ENB-10.04 - River Renaissance Vision

Non-Binding City Policies (NCP)
Policy category
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Non-Binding City Policy

WHEREAS, the Willamette River is a dynamic resource that has given shape and character to our city as a natural system, a port, a transportation corridor, a playground, a diverse urban waterfront, and a defining feature of surrounding neighborhoods and districts; and
WHEREAS, 2001 marks the 150th anniversary of the City's founding on the banks of the Willamette River; and
WHEREAS, 2005 will mark the two hundredth anniversary of the Lewis & Clark expedition's arrival in the region and the beginning of urban development in the Willamette River watershed. These anniversaries offer a reason to reflect on the future as we confront today's competing challenges of salmon recovery, hazardous wastes and sewage cleanup, evolving port needs, the pattern of growth along the river, expanding recreational use, and neighborhood access to the river; and
WHEREAS, River Renaissance encompasses the entire Willamette River watershed and its tributaries in Portland with an emphasis on the Willamette River; and

WHEREAS, a broad range of federal, state, tribal, regional and local policies, programs and regulations affect the Willamette River; and

WHEREAS, Federal level programs address clean water, endangered species, estuary management, navigational channels, transportation funding, hazardous wastes, and flood management; and

WHEREAS, State initiatives and programs address land use planning, in-water development (including the Lower Willamette River Management Plan), wastewater discharge, watershed planning, hazardous wastes, water use, highways, salmon recovery, and recreational boating. In addition, the Governor's Willamette Restoration Initiative, a collaboration with local governments and other existing groups and programs, oversees the American Heritage River Program for the Willamette River and the preparation of the Willamette Basin component of the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds; and
WHEREAS, treaty provisions with Native American tribes affect fish, wildlife, and water quality; and

WHEREAS, Metro's authority includes growth management, regional transportation, regional greenspaces, and Urban Growth Management Functional Plan Title 3 requirements that affect Portland' rivers and streams; and

WHEREAS, Multnomah County manages eight Willamette River bridges in Portland; and
WHEREAS, the Port of Portland manages Terminals 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 on the Willamette and Columbia Rivers and is in the process of updating the Marine Terminal Master Plan and has advocated for channel deepening to allow larger ships to access Port Terminals; and

WHEREAS, recognizing that coordination is essential for the success of River Renaissance, the Mayor called for the development of a River Trust to address coordination external to City government; and

WHEREAS, there is a wide variety of interrelated City initiatives, plans, policies, and programs, including Portland's Comprehensive Plan, the Willamette River Greenway Plan, the City's response to the Endangered Species Act listing, the Clean River Plan, the City's response to the Portland Harbor Superfund listing, Green Building Initiative, Parks 2020 Vision Plan, Willamette River Parks and Recreation Master Plan, the Sustainable City Principles, six river-related urban renewal districts, and other related city plans; and
WHEREAS, without a unifying framework, current City efforts related to the river and watersheds are fragmented, guided by different and sometimes conflicting policies and principles, and can be duplicative. In order to coordinate and integrate City wok so that the results are City products, each participating Bureau needs to operate in new ways; and

WHEREAS, the success of these interrelated planning and implementation efforts requires enhanced coordination of public outreach, education, and involvement strategies among City Bureaus; and
WHEREAS, the Council held a work session on May 2, 2000, to discuss river issues and directed staff through the Planning Director to develop an integrated city work program. The Planning Director has convened periodic meetings of the Bureau Director Coordination Team to share information and to resolve cross-bureau issues as needed. The Planning Director invited participation by all affected Bureaus in the development of the River Renaissance Vision. The Bureau of Planning has convened bi-weekly meetings of the eighteen member Inter-Bureau River Renaissance Team to coordinate city river-related projects and programs; and
WHEREAS, in September 2000, the City launched River Renaissance and held vision events that drew over 1,000 Portlanders. Their spirited contributions were gathered during five guided river tours, 22 classroom presentations, seven community workshops. Written comments were also received by the Bureau of Planning through the River Renaissance Web site, email, and by mail, and were integrated into the Vision released on January 26, 2001 (Exhibit A); and
WHEREAS, Portlanders have been actively encouraged through a widespread outreach campaign to consider the Vision and offer comment. These efforts, described in Exhibit B, include radio interviews, presentations to civic and community groups, discussions with many City commissions, and other meetings; and

WHEREAS, the Vision is the first of many steps that may lead to a land use action but the Vision itself is not a policy document or a land use action. It is a guide for the work ahead, a beneficial, though not required, part of a legislative project. The River Renaissance Vision is a sketch of the Willamette River as many Portlanders would like to see it in the future. The drawings and illustrations contained in the document reflect the ideas, themes, and priorities that emerged through vision workshops and events. They are not intended as specific, detailed plans; and

WHEREAS, public comment received to date indicates widespread support for the themes described in the Vision and a summary of the comments are provided in Exhibit B; and
WHEREAS, successful implementation of this Vision will require a long term public commitment to resolving policy issues and balancing priorities among the five Vision themes; a clean and healthy river; a prosperous working harbor; Portland's front yard; vibrant waterfront districts and neighborhoods; and partnerships, leadership and education; and
WHEREAS, many Willamette riverfront landowners, businesses as well as the broader development and construction industries share the City's interest in improving the conditions in and around the Willamette River, have indicated a desire to participate in formulating the implementing strategies, and recognize that economic activity and redevelopment will assist in funding key aspects of River Renaissance;
WHEREAS, the Mayor has assembled the River Renaissance Partners, an informal council of civic, business, and neighborhood leaders to consult on implementation strategies and funding resources;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that Council endorses the River Renaissance Vision (with the modifications provided in Exhibit C) as a call to action for the entire community its individuals, neighborhoods, businesses, governments, and institutions; as a foundation for continuing river-related activities in the City; and as a general guide for creating and integrating future plans and actions; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council declares that River Renaissance is an "umbrella" of river-related initiatives that encompasses the following city activities:
  • Willamette River Greenway Plan,
  • The City's response to the Endangered Species Act listing,
  • The Clean River Plan,
  • The City's response to the Portland Harbor Superfund listing,
  • Environmental Zone Update,
  • Parks 2020 Vision Plan,
  • The Willamette River Parks and Recreation Master Plan
  • Willamette River and tributary watershed planning,
  • River-related urban renewal activities,
  • Green Building Initiative,
  • Ross Island acquisition and restoration; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council may direct and fund other efforts to integrate future City and public-private initiatives related to the river; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council directs the City, under the overall guidance of the Bureau Director Coordination Team chaired by the Planning Director, to engage in a broad public discussion of the issues and priorities reflected in the vision themes that will lead to draft Comprehensive Plan goals and policies to provide the underpinning for future planning and implementation; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council directs the Bureau Director Coordination Team to work with Council to develop integrated (or, at a minimum, coordinated) work plans to ensure that the City is working in an efficient, effective and complementary manner and provide a general framework for the evaluation of Capital Improvement Projects, before the FY 2002-03 CIP cycle, that is consistent with River Renaissance; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council directs the Inter-Bureau River Renaissance Team to work with City public involvement staff and other inter-bureau teams to develop a comprehensive public involvement strategy for interrelated river plans and programs; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council directs the Bureau of Planning to coordinate revisions to the Willamette River Greenway Plan through the Inter-Bureau River Renaissance Team; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the revisions to the Willamette River Greenway Plan include regulations, guidelines, incentives, acquisition and mitigation strategies, stewardship, partnerships, and other strategies and actions that consider the research and planning undertaken by other River Renaissance or related projects within all bureaus and entities, and public discussions, as appropriate; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Council directs the Bureau Director Coordination Team through the Planning Director to provide quarterly River Renaissance progress reports to the Council.

Resolution No. 35978 adopted by Council March 21, 2001.
Filed for inclusion in PPD September 24, 2004.

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