Although retaining open space zoning for Colwood was unanimously supported by the Council in a tentative vote on 9/17, keeping Colwood Green is not a sure thing. Some fuel for the rezoning fire was recently provided by the Oregonian and Portland Tribune editorial boards. Both penned editorials that call the Council’s 9/17 decision to keep Colwood green into question.
At their core, these editorials assume that all assertions of economic development made by proponents to rezone the area should be taken at face value and not be subjected to any critical review or challenge. Further, both editorials imply that the decisions of the both the Hearings Officer and the Council are primarily based on politics. It is hard imagine from where these conclusions are drawn.
The Hearings Officer is not an elected official and his review of the evidence is required to be impartial. The Council decision on Comprehensive Plan Amendments is quasi-judicial in nature and must be based on the evidence; and it isn’t too hard to come up with examples where the Council has soundly rejected the preference of neighborhoods in its decisions.
The fact of the matter is that both decisions were clearly reflective of the available evidence; the case to rezone Colwood does not hold up to close scrutiny.
Formal rebuttals to these editorials have been submitted to the Oregonian and Tribune. Any decision to publish them in whole or in part is up to the editors of those papers.
In light of this, we are posting both rebuttals here so that they are available for public review and consideration: