MINUTES - JULY 29, 2005


The Joint Meeting of the Beaverton City Council and Beaverton Chamber of Commerce was called to order by Mayor Rob Drake in the City Hall First Floor Conference Room, 4755 SW Griffith Drive, Beaverton, Oregon, on Friday, July 29, 2005, at 7:50 a.m.


Present were Mayor Drake, Couns. Catherine Arnold, Betty Bode, Fred Ruby and Cathy Stanton. Coun. Dennis Doyle was excused. Also present were Chief of Staff Linda Adlard and City Recorder Sue Nelson.

Present from the Chamber of Commerce were: Chamber President Lorraine Clarno, Chair David Allen, Chamber Members Tiffany Anderson, Jean Borror, Jim McCreight, Victor Bartruff, Scott Burgess, Brian Justrom, Carol Kersley, Jayne Dahl, Don Sakai and Fred Kolins.


Downtown Redevelopment:

Mayor Drake asked the Chief of Staff to comment on downtown redevelopment projects.

Chief of Staff Linda Adlard reviewed how the Virginia Garcia Health Clinic project developed. She said the City helped the Clinic with a grant process that resulted in a federal grant of $750,000 to operate the Clinic. She said the City purchased the block on First Street and Angel Avenue and was now interviewing developers to build the project. She said the City wanted to see this developed as a three or four story building that would include multi-commercial use including the Clinic, a Pacific University ophthalmology clinic, the Asian Health Services Clinic and senior housing. She said this was a $15 million project and it would jump start revitalization in the downtown. She said the only cost to the City would be the Chief of Staff's time; any funds invested by the City would be repaid by the developer. She said the groundbreaking would be within the next year and this should result in an excellent facility that would serve the citizens for the next 20 years.

Adlard said she has worked on The Round project for nine years. She said a new developer had taken over the project and she reviewed the construction planned for the next few years.

Adlard said a six or seven-story parking garage would be built this year near the 24-Hour Fitness Building; it should be completed in December, 2005. She said a three-story commercial office building would be built between the 24-Hour Fitness building and an office building would be constructed north of the Coldwell Banker building. She said the condominiums were doing well; all but six were sold and those that were leased would be sold when the leases ended. She said an additional office building and a second parking garage would be built behind the condominiums. She said the project should be completed within three years.

Chamber Member Jim McCreight asked about the status of the power plant, at The Round, and the Westgate property.

Adlard said the City acquired the power plant to provide heating and cooling services for The Round. She said the plant could serve the Westgate and surrounding properties and would ensure an efficient and inexpensive power source for the downtown. She said this should entice developers to this area. She said the plant would provide revenue for the General Fund, which would keep City taxes low. She said the City was currently in negotiations to purchase the Westgate property. She said she expected the City would purchase the property, with Council approval, in the next 90 to 120 days. She said the advantage to the City developing this property, with a developer, was that there would be consistency in the physical appearance of the downtown. She said if the City did not purchase the land, a strip mall could develop there. She said she expected any developer who developed that property would reimburse the City for its costs.

Mayor Drake said the City secured funding, through Metro's Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) process, to purchase the right-of-way on the Westgate theater property. He said the City also secured $2 million through JPACT for downtown redevelopment; those funds can be applied to property acquisition.

Chamber President Lorraine Clarno asked Coun. Bode to share demographic information on ethnic groups in the area.

Coun. Bode, Director of the Virginia Garcia Clinic, said they see 1300 patients a month at the Clinic and average four physicians per day. She said 79% of the patients they see have a Beaverton zip code and 70% of the Clinic's employees have the same zip code; this is a community endeavor. She said the Somalian people were new immigrants to this area and explained the problems they were experiencing because this environment is extremely different from Somalia. She said they were fortunate to find a Somalian woman to help at the Clinic.

Adlard said they were working with developers to build 25 senior housing units as part of this project. She said providing affordable housing in today's market was difficult; it cannot be built without subsidizing the project and the City cannot afford to subsidize this project. She said the benefit to having senior housing at the Clinic building, was that the seniors could use the Clinic, and there would be a federal pharmacy at the Clinic that would provide low-cost medicine. She said she hoped they could work this out.

Clarno asked if there was information available on how the corner of Griffith Drive and State Highway 8 would develop, now that Saylor's Restaurant had sold.

Mayor Drake said an application was pending for a retail development. He said it was an L-shaped building with parking on the inside.

Beaverton ’s Overall Image – Working Towards Enhancement:

Mayor Drake said the City was one of 30 finalists in the All America City competition. He said the City did not receive the All America City Award, but it would always carry the banner as a finalist. He thanked Clarno for attending the competition. He said Beaverton was seen as a community that was in good shape and worked to maintain a high level of citizen involvement.

Clarno spoke regarding the judging process for the All America City Award. She was complimentary of the process and the other competing communities who had to overcome unbelievable natural human disasters. She said judges commented that Beaverton was an amazing community that was doing things right. She said if the City ever competed in this again, she hoped the Chamber would be more involved. She said it was an amazing experience.

Mayor Drake said the competition would be held in Anaheim next year. He said some of the cities brought as many as 200 people; one Florida city who was in the finalists this year and last year brought over 100 people but did not place in the top ten.

Coun. Stanton asked how many people went from Beaverton.

Mayor Drake replied that the Beaverton delegation numbered twelve; he commented he did not want to bring a large group due to the cost and it did not fit in with how the City conducted business. He said the winner only brought a few people. He said the competition was intense and those who brought a large entourage did not fare any better than those with a small group.

Clarno suggested the Chamber and Council could work together and discuss ways to utilize this finalist position to improve the City's image, energy and pride.

Chamber Member Carol Kersley asked, with exception of overcoming natural disasters, what the other finalists did that the City did not.

Mayor Drake reviewed the application process. He said the cities had to present three programs that promoted community problem solving and public/private problem partnerships. He said Beaverton's projects were the Christina's Smile Dental Program, the Business Incubator and the Virginia Garcia Clinic. He said all three were public/private partnerships and if the City applied next year, it could not use these projects again. He said the competition had a downtown redevelopment theme and it appeared to be communities that were struggling either economically or through natural disasters. He said he sensed there was great deal of grass roots problem solving, but he was not sure the people they brought were the ones who actually did the work. He said the projects centered on partnerships.

Planning and Building Permit Process:

Mayor Drake said a management audit of the Community Development was done four years ago. He said the party who performed the audit made several recommendations that were prioritized as A, B and C; the A recommendations had top priority. He said the City worked on process improvement based on these recommendations and over the past three years the City was tracking customer service for all of its departments. He distributed a citizen comment card that citizens are encouraged to fill out whenever they conduct business with the City. He said the citizens rate the quality of the service they receive. He said he reads each card he receives and if there is a problem, he contacts the citizen and works with the department head to try to resolve the issue.

Mayor Drake said he had received many comments about Community Development. He reviewed the challenges encountered in trying to balance building and development regulations with what developers, owners or consultants want to do with their projects. He distributed a copy of a Summary of Ongoing Customer Service Ratings done on the Building Department from 2001 to 2004. He noted the majority of the ratings were good. He encouraged everyone to work with the department staff or department head, if problems occur. He said if they worked with the department head and still were not satisfied, they should contact him.

McCreight asked the status on the review of the revised flood plain maps.

Mayor Drake said the maps were accepted and the process completed. He said while there was some room for interpretation, the maps were pretty tight. He said the regulations were tighter because they were promoting clean water, and saving and promoting natural habitat. He said the difficult part for developers were the layers of government agencies they need to work with on their projects (City, Clean Water Services, State and US Corps of Engineers). He said he was always open to suggestions for improvement of City processes. He said if he could revise the process, he would make the review a single process handled by one local agency.

 Other Topics:

Kersley asked if the City was recruiting businesses to locate in Beaverton.

Mayor Drake said the City's Economic Development Manager Janet Young was in contact with the Oregon Economic Community Development Department (OECDD). He said in addition the State Regional Representative for the Economic Community Development Department now had an office in City Hall. He said this helps in working with the Governor's Office and it provides opportunities for additional grants and potential business development. He said Ms. Young worked well with local and prospective businesses, she always looks out for the interests of the client and she is a great problem solver. He said he and City staff have talked with a number of businesses and continue to do so. He said he enjoyed doing this.

Adlard said two companies, one from Germany, have made their home at the Incubator. She said the first company that went into the Incubator relocated from the West Coast. She said one of the big issues in attracting companies was that the City did not have industrial land. She said there were no 40-to-50 acre parcels to offer in Beaverton. She said that was when the companies go to Hillsboro. She said redevelopment would be Beaverton's future, where smaller parcels are put together to form one large parcel for redevelopment. She said this was the direction the City was headed.

Chamber Member Jayne Dahl asked about redevelopment of the Home Base site.

Mayor Drake said he understood Kohls would soon submit plans for remodeling or rebuilding that facility. He said he was pleased with this potential project.

Kersley asked about the Walmart development proposal.

Mayor Drake said the City had a pending application at Highway 26 and Cedar Hills Boulevard, so comments would be generic. He said the Peterkort family owned that property and his understanding was that they would be leasing that property, not selling it. He said beyond that, the application had not yet been deemed complete and it probably would not be until at least September. He said that was a significant development with significant impacts and the Peterkort's asked the County to process it; the County chose not to do it. He said from his and the Council's perspective, they were staying neutral; this project is in the City and it is an application.

Coun. Arnold explained there was a big difference between the County and City's planning review process and gave a few details on the difference between the two.

McCreight asked about funding from the State and how the City fared this last year.

Mayor Drake said the City carefully watched the State Shared Revenue that comes from alcohol and tobacco taxes. He said it seemed to be solid and in good shape; he said the revenue sharing funds provided two million dollars and it would have a significant impact if the City lost those funds. He said there did not seem to be a major threat to grant funding. He said there was pending legislation regarding exempting key industrial properties from future annexation. He said the vertical housing tax credits were expanded and renewed, which was good for the City and potential development projects. He said housing funds were not threatened.

Adlard said the housing funds were not increased which includes affordable housing projects.

Coun. Stanton said the federal-level funding picture was different. She said this included Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) funds, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds, Housing & Urban Development (HUD) funds and Highway Administration funds. She said those funds were in jeopardy for a variety of reasons. She reviewed how federal government administration had changed funding resources. She said federal funding was a major concern.

Clarno asked for an update on the commuter rail

Mayor Drake said the $35 million funds pledged by the Legislature needs to be renewed this session. He said next Tuesday Senator Smith would hold a press conference to announce that $15 million in federal funds were allocated to continue commuter rail and they were almost ready to grandfather commuter rail so that the new requirements threatening funding for the commuter rail project would not apply. He complimented the delegation on this project and Senator Smith for their good work on this matter.

Coun. Bode said regarding economic development, the best form of economic development was education and health care for the work force. She said the two needs in these areas were language skills and basic work skills. She said she wanted to see investment in education to ensure people get the education and health care they need without having to travel long distances to get it. She said she did not want to look back in ten years and see that the unemployment sector had grown because of a lack of training and communication skills. She said that gap had to be closed.

Coun. Stanton said health care was an economic development issue because a healthy work force contributes to the economic stability of the community.

Coun. Stanton referred to the service goal rankings on the cards the Mayor distributed. She said the B ratings meant someone did not get what they wanted, the minute they wanted it. She said she just wanted to say it was not bad to get a B.

Chamber Member Victor Bartruff said the City was making progress and improving in customer service. He said there were still some people who did not want to come to the City because of past history and poor experience. He said while things were improving, there was still baggage to overcome.

Mayor Drake said he felt that was a fair statement. He said you need to know where one has come from to measure today. He said the City was working to improve but some cases were difficult.

Clarno thanked the Mayor and Council for this opportunity to meet and discuss issues together. She said she hoped it could happen annually.


There being no further business to come before the Council at this time, the meeting was adjourned at 9:25 a.m.

Sue Nelson, City Recorder




Approved this 15th day of August, 2005.

Rob Drake, Mayor