I think it is important to remind ourselves and our children about the man, who was Martin Luther King Jr., on this day.
The past two years I have sat down with my kids to watch the “I Have a Dream” speech on U-tube. Perhaps next year I will do my homework in advance and find an informational, kid-friendly website that showcases his accomplishments.
I know that the Oregon Historic Society had free admission today in observance of his day (his birthday).
This is a informative summary of 7 new laws taking effect January 1st. I was unaware of several of them. I am most pleased by the transportation bill that was passed this year; although we drivers will start to pay more for the gas tax, our title fee, and vehicle registration fee, we will see statewide transportation improvements. Much needed!
Here is some good basic information about the earthquake that occurred on Wednesday evening. I feel a bit disappointed and confused that my family and I didn’t even feel it!
The city council meeting this week was record long at 4.25 hours (aka till 11:45 pm). We discussed, at length, a very important land use issue: an application to develop a 1.3 acre parcel to include 4 townhouses and 8 single family homes in a single family home neighborhood off of S. Ivy and SW 6th St.
It was a three-part application, actually, and it was appealed to us by the land owner, Allen Manuel, because his application was denied by the Planning Commission previously. In the end, the council voted 5-1 to uphold the Planning Commission’s denial.
I voted against the motion to deny the 3 applications (all bundled in one) because I felt strongly that the rezoning of this parcel from low density residential to commercial residential (which could include medium density residential) was reasonable and allowable under our existing comprehensive plan. Moreover, it is one of my primary goals as a councilor to increase the availability of affordable housing (smaller lots equal less costly houses in this case). It’s a complicated land use situation and several of the neighbors gave informed and intelligent testimony on the case, as did Mr. Manuel and his attorney.
The council debated the different interpretations of the city code being expressed, and I was proud of the thoughtful questions we asked our staff and each other and how thorough we were in our effort to make a good decision. In the end, the majority believed that we would be granting an exception to the code by approving the other two applications: a conditional use permit and the subdivision permit and they weren’t comfortable with changing the zoning of that area.
I understood the perspectives of both sides. I believe we should amend our city code in the near future to prevent future lack of clarity on the topic of “lot size averaging” and existing easement guidelines. When a developer invests tens of $1000s on a property development proposal because he interprets the city code in a manner that justifies his plan, we have a big problem. He has the right to appeal his case to a higher court called the Land Use Board of Appeals if he wishes. The neighbors of that section of SW Canby went home happy late last night. I commend them for being such an organized, concerned, and informed group of citizens.
We will Light Up the Night tomorrow in downtown Canby.
The hometown parade will snake though town.
Walt Daniels will flip on the Wait Park Christmas lights.
The barbershop quartet will sing.
Santa will sit in the gazebo and talk to kids about their wishes.
‘Tis a wonderful small town tradition.
The Canby Center’s Giving Tuesday event last night was low key and enjoyable.
The guests roamed among tables that visually showcased the Center’s various programs, such as the clothing collection, Reading Mentors, and the health services offered, and ate desserts. I learned that the Reading Mentors program now includes not only Knight Elementary but the other three in-town elementary schools too. Great progress.
There are 120 students now reached and 60 active volunteers. Good stuff! I was lucky enough to win a raffle prize there: a free massage. Awesome. Thanks for everything you do, Canby Center.
Community leader Fred Kahut passed away recently.
He was a longtime business owner of Kahut Waste Services and involved in several different boards and committees over the years. He was also a Hometown Hero recipient, which is a high honor. Thank you for your service to Canby, Mr. Kahut.