ashland.news
May 19, 2024

Ashland to co-host discussion on policy for ‘Climate-Friendly Communities’

A slide from a state presentation shows the areas affected by the Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities legislation.
January 29, 2023

City joins Medford, Talent, in co-hosting Zoom meeting Thursday

By Stephen Floyd, Ashland.news

Officials from Ashland, Medford and Talent will host a public discussion Thursday, Feb. 2, on how Oregon’s new rules for “Climate-Friendly Communities” will affect urban development policy in the Southern Rogue Valley.

The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. over Zoom (click here to join the meeting), with a recording to be made available afterward through each city. Residents may also call into the meeting at 253-205-0468.

Discussions will focus on the roles of planning and transportation policy in reducing vehicle emissions by reducing the distances residents must drive for work, school, shopping and other necessities.

“To help the state meet its climate pollution reduction goals, more development will need to occur in urban areas where residents, workers, and visitors can be less dependent upon automobile trips,” said Ashland Senior Planner Derek Severson in a press release. ‘Climate-Friendly Areas’ are intended to be places where people can meet most of their daily needs without having to drive by having housing located near a mix of jobs, businesses, and services.”

New state rules on Climate-Friendly Communities were adopted July 21, 2022, by the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development with the goal of climate-conscious planning and transportation policies in regions with more than 50,000 residents, including the areas of Albany, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene/Springfield, Grants Pass, Medford/Ashland, Portland Metro, and Salem/Keizer. A representative of the department will give a presentation during the Feb. 2 meeting on how each region plans to implement these rules.

Severson said the first phase of implementation involves identifying potential Climate-Friendly Areas in each city, with a focus on meeting the needs of under-served populations and pursuing equitable outcomes.

Residents with questions about the meeting may contact Severson at 541-552-2040 or derek.severson@ashland.or.us, as well as Medford Principal Planner Carla Paladino at 541-774-2395 or carla.paladino@cityofmedford.org, and Talent Community Development Director Kristen Maze at 541-535-1566 or kmaze@cityoftalent.org

Information on the statewide program is available at Oregon’s website on “Climate Friendly & Equitable Communities.”

Email Ashland.news reporter Stephen Floyd at sfloydmedia@gmail.com.

Picture of Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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