Last week, Council acted decisively on three issues.
We unanimously approved the ordinance to protect the rights of all people in our community, commonly referred to as our sanctuary city ordinance, at Monday’s public hearing after an evening of heartfelt testimony.
On Wednesday, Council declined to set a 1,000 foot buffer between recreational marijuana retailers. Although we have a proliferation of these shops, market regulation is not a policy that Council normally undertakes. A majority of councilors requested more data and time to see how the market forces play out.
Also, in our final work session before taking a spring recess, Council reviewed two proposed bills under discussion in the state legislature. HB 2669 and SB 995 would create the structure for municipalities and counties to implement tracking and reporting systems for the discharge of hazardous materials. Built on Eugene’s 20 year old Toxics Right to Know ordinance, the bills could increase fees and the number of businesses required to report. If enacted, the new laws open the potential for the City’s program to be more financially sound and provide stronger protections for air and water quality statewide - in towns and counties who don’t currently have their own programs.
I began the week canvassing in the neighborhood near the proposed Amazon Corner apartment and commercial project on Hilyard. Of the 10 residents who opened their doors, most were supportive or mixed in their reactions to the development. No one was adamantly opposed. The primary concern was focused on the impact to parking and traffic on neighborhood streets.
Finally, Councilor George Poling announced his resignation effective April 10th. He has been a consistent, thoughtful, well-prepared member of the City Council and he will be missed. We will be finalizing the process to replace him in the coming weeks.