HAND Board Meeting – September 17, 2008

Board members present: Chair Alex Bassos, Vice Chair Sean McCusker, Secretary Carolyn Brock, Treasurer Matthew Masini, Liz Gatti, Lois Hankins, Dave Kaplan, Wendy Kunkel, Amy Lewin, Joseph Murphy, Linda Nettekoven, Susan Pearce, Marilee Tillstrom
Also present: Land Use Chair Kina Voelz

Board members not present: Frank Dufay, Lindsey McBride, Jack Spadaro, Ethan Timm

Meeting called to order by Chair at 7:03pm

1. Liz Gatti announced the Abernethy School “Tour de Ladd” fund raiser scheduled for Friday, 10/3. Some streets will be blocked so that kids can ride bicycles through the neighborhood.
2. Dave Kaplan announced the Save Our Elms Historic Home Tour scheduled for Saturday, September 20th in Ladd’s Addition.
3. Alex announced the People’s Co-op Harvest festival on September 18.

Buckman Historic Preservation Coalition:
Don McGillivray spoke representing the Buckman Historic Preservation Coalition, which is looking to advocate for reducing the pace of in-fill high density development in Buckman. The group is hoping to re-visit density goals in the Portland Plan review. The goal is to preserve the character of the Buckman neighborhood. The impact of in-fill designs is likely to disproportionately impact all inner southeast neighborhoods. The group will meet each second Monday at Hinson Church – Room 103 from 7:30 to 9:00pm. The group is concerned about potential plans to rezone Hawthorne from R1 to CS from 12th to 34th. Lois Hankins corrected Mr. McGillivray by stating that the re-zoning is proposed to allow CS usage on properties that currently have commercial use – allowing mixed-use re-development rather than pure residential. Richard Ross expressed the need for planning and infrastructure development that will support the expected growth.

Portland Streetcar Southeast District Working Group:
Richard Ross presented information about the planning process for future streetcar routes through southeast Portland. An on-line survey is available for citizens to express priorities and concerns. Richard leads a southeast Portland district working group that has conducted surveys and done a “first look” at feasibility for routes. Routes in HAND include Hawthorne and Milwaukie avenues. The proposal also includes potential connections to proposed light rail lines in an effort to build a system that works through interconnection and junction points with other transit modes. The proposals will next go to a more detailed technical review by PDOT and through further public process to identify potential funding sources.

Proposed improvements for Division Street:
Liz Mahon from PDOT spoke about the progress on Division Street improvements. Traffic analysis is in progress for the section between 6th and 39th.. The data will be used to develop alternatives for street improvements including a focused look at issues around seven corners. A public meeting will be held on October 6 at St. Phillip Neri to discuss design alternatives for 7 corners. The project is becoming more expensive with soaring costs for paving material. The final cost will be higher than the $2.4Million working estimate. PDOT has applied for additional CAP funding through Metro. The public comment period closes December 1. Richard Ross suggested that HAND testify and write letter in support of the project. Project kickoff with Technical and Citizens’ Working Groups will begin in November or December.

Progress on former Wild Oats Building, 30th and Division:
Linda Nettekoven commented that the Wild Oats project is still on hold pending resolution of the appeal to LUBA from representatives of Loprinzi’s gym. The Planning Commission will review the issue on 10/13. Linda wants to advocate for retaining the changes in zoning language supported earlier by HAND. This would permit redevelopment of the building and allow the fitness center project to proceed. This will require modification of the Main Street Overlay in the Green Street/Main Street Plan.

Burnside Bridgehead:
Sue Pearce reported on the current situation of the Burnside Bridgehead project. Comm. Adams has requested design changes to reduce costs of the Burnside-Couch couplet design. The connection point for Couch St. will move from 3rd Ave to a point farther east at grade level. The changes will also accommodate future streetcar routes and the intersection of 12th and Sandy. The new alignment creates a small island block which may complicate development options. The Opus Development project plan has been terminated. The Convention Plaza Bldg. will not be razed at this time to delay the demolition costs. PDC is looking for interim uses for the property until the project can be re-started. Options include expanded skate park, farmers market, mountain bike trails, and dog park, among others.

St. Mary’s fund-raiser:
A fund-raising event for St. Mary’s School will use the Hawthorne Bridge and a small piece of the esplanade on 10/9. A late request has been made to HAND to approve use of the esplanade.
• Wendy Kunkel moved and Linda Nettekoven seconded a motion to approve the use, with continued concern about number of late notice events. The approval vote was unanimous with no abstentions.

Letter regarding notification about mixed use developments:
Alex Bassos raised the issue of the lack of notification for large mixed-use development projects. Linda Nettekoven has drafted a letter to the Mayor and City Council asking for better communications about pending mix-use projects. If no adjustments are requested, these projects require no neighborhood notification. Linda also has been in conversation with planners to discuss better communication, and the need for each neighborhood to design its own vision, while improving the process with developers. Lois Hankins offered that design concepts drawings exist at Planning which could serve as a model for those conversations. Developer Stan Link commented that the risk for developers is high, because of delay and expensive potential changes.
• Sue Pearce moved that the draft letter be sent with modifications (proposed via email). Wendy Kunkel seconded the motion. The vote to approve was unanimous.

Portland State capstone student involvement:
Linda Nettekoven presented information about a PSU Capstone Project which might be used for benefit of the neighborhood. Students working with architect, Don Stastny, could be deployed for a long-range, urban design project dealing with the light rail station planning. Sue Pearce commented on the potential land use changes generated by the corridor and the station. Dave Kaplan asked if the output would be useful. Tom Armstrong (Bureau of Planning) had been contacted by Linda. Armstrong saw value in having the early discussions. A consensus decision was reached to further explore the details of the project with the architect.

Board business:
• Sue Pearce moved the approval of the revised version of the July minutes. Linda Nettekoven seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous with the exception of Dave Kaplan who abstained.
Matt Masini offered the Treasurer’s Report. The current balance is 30,758.17 at Bank of America at very low interest. Sean had done some research into ways to improve our return on the balance. Sean suggested that we transfer the account to Rivermark Credit Union where a return of over 2% APY is available.
• Matt moved that we move the funds to Rivermark. Lois Hankins seconded the motion. The board vote was unanimous.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:45

Submitted by:
Dave Kaplan, Note-taker
Carolyn Brock, Secretary