The key points are:
1) The City pays JR Partners $2.56 million.
2) JR Partners completes the Master Plan over the next three months, working with the City.
3) JR Partners hands over ownership of the Master Plan to the City.
4) The MOU is no longer in force and there is no longer a Master Developer relationship, specifically including Section 11.5 and it's prohibition of the City working with other parties for six months after the new UGB, including some JR land, is finalized and in force.
In interviews, Mayor Abernethy stated this would finally allow the City to move forward, both with JR and with the Cooley/97 interchange. One huge sticking point to the interchange issue is that ODOT may only allow an additional 1500 trips, not the 3000 expected, stating that it believes that 1500 would be needed for additional neighborhood development in any case. This would increase the cost of a trip to over $25,000, if indeed it provided enough leeway for much further development at all. The City wants to sell these trips to adjacent businesses to help pay for the interchange, and even 3000 doesn't provide a lot of leeway for both sales and JR development.
The Mayor also stated that informal discussion among the staff may lead to eomployment development being scaled up by 100 acres or so overall, and maybe more if we yell and scream loud enough at the public input meetings that will be held. The Mayor provided the following quote via e-mail:
"I believe that we will change the mix between light industrial and residential and informal discussion among staff is to recommend 100 acres additional employment land. The final amount will obviously be decided after we have had a chance to listen to the public. I will say that there is no interest on the part of the Council to return to any plan that has all 1,500 acres designated as industrial."
The Council still strongly believes in the neighborhood center concept (including a water feature) with employment to the west. This would put industry on the Hwy 97 side, both within and outside of JR, with a neighborhood center or two on the canal side, with room for a university as well. I told him that the huge jump in residential acreage in the Master Plan, which we obviously don't need with all the empty housing in the City since we have been so overbuilt in the recent past, was what people were upset about, that they wanted family-wage jobs, not housing, and we were going to yell and scream about it some more, which he seemed resigned to. The Council's concept is the overriding thing it seems.
I plan to keep pushing towards a further move towards the OTAK 2005 concept plan, as seen on page 50 of the May 2, 2007 update. This had only 8-10% housing, 150 acres max. Here is that page, showing the OTAK "2005 Concept", the original industrial concept, and the current Kuratek Concept:
When you review this plan, which set off such a row almost 10 months ago now, it is amazing how many pages are devoted to the different types of housing for land that was to be used for a public purpose, which everyone at the time thought referred to jobs. Someone needs to do a housing count, just how many are empty, how many have been on the market and not sold and are now rented, how many subdivisions have how many empty lots. I think the count within a mile of me, around Silverlake and Reed Market, is probaly north of a 100. And heading out Reed Market and along 15th or 27th you can see many, many more, in subdivisions planned, started, or almost finished. Of course, adding even more housing to this overabundance will tend to bring the median price back to 4X average household income, under $200,000, even quicker.
One just wishes the overall concept paid more attention too all that empty, soon to be foreclosed Siberian Tract Housing on the east side, which could house employees while providing worker access to JR without using 97. I always thought that JR was supposed to be a Silicon Valley type addition to the City as a whole rather than its own cute self-contained Light Industrial/R&D Celebration type of town. But the Mayor guaranteed that the public will get several chances to input it feelings, although there most likely would not be a Public Advisory Board as the County suggested in their January working meeting together. The County repeatedly emphasized the importance of listening to and acting in response to public input in this meeting.
Mayor Abernethy also said that the City will not get the invoices for the work but will or had received other documentation of costs, which I will continue to pursue although it is a moot point with the cancellation of the MOU, but at least we will get an idea of what it actually cost JR Partners. If one wants to place blame for this fiasco of an agreement, it would be good to start with the signatories: Andy Anderson for the City and John Russell, head of the Department of Economic Development, for Bend Urban Renewal Agency.
The Mayor stated that he believes that there were four good things to come out of the decision to settle(thus breaking my rule of the strenght of three's) and was starting to go through them with me when he was called back into the Council meeting. He updated and clarified some statements via e-mail, including enumerating these points as such:
"Positive aspects of settlement vs. under the current MOU and stalemate in negotiations:
1. It enables us to develop and have ownership of a master plan for Juniper Ridge within the next 90 days. This timeline was undetermined and out of our control and we would not have ownership of the master plan if we simply terminated negotiations.
2. Having a master plan in place enables us to move forward on planning for the first 300 acres of Juniper Ridge. As per the MOU, we could not negotiate with anyone other than JRP until 6 months after the UGB expansion. This had the effect of tying our hands even on the 500 acres that was already inside the UGB!
3. Having a master plan in place will enable us to determine the trips generated by various forms of development in Juniper Ridge. This will be critical in helping us determine cost allocations to help pay for the Hwy 97/Cooley Road improvements.
4. It enables us to move forward without fear of a lawsuit by JRP. This was a risk that the City faced."
Additionally, I spoke with Sonia, asking her specifically about property tax receipts. She said that so far it look like the deliquency rate is about the same as the last few years, only 6%, and that we would know for sure in 10-14 days when the Budget Detail for January is finished. She is going to send me a copy and then we will have a meeting talking about expected shortfalls and cutbacks. We may yet survice this slowdown, although it will take severe belt-tightening. The $2.56 million going out is not going to help, because even though it is in the "assumed" costs (as the Mayor pointed out repeatedly to the media) it was not in the committed costs until last night. It was more like a contingency fund in that it was budget but wouldn't be spent unless actually needed.
Since it looks like City revenues are going to be at least $20-25 million under budget, we are going to need every dollar we can get to maintain service levels while continuing construction at JR and things like the Reed Market corridor. If month over month revenue continues to fall, we could easily be $30+ million under budget, which would be ugly. I am awaiting the budget detail for January with great interest, both for comparision with the sharp downtrend in December as well as for comparision over Jan, 2007. It will give us a better picture of what to expect going forward.