Testimony Tips and References for Hearings on WFGG 3/13/06

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Testimony Tips and References for Hearings on WFGG 3/13/06

Postby Kevin » Fri Mar 10, 2006 12:52 am

Testimony Tips and References for Public Hearings on the Whole Foods Garage Giveaway (WFGG) Proposal
7pm, Monday, March 13, 2006
Eugene City Hall, Council Chamber


Friends of Eugene Suggestions for Testimony (David Hinkley, with assistance from Kevin Matthews and Eben Fodor)
http://www.friendsofeugene.org/files/Sp ... 060307.pdf

Contact Information for Eugene City Officials (where to send your pre-hearing comments!)
http://www.friendsofeugene.org/files/Eu ... icials.pdf

Draft version of 2006 Parking Analysis Update, a summary with tables of the parking survey conducted by Rich and Associates of Detroit, Michigan. (bogus!)
http://www.friendsofeugene.org/files/20 ... _DRAFT.pdf

No-Bid Contract Requirements

Excerpt from the Oregon Revised Statutes 2003 edition pertaining to no-bid contracts. In Microsoft Word format.
http://www.friendsofeugene.org/files/No ... S_279C.doc

City of Eugene Purchasing Law as adopted by the City Council

Current City Purchasing Rules as established administratively by the City Manager
http://www.friendsofeugene.org/files/Eu ... ations.pdf

*** The proposed Council Resolution containing the Findings required by ORS 279C.335 to justify the exemption from competitive bidding.
http://www.friendsofeugene.org/files/Pa ... ndings.pdf

Agenda Item Information Packages

East Broadway Council Agenda Summary 22 Feb
http://www.friendsofeugene.org/files/Ag ... ession.pdf

City Council Packet for the 22 February 2006 council work session on East Broadway Development.
http://www.friendsofeugene.org/files/Ea ... _22Feb.pdf
A. Land Transaction with the Shedd
B. Development Agreement
C. Financing Strategy of the Garage and Commercial Space
D. Intergovernmental Agreement (Between the City and the URA)
E. Parking Analysis (2006)

City Council Packet for the 13 February 2006 council work session on East Broadway Development Update.
http://www.friendsofeugene.org/files/Ea ... _13FEB.pdf

City Council Packet for the 8 February 2006 council work session on East Broadway Development Update.
http://www.friendsofeugene.org/files/Ea ... y_8FEB.pdf
A. Project Location Diagram
B. Conceptual Development Site Plan
C. Conceptual Elevation of Whole Foods
D. Parking Study Summary
E. Financing Strategy of the Garage and Optional Commercial Space

The City of Eugene's Section 108 application. Section 108 is a HUD program that creates a loan fund for cities to use to encourage economic development. The federal government provides funds to the City to loan out to eligible projects within the target area. The loans with the developers are collateralized by the property being developed. The City's Loan with the HUD is collateralized by future CDBG funds. Brownfield Economic Development Initiative (BEDI) is an associated federal program which requires the City's participation in the section 108 program.

Map of the Area Covered by the section 108 application.

Urban Renewal Agency (URA) Packet for the URA work session - Downtown Update-East Broadway. (Note: the URA board is exactly the same people as the Eugene City Council.)
URA Agenda ITEM Summary 22Feb
http://www.friendsofeugene.org/files/UR ... _22Feb.pdf

Thanks to David Hinkley for assembling many of these files and annotations!
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Updated list of FoE testimony points

Postby Kevin » Mon Mar 13, 2006 10:03 pm

Here's the whole laundry list, for those with a strong and/or wonky stomach!

Friends of Eugene
Testimony for Public Hearings, Part Two
Eugene City Council Meeting
March 13th 7:30PM

Regarding Public Interest Considerations for the Overall Whole Foods and Garage Project

• How did it come to pass that the City is holding such an important overload of public hearings on the evening of one of the most-attended holidays of the Jewish calendar?

• Eugene is already unusually highly rated as a place to live. We don't need to suspend community policies, values, and standards in order to change Eugene into some place different. Rather, we must strive to fulfill and actualize our our community policies, values, and standards as we accommodate appropriate new developments and services within them.

• What is our core vision for downtown revitalization? Do we think we're going to "recycle Eugene" successfully by a series of privately-planned mega-projects designed first and foremost to maximize bulk investor value? Are we going to build up downtown as a willy-nilly house of cards yet again, as driven by the whims and gambles of high-stakes crony capitalism? Or are we actually going to hold out to get downtown projects that are truly sustainable, that honestly pay their own way, and that support positive local businesses in a walkable, pedestrian and resident-friendly downtown? Which of these kinds of entities and visions deserves and needs our modest and carefully considered public subsidies. Which of these is a better bet for pay the community back in the long run?

• Four City-listed historic buildings, a mid-century exemplar building, and many established trees would be lost due to this project. These could perhaps be acceptable losses for the right project, but especially when a public subsidy is involved, such losses should not be taken for granted, without any clearly documented consideration and weighing of value for the public.

• There is an assumption that downtown is the best possible location for a Whole Foods store if they are coming to downtown anyway. Yet predicting the interaction of VMT geography with the location of this particular type of drive-to regional store is not a trivial exercise. Before the City proceeds with many millions of subsidy for a project, the forecasting of that interaction, and more generally, a relative comparison of the cumulative impacts of such a store in a range of example locations should be determined by legitimate experts.

• In general, the supporting analysis and documentation for these significant decisions is a sad case of far too little, made available much too late, while we're left asking, what's the real rush?

Regarding General Issues Specific to the Proposed Parking Garage

• Is a Parking Garage the right gateway to Downtown Eugene?

• What is the big rush? We need to plan first, then build.

• The current Downtown Plan is not a strong plan; it is a policy document. We need a real plan, that accounts ahead of time for things like open space, where to put parking - and where _not_ to put parking.

• A downtown area can have too much parking, and it can have parking the wrong places. Parking structures have real urban costs, because they displace other more active occupancies and create pedestrian-hostile sidewalk traffic zones unredeemed by active uses.

• As Mark Gillem's studio has demonstrated, it is entirely possible to have Parking and Parks on the same site.

• To have value, a Parking survey needs to have been done on the ground, not in Detroit.

• We are about to spend $1.3 Million planning and placing a new City Hall. Do not limit options for locating City Hall before that process is done, for instance by prematurely trading away the prime potential site for a new office building to coordinate with an updated City Hall.

• While located in the downtown, the proposed store puts its back to the rest of downtown, with its main entrance diagonally facing toward the concentrated vehicle traffic at intersection of Broadway and Highway 99.

• Court House Parking should be located east of Highway 99 (Mill Street), near the Court House, if it is needed.

• IF parking is really needed, there are many reasonable alternatives. Temporarily, surface parking could easily be provided on the remaining of the Agra-Pac site. It would be a win-win: Court House visitors get a place to park, the City gets revenue and we have time to plan properly.

• It is bad public policy to use public money for projects that injure existing local businesses. And it violates the triple bottom line principle of sustainability.

• If Whole Foods needs additional parking, Whole Foods should build it!

• If the Gusitinas need more land for their development project, they should buy it!

• Potential expansion needs of the SHEDD seem to be in the fairly distant future, so it seems it would be an inadequate basis to prematurely give away land possibly wanted for City Hall. As w are spending $1.3 million on City Hall master planning, so we should keep intact the site for an expansion building most supported by design professionals at the city hall options charette. As the potential needs of the SHEDD are not said to be urgent, have not been reasonably documented for the public, and have not been evaluated for flexibility, in the context of an immediate land swap to enable the parking garage, they appear to be perhaps more pretext than solid.

• Potential or future parking needs for the SHEDD, one of the most recent red herrings to be introduced, have not been reasonably established or documented.

• The alleged exact parity or value for alley vacations and for the proposed land swap have not been reasonably established or documented.

• This project would require the closing of two active alleys, reducing pedestrian walkability and making auto maneuvering around the one-way High and 8th Ave. nexus even more difficult. Many cities are currently attempting to add or implement alley patterns. We should not vacate ours without clear and accurate consideration of the urbanistic costs.

• Contrary to public statements by City planning staff, reported in the media, the Downtown Plan does not anticipate or call for a parking garage in this location. To the contrary, several statements as well as clear policies in the Eugene Downtown Plan (April 2004) contradict the proposed garage.

• Selected Downtown Plan policies pointing counter to the proposed parking garage:

III. Great Streets
1. Emphasize Broadway, Willamette Street, 5th and 8th Avenues as Great Streets through public improvements and development guidelines. Include portions of these streets as follows:
- Broadway between Lincoln and Hilyard
- 8th Avenue between Willamette Street and the Willamette River.
2. Strongly encourage the location of significant municipal, county, state and federal buildings along 8th Avenue.

IV. Special Places
1. Enhance public places throughout downtown through the careful design of civic buildings, streetscapes, parks and plazas. Include public art and other elements to create special places for all ages.
2. Connect special places downtown with enhanced street designs... to create an inviting and memorable route through downtown.
3. ... Improve connections between downtown and nearby nature areas.

IX. Getting Around Downtown
2. Promote and support alternative modes and accessibility through strategic planning and public investment.
3. Enhance functional designs for streets, sidewalks and related public improvements with carefully chosen design elements, including materials, alignments, plantings, and streetscape elements.

Regarding the Urban Renewal Agency Supplemental Budget #2

• The URA Supplemental Budget request was presented at the very last moment, in a form that would be indecipherable to general members of the voting public. That is not good governance.

• Urban renewal district funds are not an unlimited source of money: We need to think clearly and document our thinking (what would be left; what other priorities are being passed over or precluded) before we spend it.

• If urban renewal funds are squandered we won't get them back.

• Urban renewal funds should be spent on projects that benefit the public interest, not a single private business or developer.

• We should be reserving urban renewal funds in case they are needed to renovate and/or replace City Hall.

• Urban renewal money is expensive: We gave up money for schools, public safety, street repairs and other essential services to get it, so it should be spent wisely.

• Are funds proposed to be mixed between two different urban renewal districts? If not, how? If so, what are the procedures necessary an appropriate to document and approve such a transfer?

• EWEB has decided to move its operations away from the riverfront, and so is still planning to sell their riverfront property. Riparian Area Funds should not be diverted at this time, but rather, the city should retain the funds for their alloted purpose and should work actively to secure that vital area of Willamette river bank.

• No basis has been documented for the urgency in the funding needs that would allow proper authorization of a supplemental budget request.

Regarding the City of Eugene Supplemental Budget #2

• One-time money, such as the PERS settlement, needs to be spent wisely based on careful public deliberation. Let’s not rush to spend it outside the annual budget process.

• We have $100 million street repair backlog and we are buying another garage?

• We have over $100 million in listed park projects, most unfunded, and we would use City money to build an unneeded garage?

• No basis has been documented for the urgency in the funding needs that would allow proper authorization of a supplemental budget request.

• Stormwater funds - collected from ratepayers for infrastructure, such as acquisition and protection of threatened streams and wetlands - should not be used to subsidize project utility work, especially not for new development, which by City policy should carry its own costs.

• The City of Eugene Supplemental Budget request was presented at the very last moment, in a form that would be indecipherable to general members of the voting public. That is not good governance.

Non-Bid Contract for East Broadway Garage

• A no-bid contract is not proper for this project under state purchasing law (ORS 279C.335).

• The City’s findings do not support the minimum criteria to allow an exemption under state purchasing law (ORS 279C.335) from the normal public bidding process:

(a) The exemption would specifically encourage favoritism in the awarding of public improvement contracts, because it is proposed to be awarded to the same developer who proposed the project, who further has announced their intention to use their favorite general contractor. This would represent a closed system of cronyism from idea to completion, without any reasonable access for other parties.

(b) The awarding of public improvement contracts under the exemption would not result in substantial cost savings to the contracting agency, since information provided by the City (email from nan Laurence, 2005.0313) shows the proposed project cost per square foot is higher than the RS Means average of the median price bracket for comparables. The proposed garage is a conventional project of moderate contracting size, so there should be no shortage of potential bidders under the normal process.

• The City’s findings do not support the minimum criteria to allow an exemption under the supplemental criteria in the Eugene Public Contract Administrative Rules, including the need for substantial public savings or other public benefit [R-1415 §3.1.1(c)].

• Lack of prior timely planning on the City’s part should not be considered justification for an exemption from Competitive Bidding. If the developer's convenience requires that a contract be signed by 30 June, the process should have started sooner.

• No external factors have been documented that would make the project time-critical.

• Ongoing relationships between the parties are the essence of favoritism, not a basis for exemption.

• The findings are incomplete, as they do not include estimated project cost (required by R-1415 §3.1.1(b)).

• There is no reasonable basis provided in the findings for the abstract allegations of potential savings. Labor, concrete and steel cost about the same no matter who builds the garage.

• The findings fail to establish any significant uniqueness to the proposed project:

- Details of land ownership do not make this project unique. Acquiring property as needed is a routine aspect of city projects.

- A grocery store is not unique, as Eugene has several of them already. Besides, what does design of a store have to do with a non-attached public parking garage?

- This project is not unique. We already have at least 6 other parking garages with ground floor retail in Eugene.

- How can could savings be reasonably assessed if the documentation doesn’t include any project plans?

• The proposed project is substandard in terms of established city policy (City Code Chapter 9) because it fails to provide active uses along much of its great-street frontage.

• The proposed project is substandard because it is not documented to follow current construction best practices like adherence to green building principles.

• The developer Gerding Edlen apparently has green building and mixed use development experience. We should demand development work of that caliber in downtown Eugene.

• The City has provided no overall sustainability analysis for the proposed project.

• The project would create "orphan" retail spaces, especially at its northwest corner, which may have reduced economic value. Yet no analysis has been provided for the viability of these spaces, nor any suggestion of a leasing plan.



Together it is within our reach:

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Postby mrLenin » Wed Jan 17, 2007 9:52 am

Kevin laundry list doesn't help me while I am on workplace :wink:
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Joined: Thu Nov 16, 2006 10:22 am

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