Thursday, September 2, 2010

Is the Master Plan for Lents Park Your Master Plan?

Lents Park Needs You Again!

Friends of Lents Park (FLP): 503-331-0326
The City of Portland is creating a Master Plan to guide development in the park over the next 25 years. They are now looking at three design alternatives for re-shaping the park, some of which make pretty dramatic changes. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but should not be done without input from the community.

The Comment Period Ends September 8!

Do you agree that one of the three proposed plans (link below) is what your park needs? You may feel the three "design options" are bogus, but if people do not say this on the comment forms, the City will take this as evidence that the neighborhood does not object to the proposed changes.

If you are not in favor of any of the three proposed plans and feel that a plan that makes improvements but also preserves the park is needed, please respond by clicking this link to send an email and FLP will make sure your voice is heard.


*URGENT: Fill out your survey and get it in, if you haven't already done so. Spread the word far and wide for others to do it too! And remember, we are NOT limited to choosing between A, B or C. "None of the above" is an option, and we need to say so!

*Click here to see the online version of the plans: Three Plans

*Click here for the comment form:
Parks Comment Form

*Paper maps and comment forms are available at Lents Commons Coffeehouse, SE 92nd & Foster, 6:30 am to 7:00 pm.

*200 more copies of the comment form, maps packet and related flyer are being distributed by hand. Call FLP if you want to deliver some copies of the comment form to your own family, friends, neighbors, etc.

*Lents Famers Market on Sunday and a big church event in the park on Labor Day are both opportunities to get comment forms filled out. Do you have time to put in on either of these days? Please call FLP for info and to volunteer.

*Donations are more than welcome to help pay for the mailing and other costs.If you can swing it, please kick in a few bucks to FLP. Give your donation to any Steering Committee member or call FLP.


For those who have doubts about the skatespot, but are willing to keep an open mind, FLP has video of a similar-sized facility at Holly Farm Park in SW Portland. We'll post that soon on this blog.

Input & Feedback

Feel free to research any aspects that concern you about the Master Plan. Please report back to the FLP with any information you find. We need input in particular from community gardeners and team sports participants. Kathleen Juergens de Ponce is getting in touch with Spanish-speaking soccer players.

Check out the City's Lents Park project page (follow the link from for helpful background documents, including the skate system report and raw data from the first round of public involvement.

First FLP Meeting

Potential changes to Lents Park were discussed by some members of Friends of Lents Park (FLP) Monday evening, August 30. Though individuals have a variety of opinions on details of Master Plan "Concepts" A, B & C that were first presented to Lents residents at an open house August 26, the consensus of the group was that the park should be changed as little as possible, especially regarding the trees. Money should be spent on maintaining and upgrading -- not changing -- Lents Park. There are mixed opinions about the addition of the skatespot.

The Lents Park Master Plan will be a "vision" document to guide development of the park over the next 25 years. It will be adopted by City Council and become official City policy.

Nothing that goes into the Master Plan will happen automatically. Projects will still need to be funded and approved individually. For the next 25 years, Master Plan projects will have a fast track through the Council. Any proposal that goes against the Master Plan will have an uphill battle. The time for citizen involvement is NOW!

The last Master Plan was completed in 1981, and most of the projects envisioned in it, such as the running track, have become reality.

The City has convened an advisory committee to oversee the Master Planning process. Kathleen Juergens de Ponce is on the committee representing Friends of Lents Park.

The Process

So far, FLP's mandate has been to make sure that no pro ball stadium or anything of a similar type or scale is included in the Master Plan. This is assured by by putting language in the Master Plan vision statement clarifying that "events" in the park should be "neighborhood scale events."

The City's process so far has included interviewing “stakeholder groups,” including Friends of Lents Park, and conducting a survey on park priorities. The survey was "open" for only one week and received only 132 responses. FLP committee reps protested that this was not enough time and does not constitute adequate input from the public. They were not told ahead of time there would be only a week, and were unable to get the word out to members during that time.) Despite assurances that input on park priorities will continue to be taken throughout the second stage of the process, we have only a brief window to make our views known.

The City's contractor, Walker Macy, crafted the three concepts for the "new" Lents Park. Please review the designs and complete the survey immediately.

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