future
This morning the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN) and the Coalition for a Livable Future (CLF) announced an appeal of Metro’s decision last month to pass the project’s Land Use Final Order (LUFO).
According to Metro, the LUFO, “is a remarkably streamlined bit of Oregon land use law, making it easier for a project to move past inevitable land use appeals.” It was originally created for a light rail project, say its critics, not a massive highway expansion and bridge project.
Here’s why the NECN and CLF are opposed to it (from their statement):
“… the Land Use Final Order law was narrowly tailored for a particular light rail project and was never intended to be used for a massive freeway expansion fifteen years later. The CRC, the most expensive public project in our region’s history, is primarily a highway and interchange expansion, not a light rail development. Three-quarters of the project’s cost is for highway construction.”
Joining the CLF and NECN to challenge the LUFO decision are Jantzen/ Angel LLC, Plaid Pantries, and Weber Coastal Bells.
In a statement, George Bruender, Land Use and Transportation Co-Chair for NECN, which represents 12 neighborhoods in North and Northeast Portland, said:
“Our neighborhoods will be heavily impacted by the proposed changes to I-5. We already have unacceptably high asthma rates. Our residents can’t afford the additional traffic and pollution this project will bring.”
And Mara Gross, Policy Director for CLF adds that, “This project is very risky. We shouldn’t gamble by skipping the steps provided by Oregon’s land use process.”
The State of Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals is set to hear arguments about this appeal on Thursday (9/29) in Salem.