3 02 2022 email to SERJ re agenda additions

Sent via email 3/2/2022

Hello everyone,
A few things for the meeting tomorrow.

1. Emily and Anya are looking forward to a discussion with your input on agenda item #6 Discussion and review of report to City Council and next steps. Specifically, a discussion about next steps.

2. Emily and Anya are proposing a DEI engagement for the commission and will ask if you are interested later in the agenda. If so, this will be an agenda item for the April SERJ meeting to discuss what this engagement looks like and when it could happen.

3. At the meeting tomorrow, I will talk about the following information and will invite commissioners who are interested in serving on this new committee to contact me directly. Here is the background:

The City of Ashland is forming a new advisory committee called the Housing Production Strategy Advisory Committee (HPS) which will outline how the City plans to promote equitable housing and the actual production of needed housing.

The development of the HPS is the final step in what has been a multiyear process which included an update of Ashland’s Buildable Lands Inventory (2019), the development of a Ashland Housing Implementation Strategy Plan relating to multifamily housing (2019), and the completion of a Housing Capacity Analysis (HCA adopted in December 2021). These three technical documents will directly inform the development of the HPS with current information regarding housing supply and demand. Additionally, the 2021 HCA and the Ashland Housing Implementation Strategy Plan both provide an analysis of housing strategies the city has implemented and lists those remaining available for the City to prioritize for implementation.

The new Housing Production Strategy Advisory Committee will be comprised of members of the Planning Commission, Housing and Human Services Commission, Climate Policy commission, a representative from southern Oregon University Housing Office, and members of non-profit and market-rate housing development community. 

Inclusion of a member of the Social Equity and Racial Justice Commission will provide a needed perspective in evaluating how existing housing policies and final proposed strategies help to achieve fair and equitable housing outcomes, affirmatively further fair housing, and overcome discriminatory housing practices and racial segregation within our community. SERJ participants will learn a considerable amount regarding Ashland’s socio-economic and demographic trends which will be beneficial to the work of SERJ.

The advisory group will review draft materials prepared by the consultant team, ECONorthwest, and provide input and recommendations to the consultant team and staff to help inform the strategies proposed for inclusion in the final HPS. Following completion of the draft housing Production Strategy, it will be presented to the Planning Commission and City Council for adoption as part of the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

[The Comprehensive plan is the principal land-use ordinance and the City’s controlling land-use document. It established the City’s legal record of policy on land use and other development and conservation issues. State law requires each city and county to adopt a comprehensive plan and the zoning and land division ordinances needed to put the plan into effect. Oregon’s statewide goals are achieved through local comprehensive planning.]

The advisory group being formed is a limited duration committee, expected to meet only four-five times (via zoom) over the next 9 months, beginning in early April.

Thanks, Ann

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