Southwest Hills Residential League


RESCHEDULED: SWHRL General Membership Meeting/Forum:

New Date Thursday, February 2, 2017, 6:30-8:30 pm

Ainsworth Elementary School Auditorium, 2425 SW Vista Ave.

The meeting agenda will include:
• Discussion of SWHRL Bylaws Revision
• Southwest in Motion (SWIM) Trails Initiative discussion and trail mapping
• Wildwood Trail Pedestrian Bridge over Burnside
• Land Use & Transportation Updates 
• Strohecker’s Update

• SWHRL Parks Playground Safety
• Update: Vista-Spring Restoration Project


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. 


Additionally, we'll offer for your comments an overview of the proposed revision of the SWHRL Bylaws. This revision is based on the City's Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) recently published Bylaws template for neighborhood associations. Please study the draft of the Bylaws (to be posted here soon) before you come to the meeting. It's not practical to read through the whole document at the meeting, so we'll discuss key changes. Amended Bylaws must be adopted by a majority vote of members present at two consecutive general membership meetings, e.g. January, May, October.

See you there!

Strohecker's Update from SWHRL Strohecker's Committee

SWHRL ‘Strohecker’s Replacement Committee’ Meeting

    Strohecker’s: Restoring a Portland Heights Institution!

 Strohecker’s was a valuable resource for the broad S.W. Hills community:

  • Is it possible to reassemble this customer-friendly mix of services: grocery, bakery, liquor, post office, pharmacy?
  • Shopping Radius/Nearest Competition--- See attached map showing all grocery stores in NW and SW PDX within 4.6 miles driving distance:
  • Strohecker’s strategic location as the only grocery store in SW Hills. Nearest alternatives: Zupans (1.7 miles North), Safeway (1.7 miles Northeast), Food Front (2.7 miles South), and Albertson’s (2.1 miles to the Southwest)
  • 1984 City Ordinance (155609): Mandates that "use of this site shall be restricted to a grocery store." It was the Committee’s consensus vow to protect this Ordinance above all.

Profile on Current Property Owner: We need to know more about him.

  • Owner Tim Sotoodeh: Southwest Hills Holdings LLC based in Santa Ana, CA.
  • When can we meet him in person? Need to schedule an in-person meeting to hear his views, ask questions, and develop a dialogue with him.  Positive speculation should be shared through SWHRL as it develops.
  • Purchased property in 2012.
  • What might be Owner’s ultimate goals for the property be?

The last incarnation of Stroh’s: What we all liked, and still like:

  • Grocery, Post Office, Pharmacy, Wine/Liquor: reasons to shop there---one-stop-shop, convenience, good taste, location, location, location…
  • Tie to the adjacent Park---a social/community hub
  • Ample parking

Examples of Strohecker’s Replacement Prospects appearing to offer a desirable mix of amenities---no contenders banging on our door---yet! 

  • Whole Foods 365---expanding (currently with store in Lake Oswego)
  • Market of Choice---full-service grocery, with right balance of high-end and affordable offerings….and it is an Oregon company (!)
  • Trader Joe’s: Owner has another property with Trader Joes as a tenant, however an appropriate smaller TJ’s store model is not currently known.

Potential next steps:

  • First Step: Find a “Champion” on City Council who can be responsive to this effort, support the 1984 Ordinance. Some have suggested Mayor-Elect Ted Wheeler who grew up in this neighborhood to possibly fill that role. This “Champion” should be involved in the conversation with the Owner.
  • Send out a Survey: one Committee Member, who is in the grocery business, suggests a survey to determine shopping preferences of S.W. Hills residents for the Strohecker’s location, to be used by the Owner to attract a grocer which can be the best fit. (Further discussion is necessary to determine the most effective way to compile and distribute this information.)   Ramp up the outreach with positive information to S.W. Neighborhoods: SWHRL Newsletter, Facebook, Next Door Southwest Hills blog.
  • Explore creative solutions for both heavy Patton Road traffic, and the amount of available parking on the property.

This Committee, gaining new Members committed to seeing the best happen to this property, will continue to meet frequently, and will continue to keep the concerned SWHRL neighborhoods informed of our progress.

Respectfully Submitted,

Bill Failing, Committee Chair





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 – by then she’ll complete 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 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;
    - 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. What about a book kiosk? 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)

Chat with city planners about proposed zoning changes in your neighborhood at drop-in hours or testify at a City Council hearing on the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan. Coming soon! New zoning proposals for mixed use areas, campuses and institutions, employment land and residential neighborhoods …

Ready to comment on the Comprehensive Plan Goals, Policies and Land Use Map?
Check the project calendar at

Per Joan Frederiksen, BPS:
If the comments on the TSP relate to the policies, project list or the financial plan (Stage 1 of TSP process), since it’s under City Council review, they should be sent directly to It will later get routed to staff.

If the comments are related to street design classifications, performance measures or other proposed changes to city code (Stage 2 of the TSP update) you can speak with and direct comments to Francesca Patricolo, 503-823-5282,

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 - if the draft is ready in time, at the October 2016 and January 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.



More about the Southwest Hills Residentail League on the City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement website: