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Eastmorelanders question Reed master plan at City Hall

After a series of open house events to invite input from Eastmoreland residents to its new 'master plan', Reed College filed it with the city. Since part of the plan required conditional use permits for two properties in residential Eastmoreland just south of the college, a hearing was held in City Hall on June 14th on the permitting issue, and an estimated 50 people were present, with some 15 rising to speak in opposition to the permit applications.

In contention is the college's intention to convert two former homes, zoned residential, and designated the Willard and Parker properties, into nonresidential college facilities. As previously reported in THE BEE, the Parker house, between Moreland Lane and S.E. 28th, has been refurbished for use, according to the staff report, 'as a venue for meetings, dinner and other campus events. Intended uses include formal breakfasts, luncheons, dinners and small social gatherings. . . The average daily attendance of these events are [sic] anticipated to be approximately 25-35 people'. Occasionally, according to the report, there might be up to five large events per year with as many as 200 guests.

As for the Willard property, plans are to convert it into office space for the college, with up to a dozen employees using it.

Another point of apparent concern to some Eastmoreland residents is the college's plan to move to some other location, and evidently reduce in size, the community garden which Reed allowed to be developed and used upon some of its property. The college has also requested a conditional use permit to use the former Eastmoreland General Hospital site as a recreational field.

One of the residential attendees told THE BEE he is not concerned about the hospital site plans, although he added his opinion that since 'there was testimony that if Reed was able to leave the site vacant for 20 years--which is their announced plan--they have no demonstrated need to expand off campus into Eastmoreland.'

The city set a deadline of July 7th for the college and the opposition to reply to comments already on the record; a deadline of July 14th for the opposition to file a final rebuttal of what is already on the record; and a deadline of July 21 for the college to file its final rebuttal. Then the hearings officer will make his decision concerning the conditional use permits.

The case file number for the Bureau of Development Services, Land Use Services Division, is LU 06-110903 CUMS AD, for those wishing to further research the matter.