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HNA Minutes February 1, 2017

Hillsdale Neighborhood Association

February 1, 2017

St. Barnabas Episcopal Church

Action Item 2017-2-1-1 The Board unanimously approved a motion by Barbara Bowers that HNA sponsor a National Night Out program in 2017.

Action Item 2017-2-1-2 The Board unanimously approved a motion by Barbara Bowers that Leah Klass be an Alternate to Board member Glenn Bridger.

The meeting was chaired by Don Baack.

7:00 p.m. Introductions, Agenda Review; the January 4 Minutes were corrected and will be posted to the HNA website.

Mikal Apenes reported that the St. Barnabas Church parking lot is not available as a potential Park-and-Ride location to the public as 50% of it is rented Monday-Friday to employees of Fanno Creek Clinic and the other half is used by church staff.

7:15 p.m. Snow and Ice Removal within the Hillsdale Business District

Mike Roach, president of the Hillsdale Business and Professional Association, and  several property and business owners within the business district attended the meeting.  Mike noted that recent ice and snow is unusual, the worst pedestrian, automobile parking and driving, and bicycle conditions since the storm of 2008, which prompted him, the co-owner of Paloma Clothing, to buy 10 snow shovels for future use.  He invited suggestions from members for dealing with snow and ice storms of the future.

Several property owners were invited by letter to the meeting and informed of Ordinance sub-section 17.28.025, added by Ordinance No. 176585, effective July 5, 2002, which states the following:  (A) The owner(s) and occupant(s) of land adjacent to  any street in the City shall be responsible for snow and ice removal from sidewalks aabutting or immediately adjacent to such land, notwithstanding any time limitations.  (B) Property owner(s) and/or occupant(s) shall be liable for any and all damages to any person who is injured or otherwise suffers damage resulting from failure to remove snow and/or ice accumulations.  (C) Property owner(s) and/or occupant(s) shall be liable to the City of Portland for any amounts paid or incurred consequent from claims, judgment or settlement, and for all reasonable investigation costs and attorney fees, resulting from the responsible property owner’s or occupant’s failure to remove snow and ice accumulations from such sidewalks as imposed by this Code.

Rick Meigs asked that property owners arrange for the business district generally to be cleared of ice and snow, though noting that snow plows which clear the streets frequently deposit the snow on adjacent sidewalks, and not just the “furniture area” between sidewalks and the street.  He also recommended opening a path for Tri-Met riders to reach the bus from the shelters, to avoid the need to wade through a sidewalk snow bank.

Arnie Panitch stated that A-frame signs were removed and that shopping carts belonging to Hillsdale stores and which are left on public/private property can be reported for pickup at telephone number 888-55-CARTS.  He also wondered if the snow shovels are still available for volunteer use and asked that we be mindful of the senior citizens living at nearby Watershed at Hillsdale.  There are two sidewalks serving the public: one adjacent to the street and another bordering the actual businesses themselves.  Arnie observed shoppers following on the icy sidewalk and steps in front of Pizzacatto.

Barbara Bowers said that it was very difficult walking from the Watershed to Food Front.  The general manager of Food Front, Eamon Molloy, said that he could not purchase enough salt and de-icer from Portland-area suppliers to meet Food Front’s needs.  He said that 25 degrees Fahrenheit is a critical temperature in these situations.  Others said there experience is that lower temperatures require more salt and de-icer.

Mikal said that this was an unusual weather event but that the shops on Barbur Boulevard were cleared of snow and ice.  Some members objected to any use for salt while others said that infrequent use of it will not damage cars or plants.

An Iowa-street resident said he moved here from a city which frequently experienced harsh winter weather and that virtually all homeowners had snow shovels.  He recommended forming a “Shovel Volunteer Army.”  This SVA might focus upon streets which the City will not snow plow.

Rick Seifert, the Chief Suspect and founder of The Usual Suspects, a volunteer litter-patrol unit, said his band could help with snow/ice removal, perhaps alongside Wilson High School students who would volunteer.  He also recommended that the Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) be asked to define their role within a future plan, including situations which might include an earthquake as well as a storm–wind, rain, or snow/ice.  Members were sobered by the prospect of a 500-year earthquake combined with a 10-year snow/ice event.

Mike Roach said that when he bought 10 snow shovels, WHS baseball coach Mike Clopton recruited team players to use them. The high school does have a “student service requirement” which snow/ice removal might help some students achieve.

Mike also raised the possibility of acquiring a snow-blower.  Michael Reunert said that in his experience a single snow-blower can easily do the work of 10 snow-shovelers in the same time period.  This prompted Leslie Pohl-Kosbau to comment that 30-50 years ago, Portland had a very organized response to winter snow storms, and that in some circumstances we want snow the cover the more slippery ice.  It was agreed that any future plan would recognize that not all snow storms are severe

Eric Wilhelm suggested that 2-3 spaces in the parking lot be used for snow banks and that emphasis be put upon removing snow from the entrance to individual businesses.

Don Baack turned the discussion towards the streets and the need for the City to plow the snow into the bicycle lands and not onto the sidewalk; remove snow from the Terwilliger Bridge and other bridges which span I-5 at; to clear bus stops of snow/ice; and to put a priority on snow/ice removal from the Safe-Routes to School and to bus stops.  The City needs a comprehensive snow-plow plan for critical steep streets and routes to school.  Don also suggested that the HNA agenda for May would allow us to resume discussion with the business owners and property owners of a plan for future snow/ice removal which would include public and private sector legal responsibilities as well as ways volunteers and organizations could be contacted to complement and supplement their role.

The website Nextdoor Hillsdale is potentially available as a way to contact and alert the community when a coordinated weather-emergency response is required.  Barbara Bowers encouraged members to contact Gary Wasserman, the “lead” for Nextdoor Hillsdale and ask him to make the blog subscriber map congruent with the geographical definition of our City-recognized official neighborhood.

Portland Public Schools Presentation

Laura Hanson of Portland Public Schools distributed information about the “Health, Safety and Modernization Bond” which PPS is proposing for a May 2017 ballot decision.  Laura explained the options the PPS administration and board considered, answered numerous questions, and entertained suggestions regarding PPS’s public relations campaign to convince Portland residents to pass the measure.

Schools Committee

Michael Reunert reported that the graduation rate at Wilson High School has risen to 95%.

Outreach Committee

Barbara Bowers proposed two motions unanimously approved by the Board:  (1) that HNA sponsor in 2017 the National Night Out program; and (2) that Leah Klass be the Alternate to Board member Glenn Bridger.

SWNI Report and Land Use Committee

Glenn Bridger submitted a written report regarding both SWNI and the Land Use Committee.  The SWNI-sponsored Spring and Autumn cleanups will no longer accept yard waste, owing to a new cost charged by Metro:  the fee will no longer be waived for SWNI.  Glenn also asked members to report weather-related water and sewer pipe leakage to Jen Seamans at SWNI.  He also noted the absence of an HNA representative on the Equity and Inclusion Committee, although he does chair it.  And, he said a second alternate is needed to attend SWNI Board meetings when neither he nor first alternate Don Baack can attend.

Glenn reported a demolition permit notice has been issued for the new development of five duplexes on Vermont.  Also, a liquor license request has been received from a local business; he will distribute it to members.

Other Announcements

HNA member Arnold “Arnie” Panitch has been selected to represent the Tri-Met Committee on Accessible Transportation (CAT) to the Southwest Corridor Community Advisory Committee.  The Southwest Corridor Project proposes to connect light-rail from downtown Portland to Tigard and Bridgeport Village.  The project is the subject of a detailed environmental study to understand the potential benefits, impacts, and mitigation relating to route and station options regarding walking, biking, and roadway connections.  Final recommendations are expected in early 2018.

Rick Seifert announced that the Hillsdale Community Foundation, whose treasury is enhanced annually from the sale of books during the Blueberry Pancake Breakfast in July, has funds to offer to worthwhile projects aimed at improving livability in the neighborhood.

Adam Light reminded members of the Rieke Elementary School fundraising efforts to improve the outdoor playground.  Adam will apply to HCF for a contribution.

The meeting adjourned at 9:05 p.m.

Submitted by Robert Hamilton