Reviving the Idea of Supportive Housing at Old Naval Armory Site
“The leadership from the JWN’s is humbling. I have never experienced neighborhood leaders that are so supportive of affordable housing and permanent supportive housing in particular. I am extremely thankful and am looking forward to delivering critically needed affordable housing in partnership with JWN. My best. jacob”
-Jacob Fox | HOMES FOR GOOD | Executive Director | homesforgood.org
The JWN membership overwhelmingly endorsed the Charter for the Family-Friendly Housing Refinement Plan Amendment Project Plan at the May 11, 2021 general meeting.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
- Recruit the implementation team.
- That implementation team (not the JWN board) will implement the process to draft and carry forward proposed amendments to the Jefferson/Far West Refinement Plan.
- The proposed amendments will finally be brought to the membership for discussion and a vote.
The Naval Armory property between 14th and 13th near Chambers is owned by the city and has been vacant for over a decade. It currently has a St. Vincent DePaul managed car camping site. 14th Ave has also become a magnet for illegal camping, dumping, and crime. The JWN Board would like to re-start a conversation on placing family-friendly subsidized multi-family housing at that location. The need for housing is obvious and would improve security, Eugene owns it, and any project could move quickly with neighborhood support. Based on our recent public process experience with the Permanent Supportive Housing at the Lane Events Center, we feel we can accomplish this on an expedited timeline.
In 2008, the JWN held two “opportunity siting” workshops for members where they identified and discussed potential sites for medium and high-density development in the neighborhood. It was affirmed that such development was beneficial and should involve a public review process with neighborhood stakeholders.
On January 17, 2012, the JWN Executive Board unanimously approved a motion to proceed with development of a conceptual plan for future use of the former-Naval Armory site. The plan proposed a “planning team” based largely on the organizational structure of the planning teams that developed the two refinement plans in the JWN. The JWN Executive Board specifically identified the development of intergenerational, family-friendly, partially or fully subsidized housing as a priority objective. This was forwarded to the city.
In 2013, the city proposed, despite being prohibited by law, a unilateral “automatic” rezoning and alteration of both the Metro and Jefferson Far West Refinement Plan to allow development of the site. The neighborhood countered with a proposal for a public process plan to amend the Metro and Jefferson Far West Refinement Plan and seek public input and support for development. The Board at that time opposed any changes outside a public process. Despite direction to staff by the Planning Commission to follow-up, no further action was taken.
In order to confirm the desire of the membership for this project, the following resolution was introduced at the January 12 General meeting and passed my a member vote at the February 9 general meeting.
Jefferson Westside Neighbors
Adopted 26-1 at the February 9, 2021 JWN General Meeting
Whereas the highest and best use of the old Naval Reserve site (the “Site”) on W. 13th Ave. (Tax Map-Lot: 17043642-10400), consistent with the Envision Eugene “Affordable Housing,” “Climate & Resiliency,” and “Neighborhood Livability” Pillars, would be for housing that is affordable, safe, and appealing to lower-income families and seniors.
Be it therefore resolved:
The Jefferson Westside Neighbors (the “JWN”) Executive Board (the “Board”) is directed to do the following:
- The Chair shall immediately provide the Mayor, City Council and City Manager a copy of this resolution; and
- The Board shall engage JWN members to develop a recommended Process and Charter for amending the Jefferson/Far West Refinement Plan to designate the Site for the purpose of partially or fully subsidized, permanent housing that embodies the following characteristics:
- At least 50% of the dwellings are “family-friendly” (aka “child-friendly”), incorporating features specific to the safety, comfort, and healthy development of children; and
- At least 10% of the dwellings support “intergenerational” housing, incorporating features specific to the safety and comfort of individuals, particularly seniors, who volunteer to participate in activities to support families in the housing community; and
- Is designed to facilitate safe conditions for:
- occupancy by the residents of the multi-household development, and
- on-site services by social and medical providers, and
- activities by members of the housing community,
particularly under conditions such as those created by Covid-19; and
- Supports sustainable practices in the construction and operation of the facility and by the daily practices of the residents.
- The Board shall produce and present to the JWN members an initial draft of the Process and Charter no later than the April 13, 2021.
- The Board shall advocate in favor of this proposed use of the Site to City officials and community organizations.
Jefferson Westside Neighbors
Executive Summary for the
Family-Friendly Housing Refinement Plan Amendment Project
Project Team Approved May 11, 2021
There is an opportunity to develop the former Naval Reserve Site into affordable family-friendly housing, which requires amendments to the Jefferson/Far West Refinement Plan*. Enclosed is a Charter document, which serves as a roadmap for assembling a Project Team and providing guidance for how that team will identify and propose needed amendment changes. The Charter has been prepared by the Jefferson Westside Neighbors (JWN) Board; the execution of the tasks within the Charter, however, will rest in the hands of numerous volunteer representatives from the immediate area surrounding the former Naval Reserve Site. The Project Team will be responsible for developing a Project Plan, including developing a timeline, identifying necessary tasks, and providing opportunities for community members to learn about and provide input on proposed changes.
What does this mean to you and why are you receiving this Charter? JWN neighbors are being asked to review the enclosed Charter draft, which will be discussed in the upcoming neighborhood meeting on Tuesday, April 13, 2021. Membership will then be asked to approve the proposed Charter at the next scheduled neighborhood meeting on Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Approval is required for the JWN Board to move forward with assembling the team of volunteers who will conduct the work. This Charter is just the beginning of the process; JWN neighbors will have ample opportunities to provide input and ask questions of the Project Team as well as the JWN Board.
How is the enclosed Charter structured? What are key sections within the document? Project Charters provide the purpose, scope, and organizational structure, including enabling the JWN Board to recruit a team of volunteers who will prepare the Project Plan. A Charter isn’t a Project Plan; a Charter merely defines the structure of the Project Team, who will ultimately be responsible for developing the plan.
Section III is necessary for City officials and staff to understand which existing policies this project is based on. The Project Team should review the enumerated policies, but the policies are less specific than the project Charter.
Section V describes the Project’s final work products that will be presented to the JWN Board. The JWN Board will then present the results for review, discussion, and ultimately a vote by the JWN General Membership. If approved, the JWN Chair will present the work products to the City Council and City Manager and request that the City Council initiate the formal, legal land use process to adopt the recommended amendments. That land use process is not explicitly part of this project because Eugene’s Land Use Code defines the required steps. If the refinement plan amendments are ultimately adopted by the City Council, the old Naval Reserve site will be available for, and restricted to, development as affordable, intergenerational, family-friendly housing.
Section VII specifies the composition and function of the Project Team. It’s very important to understand that the Project Team is not meant to serve as a “representative, decision-making” body. This means that team members do not vote as individuals representing some particular constituency or their own personal opinions. The team’s responsibility is to ensure that the work products they deliver are an evidence-based, equitable synthesis of well-informed JWN members’ opinions. That means the Team’s specific efforts are to ensure JWN members have ample opportunities to learn about the issues and provide informed input to the process. That requires drawing on available resources, including knowledgeable individuals, to understand the many facets of the form of proposed housing, the proposed site and surrounding residents, property owners, businesses, local schools, including parents with children attending the schools, and other organizations.
The remaining Charter sections provide a high-level framework for how the Project Team is formed and what basic structure will be required for the team to conduct the work. These provisions don’t dive into details––that will be the Project Team’s responsibility to develop. An overarching element of the Charter is that the JWN Board has a clear role and responsibility to see that the Project Team operates effectively in engaging the community. The Board can direct the Project Team at any time the Board feels it is necessary. That, in turn, enables JWN members to raise issues and concerns with the Board or even to adopt a motion(s) directing the Board to take specific actions with respect to the conduct of the project.
*The Jefferson/Far West Refinement Plan is a document previously developed in collaboration with neighborhood leadership, City of Eugene staff, and other area stakeholders to provide a framework for renewal, enhancement, and redevelopment of the Jefferson Area Neighborhood and northern portion of the Far West Neighborhood. For detailed information on the existing plan, please visit: https://www.eugene-or.gov/DocumentCenter/View/41511/Jefferson-Far-West-Refinement-Plan.
Full Detailed Draft
Family-Friendly Housing Refinement Plan Amendment Project
Deep Background: Initial Proposal from 2012/13
This is the original documentation from the first attempt.
Jefferson Westside Neighbors
A City-Chartered Neighborhood Association www.jwneugene.org
August 26, 2013
Eugene Mayor and City Council
125 E. 8th Avenue, 2nd Floor
Eugene, OR 97401
Dear Mayor Piercy and Councilors:
I recently received the following e-mail from a Planning Division staff member:
Subject: former naval reserve site
Hello Mr. Heider,
As the chair of Jefferson Westside Neighbors, I wanted to let you know about some up-coming focus on the former Naval Reserve site on 13th. As you may know, this site was identified in the Envision Eugene March 2012 recommendation document as a site to re-designate the Metro Plan designation from Government & Education to Medium Density Residential. The city owns the site and is interested in working with an affordable housing developer in the future, and this site was also identified as a potential opportunity site for housing through the neighborhood’s opportunity siting analysis. The Metro Plan re-designation would also include an automatic redesignation of the site in the Jefferson Far West Refinement Plan as well as rezoning the site from PL Public Land to R-2 Medium Density Residential. City staff are working on finalizing the analysis of all the sites that will be re-designated to help accommodate more jobs and homes inside the UGB, which could mean a public hearing to consider re-designation/rezoning being held as early as mid-September.
Just wanted to let you know before the formal process starts and see if you have any questions or need any additional information. Thank you for your time,
Associate Planner | City of Eugene Planning
In response, I’m writing you because the issues raised in this e-mail go well beyond the Jefferson Westside Neighbors and the disposition of the former Naval Reserve site; and
these issues should be addressed by our elected officials, not just by staff.
First let me affirm that the JWN members and Executive Board have made clear, well before any staff action, that we support and hope for a “best outcome” for this site that accomplishes the following objectives:
- Results in development that is a positive contribution to the livability and diversity of the JWN.
- Demonstrates a “model” process for community-driven planning that furthers neighborhood and Eugene goals.
- Models a successful “opportunity siting” process that results in medium- or high-density residential development, based on neighborhood community values.
- Supports affordable housing (including subsidized housing) that is attractive to families.
The JWN Executive Board has considered the future of this site and, consistent with Statewide Planning Goal One and the Envision Eugene “Neighborhood Livability” pillar, we firmly believe a community-based process to amend the Jefferson/Far West Refinement Plan designation and policies applicable to this site is the appropriate way to plan future development that meets the objectives stated above.
This particular site has enormous potential for demonstrating the best of planning processes that genuinely involve the community’s stakeholders, including the surrounding residents of apartments and single-family homes; the students, parents and faculty of Caesar Chavez Elementary School; members of the nearby Faith Center and Unitarian Universalist congregations; and proprietors of nearby businesses.
If conducted properly, the planning process for this site can provide an example to other Eugene neighborhoods that the implementation of Envision Eugene, particularly plans to increase density, will be based on robust and meaningful involvement of the neighborhood organization and affected residents, community organizations and businesses.
* * * * *
To provide background on this issue, I requested former JWN Chair, Paul Conte, to provide a concise review of some of the history regarding planning for this site. His review is attached for your consideration.
JWN Executive Board’s Prior Direction
On January 17, 2012, the JWN Executive Board unanimously approved a motion to proceed with development of a conceptual plan for future use of the Naval Reserve site, as described in the attached document. This plan proposes a “planning team” based largely on the organizational structure of the planning teams that developed the two refinement plans in the JWN. The JWN Executive Board specifically identified the development of intergenerational, family-friendly, partially- or fully-subsidized housing as a priority objective.
JWN Executive Board’s Position
After due consideration, the JWN Executive Board approved the following motion at its August 20, 2013 meeting:
“The Jefferson Westside Neighbors Executive Board supports initiation of a communitybased process to recommend amendments to the Jefferson/Far West Refinement Plan designation and polices applicable to the former Naval Reserve site on West 13th Avenue.
The Executive Board reaffirms its prior direction that development of intergenerational, family-friendly, partially- or fully-subsidized housing be a priority objective.
The Executive Board firmly opposes any redesignation of the site without a community-based process to recommend plan amendments consistent with the values of the neighborhood community.”
Proposed Next Steps
On behalf of the JWN members I am respectfully requesting that City Council ask the City Manager to have Planning Division staff coordinate with the JWN Executive Board on a process to produce a recommendation for amendments to the Jefferson/Far West Refinement Plan regarding the former Naval Reserve site.
This request is consistent with the responsibility that the NORP assigns to neighborhood organizations for developing proposals for neighborhood plans. Section 2(a) states:
“With the assistance of professional staff, subject to their availability, the neighborhood organization may develop neighborhood plans and proposals with respect to land use, zoning, parks, open space and recreation, annexation, housing, community facilities, transportation and traffic, public safety, sanitation, and other activities and public services which affect their neighborhoods. “
The JWN Executive Board appreciates that City staff may not be available to serve as the lead professional staff on this project because of their current workload; so the board is prepared to engage a certified professional planner to assist community members in producing a recommendation and draft findings to be presented to the Planning Commission for their subsequent review and recommendation to City Council.
We’re prepared to kick off the process with our JWN General Meeting on September 10 and to produce a recommendation without undue delay.
I’m also respectfully requesting that that the City not proceed with redesignating or rezoning the former Naval Reserve site until there has been an adequate community process that involves the JWN organization.
Thank you for your consideration.
Stephen Heider, Chair
Jefferson Westside Neighbors Chair@jwneugene.org
CC: Jon Ruiz, City Manager
Eugene Planning Commission
Carolyn Burke, Interim Planning Director