Tiny Homes can build equity and provide very affordable places to live. by Pat Farr

Thursday, July 9th, 2015

I will be speaking at Eugene’s City Club tomorrow about a promising new (for our area) concept in affordable housing.

This example of a tiny home shows that they can look dignified and fit into any neighborhood...

This example of a tiny home shows that they can look dignified and fit into any neighborhood…This example does not represent designs being considered for EVE…its homes will be on foundations as opposed to wheels…

Dubbed “Emerald Village Eugene” (EVE), this project will provide permanent housing ranging from 120 to 250 square feet for small households of one to three individuals. The monthly payment, including all utilities and fees, is projected to be in the range of $225 to $275/month. Unlike most affordable housing projects, however, the residents will not be renters. Instead, they will be members of a housing cooperative that owns the facilities.

The panel of speakers includes (sic): Speakers: Pat Farr, County Commissioner and member of the Poverty and Homelessness Board of Lane County; Andy Heben, Project Director, SquareOne Villages, and author of Tent City Urbanism; and Dan Hill, co-founder, Arbor South Architecture, and Past President, Lane County Home Builders.  Go here for more information.

 

Thanks for the spark, Jack Roberts. by Pat Farr

Monday, May 25th, 2015

 

I was watching the 1994 elections very closely.  A County Commissioner who had been instrumental in helping Jerry’s Home Improvement Center with a tiny urban growth boundary change that allowed us to build our first large store in West Eugene was running for State Labor Commissioner.

Jack Roberts, previously Lane County Commissioner and then Oregon Labor Commissioner  was an effective Director for Lane Metro Partnership

Jack Roberts, previously Lane County Commissioner and then Oregon Labor Commissioner was an effective Director for Lane Metro Partnership.  He now serves as head of the Oregon Lottery Commission

Jack Roberts had made the arguments, in a joint meeting with the Eugene City Council, that it was good for local business and the economy to make the adjustment.  It happened.

Not long after the newly approved Jerry’s Store was opened Debi Farr talked me into running for the Bethel School Board.  I won.  It was right after that victory that I watched Jack Robert’s great victory in his bid for Labor Commissioner.

When Roberts was elected, the balance of the County Commissioners selected my City Councilor, Bobby Green, to replace him on the Board of Commissioners.

Then came the phone calls to me.  Would I consider replacing Bobby Green on the Eugene City Council.  I said no, but many calls and discussions with many people convinced me to do so.  And I won.

Eight years later Majority Leader Karen Minnis, later Speaker of the Oregon House of Representatives, called me to ask if I would run for the House seat in District 14.  Once again I said no, but was worn down by many phone calls and discussions.  I won that, as well.

Today I sit in what was Jack Roberts’ and subsequently Bobby Green’s seat on the Lane County Board of Commissioners.

So, thank you Jack Roberts for your initial spark.

Jack served admirably as Oregon Labor Commissioner for eight years, then led the Lane County Metro Partnership through many years of catalyzing the local economy.  Now he is serving, once again, admirably, as the Oregon Lottery Commission Director.

Eugene’s Current Economic Growth Rate

Monday, January 26th, 2015

Do you believe that recent economic growth in Eugene has been too fast, too slow, or just about right?

For complete poll results, click here.

Oregon Trees survive and grow. by Pat Farr

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

 

Patrick and Evan Farr kayaking on Fern Ridge Lake

Patrick and Evan Farr kayaking on Fern Ridge Lake

I love this picture.  Our two sons are kayaking on Fern Ridge Lake just west of our home in Eugene. I am a preservationist, and we preservationists have to be happy to see the backdrop of Douglas fir trees in their many phases of growth.  In this picture you see old growth, second growth, third growth and ornamentally planted Doug fir, which is (as you likely know) our state tree.

Oh, off to the left you see a clear cut, also.

A year-round Farmers’ Market downtown Eugene: discussions are under way. by Pat Farr

Sunday, May 4th, 2014

 

Who wouldn’t want to see a year-round farmers’ market replace the current, highly popular but seasonal and Saturday only (plus an occasional Thursday) market that exists today?

If you've been to the weekend Farmers' Market in Eugene you know it can be crowded

If you’ve been to the weekend Farmers’ Market in Eugene you know it can be crowded

Here’s the deal:  there’s a bunch of talk going on about a land-swap deal between Lane County and the City of Eugene ( see video here). There are so many reasons that the deal won’t work.  Trading one half-city-block for another goes against all reasonable thinking.

Eugene and Lane County have started talking about trading the “Butterfly Parking Lot” for the eastern half of the block that formerly housed Eugene’s City Hall.  As soon as the talk began, people began amassing the many reasons that will not work.  Where will people park?  What about Eugene and Mary Skinner’s original (mid-1800’s) view of what downtown Eugene should look like?  What about the disparity in value of the two parcels?  The list goes on, and grows daily.

So why now do I find myself talking with the editorial boards of both The Register-Guard and Eugene Weekly about the subject?  And, why am I joined by Mayor Kitty Piercy and City Manager and assistant Jon Ruiz and Sarah Medary as well as interim County Administrator Alicia Hays in these discussions.

The answer:  because there are compelling reasons that now is the first time in history that the swap may make sense.  The discussion involves Lane County giving up the butterfly lot, which is currently slated for a replacement County Court House and allowing Eugene to enter an agreement with Lane County Farmers’ Market to position a year-round market in that space.  At the same time Eugene would give up half of its current City Hall block for a future Lane County Court House.

The idea could work beautifully.  And it could be a bust.  But the time is correct right now to look at all of the reasons pro- and con.

Whereas, if you've been to the Farmers' Market in Olympia you know it is a great place to hang out...

Whereas, if you’ve been to the year-round Farmers’ Market in Olympia you know it is a great place to buy an amazing variety of fresh food in a comfortable setting, meet friends, have lunch, entertain visitors or simply hang out…

There will be a joint public forum with the Lane County Board of Commissioners and the Eugene City Council on June 3 2014, 6 pm at Harris Hall to hear from you why or why not the two governments should pursue the concept.

Fast Food Only Restaurant Tax Ballot Test

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Would you support the restaurant tax if fast food restaurants were exempted?

For complete poll results, click here.

Restaurant Tax Ballot Test

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Do you support or oppose a City of Eugene restaurant tax to make up the revenue shortfall?

For complete poll results, click here.

Dealing with Eugene Revenue Shortfall

Friday, December 13th, 2013

Should Eugene increase revenues or cut expenditures to solve the revenue shortfall?

For complete poll results, click here.

Where is Eugene’s Economy Heading?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

In general, do you feel Eugene’s economy is heading in the right direction or do you think things have gotten off on the wrong track?

For complete poll results, click here.

Is Eugene’s Economic Growth Fast Enough?

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Do you believe that recent economic growth in Eugene has been too fast, too slow, or just about right?

For complete poll results, click here.