Hillsdale Neighborhood Association
Wednesday, July 6, 2016
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church
2201 SW Vermont
No meeting in August. Attend National Night Out: Wednesday, August 3, at DeWitt Park; 6-8 p.m.
Next Meeting: Wednesday, September 7, at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church
Action Item 2016-7-6-1 Don Baack moved that the HNA write a letter to the Portland Postmaster supporting continuation of postal service, including that of “Post Office Boxes.” The Board passed the motion unanimously, 7-0.
Action Item 2016-7-6-2 Don Baack moved that the HNA Board approve the expenditure of $100 to fund the National Night Out program of August 3. The motion passed 7-0.
Board member Rick Meigs chaired the meeting. Treasurer Don Baack reported $546 in the HNA bank account. He also introduced and demonstrated how the new signage announcing a monthly meeting will look, whether we meet at St. Barnabas or at The Watershed. SWNI funded the new signage project, one managed by Don with the assistance of Glenn Bridger.
Eli Spevak and Madeline Kovacs of Portland for Everyone presented their proposal regarding the “Residential Infill Project,” one of “five big land-use decisions” which will be made over the next 18 months. The other four include: mixed-use zones; multi-dwelling zones; residential and open spaces zoning project; and inclusionary zoning. Single-dwelling zones comprise 45% of the city’s land area and decisions must be made regarding: types of housing to be allowed (scale and size); how many units; on what size lots; and in what areas of the city. Madeline distributed a lengthy handout demonstrating; increasing home size, decreasing family size, and increasing square footage per person from 1950 to 2008; residents wanting to live in “vibrant neighborhoods;” abundant housing in walkable neighborhoods but the absence of “middle housing” (i.e. duplex, triplex-fourplex, courtyard apartment, bungalow court, townhouse, and multiplex units).
Madeline explained the role of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) which could help to increase residential density and address the “missing middle.” She and Eli also compared their proposed solutions to that of the City.
Glenn Bridger reported on the City’s residential infill project and offered a possible motion which HNA members discussed at length and passed as an “Advisory” to the Board. The Advisory notes that “much of the lands” covered within Hillsdale “are lacking in basic infrastructure of ground/storm water collection and processing” as well as “City maintained streets and sidewalks.” Glenn noted that “adding density to inadequately served parts of our neighborhood is not acceptable,” a sentiment strongly supported during the comment period. Until new infrastructure–e.g. safe walkable streets, adequate stormwater runoff systems and sewage lines, updated utility technology–is installed, it is unwise to increase population density within neighborhoods and on streets inadequately equipped to handle it. Glenn concluded that: “In simple terms, those lots which do not have complete and contiguous ground/storm water, street and sidewalk and City-approved City trail connections to and along the corridors and center” of Hillsdale. Areas of Hillsdale lacking such infrastructure should be excluded until the necessary infrastructure is added. Members were invited to send comments to Glenn by Friday, July 8. These will be shared with the Board and other members wanting to consider them before the Board entertains a motion and votes on it.
Robert Hamilton introduced Angie Hefflinger, who was applauded by members for her work, and that of assistant Martha Younie, in providing excellent service at the Contract Postal Unit in Hillsdale, generally identified as the “Hillsdale Post Office.” With their retirement August 31, the United States Postal Service has approved the continuation of service there as a CPU but under a new business model (CARS) which will require a successful applicant (business owner) to have some type of approved complementary business in order for it to be profitable. The property owner is interested in having a business owner tenant who can continue postal service. But the USPS is changing the contract in two ways: the type of boxes available for public use; and substituting compensation consisting of a percentage of revenue rather than the current fixed monthly compensation. Two applications have already been received by Sheryl Scarbrough of USPS. Numerous HNA and other Hillsdale residents have written to the Portland Postmaster and/or Ms. Scarbrough asking that the postal service be continued. Postal service is also available in Hillsdale through the UPS outlet but standard postal purchase prices for products and services are higher than at the CPU.
Don Baack moved that the HNA write a letter to the Postmaster supporting continuation of postal service, including that of “Post Office Boxes.” The Board passed the motion unanimously, 7-0.
Don Baack reported that the City has approved HNA use of DeWitt Park for the site of its National Night Out program: Wednesday, August 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. Don moved that the HNA board approve the expenditure of $100 to fund the party. The motion passed 7-0.
Neighborhood Affairs and International Reports
Eric Wilhelm reported that the SWNI Transportation Committee is reviewing Capitol Highway construction plans between Multnomah Blvd. and Barbur Blvd. using multiple funding sources. Designs are estimated at $10-$12 million for this 0.8-mile stretch (c.f. $16M/yr gas tax revenue citywide, plus SDC matches, etc.) Stormwater runoff, bike and pedestrian lanes, and parking issues seen here are common throughout southwest Portland. Roger Averbeck and Marianne Fitzgerald are leaving the chair/vice chair positions and have not been replaced as yet. The Bike Share program will begin July 19. The City Council voted not to adopt minimum off-street parking requirements in NW Portland (which would match policy to the farther-out neighborhoods rather than the central city.) A developer gave the example that a $1,250/month 330-square-foot rental in a new 126-unit building would cost $1,800/month with the proposed mandated parking. Hillsdale should anticipate addressing these issues in the next few years with increasing density.
Members are concerned that the neighbors near the Chestnut-Burlingame Avenue intersection were not informed of the plans for installing new curbs and the repaving project which began last week. This project has long been a controversial one because of the lack of communication with PBOT, the multiple issues relating to vehicle and pedestrian traffic, delays relating to the start of construction, and increasing costs of the project.
Don Baack asked members to send to him their suggestions and comments by July 8 regarding a list of 12 specific Hillsdale projects relating to the SW Corridor Plan. The suggestions should include specific street, road, and sidewalk improvements to be included in the list, or deleted from Don’s draft.
Hillsdale Alliance and SWNI
Glenn Bridger reported his intention of asking Alliance members to discuss the residential infill project at the next meeting, the date of which has not yet been determined. Glenn also reported that SWNI has new chair occupants for its seven standing committees. Glenn reviewed the HNA representatives on each of them, noting that we lack a representative for the Equity Committee.
SW Trails & Parks
Don Baack reported that 500 feet of new path along Trail 7 has been constructed by SW Trails-PDX in Albert Kelly Park..
Rick Meigs and Eric Wilhelm reported attending the first meeting of SWNI Communications Committee. Several neighborhoods are using google groups/docs and all SWNI standing committees will be doing so. SWNI will post information at its website on how to to use Google Docs and will also host workshops and offer other support.
HNA Agenda and minutes documents will be available in Google Drive, and the Board will discuss other ways to use it to better communicate with one another and HNA members. The Secretary will compile, for example, a current list of those who have attended meetings during the past two years.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:58 p.m.