Oak Lodge Governance Project to look at becoming city
A growing group of Oak Grove and Jennings Lodge residents have formed the Oak Lodge Governance Project (OLGP) and believe the demographics, economics and circumstances of our area have changed enough in the past decade to support a fresh effort to explore the advantages and possible downsides of various governance options — including, but not limited to, incorporation, annexation or remaining unincorporated.
With various projects, like the Concord Library and Park Avenue station redevelopment, there is an increased excitement about the potential of our community. In that spirit, we applied for a grant to provide current data and analysis that will allow our approximately 30,000 residents and business owners to make informed decisions regarding the possible transformation of our unincorporated urban area. Metro's Planning and Development department has just awarded us a $100,000 Planning Concept Grant to fund a study focused on economic realities and projections, as well as governance options and legal requirements. The studies are projected to be completed by June of 2021 and will serve as the cornerstone for collective community conversations.
Any changes to the current rural governance for this urban area will be determined by the people who call it home. Any changes will only be valid with the wider community working together to identify equitable outcomes for all ages, income levels, ethnicities and physical abilities. We want these changes to be made through extensive, resident-organized, inclusive community conversations that will reflect the various desires of the different areas in the community.
We want to continue building our neighborhoods into places where everyone has the opportunity to thrive, our local economy is vibrant and our natural resources are honored and protected.
Oak Lodge Governance Project Steering Committee members include Mitra Anoushiravani, Nathan Breitenfeldt, Valerie Chapman, Jane Civiletti, Tom Civiletti, Joseph Edge, Nathan Ember, Eleanore Hunter, Chips Janger and Cole Merkel.
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