Portland City Council to hold first work session on West Hayden Island annexation

A work session has been set for Thursday, October 10, 2013 from 2:30 – 4 p.m. at Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Council Chambers to discuss the plan. The work session is open to the public but no public testimony will be taken.

In July, the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission voted (7-3) in favor of annexing West Hayden Island into the City of Portland, signaling their support of a mix of uses for this important regional asset. Over the past several months, Port staff has reviewed the proposal and continued working with City staff on specific zoning to enable future job creation on the site.

It is still the Port’s hope, as it has been all along, to be able to market 300 acres of the property for future development, while setting aside 500 acres for habitat restoration and recreation purposes. This will provide the City with new recreation and habitat resources while creating opportunities to retain and expand maritime trade capabilities and grow living wage jobs in our region.

As outlined in a letter sent to Mayor Hales yesterday, at $12 per square foot, the current proposal is nearly double the current market value of industrial land in our region. Further, the recommendations do not provide a zoning scheme which gives any assurance that the property could actually be developed once it is annexed.

The Port believes that West Hayden Island provides the City with an opportunity to capitalize on investments in the Columbia River channel, sustain a robust maritime trade business, grow jobs and bolster Portland’s export strengths— all while meeting the city’s need/requirements for industrial land and providing its citizens with the largest single open space in North Portland – comparable in size to Powell Butte, or Washington Park, the zoo and Hoyt Arboretum combined.

To that end, the Port has proposed a mitigation package that addresses reasonable City mitigation requirements over and above state and federal requirements, as long as they are proportional to the impact from development. Careful analysis has determined that the maximum site prep and mitigation cost for a viable marine terminal should be $8.50 per square foot (totaling $43 million in mitigation funds) plus grant funding for improvements to N. Hayden Drive and recreational trails. This is a far more balanced and financially possible development package and could be achieved by modifying the PSC’s proposal.

Related Link:
West Hayden Island