By Susan Lindsay

Buckman Vision Forum is Thursday, May 14, 7-9 pm at the Multnomah County Building, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd.  In step with the Portland Comprehensive Plan 2035, and the Central City Plan, Buckman Community Association hosts the “Plan Your Own Future Buckman” forum. This is a chance for you to tell what aspects of our great neighborhood you love and would like to see stay the same, which you would like to change. City staff will be there in the beginning to give updates on the current comp plan process and inform you on how to help affect change as the Planning Bureau draft plan comes forward, and the focus will be on local networking. This homegrown event provides opportunities for small group discussion and large group consensus building with the BCA Board members assisting.

What do you most want City planners to know? Do you want more density? Less? What about design review on new buildings? What factors do you think could occur to build diversity in Buckman and encourage families with children? What types of businesses would you like? What about future parks and open spaces? Transportation and livability issues too. All are welcome, and we especially invite neighbors from nearby neighborhoods on the east side to join in the conversation and vision-making.

BCA has just been made aware that Portland Public Schools submitted a request to upzone (increase density and development value potential) an open parcel of land along SE Morrison and Alder at 14th from the present RH zoning to Mixed Use. This comes at a time when others are advocating going the opposite direction with this same publicly-owned parcel and looking to downzone it to OS (Open space) to be available for future park land. The area has remained open for decades, and was originally zoned R1 and received the high density RH designation as a part of the “no net loss” rule in housing transfers when low income housing was demolished downtown to make way for new developments. Changing the zoning to mixed use likely increases its value for the School District, yet loses the low income housing potential. It creates a large development in an area already looking planned for a future community center where the field is presently and it is believed the school district may already have an interested commercial developer prompting the proposed change. The planning bureau has stated they are not conducting “spot” zoning with regards to the Comp Plan. This proposal will be looked at the May 21 BCA Land Use Meeting, 7-8:30 pm, 501 SE Hawthorne Blvd. All are welcome.

The BCA Board can be reached directly at buckmanboard@googlegroups.com. We meet twice a month the second Thursday for the Board and General meeting and the third Thursday for Land Use. We often go socializing and the nearby Lucky Lab after meetings. Like our fb page where you can find updates on meetings, land use issues and post about local events. We are looking for volunteers to help with this summer’s picnic, August 9, 4-8 pm at Colonel Summers. Board elections are in June and we welcome your involvement.