Lake Oswego City Council receives legislative session update
As the Oregon legislative session nears completion and many bills will soon be voted on to become law, the Lake Oswego City Council received an update Tuesday from staff regarding bills that were considered a priority for the city.
Madison Thesing, assistant to the city manager, provided the update and presented highlights before the council during their June 15 meeting.
The city employee discussed the status of bills the council has no position on but is watching, supporting or opposing.
"The Legislature is trying to finalize bills by June 18 and targeting to close the session on June 27," the staff report read. "If bills do not move past their current committees in the coming week, bills will not be moved to the floor for consideration."
In February, the council adopted a legislative agenda that covered areas including safety, support for businesses, climate change and diversity, equity and inclusion.
Staff tracks and monitors the bills, and may testify and provide comments on some of them as well. In that case, staff will send emails to councilors if speaking in opposition or support. If the bills deal with higher-level policy, especially on a regional level, staff will bring the information before the council to ensure it is on board and can have discussions in advance.
Thesing said the council supports Senate Bill 330, which establishes an income tax credit for unpaid rent forgiven by a landlord. As of June 15, this bill was still in committee. A bill that aligned with the city's Sustainability and Climate Action Plan, Senate Bill 582, deals with plastic pollution and recycling modernization, and is still in committee. It recently received a work session, and Thesing said it may move forward to the floor.
She said it's "widely supported throughout the Portland metro area."
Similarly Senate Bill 784, which is also in committee, aligns with the city's sustainability goals and it allows public utilities like Portland General Electric to seek rate recovery for expenses in operation and costs relating to resiliency measures from retail electricity or natural gas consumers.
Some bills the city is watching but took no position on included a bill that would require appropriate labeling of disposable wipes, House Bill 2564, which established the Willamette Falls Locks Authority as a public corporation — this was passed and signed by Gov. Kate Brown — and House Bill 3115. The bill, which cleared the Senate, would require cities and counties to specify why they are restricting camping or loitering based on time, place or manner.
Councilor John Wendland asked about the camping bill and if parks would be open for camping.
Thesing said camping would still not be allowed in parks if the legislation passes.
Thesing added that there were a handful of police reform and housing bills that were recently passed but she hasn't had a chance to read through them yet to determine how it would impact the city.
For more information, visit the city's website.
City approves contract for tennis center remodel
Also during Tuesday's City Council meeting, the council unanimously authorized City Manager Martha Bennett to sign a roughly $1.6 million contract with Baldwin General Contract to renovate the Lake Oswego Indoor Tennis Center.
Bruce Powers, project manager, said for the past 20 years the city has conducted surveys to identify some of the big issues with the center.
"The big ticket items we wanted to address are the improved parking to provide ADA access," Powers said. "We want to provide ADA access into the building as well."
Powers said the renovation would include court viewing spaces, new restrooms and new meeting spaces, totaling about 3,100 square feet of improvements.
"This has been a long time coming," said Councilor Jackie Manz. "I am just thrilled we are getting to this point. Get it done."
In other news
The City Council also adopted a resolution to appoint members to a Middle Housing Code Advisory Committee to help provide the Planning Commission with guidance regarding middle housing implementation required by House Bill 2001.
HB 2001, which was approved by the Legislature in 2019, requires cities with more than 10,000 residents — or within the Portland metro — to allow "middle housing" like duplexes, triplexes and other multi-unit and clustered housing to be built on land zoned exclusively for single-family homes.
Staff recommended the committee consist of seven-to-13 members from boards and committees including the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee, the Sustainability Advisory Board, neighborhood chairs and an affordable housing advocate.
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