LUTC Minutes 2012-09-17


Eliot Land Use and Transportation Committee

Minutes for September 17, 2012

Submitted by Chair, Mike Warwick – posted by Board Chair Allan Rudwick

Chair Mike Warwick called the meeting to order at 6:35 when a quorum was present.  Eventually all committee members were present.  Alexa Heidrich was also in attendance as she has been at many recent meetings.

There were no land use issues to act upon.  The Chair proposed electing officers at this meeting in an earlier email to committee members.  The timing of office elections was discussed and it was noted that the LUC Rules and Procedures call for officer election “annually,” rather than at a specific meeting.  That was one of the many revisions to the Rules and Procedures adopted by the LUC and the Board over a year ago.

Term limits for officers was brought up.  It was noted that the LUC Rules and Procedures do no have a term limit.  This is because the LUC has a formal role in land use proceedings with the City.  In recognition of the importance of this role the prevailing philosophy has been to retain the historical memory and expertise of committee members and officers for as long as possible.  Officers can always be replaced at annual elections and committee members replaced by the LUC for non-participation of the Board.

The term limit requirement in the By-laws of the Board were mentioned as a potential conflict with the LUC Rules.  Clint pointed out that the LUC Rules and Procedures were adopted by the Board about a year ago, with this provision included.  Allan indicated he was uncomfortable with the current Chair continuing to hold the office.  He indicted he would like to run for the position.  Other members of the committee indicated it was unwise for one person to be the chair of both the Board and LUC.

The committee was polled to determine interest in the Chair and Vice-chair positions.  Chair Warwick indicated he was willing to continue in that role although he did not want to discourage other members from running.  No other members indicated an interest and he was re-elected by a show of hands.  Allan volunteered to serve as Vice-chair, a move the Chair endorsed given his interest in being Chair.  He was not opposed and was elected by a show of hands.

The position of Recorder was discussed, but the Rules and Procedures have no provisions for a formal Recorder position, due to a historical lack of interest in that position and variable attendance of members.  Allan voiced a need for at least an informal Recorder role.  Alexa was asked if she wanted to play that role and she agreed.

Alexa was also recommended for membership on the LUC by a vote of the committee.  The Chair will provide a letter to the Board with that recommendation for the next Board meeting.

The Chair noted that although there were no formal action items, he had received notice that VOA requested a demolition permit for the house at 423 NE Sacramento they purchased next to their building.  He reminded the committee that the house is one of two single family homes on the west end of Sacramento surrounded by commercial uses of multi-story apartments.  In addition, the lot is zone EX, not R (for residential).  However, the notice of demolition claims it is a “contributing” structure to the Eliot Historic Conservation District.  This point was debated and it was determined it is NOT within the boundaries of the District and given its and the surrounding location unlikely to “contribute” to the District.  Nevertheless, the demolition permit as issued is a formal notification and provides for a delay.  No action is required and no provision for protest is provided in the code.  The discussion that followed indicated many committee members believed VOA may have mislead the committee when they initially asked for our support for the purchase of the building.  There was a sense they may have anticipated at least the potential to demolish it that they did not disclose.  The Chair was asked to communicate these concerns to the VOA, although no vote to oppose their decision was taken.

The Chair noted that the October meeting is traditionally a joint meeting with Boise, for the annual review of the Emanuel Hospital IMP.  Typically no one from Boise attends.  When the Chair received the request to reserve time at this meeting there were indications there would be some kind of announcement.  There was mention of a pending apology for past actions at the Board meeting as well, so perhaps that will be a topic.  Although it is early, there are no other land use issues pending for the October meeting.  The Chair also indicated he will be absent for that meeting.

A question was raised about the status of discussions of parking on Williams.  A small group of the committee has been meeting with the developer of New Seasons and the City about parking removal on Williams.  The City has been working on some options that were discussed at our meeting and anticipate having something further in “mid-October.”  Given the next LUC meeting is October 15th, this suggests there will be another meeting on this topic after the regular LUC meeting.  Some of the group discussed what they were hearing about the City’s thinking, which can be summed up, not much hope for restoration of parking on Williams, but perhaps some along Vancouver.