Minds of Their Own

Some residents in Glenwood just want to live their lives and to be left alone.
Glenwood, Oregon, residents will not let anything come between them and their land, especially the Glenwood Refinement Plan (GRP).
The GRP focuses on bringing the community to today’s urban standards, including new buildings and road repairs, but at the expense of some residents.
One reason the GRP has not been put to action due to the City of Springfield having little money due to low property taxes. Since Glenwood is under urban renewal, taxes raise up to 3 percent a year. Because Glenwood is a low income area, residents are reluctant about a tax increase if the GRP goes into action.
Another reason is that residents may be too attached to their land and are worried that if the GRP goes into action, they will lose their land, many with no relocation alternative.
Joan Armstead is an 18-year Glenwood resident, and a member of the Glenwood Water District. She makes sure the Glenwood residents who are actually in Lane County have fire and ambulance protection and drinking water.
“I think Glenwood is a place of transition on a lot of levels. [The GRP] is a transition that’s happening with the property and it’s really hard to do because [residents] thought that they were investing in something that would give them security, relax and not worry. Life isn’t like that. Laws change,” Armstead said.
One example is how business owners are worried about their buildings making way for the development on Franklin Boulevard, as known as State Hwy. 126.
Because Franklin Blvd. is a state highway, the rules are regulated by the state, not just local.
Glenwood’s residents are known to be independent. One example is how the government lets them warn transients or anyone who is considered a problem to society, as an unofficial code, before calling the police.
“[The residents] have minds of their own, they trust what they can sense, they don’t necessary believe in what they hear, and they live very close to the land in their own way, every single one of them,” Armstead said.
Families had property/ businesses in Glenwood for years and don’t want to give up their land, whether if it’s a 75 foot setback from the river, or south of Franklin Blvd. The City of Springfield can compensate their land, though small.
Armstead feels that the most likely GRP action will be the City of Springfield annexing the area south of Franklin Blvd and updating the building codes in all of the houses.
“People get displaced, and it seems that most urban renewal never finishes, and all you end up with is a few changes and unhappy people,” Armstead said.

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