Lane builders group opposes parks bond.Byline: Edward Edward
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With the election less than a month away, one of Eugene's two feel-good bond measures has come under attack from a well-known opponent.
The Home Builders Association of Lane County on Tuesday declared that it opposes the city's $27.5 million parks bond measure.
The group criticized Ballot Measure 20-110 because it would generate money to buy parkland, but not provide money to build parks. And the industry group worries the city acquisitions will cut the amount of land available to build new houses.
"We would like to see a more balanced proposal, where land acquisition, recreation and open space are given more equal footing," said Roxie Cuellar, director of government affairs for the Home Builders. "We also would like to see more public involvement in what's going to be purchased with the bond money."
The Home Builders' arguments touch a political nerve in Eugene because they are connected to land use and growth, topics on which residents can sharply differ.
One slow-growth advocate called the builders group's opposition self serving. Two city councilors on Tuesday disagreed on whether the Home Builders' position will have much clout with voters.
The parks bond measure joins Measure 20-111, a library levy renewal, on the Nov. 7 ballot of Eugene voters. No organized opponents have surfaced to the library proposal.
The parks measure would use nearly $20 million to acquire land for parks and open space.
Most of the remaining bond measure proceeds would be used to add artificial turf Artificial turf, or synthetic turf, is a grass-like man-made surface manufactured from synthetic materials. It is most often used in arenas for sports that were originally or are normally played on grass, however, it is now being used on residential lawns and commercial at athletic fields and build a West Eugene Wetlands education center.
Cuellar said the bond issue would need to be followed by other parks bond measures, otherwise the city could not develop parks in the future.
"Should this measure pass, a third park bond measure is planned in five or six years, with a fourth to follow," she said.
Johnny Medlin, director of Eugene's Parks and Open Space Division, said that "it's anybody's guess," but that it's unlikely the city will ask voters to approve another parks bond issue in five or six years.
It's been eight years since the last parks bond measure, Medlin said, so "I would be surprised if we had another one earlier than eight to 10 years in the future."
A 20-year parks plan developed with the help of many residents inspired the proposed bond measure, Medlin said.
But Cuellar said the City Council made the ballot proposal acquisition-heavy. It took lobbying from residents to prompt the council to add money for the artificial turf athletic fields, she said.
Cuellar also said the Home Builders fear that city parks purchases will cut the residential land supply that contractors need to build new homes. "We have had that concern from day one," she said.
Liz Cawood, chairwoman of the bond measure campaign, said she understands the Home Builders' frustrations about the land supply.
Eugene residents "have not been able to come to consensus about the buildable build·a·ble
Suitable or available for building: "The problem was finding a site that was well located, appropriately zoned . . . and buildable" Sam Hall Kaplan. land supply, so that has begun to impact other things," such as parks bond measures, Cawood said.
But Cawood said she thinks most voters will support the bond measure because "there is a legacy of stewardship stewardship
the occupation of being a steward or custodian. Referring to animals it implies the caring sort of relationship based on an acceptance of the need to include the rights of animals in overall plans to maintain financial viability. in our community."
The Home Builders waited until late in the campaign to voice their opposition, disclosing it in an opinion piece by Cuellar published in Tuesday's Register-Guard.
The group did not write an argument against the measure for the city's Voters Pamphlet pamphlet, short unbound or paper-bound book of from 64 to 96 pages. The pamphlet gained popularity as an instrument of religious or political controversy, giving the author and reader full benefit of freedom of the press. , which is to be mailed out next week.
The Home Builders will not buy ads to oppose the measure, Cuellar said.
Council President Jennifer Solomon said the Home Builders can influence an election.
"Their membership is large and growing, and they represent working families in our communities," she said.
Solomon, who represents the Bethel-Danebo area in Ward 6, said the group has "raised valid issues that voters should consider," namely whether the city should expand its urban growth boundary "UGB" redirects here. UGB may also refer to Unión de Guerreros Blancos (White Warriors' Union), a death squad founded to repress leftist elements in El Salvador.
An urban growth boundary, or UGB to provide more buildable land.
"Voters must recognize that creating more park space may ultimately necessitate ne·ces·si·tate
tr.v. ne·ces·si·tat·ed, ne·ces·si·tat·ing, ne·ces·si·tates
1. To make necessary or unavoidable.
2. To require or compel. an extension of the urban growth boundary," she said.
"You could call that an unintended consequence For the 1996 novel by John Ross, see .
Unintended consequences are situations where an action results in an outcome that is not (or not only) what is intended. The unintended results may be foreseen or unforeseen, but they should be the logical or likely results of the , but, in my opinion, expanding the UGB UGB Urban Growth Boundary
UGB Unternehmensgesetzbuch (Austrian Commercial Code)
UGB Unguided Bomb (gaming)
UGB Underground Building isn't a bad thing. And perhaps passage of this measure may just get the conversation going."
Kevin Matthews Kevin Matthews is a Midwest-based radio personality, best known for his 12-year association with the Loop and its onetime sister-station, AM1000. Matthews became popular for his off-kilter take on various topics. , president of the slow-growth group Friends of Eugene and a bond measure supporter, said the Home Builders' real worry is that if the city acquires more parkland, then builders someday some·day
At an indefinite time in the future.
Usage Note: The adverbs someday and sometime express future time indefinitely: We'll succeed someday. Come sometime. will have to pay more in city impact fees to develop parks.
`Roxie should come clean and admit the bottom line reason the (Home Builders Association) is against the current parks bond measure,' he said. "It's a very simple, very self-interested formula."
But Cuellar said the impact fees charged by the city to all developers "are going up no matter what."
Meanwhile, City Councilor coun·cil·or also coun·cil·lor
A member of a council, as one convened to advise a governor. See Usage Note at council.
coun Betty Taylor said she disagrees with Home Builders' criticism that the bond measure's emphasis on land acquisition is flawed flaw 1
1. An imperfection, often concealed, that impairs soundness: a flaw in the crystal that caused it to shatter. See Synonyms at blemish.
Taylor said development and rising real estate prices will make it more difficult for the city to acquire land in the future.
`The land won't wait for us; the maintenance (of existing parks) will,' she said.
Taylor, who represents south Eugene neighborhoods in Ward 2, said she did not think the Home Builders' opposition will cause the bond measure to fail.
"People care more about parks than they do about saving land for more houses," she said.