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HAND Meeting Minutes, Oct. 2008

Hand Board Meeting Minutes — Approved by board during November meeting.
October 21, 2008

Board members present: Chair alex Bassos, Secretary Carolyn Brock, Treasurer Matthew Masini, frank Dufay, Liz Gatti, Dave Kaplan, Wendy Kunkel, Lindsey McBride, Linda Nettekoven, Sue Pearce, Marilee Tillstrom, Ethan Timm
Also present: Land Use Chair Kina voelz
Board members absent: Lois Hankins, Amy Lewin, Vice Chair Sean McCusker, Jack Spadaro

Announcements:
1. Deadline for the on-line streetcar survey from the Office of Transportation is the end of October.
2. Another meeting discussing the 7 corners will be “preferred strategy” – nov 3 from 7 pm – 9 pm at ST Philip Neri
3. Linda gave the SE Uplift report. She passed around a sign-up sheet for those who want to receive the monthly electronic newsletter.
4. an update was given regarding the old Wild Oats building. Linda reviewed the history. The owner of the building wants to develop it perhaps into a Golds Gym. The application was disputed by Loprinzi’s Gym and LUBA reviewed it. LUBA sent the application back to the city. The developer is asking for a modification to the land use of existing buildings along Division over 10,000 sq. ft. The proposed language would limit a single commercial use to 10k sq. ft. on the ground floor but allow buildings in existence before the adoption of the plan in 2006 to use additional space on floors above ground level. The hope is to preserve these buildings and at the same time prevent big box developers. The proposal was presented to the planning commission and they seemed amenable to the proposal. The commission will meet on the 28th to finalize their decision.

HAND sign removal/replacement:
Kay Dannen from the East side streetcar loop project reported that the hand sign at the base of the Hawthorne bridge, in the burger king parking lot must be moved. The space is needed for improving the pedestrian environment. It will be demolished, the brick recycled and it is up to the board to decide what to do with the sign. Money is available, the cost borne from the Streetcar Project. A discussion followed regarding the opportunity to have a new sign with our latest logo. Others expressed the desire for retaining the sign’s old logo because it depicts the Hawthorne Bridge. Kay would like a small committee formed, 2-3 people to help work on a design. The Chair said he will put together a committee. Kay would like to have made progress on this matter by Nov 10, as 75% of the design will be completed by the end of the year.

PGE substation proposal:
Greg Raisman from the Sunnyside board explained the proposed PGE substation change at Belmont and 32nd. The proposal is to demolish several houses, doubling the size of the substation. A PGE engineer told him electromagnetic energy “might be linked to childhood diseases”. They are applying for a 30 million neighborhood grant to build an underground substation the beginning of November. PGE is planning on two similar projects in HAND also. He asks us if we would like to join forces in looking at alternatives. His group is also looking into code issues; it is not clear if PGE can usurp neighborhood control in the conditional use permit process. PGE’s proposal meets only the minimal standards and is the least expensive alternative. Underground substations have been built in Anaheim, Ca. Greg is available at mohle@comcast.net and at smartsubstations@gmail.com

Eastside Streetcar loop:
Kay Dannen spoke about the streetcar loop. She started by discussing the history of Portland Streetcars. They opened in 2001 with the first loop, then added three extensions. it now has 42 stops and has increased ridership from 3700 to 13,000/day. They have maintained a periodic development report that shows that local development around the streetcar to be 3.5 billion inc. residential development. She says the her office is regularly visited by national and international planners and city officials.
The present improvement on the East Side is notable in that 50% of the funding is federal, with a $75 million cap. The final design will be done by May of ’09 with a completion in 2011. She expects 13,000 riders/day. The plan is to operate from Riverplace with sufficient funds. Since the number one complaint with Portland Streetcars is not being able to get on, the plan is to have cars run between 6 – 12 minutes apart.
The fare has not yet been discussed, admitting that it will be controversial. Funding from ridership is expected to be an important source of funding. CAC will work on fare planning. There is concern about pedestrian safety at MLK and Grand. there was a concern voiced about park and ride, especially at OMSI. It was noted that park and rides are prohibited in the city. It was noted that funding budgets will not be finalized till Feb/March but that the city and PDC have urged the project on, siting that any delay will cost a half million per month.

Parking issues at St. Phillip Neri:
Patrick Murphy from the St. Philip Neri Building and Ground Committee spoke with us. He expressed gratitude at being allowed to host our meetings. He says he has received reports from church staff members that the access to the parking lot at 16th Ave is problematic for the drivers of garbage trucks. There is already no parking on the east side of the street and that prohibiting, or limiting parking on the west is being considered. He has spoken to the owners of houses on the west side and asked them if they need to park there. Can they forgo parking there at particular times as the access need is not 24/7. Neighbors seem willing to dialogue but some expressed the desire to be able to park in front of their own house. It was suggested that Mr Murphy talk with the drivers as several board members spoke about how larger vehicles have managed to enter without undue problems. It was also noted that the Committee should be able to negotiate the scheduling of the pickups during the day

Board Business:
• The minutes from the last meeting were approved without changes, the motion made by Sue and seconded by Linda, Unanimous with no abstentions
The Treasurer, Matthew, stated he has moved all HAND funds to an interest bearing checking account at Rivermark Federal Credit Union: $31,000 at 1.98%. A discussion followed about investing in a CD, the best interest rate is a 7 month CD which earns 3.92%. It was noted that we have never spent more than $2000/year.
• Lindsey moved and Sue seconded that we invest 25,000 in a CD for 7 months. The motion passed unanimously without abstentions. The present Treasurer acknowledged the efforts made by the former Treasurer, Holli.

Process for liquor licensing:
Liquor licensing was discussed. A broad discussion was held touching on the following points:
The restaurant industry has proposed to the city council changing liquor licensing from annual to biannual, or longer if no complaints are lodged. It was noted that there are three ways to effect how those who serve alcohol operate: 1. through zoning and regulation: such as building code, zoning and the Portland Plan. 2. through Good Neighborhood Agreements (GNA). But these can lack “teeth” and are sometimes considered ineffective. 3: Through the Liquor Licensing Board Approval and Time Place and Manor oversight committee. But this advisory board can’t affect the license. It is also noted that the licensing procedure generates income for the city. There are vacancies on the Liquor Licensing Committee and it is a good opportunity for someone who is a good advocate and skillful in discussing the issues.
What it actually costs the bars and restaurants is unclear. It is thought that the GNA has to have consistency. Often the participants get little respect. What is appropriate in any neighborhood is unclear. It was noted that it’s fairly rare to invoke Time Place and Manor. ONL complaints take quite a while to change the situation. On the other hand it was noted that “bad actors” in the industry are rare. Frustration was noted regarding the Boards lack of consensus when it comes to values ; there has been too little discussion before specific issues are considered. When announcements are made, dialogue is rare. Skepticism was expressed on the ability of free markets to further the public good. A mechanism to encourage respectful dialogue is lacking. It was also noted that people do struggle w/o notifying the Board.

The meeting adjourned at just after 9 pm.

Submitted by:
Joseph Murphy, Note-taker
Carolyn Brock, Secretary

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