Southwest Hills Residential League


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NOTE: SWHRL Emails: or

New SWHRL mailing address (phasing out SWHRL PO Box 1033):

Southwest Hills Residential League SWHRL c/o

Southwest Neighbors Inc.

7688 SW Capitol Hwy

Portland, OR 97219

Next General Membership Meeting:

Wednesday, 17 January 2018, 6:30-8:30pm

Ainsworth School Auditorium – 2425 SW Vista Ave.

Special focus: Public Safety/Crime in SW Hills

In addition to a discussion of public safety, crime,  emergency preparedness in our neighborhood, the agenda will include reports on Land Use, Transportation, and Parks issues, updates on the property tax reform effort, and view corridors. 

Public Safety/Crime

Our neighborhood coalition SWNI’s Public Safety Committee hosts quarterly meetings with police reps on crime and public safety for residents in SW Portland. Anyone is welcome to attend to discuss their concerns. Kim Silverman and Nancy Seton attended the meeting on Jan 4, 2018, and shared what they learned at the Jan. 17 SWHRL member meeting. Check SWHRL’s website for a summary. Watch for dates of these special quarterly meetings and other events on the SWNI Public Safety site:


Also on this SWNI Public Safety site watch for announcements on emergency preparedness:  NOTE: New Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) class in March 2018. Portland (and SWHRL!) need more trained volunteers to respond in emergencies. The next Basic NET class has been scheduled for March 3, 10, and 17.

Next meeting of Westside Neighbors for [Property] Tax Reform:

Monday, January 22, 6:30-9pm, Congregation Neveh Shalom, Stampher Chapel, 2900 SW Peaceful Lane

The initial December meeting of the group featured an overview of how our property taxes work, how they got that way, and how we might exert influence to make them more rational and equitable. At the January meeting the group will decide what we want to change and how to go about it. Guest speaker tax attorney and SW neighbor Michael Mangan with Tonkon Torp.  Please note: this is a work session, not a gripe session. Anyone is welcome to attend. Prior to the meeting, participants are advised to read through the background materials previously provided, so they are up to speed and ready to discuss how to move forward. If you need copies of the background materials, and/or want to get on the group's email notification list, contact:

Preserve our Iconic Views

We have until January 18 to plead with City Council to save some of Portland’s iconic views threatened by tall development – especially Mt Hood and Vista Bridge. City Council meets at 2pm on January 18 to consider the Scenic Resource/View Corridors portion of the new Central City 2035 Plan. Until then we can bombard City Council with emails.

 In addition to emailing City Council directly, if you want to be included on a list of names supporting the testimony/talking points below, send us your name and address - SWHRL will forward the list to City Council by way of a petition. Send to:

Following are some talking points from Tracy Prince of Goose Hollow:

We believe that public access to views is about social justice and equity. CC 2035 privatizes many view of Mt. Hood and views of the Vista Bridge so that only people who can afford to live in buildings blocking these iconic views will see them. We believe that this is not the Portland way. 

Important issues:

-Please don't privatize views of Mt. Hood from Salmon Springs and the Vista Bridge. These views should be for everyone, not just for those who can afford to live in buildings blocking the views. 

-Please don't privatize views of the Vista Bridge. With heights proposed in this plan, only people in a few buildings blocking the view would be able to see the arch. Everyone else will have to stand in the middle of the street underneath the bridge to see it. 

Ainsworth ReaderBoard coming soon...

Ainsworth Elementary School's new ReaderBoard will be approx. 20 SF, 2'6"x8'-0" and be located just above an offset to the right, the existing Ainsworth sign on Vista. 

The expectation is that the reader board will be illuminated from 7am-7pm. The school's main audience will be dropping off and picking up their little one, as well as passing the school on the way to and from work. These hours will accommodate aftercare children and parents. 

Upcoming Meetings / Events:

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

Next General Membership Meeting:

Wednesday, 17 January 2018, 6:30-8:30pm

Ainsworth School Auditorium – 2425 SW Vista Ave.


SWHRL Board Meeting:

Wednesday, 21 February 2018, 7:00-8:30pm

Ascension Episcopal Parish
1823 SW Spring St.


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


As of January 2018, there is no news of developments with Stroh's. The applicant had not yet submitted the application to change the zoning to remove provisions of the 1984 Ordinance requiring a grocery only. 


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

The new, amended SWHRL Bylaws were adopted on October 18, 2017.  They are now in synch with the city's Bylaws template, with a few tweaks. 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.