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HNA Meeting Minutes for July 11, 2018 (Updated)

Hillsdale Neighborhood Association

July 11, 2018

Greater Portland Bible Church

 

11 Board Members in Attendance:

Andrea Wall

Barbara Bowers

Don Baack

Glenn Bridger

Jose Gamero

Leslie Pohl-Kosbau

Matt DeRosa

Rick Meigs

Robert Hamilton

Tatiana Lifshitz

William Reese

 

Action Item 2018-7-11-1

Don Baack moved, first, that the HNA will write a letter of support to the City Commissioners and Mayor, Candidates for Commissioner, Metro Commissioners and Metro President and newly elected Metro councilors for the provision of new bridges with pedestrian and bicycle facilities including Red Electric Trail Access to Slavin Road located east of Barbur Boulevard over Vermont and Newbury gullies and include two-lane vehicle bridges to provide a seismically designed safe alternative to the wooden existing structures and facilitate the future replacement of those facilities.

 

Second, Don moved that the HNA will write a letter of support (to the same) for the locating of the Light Rail line (to the area) between Barbur Boulevard and I-5 from Terwilliger Parkway to the Tigard Transit Center.

 

In a straw poll vote, Members voted 11-8 in favor of tabling both motions. Following the straw poll vote, a Board motion for tabling the vote was made, seconded and passed 5-3.

 

Action Item 2018-7-11-2

Rick Meigs moved to consider Adam Light’s Advisory Motion regarding ByLaws review to have been effectively met by the creation of a ByLaws Committee. The motion was seconded and passed 9-0.

 

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Chair Glenn Bridger began at 7pm. Members introduced themselves.

 

The Minutes of the June 6 HNA Meeting were approved. The Agenda for the current meeting was approved.

 

The Chairman announced the July 3 results of the election of Officer positions and appointments of Members to Committees.

 

The Treasurer reported the HNA bank account has a balance of approximately $900.

 

Prior to the presentations, a question was raised about whether an email sent to the Board by Eric Wilhelm regarding pedestrian walkways would be discussed. The question about the disposition of this email was not answered, and the Chair moved ahead with the Agenda.

 

Presentation #1: Mark Dane on new Hillsdale Triangle residential development

 

The Chairman introduced the first speaker:  Mark Dane of Mark Dane Planning, to discuss his plan for development of residences within the Hillsdale Triangle at 6014 SW 18th Drive, between SW 18th, Sunset Boulevard and Capitol Highway. 

 

Mark framed his presentation as an opportunity for his firm to receive community input and feedback on the project. He emphasized that the project has not been approved yet and is still in planning stages.

 

He presented a high-level sketch of the plan along with computerized renderings of the typical dwelling envisioned.

 

The development encompasses a series of three-story detached homes for individual families. Mark pledged to meet minimum depth, size and frontage requirements for the lots. The area developed will be approximately 90,000 ft2, and each unit will measure approximately 5,000 ft2.

 

The development is expected to achieve 50% of the zoning density asked for by the City. This is to be achieved, in part, by an overlay permitting decreased density in the case of landslide prone areas, but also by meeting the overall density requirements of the proposed complex combined with the complex adjacent to it.

 

The plan includes a gravity-based sanitary system to treat wastewater on site.

 

A particular development focus is a new pedestrian greenway, including two major pathways, to run through the middle of the complex.

 

For car parking, each home will include a two-car garage at first floor, with additional outdoor spaces.

 

Mark made a point of mentioning that he himself wishes to eventually reside in one of the homes at the new complex.

 

“It’s a great neighborhood,” he said, “and I don't want to mess it up.”

 

Members discussed the following additional issues:

  • Initiating discussions between Mark Dane and the homeowners association as soon as possible
  • Nature of the greenway, its plantings, and whether it is to be grass or garden or playground (the current plan envisions grass, in a “French Boulevard” style, with Orenco Village as a reference case)
  • Responsibility for maintaining the greenway
  • Affordability of the units (which according to Mark, “is not a consideration,” given the price of land in central Hillsdale)

 

Mark invited Hillsdale residents to send their questions and additional ideas to him directly at MarkDanePlanning@gmail.com.

 

Chairman Bridger introduced the next presentation by underlining the stakes for future of Portland. The SW Corridor, he said, is “one of the largest ever investments in Portland,” which will set the stage for urban development in the Southwest “for the next 50 years.”

 

The project is in its DEIS—or Draft Environmental Impact Statement —phase. 

 

The purpose of the Environmental Impact Statement, according to the Newsletter distributed at the meeting, is to “share information about the anticipated effects of [this] major infrastructure project,” as well as “to identify and reduce potential negative impacts before federal funding is made available to build the new light rail line” (SW Corridor Light Rail Project Newsletter, Summer 2018: 2).

 

After the public comment period, a Steering Committee will “recommend a route to study further, known as the Preferred Alternative.” (See SW Corridor Plan, https://www.oregonmetro.gov/public-projects/southwest-corridor-plan/deis-comment-now).

 

The Chairman noted that the public comment period for the DEIS phase will close on July 30, 2018. Therefore, the Association needs to determine the “contribution we want to make to the DEIS process” before the end of this month.

 

Presentation #2: SW Corridor Project, by:

Jennifer Koozer, TriMet, Community Affairs

Michael Kisor, Ash Creek Neighborhood Association, Advisory community community member

John Gillam, Planner, PBOT

 

John Gillam of PNBOT yielded the floor to Jennifer Koozer of Trimet.

 

Jennifer stated that public comments such as those sought at the current meeting will “impact design and potential funding.” Community support is needed because city residents are the ones who will ultimately vote on a municipal funding measure, whose approval, in turn, will affect the ability of the city to qualify for federal funding for the project.

 

In August, the Steering Committee will make its recommendations, and it will do so drawing upon public comments received in July. The Hillsdale Neighborhood Association is encouraged to provide a statement to contribute to the process.

 

Jennifer called attention to Page 3 of the distributed Newsletter, which depicts the proposed route. (https://www.oregonmetro.gov/sites/default/files/2018/06/19/SW-Corridor-Light-Rail-Project-Summer-2018-Newsletter-61918.pdf).

 

The light rail will connect downtown with the current MAX line, leaving downtown on either Barbur Boulevard or Naito Parkway. The initial route proposed is on Barbur. The Marquam Hill/OHSU stop is expected to boost ridership, a key metric that will be cited to attract funding. The line would continue on Barbur through its wooded section, either in the woods adjacent to Barbur or in the middle of the boulevard.

 

John Gillam added at this point that the proposed line will tie into other metro corridors, efficiently connecting the Southwest to the rest of the city.

 

Michael Kisor then stated that, as a member of the Community Advisory Committee for the project, he will recommend the locally preferred alternative, whatever that may prove to be. Michael is a cyclist, and issues concerning cycling and pedestrian movement are much on his mind.

 

At that juncture, Board Member Don Baack stood to recount his published position on the project from an opinion piece submitted to the Tigard Times

(“Motion to the HNA regarding the SW Corridor,” cited by Jose Gamero, https://nextdoor.com/news_feed/?post=86695962).

 

Don then introduced two motions, which initiated a vigorous discussion among the Membership that proceeded at some length. 

 

Issues raised in the discussion subsequent to Don’s motion included the following:

  • The imperative of deciding collectively what Hillsdale wants its neighborhoods to look like
  • “Traffic chaos,” or “Car-maggedon” to be caused by traffic congestion during construction over a period of years
  • If the rail is relocated to eastern side of Barbur (toward I5), the number of homes and apartments affected and residents displaced; and whether or not the people displaced will be largely lower-income residents
  • Whether displaced residents, because of the protections afforded by the Uniform Relocation Act, may emerge from the relocation process happier than before, as some research suggests
  • Possible loss of inventory of lower cost housing, even if privately owned
  • Effects of light rail construction on business activity, with Interstate Avenue as a relevant case study
  • Whether the DEIS includes any plans to regulate traffic flow (and according to Jennifer, it does)
  • Whether the impact on Hillsdale’s traffic congestion of future tolls on I-5 has been factored into the DEIS (and according to Jennifer, it has not, since no decision has yet been made on I-5 tolls specifically)
  • How Hillsdale residents themselves will access the light rail, since the Transit Station on Barbur is not within convenient walking distance (according to Jennifer, they will take the #54 Bus to the Transit Station; the #12 Bus will be discontinued)
  • Whether overall usability of Barbur will be enhanced by the addition of sidewalks, bike lanes, signals, and new traffic turning opportunities
  • The potential impact of freight trucks exiting I-5
  • The potential for decreased response time for fire and police to access stations that are in-line with Barbur vs off-line
  • The difficulty predicting the impacts of construction, since details are yet to be decided, and the number of variables is vast
  • Concern that a fair process is taking place to represent the views of Hillsdale as a whole, not just the Board of its Neighborhood Association
  • The tradeoff between HNA’s taking further time to deliberate, and the risk of deliberating so long that its feedback will no longer matter

 

 

Regarding Action Item 2018-7-11-1

Following the discussion period, Leslie Pohl-Kosbau noted that that Members likely needed time to review the information and positions presented. The Chairman moved that Don Baack’s two motions be tabled until the HNA could hold a new meeting to form a point of view on the location of the light rail in the context of the SW Corridor project as a whole.

 

Both of Don Baack’s motions were tabled until a later date, when it was agreed that discussion regarding the SW Corridor Project will resume.

 

Jennifer Koozer recommended that in the intervening days Members review relevant passages of the DEIS. She mentioned in particular Chapter 3, addressing Transportation Impacts, and Chapter 4, dealing with Displacement

 

To download a copy of the DEIS, go to: https://www.oregonmetro.gov/public-projects/southwest-corridor-plan/DEIS

 

Printed copies of the DEIS are available at Metro Regional Center and at public libraries and other locations in Southwest Portland, Tigard and Tualatin. To find a location to request a copy by mail, call 503-813-7535, and see summary documents posted at: https://www.oregonmetro.gov/public-projects/southwest-corridor-plan/deis-comment-now.

 

Jennifer Koozer and John Gillam agreed with Rick Meigs that, should, HNA be able to craft an “argument,” it will carry weight. Such an argument will help the committee “understand (the community’s interests” and ideally, should “provide context for the position taken.”

 

The Chairman drew attention back to the Agenda.

 

There were no Informational Reports from the Committees.

 

The Chair judged that time had run out to discuss an Advisory Motion submitted via email by Adam Light concerning the formation of a ByLaws Committee.

 

Board President Matt DeRosa noted, however, that he was now forming a Committee specifically to review and refashion the Association’s ByLaws, and that he was thereby addressing Adam Light’s Advisory Motion. He extended an invitation to Members to participate in the activities of the newly formed Committee.

 

Matt also stated that he is forming a Nominating Committee to nominate new candidates for an open Board Member position.

 

He will be conducting an email outreach to inform his selection of members to participate in both the ByLaws Committee and the Nominating Committee.

 

Mat provided an update on plans for National Night Out.

 

Regarding Action Item 2018-7-11-2

Rick Meigs then moved to consider Adam Light’s Advisory Motion regarding ByLaws review effectively met by the creation of a ByLaws Committee. The motion was seconded and passed 9-0.

 

Tatiana Lifshitz announced that the City has extended its period of formal comment on the Residential Infill Project into the month of August. She urged the Membership at large to submit their comments. (https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/67728)

 

Rick Meigs will send out an email to Membership to emphasize the extended comment period for RIP.

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:05 pm.

 

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To send comments about the SW Corridor Project, write a letter or email to the following addresses:

Metro

SW Corridor

600 NE Grand Ave.

Portland OR 97232

SWCorridorDEIS@oregonmetro.gov

 

To attend a meeting on the SW Corridor project, or to comment in person, or online, please visit:

www.swcorridorplan.org

 

Respectfully submitted, William Reese