Minutes September 1, 2010

Hillsdale Neighborhood Association
Meeting Minutes
September 1, 2010
The Watershed at Hillsdale

6:00 p.m. Harvest Potluck Dinner
7:00 p.m. Business Meeting

Robert Hamilton, Co-Chair, called the meeting to order. The agenda was unanimously approved. The minutes of the meeting of July 7 meeting were unanimously approved, and the chair asked HNA members and others to introduce themselves.

The chair was asked whether members would vote at the current meeting on candidates for sidewalk construction. He stated that the chair recognized that many of those attending the meeting had come with the expectation that voting would take place. The chair said that he would not entertain any motion regarding sidewalk construction issues because of the complexity of the issue and because time was too short to have a thorough discussion prior to the vote. Tonight the members would hear from the new chair of the HNA Transportation Committee, Glenn Bridger, who would also introduce the chair of the Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. Transportation Committee. They would provide background information on the matter. The chair also announced that an HNA Transportation Committee meeting would be held at the Hillsdale Library on Wednesday, September 8, from 5:30 p.m. until the library closes to allow further discussion and a vote to determine HNA’s “top priority” regarding a “Tier 2” candidate; SWNI’s Transportation Committee will meet September 20 at the Multnomah Arts Center to review Tier 2 candidates submitted by the 17 neighborhood associations of the southwest coalition. Registration sheets to join the HNA Transportation Committee were circulated. Glenn Bridger will chair the September 8 meeting.

7:10 p.m. HNA Committee Reports

Bylaws Review Committee
John Gould, chair of the Bylaws Review Committee, explained, through a power-point presentation of 30 minutes, recommended changes to Articles I-XI. The review will be continued on October 6 and a vote taken on the recommendations made by the committee. The HNA board will then review the bylaws and vote on the recommended changes.

Schools Committee
Michael Reunert reported that school begins Tuesday, September 7. The bad news for schools is budget cuts and personnel cuts. Physical education, special education, and music/art programs have experienced program and personnel reductions. Federal government assistance has made the cuts less draconian than they might have been. There is a new modular classroom at Rieke Elementary School and now there is no threat of closure. There are now three sections of first through third grades, and two of the others. There is a new principal at Rieke who will be invited to this meeting in a few months.

Land Use Notices & Issues Committee
Duane Hunting and Mikal Apenes reported notice of intent to install an elevator on a three story house on SW Fairmount Blvd.; division of one lot into three lots on SW Ralston Drive; a pre-application hearing for the Capitol Hill Road and Barbur Boulevard Safeway expansion; and that a modular classroom has been installed at Rieke Elementary School, where platforms, ramps, and stairs to the unit are still being installed.

Parks Committee
Dan Jenkins reported that two Citizen Advisory Committees are being formed for Willamette Park (mitigation for water pump work), and the Southwest Community Center, as a SWNI initiative. Contact Dan if you are interested in serving on one of the CACs.

Hillsdale Alliance
Glenn Bridger announced that the next meeting will be in October.

Hillsdale Foundation
Jim Stutts reported that the foundation’s primary focus during the next few years will be the Main Street Program. Volunteers are being sought for several committees; contact Jim. The foundation is currently interviewing some of the 80 candidates who applied for the position of Manager; one will be hired by mid-October. A formal volunteer meeting will be held on October 19. A November 30 public meeting will allow the community to suggest specific projects which Main Street should undertake.

Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc.
Glenn Bridger reported that the finances for the SW neighborhoods are good. Residents of the Fanno Creek Watershed can now consult a temporary employee who has been hired for the remainder of 2010 to help individuals make improvements on properties that border the watershed. Glenn also reported that SWNI endorsed Multnomah Village’s push for federal funding for improvements of Capitol Highway to Taylor’s Ferry Road. Glenn also explained the position of those supporting “widened shoulders” to accommodate pedestrians versus those who support sidewalks.

8:05 p.m. Guest Speakers

Glenn Bridger introduced Marianne Fitzgerald who discussed Tier 1 and Tier 2 sidewalk-construction candidates. All materials relating to the subject are on the SWNI website. www.swni.org. Capitol Highway, Barbur, and the Red Electric trail have been the main foci so far of sidewalk development. There is still work to be done on Capitol Highway, which is part of a City-approved plan. Barbur will receive the biggest push of development next. There are three Tier 1 SWNI priorities already established and not subject to further neighborhood association action at this time. However, there are 50 other SWNI projects where sidewalks are being pushed. Mayor Adams has set aside over $16 million for infill sidewalks on urban arterial streets in the Southeast and Southwest for 2011 and 2012. Sidewalks versus widened shoulders is not being discussed. The assumption at this point is that sidewalks will be built.

Criteria for Tier 2 sidewalk-construction candidates:

  • major traffic street or collector, city walkway, or arterial within the pedestrian district;
  • frequent bus or streetcar service, access to light-rail station, regular bus route, arterial that provides access to frequent-service bus route;
  • trip attractors (schools, high density housing, commercial areas, concentrations of the elderly, low income and other disadvantaged populations);
  • supported by neighborhood or district coalition or in recent area plan; or,
  • additional suggestions for making a case for streets: show how the improvement of the street fits in with other city projects and plans that are in place.

The September 20 meeting of SWNI will be held at the Multnomah Arts Center and each of the 17 neighborhoods will be indicating their “top priority” and a vote will be taken; each neighborhood will have one vote. We are basically telling the city of Portland what we feel are the most important priorities for the $16 million. We are being asked to contribute to the ranking of Tier 2 projects, not Tier 1. These are competing for state funds –and hopefully eventually federal funds. We are recommending a few important streets, hoping that they will be chosen for funding.

Mark Lear, of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, reported again on the “Bike Boulevards Project”.

Michael Reunert, substituting for Richard Stein, reported on the Town Center Plan. The plan is to add an additional bike rack in the space between Food Front and Baker & Spice. The property owner has also started taking out a chain link fence and repainting in the area. There are plans for a memorial plaque for Diana Ponder. Any donations in honor of Diana are directed to the plaza. The next phase will be to put an awning over the area so that it will possible to walk the whole plaza without getting wet, or sit outside on a drizzly day.

Lynn Takata described and illustrated through a power-point the graffiti-abatement and community beautification art projects she has supervised in Portland and elsewhere which include student and adult participants. There are grants for this type of project to be distributed in January. It was thought that this type of project might be appreciated in Hillsdale. What is a needed is to start is a committee to choose a site. A site was suggested on Capitol Highway by the bus stop. She will also meet with the Main Street Program board and manager.

It was moved and seconded to adjourn at 9:19 p.m. The motion passed unanimously. The remaining items from the Harvest Potluck Dinner fueled informal discussion until 10 p.m. The October 6 meeting will be at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church.

Minutes submitted by Philippe Kreiter.

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