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HNA Meeting Minutes for November 7, 2018

Hillsdale Neighborhood Association Meeting

November 7, 2018

Greater Portland Bible Church


Board Members in Attendance

Barbara Bowers

Glenn Bridger

Eric Wilhelm

Matt DeRosa

Joan Hamilton

Jose Gamero

Robert Hamilton

Tatiana Lifshitz

Rick Meigs

Wes Risher

William Reese

Andrea Wall


Action Item 2018-11-7-1Wes Risher Moved that the HNA send a letter of objection to the Portland City Council, the President of OHSU, Metro/TriMet, and the State Historic Preservation Office, opposing OHSU’s current plans to build an accessible pathway from Terwilliger Boulevard to its campus. Chairman Matt DeRosa ruled the Motion controversial, and placed it on the Agenda for the next HNA Meeting on December 5, 2018.


Action Item 2018-11-7-2Robert Hamilton Moved that the HNA send a tribute honoring Josh Kadish to his family. After minor revisions, the Motion was seconded and approved.


Action Item 2018-11-7-3Jose Gamero Moved to approve the Board document, SWNI Liaison Expectations. The Motion was seconded and approved.


Action Item 2018-11-7-4Glenn Bridger Moved to amend the Board document, Committee Operating Procedures, so as to limit participation in the committees to HNA Members. The Motion was seconded, but denied, 3-9-0. 


Action Item 2018-11-7-5Jose Gamero moved to approve the Committee Operating Procedures document. The Motion was seconded and passed, 8-3-1. 



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Matt DeRosa chaired the meeting, which began at 7 pm. Members introduced themselves. 


Minutes from the Meeting of 10/3/18 were approved.


Agenda Review

Robert Hamilton added an item to the Agenda for this meeting: to send a tribute on behalf of the HNA to the family of the late Josh Kadish.


The updated Agenda was approved.


Presentation: OHSU Walkways

Michael Harrison, the Director of Local Government Relations at OHSU, discussed a concept for “A Safe and Accessible Pathway” from Terwilliger Parkway to OHSU.


Michael began by announcing that OHSU will hold a public Open House on Monday, December 3, 2018, at 6 pm, to discuss the project. (At the MacDonald Auditorium, Casey Eye Institute, OHSU, 3375 SW Terwilliger Blvd). The purpose of the current presentation is to help provide information so that people can consider it, and prepare their questions and ideas in advance, so that the Open House will be effective as possible.


UPDATE: The planned Open House has been cancelled.


Michael distributed a printed handout, and called attention to the project area (as illustrated on page 5 in the area enclosed by a dotted white line).


The main access into OHSU, Michael said, by patient and visitors, is on Terwilliger at Campus Drive. The #8 public bus stops there, but there is no ADA compatible path from the bus stop up into the campus. The pathway concept is meant to safely bring people with disabilities into the OHSU campus, as well as to help people on the east side of Terwilliger to cross the street safely.


The project concept includes a pedestrian signal, as well as a traffic light.


“Portland Parks is going to have to like the project,” Michael said, “because most of the project is on public park land, not on land owned by OHSU.”


New connections from the proposed light rail along Barbur could impact the pathway in ways we can't yet anticipate, Michael noted. For instance, a possible connection from Barbur Boulevard at Gibbs Street, just east of the project, could approach Terwilliger at the proposed pathway site.


Next, Tara Mather and Ian Jaquiss of OHSU took the floor. Tara is a Campus & Space Planner. Ian works in Affirmative Action & Equal Opportunity, and chairs the Physical Access Committee.


Tara called the group’s attention to pp. 8-9 of the handout, which illustrate the site in detail. “Our desire is to improve the forested quality of this site, as well as to improve accessibility from the Parkway to the OHSU campus and neighborhood,” she said. “The site suffers from compacted soil. It was used for construction staging of the (aerial) tram tower in the early 2000s, so this effort would fix those conditions.” 


The existing sidewalk running along Campus Drive would be removed and replaced with a staircase set back from the street to create a landscape buffer. The stair would be paired with an ADA pathway.


Both the stairs and pathway would connect at an elevated point and proceed through the Casey Eye Institute, Tara said.


This particular concept, Ian said, derived from the need for ADA accessibility. Today the only option for a bus rider with mobility challenges is to de-bark at Sam Jackson Park Road, “which is steep and difficult to navigate in a mobility device. So from an ADA perspective, this is great….It creates a welcoming, gentle slope,” which would carry the patient and a group the size of a family gradually toward the hospital together.


Discussion and questions followed.


Richard Stein warned about trust and accountability. “Why should I believe you this time? We worked on that intersection 15 years ago, and it was clearly stated [by OHSU] that the soil would be repaired—which it wasn’t after the tram—and that a forested corridor would be built there. That was the agreement. Yes, OHSU planted it, but it let the plants die. You're proposing the same thing. Why should I believe OHSU this time?”


He was disappointed, too, that OHSU appears to regard the Terwilliger/Campus Drive intersection as “the front door” of OHSU, whereas that had not been the stance  in previous discussions.


Michael responded to the second point by saying that the Marquam Hill Plan had already designated the Terwilliger entrance as the front door for patients and visitors, and the Sam Jackson Park Road entrance as the front door for employees (as well as for ambulances, said Wes Risher).


On the point about trust over time, Michael noted only that the OHSU team today is different than the team working on the intersection 15 years ago. The site is rocky and difficult, he said. He could not say why OHSU did not sustain the earlier forest improvement effort.


Tara said that it will be up to Portland Parks to create the contract in such a way as to hold OHSU accountable for hitting these goals on forest quality improvement.


As discussion came to a close, Wes Risher raised an objection, asking the presenters to strike a statement appearing on page 3 of the concept document that Friends of Terwilliger had been consulted in creating guiding principles for the project. “That has never occurred and is completely disingenuous.”


Michael and Wes agreed to address Wes’s concern offline. Discussion moved on to the next Agenda item.



Bureau of Environmental Services (BES): Sewer Upgrades

Ben McLean, of Lois Cohen Associates, speaking on behalf of BES, discussed “the Hillsdale South Sewer Rehab Project,” which is nearing the close of its design phase slated for end-of-year 2018.


The project is part of an ongoing effort by the City to replace pipes citywide whose condition is “among the worst 2%.” Referring to a wall map, Ben said that the sewer pipes in Hillsdale South “are on average 90 years old,” and “considered to pose a risk to public health.” The project is large scale, multi-year, involving many sections of approximately 1.7 miles of pipe running through the neighborhood. 


Ben outlined three methods of sewer rehabilitation: “Open Cut,” “Cured in Place,” and “Pipe Bursting.”


Open Cut means crews close off a portion of a street to excavate the ground and access the pipe. Cured in Place means that crews access pipe through manholes, creating less impact on neighborhood activity. Pipe Bursting accesses pipe through manholes, too, but involves a different method of replacement, where pipe is broken apart underground as new pipe is dragged through to replace it.


Most sections will be Cured in Place, some will be Open Cut, and a very small number (e.g., a section across Barbur Boulevard) will involve Pipe Bursting.


All night work will be Cured in Place: noise at night will come from a generator and a ventilation system and is not expected to involve sounds of heavy construction. Public comment about the locations of night work ends November 16 (9 days from the date of this meeting).


Construction will start late summer or early fall of 2019, Ben said.


The best way to receive information and updates about the project is to sign up for email updates at: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/75042

or enter “Hillsdale South Sewer Rehab” into your search engine.


In the discussion that followed, Glenn Bridger said that based on the map, it appeared that most of the planned work actually will affect an area ordinarily defined as Multnomah Neighborhood East, not Hillsdale South.


Ben was unaware that the designation was confusing but said he would check with others to make sure it was correct. Regardless of nomenclature, he previously shared the presentation with the Multnomah Neighborhood Association and Multnomah Business Association, he said, so they were aware of the potential impact.


Questions concerned the following: earthquake readiness; whether limitations on use would occur during the project (they are not expected); and the importance of coordinating any street closures with PBOT.


General Questions and Discussion

Michael Reunert noted the need for better signage to direct people to the HNA Meeting.


Eric Wilhelm suggested that the HNA should advocate for a city ballot measure to employ ranked-choice voting.


Wes Risher then revisited the objection he raised in the context of this evening’s presentation by OHSU on the proposed “Safe and Accessible Pathway”. Based on discussions with TriMet and Metro the previous week, as part of his work with Friends of Terwilliger, Wes felt planning such a pathway is premature, because the site plan for the Marquam Hill Connector is still being worked out.


The proposed Marquam Connector at SW Gibbs should take priority, both in weighing environmental impact and in assessing utility. A significant amount of forested park property will be transferred to TriMet. The park will be transformed as a series of elevators and walkways, and/or possibly a tunnel are created. (Several options are being considered.) The route will also take on significant traffic, absorbing much of the ridership currently provided by express buses, for example. “So it’s a big deal. It has to work well, and it has to work right. And it needs to respect the Parkway.”


In this context, Wes said, the ADA pathway project “should be put on hold” until the Steering Committee from Trimet and the community has an opportunity to discuss the best option for the Marquam Connector.


Wes then Moved that the HNA “send a letter to Portland City Council, the OHSU President, Metro/TriMet, and the State Historic Preservation Office,” stating the following:


“That the HNA objects to the OHSU Walkway conversation, and design, at SW Campus Drive, and request that OHSU shut down their [current] efforts, as they presuppose connections to the Marquam Hill Connector, about which a TriMet Steering Committee will be formed to review and recommend options over the next 6 months.


“Furthermore, that the HNA objects to the proposed use by OHSU of Portland Parks property, as it is a violation of the Terwilliger Parkway Corridor Plan, and in so doing harms this historic resource.


“Lastly, that the HNA does not support the installation of a traffic light at Terwilliger Parkway and SW Campus Drive at Terwilliger Boulevard.”


Jose Gamero re-stated Wes’s concern in a different way. “Once this is built, making a tunnel makes no sense, because TrImet can just connect directly [to the pathway]. And you don't want them to pre-empt the best possible solution by building something else.” “Bingo,” said Wes.


Glenn Bridger seconded the Motion.


Members said they had questions. It was unclear whether a vote had to occur immediately or the time line could accommodate further debate.


Meeting Chair, Matt DeRosa, ruled the Motion controversial, and placed it on the Agenda for the next HNA Meeting.


Wes agreed to share documentation relative to the Marquam Hill Connector to foster discussion at the next HNA meeting.


Matt closed the general meeting of Membership at approximately 8:15.





Letter to Kadish Family

Josh Kadish, a beloved Hillsdale resident who led a number of Southwest Community and Portland organizations, recently passed away. Robert assembled some of the comments from people who knew Josh and folded them into a letter to his surviving wife, Lisa, and their family.


Robert Moved that the HNA send a tribute honoring Josh Kadish to his family. Matt DeRosa read out the letter. There was some discussion about minor revisions. The Motion was seconded and approved.



SWNI Liaison Expectations

The Board discussed a document Matt DeRosa crafted outlining expectations for HNA Members serving as designated liaisons to meetings of SWNI’s various committees.


Matt clarified that the expectation for meeting attendance by liaisons was that, if they could not attend a meeting, to let the Chair and Board know, so that an alternate could be found if possible.


Eric Wilhelm suggested that if a Liaison found they could not attend a SWNI Meeting to put out a call for volunteers among the general Membership. (However, only the HNA designated representative can vote at the SWNI Committee Meetings.)


Robert asked the Board to please bring to his attention the name of an HNA Member who could possibly attend meetings of the SWNI Schools Committee.


Barbara suggested including a “help wanted” section on the HNA web site, which could include requests such as those for committee liaisons.


Jose Gamero Moved to approve the SWNI Liaison Expectations document. The Motion was seconded and passed.



Committee Operating Procedures

The board then reviewed a document titled HNA Committee Operating Procedures outlining expectations for committee structure.


There was some discussion about whether a committee should be dissolved if it failed to meet a certain number of times or to fulfill other specific obligations. It was agreed that such a provision could be included, if desired, in each committee’s own individual charter.


There was also some discussion about whether non-HNA Members could participate on committees, such as in the capacity of expert advisors.


In this connection, Glenn Bridger moved that the Committee Operating Procedures document be changed to the following: “Committee Members must be Members of the HNA. Attendance at Committee Meetings is not limited to HNA Membership,” Tatiana Lifshitz agreed, and seconded the Motion. The Motion was put to a vote, and denied 3-9-0.


Jose Moved to adopt the Committee Operating Procedures document as written. The Motion was seconded, and passed 8-3-1.



Membership Requirements Form

Jose Moved to create and produce an online form to enable HNA residents and business owners to apply for Membership in the HNA. The Motion was seconded and passed 11-0-1.



Meeting Location

Jose reported that SWNI possesses the equipment for the HNA to broadcast our meetings. However, the setup requires that HNA commit to holding meetings at a single location, and that the location has broadcast-bandwidth Wi-Fi.


The Board discussed the pros and cons of several meeting locations, including the present location at the Greater Portland Bible Church, The St. Barnabus Church, Rieke or Wilson Schools, or the Hillsdale Public Library.


For a variety of reasons, a promising choice that emerged was the Hillsdale Public Library. The Library is:

  • An unaffiliated public institution
  • Close to the town center
  • Visible
  • Directly accessible from a major street (SW Capitol Highway)
  • Wi-Fi equipped


The Board agreed to schedule the December Meeting at the Hillsdale Public Library if possible, on a trial basis.


The Meeting adjourned at 9:15.