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Opponents to Santa Clara land swap craft survey.

Byline: CITY BEAT/EUGENE By Edward Russo The Register-Guard

The opinion of Santa Clara residents is much in demand these days, especially when it comes to the proposed park and housing development on the city's northern edge.

Residents opposed to the city's proposed land swap with developers Norman and Melvin McDougal are running an advertisement in The Register-Guard this week, asking what their neighbors think of the plan for a 77-acre park and 125-acre housing and commercial development near Irvington Road and Northwest Expressway.

Among other concerns, opponents fear the new park and housing development would cause traffic congestion and clog already-crowded schools.

City officials last year gave an early endorsement of the proposed deal with the McDougal brothers. In return for being allowed to develop what is now farmland outside Santa Clara, the McDougals would give the city the 77 acres for the park. The proposed pact also involves the city acquiring and gaining easements to a total of 130 acres of McDougal-owned forested land in Laurel Hill Valley, near 30th Avenue, in southeast Eugene, that the city would use to expand the Ridgeline trails system.

The city, meanwhile, is planning to conduct an opinion survey of Santa Clara residents sometime in the next several weeks.

Besides running the newspaper ad that includes a fill-out-and-return survey form, land swap opponent Ken Hamacher said his group will distribute the survey form as fliers throughout the city..

By getting their survey out first, residents "want to mitigate" the city's ability to influence opinions, he said.

"The survey will obviously not be statistically valid, and our intention is not to challenge the city's survey," Hamacher said. "Rather, we hope the result of the survey demonstrates a sense of community that reinforces the opinion that the city's current proposal is neither the best nor the only option available."

Not all parks in Santa Clara are controversial, however.

City officials are pressing ahead with plans for a smaller park in the Irvington Road area. Santa Clara residents are invited to preview the draft design of Filbert Park, off Naismith Boulevard, north of Irvington Road, at 6:30 p.m., Tuesday at Spring Creek Elementary School.

`Sustainable businesses'

One of Mayor Kitty Piercy's priorities is to encourage the development of "sustainable businesses."

But sustainable business is one of those phrases that by itself doesn't mean much. So, how does Piercy define it?

She says sustainable businesses are those that treat the environment and employees well, while allowing their owners to profit.

"I am looking at it through what is commonly kind of called the triple, bottom-line vision," she said in a meeting with small business owners last week. "I believe that we have to take care of our our natural capital, our air, our water," and other natural resources, "and we have to take care of our human capital, our health care, our education and wages. And we should be able to make a profit while we are doing it."

Volunteers needed

The Eugene Police Department is looking for volunteers to help the public at the four neighborhood police substations: Whiteaker, City Center, West University and Bethel.

Volunteers staff the storefront offices on weekdays, answering phones and handling walk-in inquiries. Applicants must be at least 16 years old and be able to commit to one four-hour shift a week for at least three months.

Basic computer skills are required at all substations except Whiteaker.

Applicants who speak Spanish will be given preference at the Bethel and Whiteaker stations.

Police also are seeking volunteers to staff a new telephone information line. Volunteers will work from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. They also will perform office duties, such as typing and filing. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and willing to work a minimum of two four-hour shifts weekly.

Call Volunteers in Policing program coordinator Carrie Chouinard at 682-5355. Edward Russo can be reached at 338-2359 or
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Title Annotation:Government
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jan 23, 2005
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