City of Gresham

Measure No. 26-50


QUESTION: Should Gresham revitalize Rockwood-West Gresham neighborhoods and upgrade underused commercial and industrial areas by adopting the Urban Renewal Plan?

SUMMARY: The purpose of the Urban Renewal Plan ("Plan") is to rebuild and strengthen Rockwood-West Gresham through projects that include:

  • Building public safety, cultural, social service, parks and recreation facilities
  • Providing technical assistance and capital improvements to aid property and business owners
  • Redeveloping existing properties through various means, without the use of condemnation.
  • Improving streets, sidewalks, utilities, streetscapes, transit facilities and plazas

The Plan's boundaries, goals and projects are described in the Plan. The city charter requires that the Plan, which has been adopted by City Council, be referred to the voters for approval or disapproval prior to its implementation. Plan projects can proceed following voter approval. The City Council acts as the Gresham Redevelopment Commission (urban renewal agency) to administer the Plan. Maximum indebtedness under the Plan is $92,000,000 over 20 years. Projects are not funded through a new tax. Instead, the Plan uses tax increment financing, which is the revenue generated by growth in the taxable value of the properties located within the Plan boundaries.


The purpose of the Rockwood-West Gresham Urban Renewal Plan ("Plan") is to rebuild and rehabilitate the Rockwood-West Gresham area. The Plan establishes the urban renewal area's boundaries, goals and projects. Its overall goal is to revitalize the condition, appearance and economic vitality of the Plan area. The Plan outlines projects and financing options over the next 20 years.

The Gresham City Council ("Council") is concerned with public safety and physical deterioration in the Plan boundary area ("Area"). Declining buildings, underdevelopment of industrial land, condition and inadequacy of public facilities and streets, and poor physical conditions contribute to high crime levels and social problems. Council selected urban renewal as the means to comprehensively address these problems and conditions. The Area includes 1,203 acres of land (8.4 percent of Gresham) zoned for a mix of uses.

The Plan funds in part a public safety facility to address crime problems that, in turn,promotes investment in the Area. The Plan also includes resources to assist with developing a community center, neighborhood parks and plazas, existing park and trail improvements, and off-street parking.

Transportation improvements area also included in the Plan. In residential and commercial neighborhoods, street upgrades, new local streets, improved intersections, and amenities such as street lighting, sidewalks, bicycle facilities and storm drains will be partially funded. Transportation improvements in industrial areas include enhancements to freight and employee access and circulation such as street extensions, a railroad and slough crossing, street upgrades, street lighting, sidewalks and transit shelters.

Plan projects are also designed to assist property and business owners with loans, grants and technical support for capital improvements. This promotes rehabilitation, development and redevelopment of Area property, and other physical enhancements to address residential, commercial and industrial needs.

Ordinance 1566 approved the Plan. It was first heard and approved by Council on February 4, 2003; it was enacted on February 18, 2003. Ordinance 1573 re-approved the Plan. It was enacted on August 5, 2003. The Plan was adopted in conformance with applicable legal requirements. On August 5, 2003, Council approved Resolution No. 2645 referring the Ordinances and Plan to a vote on the City electors on November 4, 2003, as required by the Gresham Charter, Chapter IX, Section 36A(b)(1).

Projects will not be funded by a new tax. Instead, projects are funded by tax increment financing, which is based on the growth in property tax revenue generated from properties located within the urban renewal area. The maximum Plan indebtedness, $92,000,000, will be used for projects and Plan administration and would be fully repaid from tax increment financing by the end of the 20-year Plan period.

A "Yes" vote on this Measure No. adopts the Plan, and allows the City to undertake the improvement projects, programs and activities in the Plan.

A "No" vote on this Measure No. rejects the Plan. If the Plan is rejected, the City cannot implement the Plan and tax increment financing will not be available for the improvement projects.

Submitted by: Gresham City Council

No arguments AGAINST this Measure were filed.

Measure No. 26-50 | City of Gresham


Renew Rockwood. Improve Gresham. All without increased taxes. Vote Yes on Measure 26-50

Measure 26-50 Means A Better Rockwood

It’s no secret that Rockwood-West Gresham is facing tough problems: a vacant Fred Meyer building, poorly maintained housing, and increasing crime. Measure 26-50 will help address the area’s problems and capitalize on its economic potential. It will encourage investment; make criminals unwelcome and keep working families in the neighborhood, giving a vital boost to a neighborhood that really needs it.

Measure 26-50 Means A Safer Community

Right now, the deterioration of Rockwood makes it a magnet for crime, which affects not only Rockwood but also the entire community. Measure 26-50 will help make physical improvements in Rockwood/West Gresham that will prevent crime, including a police station, street lighting and improved housing for families. Measure 26-50 will mean a safer Gresham for all of us.

Measure 26-50 Means A Stronger Gresham Economy

One of the primary reasons for Measure 26-50 is job creation and retention. It will rehabilitate existing residential, commercial and industrial property, attracting new investment and jobs.

Measure 26-50 is Good For The Entire Community

A community is only as strong as its weakest link. Rockwood’s problems can either be fixed, or spread. Rockwood is also the first neighborhood that most people come to when they enter Gresham, which impacts the image of the entire city.

Measure 26-50 Does Not Increase Taxes

By creating an Urban Renewal District, Measure 26-50 uses Tax Increment Financing. That means that there is no increase in taxes, and that all the money to improve Rockwood comes from the neighborhood itself. Measure 26-50 also allows us to leverage private investment in a way that pays great dividends to all of us.


(This information furnished by Dennis Anderson, Citizens for West Gresham Renewal)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

Measure No. 26-50 | City of Gresham


A message from Gresham’s Public Safety Professionals


As public safety professionals, our job is to keep you safe, and we take an interest in anything that will help us do that.

That is why we urge you to vote yes on Measure 26-50

At first glance, you might wonder what a measure for renewing the Rockwood neighborhood has to do with public safety. The answer is a great deal. A neighborhood that is run down can be a magnet for problems that can affect the entire community. Among the improvements that Measure 26-50 will provide are things that reduce the chances of crime, including improved street lighting, upgraded public spaces, a permanent police facility and consistent police presence. It will also improve transportation and streets, enabling better response times for fire and emergency medical services.

But the bottom line is that a stronger, more attractive neighborhood is a safer neighborhood, attracting positive investment and families who are involved. No neighborhood in Gresham needs that boost more than Rockwood. And by improving Rockwood, we will benefit all of Gresham.

So please join us in supporting Measure 26-50. It won’t increase your taxes, but it will increase our community’s safety.

Berine Giusto, Multnomah County Sheriff
Michael Schrunk, Multnomah County District Attorney
Carla Piluso
Riley Caton
Jacquenette McIntire
Gresham Professional Firefighters Associtation
Gresham Police Officers Association

(This information furnished by Bernie Giusto, Multnomah County Sheriff)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

Measure No. 26-50 | City of Gresham


Gresham’s local business community says:

Measure 26-50 is Good for our Economy, Good for our Community, Good for our Future

As local business people, we rely on a strong community to help us provide jobs and help Gresham prosper. And creating an environment for a successful economy is especially important right now.

That is why we strongly support Measure 26-50, and urge you to join us in voting yes.

Measure 26-50 will allow the revitalization of the Rockwood neighborhood in West Gresham, which is critically important to making Gresham attractive to new investment. Rockwood is the equivalent of Gresham’s front door, and frankly, it needs help. The improvements that Measure 26-50 will trigger will make an important part of Gresham safer, a better place to live and work, and a better place to start or attract a business. That is important to all of us in Gresham, whether or not we live or work in Rockwood.

Measure 26-50 will mean projects that will make our community safer and more attractive, such as street, pedestrian and transportation improvements for residents and businesses; off-street parking; improved streetlighting; upgrade of rundown buildings and property and others.

Measure 26-50 is a great idea and a good deal. It will make a real difference for Gresham without increasing your taxes one penny.

As business people, we have to look very closely at the bottom line of everything we do. We look at public projects the same way. And the bottom line of Measure 26-50 is that it is something important we can do ourselves for Gresham’s livability and business climate without raising taxes.

And that is a very smart business decision.

Gresham Chamber of Commerce
Gresham Downtown Development Association
East Metro Economic Alliance

(This information furnished by Carol Nielson-Hood, Gresham Chamber of Commerce)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

Measure No. 26-50 | City of Gresham


We are Rockwood. Give us the tools, and watch us build a better community!

We are the people of Rockwood. We are local businesses, and community members. We are seniors and young families. We are your neighbors.

If you read the papers, or drive through our neighborhood, you know we face some challenges. The closure of Fred Meyer is one example. But tough times can bring out the best in a community, and that is just what happened here.

We have come together to find a way to renew our neighborhood - a plan that will bring the public and private sector together to make a better Rockwood and a better Gresham. The Rockwood West Gresham Urban Renewal Plan will make strategic investments in our roads and infrastructure. It will attract new business and jobs. It will help create a new Rockwood that will be an asset to all of Gresham.

We are united behind this plan as a community, because it is a plan created by the community.

To make it happen, we need just one thing from you, our neighbors. The City charter says that all of Gresham must vote on urban renewal. We need your YES vote on Measure 26-50.

Measure 26-50 simply gives us the tools to build a better Rockwood.

But while Measure 26-50 will help us roll up our sleeves, it will not reach into your pocket. Measure 26-50 does not raise taxes. Period. If you are looking for a good deal, it doesn’t get much better than that.

All of Gresham will benefit from a stronger Rockwood, but it is especially important to those of us who live and work here.

Drake Snodgrass
Theresa Kuminski, Rockwood Neighborhood Association
Kathie Minden, Community Advocate
Shane Bemis

(This information furnished by Drake Snodgrass)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

Measure No. 26-50 | City of Gresham


Community leaders from every part of Gresham agree:


As community leaders, we care about the quality of our individual neighborhoods. But we also know that our neighborhoods rely on the strength and health of the city as a whole. That is why we strongly support Measure 26-50-- the Rockwood West Gresham Urban Renewal Measure.

Think of our city as the house that we live in. Rockwood is our “front door,” the face we present to the world. Right now, that front door is broken. And that affects all of us.

The troubles Rockwood faces are well known. The good news is that we can solve them. Measure 26-50 will allow us to make strategic investments that will attract private investment, new business and jobs. The renewal of a community also means safer neighbohoods and better housing.

One of the best features is that Measure 26-50 accomplishes this through strategic partnerships with the private sector, not through increasing taxes. It is proof that hard work, creativity and community involvement can really make a difference.

The citizens of Gresham created the Rockwood West Gresham Urban Renewal Plan. We all stand to benefit, and we all have a voice in the decision. The work may be done in Rockwood, but the benefit will be felt throughout all our neighborhoods.

And that’s why as community leaders, we urge you to join us in voting YES for a better Gresham, and Yes on Measure 26-50.

Mary Martin,
Hiroshi Morihara
Bill Willmes
Steve Andersen
Tobias Andersen
Glenna Borg
Frank Boyle
Linda Boyle
Daren Chu
Carl Culham
Ernie Drapela
Merlene Drapela
Rick Dwyer
Dr. Seth Goldstein
Greg Grokett
Paula Grokett
Francis Hodapp, Jr.
Kathryn Henton
Keith Klatt, MD
Robert Lakey
Elizabeth Livingston
Debbie McNally
Pat McNally
Mary McSwain
Vicki Olson
Robert Pung, Sr.
Gary Stautz
Paul Warr-King
Jeanne Zook
John Zook

(This information furnished by Mary Martin, Gresham Neighborhood Coalition)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.

Measure No. 26-50 | City of Gresham



When a neighborhood gets run down, it’s older residents bear the greatest burden. They rely more than most on the streets being safe, or having parks or other public facilities that are in good repair. We also need to have shopping close to home - the closure of the Rockwood Fred Meyer was a terrible blow to seniors who relied on it as a place they could walk to for the necessities.

Rockwood needs a kick-start that will make it a good place for seniors and for families.

Frankly, however, passing Measure 26-50 isn’t just about the improvements it will bring to Rockwood. It also says something about us as citizens. Rockwood is often described as Gresham’s “front door.” Well, our front door needs some serious repair work. What kind of impression it leaves tells people a lot about what kind of community we are - whether we take care of what we have, and if we have any pride in it. This isn’t just a matter of pride, though: it also is a matter of attracting the kind of businesses and families that will keep Gresham a good place to live.

Finally, there is the question of money. Seniors - who often are living on fixed incomes - have to be very careful with it. That is one of the best features of Measure 26-50. It will not raise our taxes by one penny. Instead, it is a smart way to leverage the money we have to make key improvements that will also attract investment from the private sector.

So whether you are a Gresham senior - or hope to be someday - Measure 26-50 is a good idea, a good value and the right thing to do!

East County Senior Coalition
Gresham Seniors United

(This information furnished by Patricia Brost, Gresham Seniors United)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.