By Jonathan King

 

The Richmond Neighborhood Association held its monthly meeting on December 9, 2013 at Waverly Heights Church at SE 33rd and Woodward St. RNA meetings are held in the church basement; enter from the east door.  Email richmondna@yahoo.com to be added to the monthly email list to receive meeting agendas. Agendas and Minutes are at www.richmondpdx.org (volunteer web designers/web master sought).

Bill Cunningham, from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, presented a current overview of Portland’s Comprehensive Plan Update process and long-term development directions, focusing on “centers” – both town and neighborhood – which function as “complete neighborhoods.” Issues under consideration include supporting services – e.g., street cars, city greenways (bike and pedestrian connectors), parks; equity aims including affordable housing and affordable commercial opportunities; gentrification and displacement; mini-nodes within larger nodes.

The Belmont-Hawthorne-Division area is currently designated as a Town Center rather than as a Neighborhood Center or 3 separate Neighborhood Centers. Town Centers anticipate and provide resources for greater density than the Neighborhood Center classification.  Bill specifically encouraged people to access the following “Map App” on-line and to offer thoughts and comments by December 31 at www/portlandoregon.gov/bps/pdxcompplan/mapapp.

Board Member Heather Flint-Chatto offered a brief history of strategic design issues regarding Division St., starting with the Division Vision Coalition of 2001-02, a 12-18 month process including economic, environmental, and social issues, focusing on our option for input and action. In 2006 the City Council adopted the “Green St./Main St. Plan,” concerning rainwater, etc. from SE 11th-60th. It is critical to remember, however, that this plan is a “living document” – a work in progress. For example, ongoing matters of concern include the mix of residential and commercial, Division as a good walking street, eclectic business, the compatibility of new and older construction, what works and doesn’t work, etc.

Heather concluded with two motions. The first was to form a committee to explore further implementation of the Division Main St./Green St. Plan, and make recommendations about how to address design issues and concerns. The second motion was to send a joint RNA-HAND (Hosford Abernethy Neighborhood District) letter to Mayor Hales requesting support (e.g., staff, funds, or other technical resources) for further implementation of the Division Green St./Main St. Plan.  Both motions passed unanimously.

The annual RNA Board retreat is January 13, open to the public.  The next RNA regular General Members meeting is Monday, February 10, 2014 at Waverly Heights Congregational Church (basement), 3300 SE Woodward St., 7 – 9 pm.