Carla Staedter, the city’s stormwater coordinator, and I briefed the Tualatin River Watershed Council last week on the current River Terrace proposals for natural resource protection and stormwater management. The cities of Beaverton and Hillsboro gave similar presentations on their respective planning projects. We spoke to a packed house. Despite the lateness of the hour and the bad weather, there were about 25 people in the audience, representing a variety of interests and groups but united in their desire to protect the health of the watershed. One of the audience members asked what can be done to ensure that science and politics are given equal weight during the decision-making process since the perception was that science usually lost out to politics. My advice to the group: stay informed, talk to the decision-makers, and show up at the public hearings when decisions are being made.

There was much debate over whether LIDA (low impact development approaches) and/or regional stormwater facilities would be effective or feasible in these urbanizing areas. The City of Hillsboro is concerned about the long term maintenance of private LIDA facilities and may allow LIDA only when a homeowner’s association has engaged a professional property management company to maintain them into perpetuity. The City of Tigard’s stormwater management proposal currently utilizes both approaches due to the soil types and steep slopes in River Terrace. However, we’re still in the process of evaluating the financial, political, and implementation implications of this proposal, so stay tuned.

See the PowerPoint Presentation >>