In June, the Chehalem Park and Recreation District (CPRD) considered a proposed SDC methodology update that would increase their existing parks system development charge (SDC) from $2,017 per single family home to $13,459. CPRD maintains that they followed the legal requirements contained in the Oregon Revised Statute that requires all interested parties be notified 90 days prior to any action taken on the proposal and that the methodology be made public 60 days before any action is to be taken. The HBA of Metropolitan Portland was only made aware of the update by a third party two weeks prior to the hearing. Additionally, the only prior public hearing held on this update, where the hired consultant presented the new methodology to the board, was attended by no other parties.
After hearing testimony from an array of interested parties, including HBA builders, engineers and developers, Chehalem Park and Recreation District agreed to delay a decision on the updated system development charge methodology to allow for the full board to be present during the vote – as the board president was unable to attend the meeting. Despite a unified request from all parties present for the formation of a stakeholder group and clarification of the methodology report to determine the right level of service and corresponding system development charge, they did not direct staff to convene such a group.
Put into jeopardy by the substantial fee increase is an upcoming sale of land which would allow the revitalization of the Spring Brook Master Plan. The successful sale of this land would provide a range of new housing in the area, including affordable, market rate homes to higher end executive homes. Representatives of the landowners were also present to convey to the Board Members that the full fee increase would make the current sale of the land for residential development no longer feasible.
The CPRD Board reconvened to further discuss the SDC increase and move forward on a decision with all members of the board present. However, the recording of the previous meeting turned out to have been compromised and only 16 minutes of the total public hearing were available. Because the board president was unable to review all of the information from the previous meeting, he was asked to recuse himself from a vote on the SDC update and did refrain from making a decision. Two proposals were then presented to the board and its members. The first proposal for the implementation of the “Adopted Level of Service” provided in the methodology update for an SDC of $7,450 per single family home. A motion was made and the proposal was deadlocked in a tie of 2 in favor and 2 opposed. The second proposal amended the previous proposal to implement the “Current Level of Service” provided in the methodology update for an SDC of $6,866 per single family home. This motion passed with a reluctant tie breaking vote of 3 in favor and 1 opposed.
The problem remains with the updated methodology of the direct impact to affordability of market rate new homes and apartment rental rates in the region. The methodology used in determining these levels of service is also still vague and it is not entirely clear if it meets the standards put forth for system development charge methodologies in Oregon Revised Statute. This new SDC took effect on July 1, 2017. HBA has been coordinating with affected stakeholders and in August, interested parties filed a writ of review. This writ of review was granted and CPRD now has 30 days to respond. HBA will continue to update members as the process unfolds.