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Here is a summary of meeting notes taken by Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN) at a pre-application conference between septic pumper Water Truck Service (WTS) and the city Bureau of Development Services (BDS) on October 20, 2011.

As explained in this previous article, WTS is operating a wastewater processing and disposal facility at 8828 NE Killingsworth — the corner of NE 89th and NE Killingsworth — without the required conditional use permit for waste-related use as specified by city code 33.140.100.

You can also download the official BDS meeting summary (PDF).

Short Summary

  • WTS owner Bob Jonas & his attorney David Nepom said they hired some high-powered transnational sewer conglomerateVeolia Services — to devise their odor containment strategy.
  • BDS told Bob and David explicitly that WTS would need ‘adjustments’ for — that is, exceptions from — 4 or 5 elements required under the ‘waste-related use’ section of the city land use code. They would also have to justify those adjustments as being as good as or better than meeting the actual requirements.
  • Normally, an applicant would have 1 full year from a pre-app conference until they must submit their CU plan. Because they are ‘under enforcement,’ WTS get only 60 days from the meeting on 20 Oct 2011 to submit a plan.

WTS at NE 89th and NE Killingsworth

Caption: WTS at NE 89th and NE Killingsworth

Longer Summary

We met at 10:30 AM this morning and Allison from CNN was there. There were introductions all around and WTS owner Bob Jonas was there with his attorney, David Nepom. There was an array of city officials (BES, PBOT, BDS, etc) listed on the agenda, and they even had a slot for us to speak at the end.

Bob & David mentioned hiring some high-powered transnational sewer conglomerate to devise their odor containment strategy. That seemed to be the core of what they knew they were going to do.

Most of the meeting, however, involved the city officials from each bureau taking turns stating what they require — some as part of basic conditional use (CU) requirements, some as part of the waste-related CU requirements — for CU permit plan. It was deep. Traffic impact, enviro impact, nuisance mitigation, etc.

A BDS rep named Sheila walked through all the specifics for land use and even stated explicitly, one by one, that WTS would need ‘adjustments’ for 4 or 5 elements required under the ‘waste-related use’ section of the city land use code 33.254 — because they physically cannot do them at the 8828 NE Killingsworth site. Specifically:

  • Traffic access from a ‘major street’ as designated in the city transportation plan
  • Enclosed space for loading and unloading
  • 100-foot setbacks
  • Screening and landscaping in setback area

When I spoke, I told them about the impact of the odor (health, shut windows, etc) and how far the odor ranges now that the wind has shifted with the season. But I also said, on a more basic level, that the ‘wholesale’ need for adjustments — something like 5 out of 10 points — indicate that the site ‘simply isn’t suitable’ for this kind of work.

Bottom line: Normally, an applicant would have 1 full year from a pre-app conference until they must submit their CU plan. Because they are ‘under enforcement,’ WTS get only 60 days from the meeting on 20 Oct 2011 to submit a plan.

Timeline After that, you can see the timeline — with the CU application submission listed as ‘Day One’ — on the BDS Type III Conditional Land Use Review (PDF). When WTS submits a plan, BDS gets 21 days to determine whether it’s complete. If it is, they will do two things (1) set a date with a hearings officer — about 50 days out — for a public hearing on the CU application and (2) notify the neighborhood association, business assn, and property owners within 400 feet requesting comments on the application. But we’ll notify everyone we can and anyone can comment.

About 10 days before the public hearing, BDS staff will make a recommendation — up or down — on the plan & notify the applicant of that recommendation. We probably get notified, but either way the recommendation will be public record.

Approximate (!) dates:

  • Dec 19 – WTS submits CU application
  • Jan 9 – BDS determines whether the application is complete. If so, neighbors are notified, public comment period begins, and a hearing date is set about 50 days later.
  • Feb 20 – BDS staff makes a recommendation on the application
  • Mar 2 – Public hearing in front of a hearings officer. Public can make direct comments at the hearing. Decision can be rendered on the spot or sent out within 17 days.
  • Mar 19 – Decision mailed out, 14-day appeal period begins.
  • Apr 2 – 14-day appeal period ends. Any appeal goes to the Portland city council. It’s not clear how soon they’d need to hear & decide after this date.

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