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About The Southwest Portland Post. (Portland, Oregon) 2007-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 1, 2008)
4 • The Southwest Portland Post
Southwest community divided over park fee increase
(Continued from Page 3)
“a rare opportunity to use an appro-
priate funding mechanism. It’s a way
for development to pay for its own
The new Holly Farm Park in West
Portland Park “is a great example of
the use of SDCs, and the need for an in-
crease.” SDC funds paid for 50 percent
of the cost of the park’s development.
“We saved the only piece of undevel-
oped and almost flat land in a neighbor-
hood of 4,000 people, where 1,000 live
in apartment complexes. The need (for
additional parks) is much greater than
current resources can support.”
West Portland Park activist Amanda
Fritz, who played a key role in the Holly
Farm Park development, argued, “If
we don’t have enough money for new
streets, we can always build them later.
If we don’t have enough money to pur-
chase park land, by the time we have it
it’s gone and we can never get it back.
Parks provide joy to city residents, and
every citizen deserves access to parks.”
She thanked Saltzman, whom she tried
to unseat in the last election, for bring-
ing the proposed increase forward.
Commissioner Randy Leonard was
the strongest critic of the proposed
charges. “I support SDCs, and have
supported them in the past, but they
need to be affordable and defensible.”
Regarding comparisons to other cities’
fee schedules he said, “I don’t think we
should be at the bottom of the list, and
it’s inexcusable that businesses should
be paying nothing, but I don’t think we
should be at the top. The best tax is the
one someone else pays. The fairest tax
is the one everyone pays. This is the
least painful to existing Portlanders,
but is it the fairest?” Echoing Man-
ning, he said that he had created five
new “hydro-parks” on surplus Water
Bureau property, including one in
Leonard was also upset about an
exemption, available to home buyers
earning 100 percent or less of median
household income (about $66,000 a
year), that allows them to escape pay-
ing any SDCs. “I appreciate all the hard
work that’s been done, but this needs to
be more balanced before I can support
this,” he said.
In earlier testimony, Sam Chase of
the Community Development Network
had defended the exemption, saying,
“Sadly, this is necessary to provide
housing for people who have to choose
between paying their rent and paying
for food and medicine.”
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