Southwest Hills Residential League


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Upcoming Meetings / Events:

Note: General membership meetings start at 6:30 at Ainsworth; SWHRL Board meetings at Ascension Chapel start at 7pm

SWHRL’s August 13 Party in the Park a Great Success!

In spite of someone ordering up the only day of rain this summer, we had a great turnout at our annual Party in the Park. The sun even joined us and nearly dried out the grass. The Kid’s Market with handmade crafts was terrific with a substantial increase in participants from last year. The live music, Dan Schlesinger and his combo playing jazz favorites, was just right. Our favorite fire fighters from Station 15 showed up to wow the kids with their truck. Face painters worked their magic. Kids played games in the field. Volunteers for Neighborhood Watch/Emergency Preparedness, NET (Neighborhood Emergency Team), and SWTrails dispensed useful information to neighbors. This year we experimented by offering free BBQ food, hot dogs and lemonade (paid for by SWHRL), and it seemed to work, though we’ll need to fund-raise to replenish the treasury. A big thanks to picnic organizer Kara Stone, the SWHRL Board, young people who brought their crafts to the Kids Market, and all others who helped make this a success! 


SWHRL Board Meeting:

Wednesday, 20 September 2017, 7:00-8:30pm

Ascension Episcopal Parish
1823 SW Spring St.


Next General Membership Meeting:

Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 6:30-8:30pm

Ainsworth School Auditorium – 2425 SW Vista Ave.

The agenda will include:

·       Strohecker’s Update - Discussion of community vision for the site       

·       Updates on Land Use, Transportation, Public Safety issues

·       Final vote on Bylaws Revision


Are there other topics of interest you'd like to see on the agenda? Let us know: 


To see Nancy Seton's notes from the August 22, 2017, Pre-Application Conference on Strohecker's, click here.


Join the discussion on what's happening with Strohecker's.

Strohecker’s seem to be on everyone’s minds. The former Strohecker’s property has been on the market since this spring. We’d like to get feedback and ideas from the neighborhood about what they’d like to see if developers begin explore ideas beyond a grocery. If a large footprint grocery-only business proves not to be viable there, what if the site were redeveloped as a mixed-retail town center?


If there were a mixture of a smaller-footprint grocery store and other amenities, what would you like? A recurring theme we’ve heard is that we need a neighborhood gathering place where we can find food and run into friends. We miss the services we had before: Post Office, pharmacy, liquor store, deli, bakery, espresso bar, dry-cleaning pick-up. Wouldn’t it be great to have services like a restaurant, breakfast place? Bakery-coffee shop? Café/pub? Yoga studio? Day care center? Urgent care clinic?


What about a community center run by Portland Parks & Recreation that would synergize with Portland Heights Park next door, perhaps offering a gym, event facilities, and other community resources? Or perhaps a combination of mixed retail and public services?

Email your thoughts to

SWHRL Bylaws Revision needs your attention:

We will hold the second and final vote at our general meeting on October 18, 2017, to adopt new, amended SWHRL Bylaws to bring our 2008 SWHRL Bylaws into synch with the city's Bylaws template. Since it's not practical to read the complete Bylaws at the meetings, we ask that members review the 2017 draft Bylaws prior to the meetings where it will be considered. Note: Some of the changes appear in bold for easy recognition. In places alternative wordings are given for your consideration, in particular the SWHRL Purpose. The existing 2008 SWHRL Bylaws and the new Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) template are available on Portland's website. Please send comments/suggestions to And most importantly, we need you there October 18 for a quorum so we can vote to adopt the new Bylaws!

Continuing Need for SWHRL Board Members, Other Volunteers:

SWHRL can only carry out its mission to look out for the interests of our community if we have help from all corners of the neighborhood. Are you retired, and willing to take on some rewarding activities? Or not retired, but care greatly about the quality of life in your neighborhood? It’s time to let new volunteers to take their turns. Please join the SWHRL Board or any of its committees to make an impact on the future of your neighborhood.

Please step up now and volunteer for: 

  • The SWHRL Board (at large members representing different areas of the neighborhood)
  • Transportation Committee (especially those with an interest in bike, pedestrian and transit issues):
    • Tracks transportation issues relevant to SWHRL & formulates SWHRL positions & responses;
    • Meets with representatives of other neighborhoods on issues of mutual interest
  • Land Use Committee:
    • Responds to the City’ Land Use notices of proposed development in the neighborhood;
    • Tracks land use issues relevant to SWHRL and formulates SWHRL positions & responses;
    • Crafts SWHRL Neighborhood Plan
    • Meets with representatives of other neighborhoods on issues of mutual interest.
  • Schools Committee
  • Outreach Communications:
  • SWHRL History:
    • Help with documentation and archiving of SWHRL history – oral and written
    • Do you have a family or Portland Heights story to share? Let us know!
  • Reps to SWNI Committees, e.g. Land Use, Transportation, etc.)

We are so pleased to have John Neumann sharing the SWHRL President duties with Nancy Seton this year. John and Nancy will also manage SWHRL communications, including the newsletter and website, but they would be happy for help collecting news, if you're so inclined. Kim Silverman is our new Treasurer, and Aesha Lorenz Al-Saeed will try out the Secretary role. 

Interested in getting together with neighbors to discuss issues, such as the future of Strohecker's? Schools? Trails? Emergency Preparedness? Let us know your email address so we can contact you.  

Please attend our general membership meetings to let us know your views and concerns, and even sit in on our monthly SWHRL Board meetings – they are open to the public.

Sign up for our E-Viewpoints newsletter via our email below or our website: on the main SWHRL web page click on the words “Join Our List.”

Contact us by email at

Volunteers Welcome: SWHRL "Invasives to Natives" Restoration Project to Beautify Corner at SW Vista Ave. at SW Spring Street

We’ve been made great progress during the winter and spring, removing invasive, non-native species from the City’s right of way at the corner of SW Vista and Spring Street. With the help of dedicated volunteers, we've weeded, added a seating area with boulders, and paths (courtesy of Boy Scouts).  There will be ongoing weeding and replanting with native and hardy plants. We're exploring ideas to add a little public art - a book kiosk/little free lending library and ceramic art from Ainsworth students. Any ideas?

To join future work parties, contact SWHRL: or Nancy Seton at 503-224-3840 to get on the email notification list. All ages - students, parents, Boy/Girl Scouts, and any others welcome. This will be a beautiful spot we can be proud of!

Comprehensive Plan Update Events


Iconic views threatened under new Comprehensive Plan 2035:

Views of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens from Washington Park, views of and from Vista Bridge would be severely compromised or lost with building heights allowed in the draft Comprehensive Plan 2035.

In their written testimony to City Council, the Goose Hollow Foothills League argues that developers’ profits should not trump iconic views that have long drawn visitors to Portland, and contributed to Portland’s sense of place. The SWHRL Board will endorse the GHFL testimony, and individual neighbors may do so as well.

From the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability-BPS:
Want to track progress on the 2035 Comprehensive Plan Goals, Policies and Land Use Map?
Check the project calendar.

More about the different parts of the TSP update work can be found on the TSP website.

What’s in Stage 2 is also covered here.

Local Publication - Portland Heights Living:

Have you seen Eleni Kehagiaras' neighborhood social magazine, Portland Heights Living? The magazine will be written entirely by Portland Heights residents about their kids, pets, homes, businesses, events, recipes, and more. For more info, to get involved, or to send in your news, email Eleni, Portland Heights Living Publisher, at

SWHRL Action Plan 2017-18

Join Southwest Hills for neighborhood news:

Join the discussion on what's happening at the Strohecker's site. See announcments for upcoming SWHRL meetings. Find recommendations for contractors, babysitters, piano teachers. Read about the latest coyote sightings. Look for the Southwest Hills Moms Group and women's biking group on social networking site NextDoor. NextDoor is a great way to find out what is happening in our area and connect with neighbors. The more of us who use it, the better tool it becomes.