Southwest Hills Residential League


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NOTE: SWHRL Emails: or

Southwest Hills Residential League (SWHRL)

c/o Southwest Neighborhoods Inc.

7688 SW Capitol Hwy

Portland, OR 97219

General Membership Meetings are held the 3rd Wednesday of January, May, and October, 6:30-8:30pm at Ainsworth School. Annual Board elections are held at the May meeting. SWHRL Board meetings are the 3rd Wednesday of the other months, 7-8:30pm at Ascension Chapel.
Act locally! As always, the invitation stands for you to join the Board (space for 6 more), any committee (land use, transportation, public safety, schools), volunteer to help with communications (website, newsletter, maintaining email & membership lists), as historian – whatever your skill and interest. Help us assess issues that affect us and advocate for our neighborhood priorities.

Southwest Hills Meeting on Traffic, Transportation, and Road Safety

Wednesday, 16 January 2019, 6:30-8:30pm

Ainsworth Elementary School – Auditorium

The Southwest Hill’s neighborhood association is holding an informational, community meeting to discuss traffic and transportation in our neighborhood. Everyone is welcome! The full agenda is here.

We receive a lot of questions from the community on transportation and road safety, so we are excited for this opportunity to have representatives from PBOT, Multnomah County, and ODOT to give important updates on various projects that affect the Southwest Hills. There will be a short Q&A following each speaker.

Guest speakers:

Nick Falbo, a Senior Transportation Planner at Portland Bureau of Transportation, will give an update on the Southwest in Motion. Southwest In Motion is a short-term refinement, prioritization and implementation strategy for planned active transportation investments in Southwest Portland. Learn more about SWIM here.

Kate McQuillan, Transportation Planner, and Mike Pullen, Communications Coordinator, from Multnomah County to give an update on the County's Road Capital Improvement Plan, which includes Scholl's Ferry improvements, and speed bumps on SW Shattuck Road. See what roads Multnomah County owns and maintains here.

Ayano Healy, a program coordinator representing Oregon Department of Transportation, will give an update about upcoming construction work on Interstate 405 and surrounding highways. More information here.

Lisa Caballero, the SWHRL Transportation Chair, will give an update on her efforts to increase service on the 51 bus line and an update on Ainsworth traffic Safety.

Add to your calendar




A huge thanks to all who gave generously of their time and expertise to help with the Stroheckers process. Great teamwork! It was a heroic effort over the last 3 years. We got a partial win – a requirement to include a minimum of 3,000 sf of retail space in any new development, and the opportunity to be consulted on details of new development plans.


8/8/18: City Council Hearing with testimony from the property owner’s rep and the neighborhood. Council directs the parties to meet to see if they can agree on a new condition for a minimum of retail space in future development. No agreement was reached, so the owner and neighborhood submitted separate offers to Council by Sept. 4 deadline.


9/20/18: City Council Hearing considered both offers. It approved the property owner’s request to remove the conditions of previous Ordinances in order to allow the underlying commercial CM1 zoning to regulate the property, but with the addition of several new conditions, in part as a nod to our plea for some retail space in any new development. Development would presumably be mixed use with ground floor retail and condos or apartments above.


Since straight CM1 zoning would allow the option of residential-only development, the neighborhood asked the City to add a condition requiring a minimum amount (7,500 sf) of retail to include fresh, healthy food. City Council approved instead a minimum of 3,000 sf retail space with a sunset clause that the requirement would expire in a year if no retail tenant is found.


The Council’s Findings point out that many of the old ordinance conditions are redundant, because the Commercial Mixed-Use CM1 zone now in place already has regulations on details such as height, lot coverage, screening of mechanical equipment, garbage/recycling bins, noise, light, setbacks, signage, etc.

See BPS website for CM1 zone details:


Key new conditions added:

  • Future development subject to BES (Bureau of Environmental Services) approval of plans to avoid or relocate the existing sewer that runs under the building site.
  • A trip cap for future development that would limit daily vehicle trips to no more than was generated by the previous grocery store use.
  • Re-use of the existing building or any redevelopment project at the site must provide at least 3,000 square feet to accommodate a retail sales and service use. The site owner shall be allowed to convert all 3,000 square feet to any other allowed use in the zone if the owner of the site or their designated agent demonstrates the site was marketed for retail use for one year from substantial completion of the retail shell space and no retail sales and service tenant has entered into a lease or sale agreement for the space.
  • The applicant must complete the Neighborhood Contact process as noted at PCC 33.130.050 and 33.700.025 during the design development phase of any redevelopment project for the site, with the added requirement that all neighbors included on the mailing list for this land use review receive the initial and follow-up notification letters.

Here is a link to the City Council findings (formal decision) from Oct. 10, 2018:


And a link to the YouTube video of the August 8, 2018 City Council hearing: Neighborhood testimony begins at 40 minute 40 seconds.


NOTE: Now is our chance to help find a good local developer and/or tenants to offer us the healthy, fresh food options we want! The owner and his brokers welcome our suggestions. Space is NOT limited to 3,000sf. Please let us know if you have any good connections:


Past documents related to Stroheckers:
Here is the SWHRL Board response to the proposal to overturn the Ordinance(s) submitted 27 March 2018 to the Bureau of Development Services. This response was used as a basis for our testimony at the public hearing on the proposal before the Hearings Officer, May 2, 2018.
Applicant additional response to opponents' arguments at 30 May 2018 Hearing

NEW-18 May 2018: Revised Staff Report
Staff Report and Recommendations to the Hearings Officer

Main Narrative
Exhibits 1-4
Exhibit 3 Traffic Study

Some background:

The CM1 Commercial/Mixed Use zoning would allow either all commercial; mixed use (generally retail on ground floor with condos or apartments above); or all residential multi-dwelling. Regulations on height, setbacks, property coverage, etc. for this zone would apply if the Ordinance is removed. Below are the descriptions of these zones.

Current Underlying Zoning for 2855 SW Patton Rd per

Under new Comprehensive Plan, effective 24 May 2018, CM1 – Commercial/Mixed Use

Commercial/Mixed Use 1 zone. The Commercial/Mixed Use 1 (CM1) zone is a small-scale zone intended for sites in dispersed mixed use nodes within lower density residential areas, as well as on neighborhood corridors and at the edges of neighborhood centers, town centers and regional centers. The zone is also appropriate in core commercial areas of centers in locations where older commercial storefront buildings of 1 to 2 stories are predominant. This zone allows a mix of commercial and residential uses. The size of commercial uses is limited to minimize impacts on surrounding residential areas. Buildings in this zone will generally be up to three stories tall. Development is intended to be pedestrian-oriented and compatible with the scale and characteristics of adjacent residentially zoned areas or low-rise commercial areas.

Maximum height: 35'

To see Nancy Seton's notes from the August 22, 2017, Pre-Application Conference on Strohecker's, click here.

Land Use Case


“Tangent Village”

RE: LU 18-119056 LDP EN PD – New planned development of 18 units clustered in 9 duplex/townhouse structures with private drive off SW Tangent, adjacent to 1315 SW Broadway Dr.

Case Type III: Land Division Partition, Environmental Review, Planned Dev’t Review

Overlay Zones: Environmental Conservation; Landslide Hazard Area; Steep slope area (25%+)

Questions/comments? Contact: BDS Land Use Planners

Shawn Burgett  503-823-7618

Also: Stacey Castleberry  503-823-7586


8/15/18: Request for Response from City Bureaus and public

9/14/18: Responses due/submitted (SWHRL and other neighbors submitted responses

Public Hearing (not yet scheduled) – additional responses allowed up till then.


City Bureaus still have some concerns that need to be addressed by applicant; neighborhood is preparing additional responses for the Land Use hearing. Concerns include stormwater management, landslide potential and environmental damage.


Residential Infill Project (RIP)

Some neighborhoods are concerned about how the City’s new Residential Infill Project (RIP) may affect our single family neighborhoods, by allowing certain multi-family dwellings. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s website states:


The Commission’s revised proposals would allow a wide range of housing types, including triplexes and fourplexes in single-dwelling zones. They also pushed to broaden the area where these housing choices would be allowed. To address the demolition of single-family homes, they created more incentives to retain existing houses, such as allowing them to be split into multiple units. They pushed for more flexibility for accessory dwelling units to incentivize their construction.”


If you are interested in learning how this might affect Portland Heights, please contact: and we can research together.


Office of Neighborhood Involvement now Bureau of Community & Civic Life (“Civic Life”)

Does the name change hint at a lesser role for Neighborhood Associations (NAs), such as SWHRL? Are fears of some neighborhood advocates overblown? We’ve heard that the name change is simply to be more inclusive of interest and cultural groups other than the neighborhood association structure, and to acknowledge its additional miscellaneous functions, such as crime prevention, graffiti, cannabis, disability, and liquor licensing. We’re told it is not intended to disenfranchise neighborhood associations and coalitions. But aren’t the comments of Bureau Director Suk Rhee a bit disconcerting? She reportedly wants to look into NAs and public meeting requirements, maintaining that NAs are not public organizations, so why hold them to public organization standards. Really?!? Stay tuned…

    Public Safety/Crime

    The City of Portland’s Office of Community & Civic Life, Crime Prevention Program is introducing a team-based model to better serve the needs of community and evolve the program into a more efficient way of providing services, resources, and trainings. In October 2018, City of Portland Crime Prevention Program will be transitioning from the current model in which one Crime Prevention Coordinator is assigned to serve a number of neighborhoods. The new team model will be made up of 3 teams of 3-4 coordinators per team (North, Central, and East). The neighborhoods served by each team will correspond to the current Portland Police Bureau Boundary Lines (North Precinct, Central Precinct, and East Precinct.)


    SWHRL is in the Central Precinct:

    Central Team: Mark Wells, Sofia Chavier, Sarah Berkemeier



    One Point of Contact-Use PDX reporter to report campsites & other issues provides an important way to interact with the city concerning problems or issues with publicly maintained infrastructure. The site allows you to report illegal campsites, potholes, park maintenance, clogged street drains, and other safety concerns. 


    Reporting illegal campsites allows the city to track and prioritize sites that need to be cleared.

    There is also a dedicated site for reporting campsites, where you can provide more detailed information: 


    In addition to reporting crime incidents to the police, neighbors could send crime photos with descriptions of incidents to SWHRL/Public Safety for monitoring and/or posting: or


    Tips and Resources:

    • The City's Crime Prevention Program provides education, training, problem solving, and community organizing, including Neighborhood Watch training (with Mark Wells).
    • Report campsite-related problems using You create an individual account on the site to report what you are experiencing.
    • For most impact each neighbor should report what they experience each time, even as other neighbors report the same crime/incident.
    • If life or property are in immediate danger, or a crime is in progress, call 911.
    • If you see a dangerous open fire, e.g. in relation to a homeless camp, report it as a public safety issue, not as a 'homeless' issue. Mention a fire, not a homeless camp.
    • Note: 911 is very short-staffed (12 hour shifts with 2 hours of mandatory overtime). Lobby City Council for more funding to reduce wait times.
    • To report crimes no longer in progress, call the non-emergency line (503) 823-3333 and dial "0" immediately.
    • To report a suspected drug house: 503-823-DRUG
    • SWHRL is part of the police Central Precinct, which has 15-20 officers. 503-823-4181
    • For issues on ODOT property call 1-888-Ask-ODOT or 1-888-275-6368 x4 or go to

    Start a Neighborhood Watch:                 

    Contact Crime Prevention Coordinator Mark Wells at 503-823-2781 or

    SWHRL "Invasives to Natives" Restoration Project to Beautify Corner at SW Vista Ave. at SW Spring Streets
    Volunteers Needed!

    We’ve been made great progress 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).  There will be ongoing weeding and replanting with native and hardy plants. We're exploring ideas to add a little public art - a book kiosk/little free lending library and ceramic art from Ainsworth students. Any ideas?

    Please 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!

    SWHRL's Year in Review May 2017-18 & Action Plan May 2018-19

    Your SWHRL Neighborhood Association does important work:

    • Monitors plans & decisions from the City, from developers & others that affect livability
    • Advocates for neighborhood interests & priorities
    • Encourages & facilitates neighbors input
    • Informs neighbors of issues/events via SWHRL E-newsletter, website, Facebook,
    • Responds to land use proposals for development, short term rentals, demolitions
    • Deals with traffic issues, trails, ped/cyclist infrastructure & safety
    • Monitors & follows up on crime/public safety*
    • Tracks schools issues & informs neighbors
    • Builds community/organizes events – picnic, movies, neighborhood walks
    • Initiates projects such as the Vista-Spring Restoration, creating a small pocket park
    • Documents neighborhood history

    SWHRL Bylaws

    The new, amended SWHRL Bylaws were adopted on October 18, 2017.  They are now in sync with the city's Bylaws template, with a few tweaks. Bylaws 

    Continuing Need for SWHRL Board Members, 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. 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? It’s time to let new volunteers to take their turns. Please join the SWHRL Board or any of its committees to make an impact on the future of 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;
      • Crafts SWHRL Neighborhood Plan
      • Meets with representatives of other neighborhoods on issues of mutual interest.
    • Schools Committee
    • Outreach Communications:
    • SWHRL History:
      • Help with documentation and archiving of SWHRL history – oral and written
      • Do you have a family or Portland Heights story to share? Let us know!
    • Reps to SWNI Committees, e.g. Land Use, Transportation, 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

    Join Southwest Hills for neighborhood news:

    Join the discussion on what's happening at the Strohecker's site. See announcements for upcoming SWHRL meetings. Find recommendations for contractors, babysitters, piano teachers. Read about missing pets; and 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.



    Co-Presidents: John Neumann, Nancy Seton, 


    Vice President: Sarah Flanagan


    Secretary: Aesha Lorenz Al-Saeed


    Treasurer: Kim Silverman,


    Other Board Members:

    Lisa Caballero

    Bill Failing

    Chris Kopca

    Scott Young


    Land Use Chair: Nancy Seton 

    Transportation Lead: Lisa Caballero

    Public Safety/Emergency Preparedness: Kim Silverman,

    Communications: Nancy Seton/John Neumann

    Schools: Emilie Bennett


    Newsletter Editor: Nancy Seton

    Representative to SWNI Board: Nancy Seton