BY SUSAN NOACK, CHAIR, TUALATIN AREA AGING TASK FORCE
The first two columns for 2017 spoke to the goals of the Aging Task Force and our long term interest in making sure affordable housing is addressed by the City staff and City Council. We are concerned about any new and/or amended programs and policies which may affect our diverse 50+ population, their desire to live in place and increase their ability to remain independent, insuring the highest quality of life.
At our February meeting, the Aging Task Force welcomed our three guests, Aquila Hurd- Ravich, City Planning Manager, Karen Perl Fox, City Senior Planner, and Angela DeMeo, member of the City Planning Commission. The purpose of the meeting was a presentation on the process and progress of updating the city’s Development Code. What ensued was an hour long discussion between the task force and our guests regarding the needs of our senior citizens and the city’s vision for making it possible to age in place and stay in Tualatin.
It is important to note that the city’s vision is the product of extensive work by many citizens on the Tualatin Tomorrow Advisory Committee over the past several years. It is a very informative document and I encourage everyone to go to the city’s website and read how this hard working group envision Tualatin’s future. Several members of TT are also members of the Aging Task Force and we strive to partner together to continue to make this vision a reality.
Housing planning and policy are integral functions of an inclusive, diverse and economically vibrant city and a basic need for every individual. As a task force, we feel the city should be stretching beyond today’s best practices to ensure that our housing element, vision and planning policy statements preserve, promote, improve and expand housing options. This means incorporating quality and environmentally friendly designs, with emphasis on location, diversity, adequate supply of housing, affordability, and healthy and safe housing choices for every resident.
To do this, there is a concept for designing, building and sustaining a healthy community called “The 5 D’s of Development:” density, diversity, design, destination accessibility and distance to transit, which affect the physical, social and mental health of a community. The 5 D’s influence whether a community is attractive and walkable, can support transit, and has convenient destinations that support quality of life and reduced auto dependency.
The Aging Task Force is very appreciative of the planning staff giving us their time to educate and update our committee on the future of the Development Code. We look forward to working together to revitalize Tualatin and create a future that includes a healthy, sustainable community to ‘age in place.’
It’s YOUR turn to get involved! As advocates for our senior community and issues affecting seniors, we are being heard. We continue to ask for and need your input. We want to hear your ideas and concerns. Please join us at our next meeting on Monday, March 13, 3 pm, at the Juanita Pohl Center.
If you have questions or want more information, please contact [email protected].
Susan Noack has lived in Tualatin for 15 years. Before retirement, she was a development director/ event planner for non-profits. Now as an “Aging in Place” senior, her passion is being an advocate for seniors and giving back to the community. She is a member of both the Meals on Wheels People and Juanita Pohl Center advisory committees and chair the Tualatin Area Aging Task Force committee.