- About Us
- Our Services
- Administrative Support
- Community Resources
- Neighborhood Planning
- Neighborhood Governance
- Project Development
- Our Neighborhoods
- Community Calendar
- Contact Us
Public Land Disposition
This Land Is Our Land
Public Land Disposition Community Action Group
THIS PAGE IS IN PROGRESS- THANKS FOR YOU PATIENCE
Introduction to the issues: Understanding Public Land Disposition
What is “Public Land Disposition”?
“Public Land Disposition” is the term used when referring to land held by a public bureau, such as Portland Public Schools or Portland Parks and Recreation, which will be or is intended to be sold. These are properties that are considered to be underused and uneeded by the public bureau holding the property.
The concern is that these public properties still serve their communities in valuable ways, even when they are no longer financially attractive to their public entity. It then becomes important that any public bureau be upfront and transparent with their intentions to dispose of community, or publically, owned land before doing so. Often times, disposal of public land is not widely broadcast; this is due in part to the policies in place regarding disposal of public land. It is SE Uplifts’ intent to engage communities in their concerns about public land disposal by leveraging constituencies to ask for more open and participatory policies.
Reviewing Current Policies and Laws
Currently there are no strong State or City policies regarding disposal of public property. Policy development is then left to the individual bureaus. This is a significant issue considering accountability lies between a bureau and a constituency rather than between a bureau and its local or state government. Citizen involvement is crucial to protecting valued community spaces located on public property.
Understanding the Policies of our city’s bureaus is no easy task. SE Uplift provides “A Portland Public Schools Policy Tutorial” and a glossary to guide concerned citizens in navigating the legal language and manner in which these policies are written.
The Purpose of this tutorial is to facilitate a better understanding of surplus land disposition in the Portland Public School district. Information is taken directly from policy 8.70.42 and policy 8.70.43, as well as from direct interviews with Portland Public schools. The process has been simplified and outlined below to make the policy easier to understand but is not the direct language of the policy.
Identifying Vulnerable Properties Near You
Once an understanding of Public Land Disposition has been established the next step is to find properties within your valued community that may be vulnerable to land disposition—therefore limiting or cutting off public access. South East Uplift maintains a list of public lands as a resource for SE Coallition Neighborhoods.
Current Properties- A link will be provided for your convenience soon!
Previously Disposed Properties- A link will be provided for your convenience soon!
Tool Kit: Finding Specific Information Regarding Properties of Concern
When a vulnerable property has been identified there are a few things one can do to learn more about the conditions or conveyance of the property. Understanding the history of a piece a property can go a long way in protecting its public use. Property deeds, records of ownership and transactions, contain information on zoning codes, boundaries, value and may even require specific uses of the property after sale. To find more information on researching deeds click here.
Questions to Ask About Land Disposition: Preparing to Take Action
Preparing to take action includes developing a list of questions to ask when inquiring about or protecting a particular property. Being prepared gives legitimacy to a cause and asking the right questions ultimately results in effectively engaging our city and its bureaus. SE Uplift has helped to start this process by creating a list of potential questions. Please take time to review the provided questions as well as develop some of your own to may be specific to your property of concern.
Possible Historical/Background Questions:
· When was the property acquired by the city?
· Why was the property acquired?
· By what means was the property acquired? Purchase, donation, exchange, ECT?
· Were any restrictions or encumbrances placed on the use of the property [in deed]?
· How has the property been zoned over time? What uses are allowed under this base zone?
· What has been the assessed value of the property? How was this determined?
Possible Land Disposition Process Questions:
· How was it determined that property was no longer needed by the bureau/City?
· What were the rules and regulations applied to this process?
· What process was used to determine property was no longer needed for other public use?
· What process was used to determine other possible uses for the property?
· Did the city change the zoning prior to the sale; if so why and to what?
· Has the accessed valued changed prior to sale; if so, why, and to what? How was this new value determined?
· Who will benefit from the disposition of the land?
*several of these questions may be answered in the bureau of concern’s board minute notes. For a tutorial on accessing and reviewing board minute notes for Portland Public Schools click here.
Other questions may be best answered by contacting the bureau directly and scheduling an appointment with the person in charge.
In the News
Public Land Disposition Background Information
There are several documents that are part of the public record which provide some in-depth background information on the many policy issues involved in public land stewardship. In the near future, there will also be shorter background reports, providing summaries of the history of recent public land issues and policy changes.
You can find background information, reports, and updates on public land disposition here.