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Members of the MTCY&NPG meet with Susan McKenney from the Bureau of Development Services.

Members of the MTCY&NPG meet with Susan McKinney, Supervising Planner for the Bureau of Development Services.

I was able to participate in the meeting with the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) yesterday, September 10, to discuss whether or not the construction of a new maintenance yard and nursery is “accessory” or “non-conforming” use.  There was much back on forth on what the different categorizations mean to this process, so my understanding is only one point of view.  This is what I got out of the conversation and the repercussions for MTCY&NPG:

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Notice of the planned sale of Mt. Tabor land came to me in several different ways. In August of 2006, when Warner Pacific announced in their newsletter that they had signed a memorandum of understanding with the City to explore the purchase of the yard, I was President of the South Tabor Neighborhood Association (STNA). The college contacted me to request a meeting with neighbors to discuss their campus expansion. Unfortunately, that conversation wasn’t able to take place, for reasons I will explain below. Details of the purchase weren’t shared with me, and campus expansion plans were kept broad. Conversations were limited to a handful of phone calls and emails, but were always pleasant, and the college seemed genuinely interested in meeting with neighbors to win their approval and map out the future.

Shortly after the college contacted me, murmurs of discontent over its agreement with the City emanated from community members. Emails, phone calls and listserv postings questioning the integrity of the deal reached me, and neighbors seemed genuinely frantic that they were being purposely shut out of the process. For the most part, however, my South Tabor neighbors – those that live between southeast 82nd and 52nd to the east and west and S.E. Division and S.E. Powell to the north and south, were silent on the issue.

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