Establish a comprehensive land use and environmental management approach to hillsides, especially in landslide prone areas, that focuses on invasive species management, stabilization, restoration, and long-term maintenance.
- The lack of maintenance of the hillside threatens safety of neighboring residents, greenways visitors and wildlife alike.
- There’s a great opportunity to view these areas as potential natural habitat areas, potentially through the greenway program, while also stabilizing them to remove the landslide threat.
- Investing money up front not only creates a benefit to the community, it helps to avoid much more costly landslide remediation which has created budget issues for the City already given the high cost and unexpected nature of these events.
- There are a small number of homes and other structures in very dangerous places. Those owning and/or living in them may have few options and this will likely get worse as landslides occur. They may not be able to get loans to repair structures and may struggle to sell them on the open market.
- Fund a process to establish the full aims, activities, and costs associated with the program.
- Study how proactive investments compare to the likely costs associated with a more reaction approach to remediate landslide events.
- Consider how the Zoning Code supports the goals of the program including any potential amendments that would improve outcomes.
- Solidify public and political support around the program and make sure the trade-offs are clearly understood.
- Evaluate property buy-out opportunities for vulnerable sites that can also provide for habitat and greenway and help property owners move to more stable and accessible locations. Depending on income and need, this could include helping to source affordable housing within the city.
- Add restoration requirements for hillside disturbances and landscaping requirements that ensure habitat restoration occurs.
- Incorporate long-desired community projects such as the Lawn Street Greenway that incorporate tree retention, hillside stabilization, habitat, but allows for some view points, and programming opportunities.
When to start: 3-5 years
Duration: 2-4 years
Estimated costs: $ (out of $$$$) to establish program
Project lead(s): DCP, DPW, City Council
Project partner(s): Institutions, student associations, PID
Potential funding source(s): Technical experts including ecologists, arborists, and horticultural specialists, implementing nonprofits, and hillside maintenance providers