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E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Portland parks to take a bigger bite

It looks like City of Portland "systems development charges" for parks are going up. How else could one read this e-mail message this afternoon from the Parks Bureau?

Systems Development Charges are one tool to ensuring that Portland’s quality of life is able to keep pace with our growing and changing city. Park System Development Charges are one-time fees assessed on new development to cover a portion of the costs of providing the additional parks and recreation facilities needed as a result of population growth and new development. Right now, if you receive a residential building permit from the City of Portland for new building, you will be charged a one-time Park Systems Development Charge fee.

Parks Commissioner Dan Saltzman will release his recommendation for the new Park SDC rate on Friday, October 12. This will start the 60-day comment period leading up to the City Council hearing on the new Park SDC in December.

Oh, and they're holding a series of "open houses" where folks can "weigh in" on the issue. That's an interesting way of putting it.

Perhaps most sadly, the e-mail came from someone who identifies herself as working at "Marketing & Business Development, Portland Parks & Recreation." When public parks think they need a bureaucracy for "marketing and business," something's fundamentally wrong.

Comments (12)

Every governmental agency needs its own bureaucracy for marketing and business. Look at Metro. They have a huge staff for marketing and business. And they run the zoo, the convention center, and other entities - each of which has its own marketing staff. Taken together, we pay millions of tax dollars to staff these highly-paid positions in terms of salaries and benefits.

Although the "jobs" are essentially redundant.

Don't forget, they "borrowed" east-side SDCs to help build the Pearl. As far as I know this still exists. Perhaps it helps to know that SDCs are about $15K to build a house.

What is fundamentally wrong is that in our neighborhood we have had an increase in housing units of over 75% in the past 10 years, adding many SDC dollars to Parks. BUT we have not had one new park, and the services for the existing have deteriorated.

What's the sense in raising SDCs to build more parks when there are not enough ongoing revenues to maintain existing parks ?! The money that should have been used to maintain our deteriorating parks is instead going into the coffers of condo developers via the urban renewal scam that's been foisted on us.

I'm sure the money from this pending tax increase will be be put to a good use in the $13 million poodle poop park down in the SoWhat district.

"Marketing & Business Development, Portland Parks & Recreation"

Portland Parks is so top heavy with people like this. I bet most of the people in the Portland Building office of Parks haven't been to a park in over a month. Meanwhile the people mowing, cleaning restrooms, picking up trash, and moving out the rif-raf are under staffed and over worked.

This city needs to start focusing on the dang basics!

"This city needs to start focusing on the dang basics!"

Well you can forget that!!!! We are about to crown King Sam - more arts and trolley cars, damn the basics (can't have enough trolley cars you know).

Marketing our parks is the wave of the future. You guys need to chill out.

I'd suggest a nice relaxing stroll around Mount Nike Park, or perhaps Council Qwest.

$43 million was recently diverted to SoWa
to help cover the massive shoratges of Urban Renewal money.

Without question this increase is intended to allow more of the same.

well if it keeps even one more ugly condo from "penciling out" I'm for it.

That was 4$ million from the parks budget to help bail out SoWa

Nobody ever seems to talk about how one head of the hydra charges SDCs and other taxes and fees, and another head seeks to make affordable housing.

I bet Steve is right that new houses in Portland would be, on average, $15K less expensive if not for SDCs. Instant affordability. It's another reason that only developers of spendy condos and homes should get nailed with SDCs.

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