Greenway Guardians NEWS & EVENTS

August 7, 2018

Just because you can
DOESN'T MEAN IT's righT

Did former Oregon Governors, Tom McCall and Bob Straub, use their political skills and capital on crafting the Willamette River Greenway so that out-of-state, pave-and-run developers could profit at the expense of our community’s values?

 

SAVE IT, DON’T PAVE IT! – before it’s too late for the River and Garden District and the Willamette River Greenway values.


The proposed Lombard apartment complex may or may not be legal, but it clearly is not right! The historic River Road neighborhood – known as the River and Garden District- is a community gem.

 

Class 1 soils and our precious Willamette River Greenway are at the heart and soul of the River Road neighborhood. Lacking context-sensitive design, incorporating enormous scale, and paving fertile soil that provides important filtration for underground aquifers flowing to the river, the proposed Lombard apartment complex would be a disastrous choice.

Created by two Oregon Governors, the Willamette Greenway was established to protect this treasured resource for all generations. It was not established for out-of-state pave-and-run developers to profit at the expense of our community values and treasured resources.

 

Save it, don’t pave it! – before it’s too late!

July 28, 2018

PUBLIC LAND, PUBLIC PROCESS!

We need a public process for the public property that is the site of the ridiculously misguided Lombard proposal. Public land for private profits is inappropriate along our cherished Willamette River Greenway!
 

This egregiously inappropriate development proposal
violates 4 of the 7 Pillars of
Envision Eugene,
our communities premiere planning document.

When considering the public-safety-related / auto traffic / pedestrian/ bicycle / property condemnation issues that the out-of-state developer hopes the local taxpayer will get stuck paying for, here are some good traffic terms to know:

Ingress means the way in. Egress means the way out.

 

As Evergreen Housing tries to gain massive ingress in our community, we need to help Homes For Good egress this sale agreement and add this valuable open space to our treasured Willamette Greenway!

 

Pave-and-run developers who propose projects that likely involve property condemnation hope elected officials will approve eminent domain for condemnation. 

 

PUBLIC LAND FOR PRIVATE PROFIT?

The proposed private Lombard apartment complex is an inappropriate use of public land along our cherished Willamette River Greenway. It violates 4 of the 7 Pillars of Envision Eugene (the premier community planning document).

The proposed project:

  • would NOT provide affordable housing to all income levels

  • would NOT protect neighborhood livability

  • would NOT protect natural resources

  • would NOT provide for collaborative implementation

 

A collaborative public process for public land could utilize the Pillars of Envision Eugene and protect community values while achieving community goals.
 

The proposed market-rate (expensive) Lombard apartment complex is a shoddy scheme from out-of-state developers, who are . . .
Agents of BS: BUILD & SELL!

Spotted along the bike path

July 16, 2018

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

We hear a steady drone that we have a housing crisis in our community. THIS IS NOT ACCURATE. We only have a shortage of affordable housing. We also have a surplus of market-rate apartments! "Affordable” (lower-income) is not the same as market-rate (expensive) housing.
 

LAND-BANKED AND PURCHASED FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Two decades ago, HACSA (Housing And Community Services Agency, now “Homes for Good”) purchased the proposed Lombard apartment site in order to build affordable housing. But now Jacob Fox, current director of Homes for Good, is opening the door to pave-and-run developers by negotiating the sale of this public land to private interests instead.

 

Evergreen Housing Development Group, an out-of-state developer, is poised to purchase the land and put up an oversized and blighty apartment complex right along one of the most beautiful and beloved sections of our parkland Greenway. 


EVERGREEN DEVELOPMENT HAS POOR TRACK RECORD
Back in 2012, the Evergreen Housing Development Group from Seattle built a 192 unit complex in the River Road neighborhood of Eugene. Called ECCO, it opened for tenants in 2014 and has since been unable to stay filled. Residents report shoddy workmanship and many units go unrented. Not even a couple years in, Evergreen sold the apartments for a tidy $14 million profit and left us with a poorly constructed and unpopular building on our hands.

 

Eugene’s Jacob Fox and Homes For Good are teaming up with this very same out-of-state developer to impose another unsuccessful project on the city, allowing Evergreen to pave over 3 acres of green space at the end of Lombard Lane, repeating an ECCO-type disaster with their usual strategy: 

1) build shoddy 
2) sell for a massive profit 
3) move on to the next capital venture.

WHAT HAPPENED TO THE AFFORDABLE, LOW-INCOME PLAN?

In an August 2016 article, The Register Guard reported that the ECCO project was “built by private developers using federal assistance to create government-subsized housing for lower-income families.”​

But the reality at ECCO is, there are no low-income opportunities. Today the ECCO web site boasts of LUXURY APARTMENTS. "We are a traditional apartment community,” says the new manager, “with no low-income options here.”

The Lombard building will be more of the same, and would leave our community with expensive problems and expensive housing we don’t need. Meanwhile, 62% of our community spends more than 1/3 of their income on housing. We can do better!

June 27, 2018

The time has come to send public comment about the Lombard Apartments development proposal along the West Bank Greenway.

Please also take a minute or two to send the following cut-and-paste message (or write one of your own) to the Hearings Official, as follows:
--------------------------------------------

To: rodney.t.bohner@ci.eugene.or.us
Subject: Submission to Hearings Official for Lombard proposal

 

Dear Hearings Official,

The 94-unit Lombard Apartment proposal should be denied:
    *It is incompatible with state Goal 15 (Willamette River Greenway).
    *It is inconsistent with street connectivity standards Eugene Code 7.4200 (1)(c), including the proposed access to/from River Road.
    *It is lacking compliance with "clear & objective" standards of the Eugene Code as evidenced by the applicant's numerous requests for adjustments.

 

Public lands need public process! 
--------------------------------------------

Thank you for supporting West Bank green spaces. 

May 28, 2018

Elm Street? No...
Nightmare on River Road!

Once a 2-lane country road, River Road was widened to a 5-lane high-speed thoroughfare, spewing large amounts of traffic onto it. The middle (suicide) lane is dangerous all along River Road. Adding excessive amounts of new traffic from an over-sized Lombard apartment complex would be a public safety disaster endangering pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists.

Ignoring the safety concerns at the pedestrian crossing at Fir Lane & River Road is irresponsible and should be illegal.

Pave-and-run developer, Evergreen Housing, would be leaving our community with costly consequences, both to life and limb as well as to our public pocket book. In addition, there would be costly consequences to private property owners on Lombard & Fir Lanes due to condemnation & eminent domain for street-widening.

Local officials have the opportunity to prevent this catastrophe!

May 20, 2018

They Want to Pave Paradise
and put up a Parking Lot!?

Evergreen Housing is proposing a 94 unit, 3-story, market-rate (expensive) Lombard Apartment complex with 128 parking spaces on precious Willamette Greenway open space.

This out-of-state, pave-and-run developer already has a poor track record of expensive housing in our community with more obscenely profitable schemes on the drawing board. ECCO apartments (River Road and Hatton Ave.) was built by Evergreen Housing for $17 million and sold to out-of-state investors for $31 million!

The shoddy ECCO complex has left a multitude of disgruntled neighbors with broken promises. Meanwhile, local officials are spending resources on creating solutions to preventable problems, leaving Evergreen Housing free to continue with their greedy plans while disregarding potential benefits to our local economy.

Although ECCO was built on private land, the proposed Lombard complex is public land. Public land deserves public process, but Homes for Good (formerly HACSA) is in the process of negotiating a sale of the land to Evergreen Housing to generate funds for a new palatial headquarters. A simple solution that creates a golden opportunity for our community: Jacob Fox, director of Homes for Good, sells the public land to our Parks & Open Space to add to the Willamette Greenway and initiate a public visioning/planning process.