City seeks input on Police Use of Force
Following the tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the City of Hood River joined communities across the nation this summer in signing the Mayor’s Pledge, a national effort to evaluate Use of Force policies, make any necessary changes and listen to the community. Ten years of Use of Force statistics were shared with the community by the local news media as well as the City’s website and Facebook page. After reviewing Hood River’s Use of Force policies, the most significant change is the removal of the Carotid Control Hold (commonly referred to as a choke hold) from the Hood River Police Department Manual, never used in the study period. Other minor changes related to taser use.
City of Hood River and the Police Department continue to seek community input, hear concerns and answer any questions. Community members are encouraged to share concerns about community safety and problems. The City hopes that this engagement will build relationships and trust as the City and community work together towards solutions.
If you have feedback or input, we want to hear from you. Please contact:
Lt. Don Cheli (D.Cheli@cityofhoodriver.gov), 541-387-5252;
City Manager Rachael Fuller (R.Fuller@cityofhoodriver.gov), 541-387-5252 or
Assistant City Manager Will Norris (W.Norris@cityofhoodriver.gov), 541-387-5214).
Mayor McBride can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
City accepting Planning Commission applications
Carsharing is coming to Hood River
City Council approved a support agreement with nonprofit electric vehicle company Forth for their Federal Department of Energy (DOE) funded 3-year pilot EV carsharing program. Forth will install five EV charging stations in Hood River County to serve as bases for five publicly rentable vehicles: two on City property, two at Columbia Cascade Housing developments, and one at the waterfront. The City will retain ownership of the DOE-funded charging stations located on City property at the end of the project at no cost to local tax payers.
The program will be known locally as the Clean Rural Shared Electric Mobility Project (CRuSE), and carsharing will be launched in the next few months through a mobile app reservation system provided by Envoy as well as online for those without a smartphone. Users can download the “Envoy There” app. Envoy will also be responsible for maintenance and weekly cleaning and sanitation of vehicles. Users are also encouraged to bring antiviral wipes to clean surfaces before and after use.
Forth seeks survey feedback from Hood River residents about current mobility options, habits and needs. You can access the survey here, and are encouraged to share it with neighbors, friends and family to help create a picture of transportation options and barriers in Hood River.
“Carsharing” is a vehicle rental model in which the public can reserve automobiles for short periods of times by the hour. Forth‘s DOE grant for the EV carsharing program will test the economic viability of EV carsharing in rural environments. Electricity usage will be covered by Forth, while a $19,657 City in-kind contribution is the estimated value of City-provided parking spaces, staff time and anticipated car rentals for City business after three-years.
Fall right-of-way reminders.
In addition to using yard waste bins for fall leaf clean-up, City of Hood River residents may dispose of leaves free of charge at the City Public Works facility (1200 18th Street) between 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. Residents must empty any bagged leaves. The Public Works facility is located at 18th & May streets. Branches and other brush will not be accepted by the City but can be taken to the Hood River Transfer Station at 3440 Guignard Road (386-4676). This service is for City residents only (no landscaping companies please). If you would like leaves for mulch, please contact Marlo Messmer at 387-5201 with your name, address, and phone number.
Additionally, the City of Hood River would like to remind property owners that it’s their responsibility to keep sidewalks adjoining property in safe condition, including removing accumulations of leaves. Owners are liable for damages and injuries resulting from unsafe sidewalks adjacent to their property.
Businesses and residents are reminded not to rake or blow leaves onto the sidewalks, gutters or streets as they can plug storm drains and cause flooding (a violation of the Hood River Municipal Code). If there are catch basins by your property, please help keep them clear of leaves and debris to keep water draining and streets from flooding.
Finally, it’s important to place all waste and recycling bins in a safe place off the street to allow for street sweeper accessibility. The City Public Works department thanks residents and businesses for their help in keeping Hood River clean and safe.
Janek joins City as Public Works Director.
Following an extensive search process, the City of Hood River selected Mark Janek as the City of Hood River’s new public works director, a position he assumed September 21st.
Since 2015, Janek served as director of public works and engineering in Wheeling, Illinois, a city with a population of 40,000. For six years prior, he was director of community development and engineering in Wheeling. Janek also has 13 years private sector experience in numerous areas of the Midwest. He has been a land developer and land-use consultant to private companies, municipalities and land owners.
“Becoming public works director for the City of Hood River is a welcome challenge,” Janek said. “Problem solving to obtain positive results has been the most enjoyable part of my recent municipal positions. I strive to develop and maintain solid relationships with residents, colleagues, and contractors.”
Janek has a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture and Urban Design from Syracuse University, and a Master of Science in Urban and Regional Planning/Real Estate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
City Manager Rachael Fuller said, “The City has recently initiated a number of operational, maintenance and capital projects and Mark’s skills and background have allowed him to hit the ground running. Mark’s experience as both private developer and public works director will be particularly important as the City continues to address barriers to low- and middle-income housing. We are pleased to welcome him to the organization and to the community.”
Short-term Rental Parking Rules Kick-in City-wide for 2021 Licenses
Short-term Rentals (STRs) have been regulated in the City for over four years now. The five-year anniversary of the City’s 2016 ordinance is in October 2021, at which time rentals that existed prior to local regulations will come into parking compliance. This means providing one hard-surfaced off-street parking space for every two bedrooms, regardless of zone. STR owners will submit parking plans with their 2021 annual license renewal application that demonstrates compliance with parking requirements. STRs that cannot demonstrate compliance will be issued a pro-rated license that expires on October 12, 2021. Electronic renewal applications will be available at cityofhoodriver.gov later this year.
The next and final change to non-conforming STRs will occur on the 7th anniversary of Ordinance 2026 (2016). At that time, hosted homeshares or vacation rentals on residentially-zoned property will only be permitted 90 rental days per year and only if the property is the owner’s primary residence. On October 12, 2023, all STR properties will come into full compliance with City code. Municipal Code Chapter 17.04 includes all legislative details pertaining to Short-term Rentals. Questions may be emailed to email@example.com.
The City’s STR land use and licenses rules were adopted in 2016 after over a year of public deliberation in the Planning Commission and City Council. A review of active STRs in Hood River by the third-party monitoring service, Host Compliance, counted 246 rentals within City limits at the beginning of 2017 before the local licensing program began. Over the last four years, the number of local licensees has hovered around 200 with over a 95% licensure compliance rate. There are currently 204 active STR licenses in Hood River. More information on the City’s STR rules are posted online at: https://cityofhoodriver.gov/planning/short-term-rentals/
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