HAND Board Meeting Minutes
November 17, 2009
St. Phillip Neri, 7:00 p.m.
Board members present: Chair alex Bassos, Vice Chair Linda Nettekoven, Secretary Carolyn Brok, Treasurer Matthew Masini, Publicity Chair Amy Lewin, Frank Dufay, Liz Gatti, Lois Hankins, Dave Kaplan, Lindsey McBride, Joseph Murphy, Sue Pearce, Jack Spadaro, Marilee Tillstrom, Ethan Timm, Land Use Chair Kina Voelz.
Board members absent: Wendy Kunkel
The November hand community board meeting was called to order at 7 PM.
Prologue: tool lending library
Steve Couche of the Portland Tool Lending Library made a presentation. A site in the Southeast Portland neighborhood has been selected at 28th and Harrison. This is at the St. David of Wales Episcopal Church. He said that the board members will likely approve this location. He is now actively seeking volunteers and is currently looking for donations. He says the Portland tool lending library has other locations including both North Portland and Northeast. The library will rent hand tools as well as stationary power tools which can be transported on a bike trailer. He announced he is applying for a grant to purchase tools and put on workshops. He also helps to provide classes on deck construction, and other building activities. He also noted that there is a seed lending library. Tools will be available for one week, with a possible extension for another week. Tools will be available to Southeast Portland residents and will be open two days a week. Residents must provide two pieces of identification including the mailing address. He left the sign-up sheet for those interested in more information.
Linda Nettekoven discussed the Portland plan. The question was raised about whether we wanted a workshop in the hand neighborhood. It was announced that the next workshop will be in Mt. Scott Saturday, December 5. There will be two workshops downtown as well. There is a question of whether there would be a workshop in the Colonial Heights. There will be a curbside mailer, and a survey online. It was discussed that the content of these workshops sounded rather vague. Will it lead to wholesale changes? Is this an agenda driven campaign? It was announced that this is a bottom up, grassroots discussion. It was said that the last comprehensive plan excluded many elements of the community. This discussion will build on The Portland Plan. It will be a strategic plan that should lead to action. It is meant to be used as a guideline to get various governmental agencies to all line up behind the plan. It will be merged with the stateâ€™s comprehensive plan. It will have to meet state benchmarks. It will then guide the zoning plan. Linda will talk to the planning staff to see when they are next available.
Division Street Project
Liz Mahon of the Bureau of transportation gave a presentation and update on the current thinking on the division Street project. She has been working with the citizensâ€™ advisory committee and hopes to wrap up this stage of the planning process in March of next year. the focus was on the pro-time lanes eastbound between 11 and 13th. They need to be engineered to work at the higher volumes projected by regional Metro. It is thought that the second lanes in the eastbound direction will need to be maintained as opposed to setting them aside for full-time parking, water projects or curb extensions. Although this may not bode well for pedestrians and bicycles, it is hoped that the light rail changes at Clinton and 21st will improve the traffic on division Street. It was brought up that using the Pro-time lane for parking only during business hours and not during rush hour, can be very dangerous and confusing. She also discussed the very significant changes that are being considered in the seven corners intersection. These include painting the intersection bright colors and adding a pedestrian crossing only phase to the signaling. She was asked why traffic engineers are using the high traffic volumes projected by Metro when the climate action plan projects are intended to reduce the number of cars traveling on division Street. She said that these were federal level rules. The concern was mentioned about pollution associated with stop and go traffic.
Pocket Park at 19th and Division
Amy talked about the park that is proposed at 19th Ave. and Division Street. She has applied for a permit through PDOT. she has also applied for 2 grants. The first is through SEUL. This is for a street fair on July 24, 2010. It will be called “Roots of the Neighborhood”. The second grant is through the East Multnomah County soil and water district. It will focus on soil improvement and watershed maintenance. It may be in conjunction with the Abernathy Garden of Wonders focusing on education and improving the garden. Updates will be forthcoming.
Light Rail Projects
Linda gave a report on the light rail projects. She said that representatives from HAND, Brooklyn, and Central Eastside industrial district got together at their monthly meeting to discuss the development issues around the stations. Can they be developed in a sustainable way? What about parkland? What shall we do with the fire station land? The urban design students will be continuing to explore this and weâ€™ll have more information this spring. Money from the metro excise tax fund may be used in a formal study Within the urban growth district. They are seeking a letter of support for grants.
Neighborhood School Issues
It was also mentioned that Abernathy school is at capacity, as are many inner-city East side schools. They are being proactive and are trying to get a census. There is talk of readjusting the boundaries. They will be serving the residents and thereâ€™s talk of HAND also participating in the survey. The district is also considering converting Cleveland school to a magnet status. Students living close to the school would have to apply to go to school in a lottery process and some would be denied access to the school. Thereâ€™s also talk about how the school district can strengthen neighborhoods and improve the community. Does the Board want to write a letter to the school district to share our thoughts? An open discussion followed. It was stated that we need to remember that the primary function of schools is to provide education not specifically to improve community. It was noted that specialize programs are helpful. And we donâ€™t want to deprive students of the bigger perspective. It was noted that all high schools are not equal. It was noted that motivated parents are key to improving a high school, but that those same parents are able to get their kids out of failing schools. This is where white flight, racial and social and economic issues all intersect. The question is how to stop the flight of motivated kids and families away from troubled schools. There was talk that the city and schools need to work at a wide range of community and neighborhood issues to strengthen the schools. It was pointed out that the schools are not a city entity. Board members were asked if any of us would like to meet with the Abernathy parents. Sue mentioned interest.
Portland Plan Meetings
Liz talked about the Portland plan. At a recent meeting about 100 people attended including the mayor. The next meeting For the southeast neighborhoods is December 5.
Community Center at Washington/Monroe High School Site
There was an update on the Community Center at the former Washington High School. A recent survey gave the planners no clear guidelines. The three competing plans were briefly reviewed. It was mentioned that a seasoned city developer with significant gravitas is interested in renovating the building. The hybrid plan is back on the table. And an option D has been created. There is talk about building the pool outside and perhaps putting a theater inside the building. The time frame is tight due to an upcoming bond measure. a fallback plan is option A. The next meeting will be December 1 and it will be a public meeting.
Candidate for City Council
Spencer Burton announced his intentions to run for city councilmen. He spoke briefly about his interests and goals. Guess for five dollar donation.
â€¢ Amy moved to approve the October minutes, Linda seconded, the motion passed with Tina and Jack abstaining.
The treasurerâ€™s report was given. The CD has auto renewed.
The position of the HAND representative to SEUL is open. No members expressed interest in filling this position. The representative would help administer small grants, work on neighborhood livability, transportation and liability issues.
We decided that the December meeting would not take place. Instead there will be a holiday party at Frankâ€™s house on the usual third Tuesday of the month.
There was a motion to approve the FLAG event for insurance through SEUL. The motion to endorse this event for insurance was passed unanimously.
It was announced that there is an eco-roof incentive of $4.50 to five dollars per square foot. People interested should contact Ethan.
It was also announced that at the January meeting representatives Michelle Poyourow from the bicycle transportation alliance would like to return to continue the discussion about bicycles and a community.
Joseph Murphy, Note-taker
Carolyn Brock, Secretary