Hillsdale Neighborhood Association
Wednesday, April 4, 2018
St. Barnabas Episcopal Church
2201 SW Vermont
Next meeting: Wednesday, May 2, at The Watershed, 6388 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97239
Action Item 2018-4-4-1 Don Baack moved that the HNA co-sponsor the Grand Opening of the new Safe Routes to School Trail on May 12 from 11:15 to Noon at SW Bertha and 25th Avenue. Passed 9-0.
Action Item 2018-4-4-2 Don Baack moved that we send a letter to Commissioner Dan Saltzman in support of the improvements requested by SW Trails on (1) an extended shoulder or sidewalk on Cheltenham Court from Cheltenham to Westwood; and (2) a sidewalk on Capitol Hill Road from the entrance to Stephens Creek Park at SW 17th Avenue to SW 19th Avenue on the south side of the street. Passed 9-0.
Vice President Leann Knapp chaired the meeting. The agenda was approved and members and guests introduced themselves. Leann explained signage she posted which suggested ways for us to discuss in an open and respectful manner the perspectives of all who wished to speak. The meeting would include some controversial matters regarding the Residential Infill Project and proposed new zoning changes within residential areas of the city, including Southwest neighborhoods.
Hillsdale resident and a state economic analyst and economist Josh Lehner presented “Southwest Portland and the Housing Trilemma.” Cities, he said, face tradeoffs regarding housing affordability, job availability, and quality of life: the “trilemma.” He compared the 100 largest metropolitan areas and noted that Southwest Portland is growing slowly, adding in this decade a few hundred homes in the 2010s versus over 9,000 homes in the decade of the 1960s, over 5,000 in the 1970s, 2,500 in the 1980s and 1990s, and 1,000 from 2000-2009.
“No-growth neighborhoods” are increasing in Portland, Josh said. In his opinion, the Residential Infill Project (RIP) will allow “Hillsdale-type development along City of Portland transit corridors.” This permits but does not force changes. Instead it removes the “ban on the missing middle housing options.” Duplexes and triplexes offer human-scale density while being environmentally friendly. They provide much better affordability featuring integrated communities with better economic mobility and the ability to age-in-place. Thus, Josh said, there should be fewer demolitions due to size-limits on infills.
Finally, Josh noted, cities can accommodate ongoing economic growth by choosing either sprawl or through increasing population density. If there is no accommodation made to match housing to increasing economic growth, then either lower-income residents and families are displaced, or economic growth slows or halts.
Residential Infill Project (RIP) Comment Hour
Joan Frederiksen of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability was present as a resource with expertise on RIP and proposed re-zoning regulations. She provided an overview of handouts which she distributed. The proposed draft of RIP was released during the past week. Joan noted that any formal position taken by a Neighborhood Association, which HNA has not done, will not determine whether new policies and regulations will be applied within that neighborhood. Eventually, City Council will decide which zoning regulations will apply throughout the city and in all neighborhoods. However, we are still in the period of public comment when individuals and Neighborhood Associations can inform the City of their position on proposed zoning changes.
Joan also noted that the City ignores local “covenants” which might otherwise affect zoning, design, and density.
HNA member Natalia Bronner filed a Grievance in March against the HNA Board. This lengthy document included an attached petition signed by 64 Hillsdale neighbors. It as well as the HNA Board response of March 31 are now a matter of public record and can be read at the HNA official website (see below)
Natalia Bronner presented a detailed “Advisory” to the HNA Board which advocated that the Board “change the HNA’s position regarding RIP from ‘support’ to ‘oppose;’ (2) Post a Public Notice on the official HNA website and publish in the SWNI News or any other local publication the change in the HNA’s position regarding RIP; (3) In the following months prioritize the RIP discussion above all other topics and improve the community involvement in this discussion; (4) Within the month of April provide an analysis of the impact of the RIP on neighborhood infrastructure and livability, similar to the analysis provided by other neighborhood associations which oppose the RIP; and (5) Work with a group of Hillsdale activists and provide all necessary support in their effort to oppose proposed RIP changes.” However, HNA Secretary Robert Hamilton responded that HNA has taken no official position to date on RIP. Although the subject has been discussed at several meetings and HNA members have voiced different personal opinions, there is no documentation of the Board taking a position on the matter. An “Advisory” of July 2016 recommended that we inform the City that RIP should not apply to residential areas until after basic infrastructure relating to ground/storm water collection and runoff, sidewalk construction, and utility and sewer-line construction is completed. But the Advisory did not result in a Board motion.
Natalia’s Advisory was discussed. Five members voted in favor of passing the Advisory and 12 members voted against it. In this particular instance, the Chair asked that Abstentions be recorded, and five members voted to Abstain. The Advisory failed.
Barbara Bowers reported that the Outreach Committee did not meet in March. The Pizzacato Pizza restaurant would like to attend a future meeting and introduce the regional and store managers.
Don Baack reported on the Safe Route to School Project at SW 25th Avenue and Bertha to Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway. Steps and guardrails were installed as well as handrails on both sides where the trail is steepest.
Glenn Bridger reported that a proposal was made for a new building application involving land use review at 1818 SW Sunset Boulevard. No permit has as yet been issue. The principals are willing to make a presentation to HNA regarding the project.
A large tree will be removed at 5677 SW Menefee Drive.
A land use action was submitted to conduct work in environmentally protected zones in order to construct the Red Electric Trail bridge discussed at our March HNA meeting.
Tree removals are also being proposed on a Fairmont property. The agent for the land owners was invited to share his building plans at the April 4 HNA meeting, but he did not respond to the offer. Another proposal for townhouse development in Hayhurst Neighborhood has been presented. It is at the corner of SW 30th Avenue and BH Highway; across SW 30th from Hillsdale. There is also a complaint regarding plantings at Terwilliger / Capitol Highway. A hearings officer decision was published for the land division requested in the Hillsdale Triangle on SW 18th. That document is large; WEB LINK FOR LU 17-116867 LDS – HEARINGS OFFICER DECISION.
The Residential Infill Project proposal has been updated and published this week by the City. It is a 2-volume set. Glenn said it could be accessed on the city webpage for this project: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/67728.
Submitted by Robert Hamilton, Secretary