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City Council Exemption to Occupy Eugene Challenged.

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Occupy Eugene, and the Eugene City Council face a new hurdle in resolving the vagabond status of the protests twice relocated base camp. This morning the City Council received a letter from attorney Bill Kloos on behalf of Bridgeview West,LLC. requesting the Council enforce the Willamette Greenway Regulations and remove the Occupy Camp from the Washington-Jefferson street park. The city council approved an exemption Wednesday, on a 4-to-2 vote, allowing the group to camp there until December 15.

The Willamette Greenway project was created in 1967 in an effort to protect and enhance the historic, scenic and public value of the river and surrounding lands. In 1975, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development included the Willamette River Greenway as one of nineteen standards for statewide planning, requiring that public access, native vegetation, and scenic views be considered when planning new developments. (Wikipedia) The Washington Jefferson Park became one of the more than 170 parcels of land that make up the project.

According to Bridgeview, Greenway regulations do not allow for an encampment without a permit and they stress that the Occupy Eugene usage would not qualify for a permit. Procedures for modifying or acquiring permits do not allow for approval on an ad hoc basis, but instead require compliance with substantive standards for the approval process. EDN has contacted both the City Managers office and Bill Kloos office, but we haven’t received a response from either party at this time.

By all indications the groundwork for a lawsuit has been laid, the City stands accused of violating permit and procedure rules, and the Occupy Eugene encampment may once be looking for a new home. This clearly isn’t your fathers protest. The full letter is available here.

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