March 30th, 2011 5:55 am | by BETH SLOVIC News | Posted In: City Hall, Multnomah County

City Hall: More Details on Neighborhood Opportunity Districts

Mayor Adams' proposal for Neighborhood Opportunity DistrictsThe mayor hopes two to three "neighborhood opportunity districts" such as those highlighted above might generate $75,000 to $100,000 for neighborhood improvement projects without using long-term bonds.

Among the many proposals Mayor Sam Adams announced in his February State of the City address was one he called the "neighborhood opportunity district." The concept is a sort of small-scale urban renewal zone that doesn't use long-term bonds to finance improvement projects.

"Without the larger scope or length of traditional urban renewal debt, these micro districts can jumpstart small-scale, big-impact projects, while not hampering Multnomah County or the City of Portland's general fund," Adams said in his Feb. 18 address.

The mayor's announcement followed months of wrangling with Multnomah County officials over another proposed urban renewal district, a sprawling central-city zone that looked a bit like a lobster when drawn on a map. That lobsterlike zone prompted questions from Multnomah County Chairman Jeff Cogen about its financial impact on the county's dwindling budget.

These new smaller zones would take about $3.3 million from the combined budgets of both the city and the county over the course of 10 years. That's according to a recent analysis from the Portland Development Commission. Discussions about whether that's OK are ongoing. Meantime, the map above illustrates which neighborhoods might be tapped for the projects.
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