Southwest Hills Residential League

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Next SWHRL Board Meeting:

Wednesday, February 15, 2017, 7:00-8:30 pm
Ascension Episcopal Parish
1823 SW Spring St.

The agenda will include:

  • ·        Discussion of SWHRL Bylaws Revision (see below)

    ·        Next Membership Meeting May 2017 – Focus/Speakers? Need for new Board members, officers

    ·        Southwest in Motion (SWIM) Trails Initiative discussion and trail mapping follow up*

    ·        Wildwood Trail Pedestrian Bridge over Burnside

    ·        Land Use & Transportation Updates

    ·        Strohecker’s Update

    ·        SWHRL Parks Playground Safety

    ·        Vista-Spring Restoration Project

     Board meetings are open to the public, so please join us, especially if you would like to join the Board! Let us know in advance if there are issues you'd like to bring to SWHRL's attention.

*SWIM Project:

Looking for your input at the meeting: We want to finalize our list of trail candidates for the Southwest in Motion (SWIM). These are connections on unbuilt public right of way that are not already either an approved stairway or in the SW Urban Trail Plan to be nominated for the SWIM process to obtain City Council approval. By gaining approval in this manner, we get block recognition ahead of time and avoid the huge task of seeking individual approval for each trail segment as we need it. Nominating a trail segment simply means asking the City to include it on their maps and lists of segments to be considered in the SWIM project. Many of these SWHRL connections are already being used by neighbors, but may need improving with official recognition.

Strohecker's Memo - Feb. 6, 2017

The Strohecker’s Grocery Replacement Committee met January 19, 2017, to discuss next steps necessary to bring this longtime grocery icon, now dormant under current ownership, back to serving this Southwest Portland neighborhood as it has done for over a century. Standing behind the 1984 Portland City Ordinance which mandates a grocery-only designation and protection for the current surviving structure on Patton Road, the Committee reiterated its unequivocal support to preserve this property’s use and features.

Attendees: Lee Doss (host), Nancy Seton (SWHRL Neighborhood Association President), Bill Failing (SWHRL Board), and neighborhood advocates Blythe Olson, Mary Taylor, David Olson, John Moody, Leigh Kitchin, Louisa Neumann, and Michele Bowler Failing.

Property Update

·       As of February 6, 2017, SWHRL has found out from the property owner that the property will be put up for sale.

·       This could be an opportunity for a local well-intentioned developer with the neighborhood’s best interests at heart to work with the community to recreate something truly beneficial to all.

·       We must also stay vigilant against the possibility of a new owner who does not consider the community’s need for a high quality, full-service market at the site.

·       The Committee plans to continue as a neighborhood “watchdog” to see that future plans for the property are grocery-specific, and that any future plans must be beneficial to the character of the neighborhood.

Property Features to Take into Consideration

·       Any redevelopment of the property must be for a grocery store and in compliance with the 1984 Portland City Ordinance.

·       One of the difficult aspects of rehabilitating this property is the increase of Patton Road traffic during both morning and afternoon drive-times. 

·       On the positive side, Strohecker’s longtime proximity to Portland Heights Park has made these adjacent neighbors co-joined for numerous Community activities.  The scarcity of City parks on Portland’s West Side makes the future of these two properties, public and private, crucial for neighborhood synergies.  Strohecker’s parking area has also made a difference in accommodating Park activity participants.

The Committee is optimistic that in the months-to-come a solution will be identified as the Strohecker’s property navigates through its second century!

Urgent Need for SWHRL Board Members, Officers, 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. It’s time to let new volunteers to take their turns. In May 2017, Nancy Seton intends to retire as SWHRL President after a 3-year term. She’s also served as Land Use Chair for about 10 years, as Board member for nearly that long, SWHRL representative to the SWNI Board, and in the absence of other volunteers, is currently responsible for Communications (SWHRL website & newsletter, monthly SWHRL news for the SWNI newsletter, membership list maintenance). Some of these duties should be shared! We will also need a new Treasurer and Secretary in May 2017. 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?

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:
    • Website, newsletter and membership list maintenance
  • Strohecker's Committee
  • SWHRL History:
    • Help with documentation and archiving of SWHRL history – oral and written
  • Reps to SWNI Committees, e.g. Land Use, Transportation, Public Safety, Parks, Communications, etc.)

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).  This wet season (Fall-Winter 2016-17) we’ll continue 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

(Chaise Johnson, Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability)

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' new 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 or to get involved email Eleni, Portland Heights Living Publisher, at


Updating SWHRL Bylaws

We are in the process of updating the 2008 SWHRL Bylaws to bring them into synch with the city's 2015 template for neighborhood Bylaws. The new SWHRL amended Bylaws will need to be approved by a majority of SWHRL members at two subsequent membership meetings, e.g. the May 2017 and October 2017 general meetings. Since it's not practical to read the complete Bylaws at the meetings, we ask that members review the draft (once it's ready and posted here) prior to the meetings where it will be considered. The existing 2008 SWHRL Bylaws and the new Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) template are available on Portland's website.


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.