Dear FOPIR Members,
I hope this newsletter finds you and your family in good health.
Before diving into the goings-on at the track, I have to make a time-sensitive request to all FOPIR members…
On Wednesday March 17, Portland’s City Council will consider an emergency ordinance that, if enacted, would be one of the largest changes ever in City zoning without a full public process. The Housing and Sustainability group is bringing forward a plan that would allow unlimited “outdoor shelters” on any property, including Open Space zoning. This means, with the agreement with the property owner, the empty lot near you could become a tent city or tiny house or other outdoor shelter if run by a non-profit. And open space means city parks. This could force the Parks Director and Commissioner to make difficult decisions on how to use city parks, including Portland International Raceway. If approved, there is no public process required before proceeding.
While we all want to solve the homeless problem, passing this ordinance could have a dramatic impact on the track. The FOPIR board believes the ordinance shouldn’t be approved as planned and without public input. If you agree, please contact Mayor Wheeler and City Commissioners and make sure you are heard.
The FOPIR board recommends our members send the following email to the Mayor and City Commissioners:
Dear Mayor Wheeler and Commissioners Hardesty, Mapps, Rubio and Ryan,
As supporters of Portland International Raceway, I am writing to advocate strongly for an important change in the language of Shelter to Housing Continuum recommendations from the Planning and Sustainability Commission. I recommend the removal of Open Space Zones from consideration for either temporary or permanent houseless shelters EXCEPT for a declaration of emergency by the City Council due to a catastrophic natural disaster. Furthermore, this kind of change requires input from the public before being considered.
Mayor Ted Wheeler
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty
Commissioner Carmen Rubio
Commissioner Mingus Mapps
Commissioner Dan Ryan
Thank you ahead of time to FOPIR members who make themselves heard on this issue.