By Tom McTighe, Andrew Wilkins, and Erik Matthews

Richmond Neighborhood Association had a busy holiday season. At a special session November 30, we discussed Portland Public Schools Redistricting Proposal. Neighbors’ discussion comments include safety concerns, a lack of boundary logic and a lack of community discussion and time for community input. The RNA wrote a letter to PPS requesting they slow down the redistricting plan process; give specific attention to problems in the Richmond Neighborhood; receive feedback to address problems and consider the Soft Neighborhood Model as a method for redistricting.
The board also discussed and then sent a letter of testimony to Portland City Council regarding the City’s Comprehensive Plan Update that supported studying growth scenario alternatives for increasing infill density with fewer development impacts; a more comprehensive “missing middle” neighborhood infill scenario in addition to the “Centers + Corridors” growth scenario; sustainability impacts of focusing more density on N-S corridors; and directing staff to come back with a recommendation for how to implement the residential floor-area-ratio (FAR) requirement in an expedited manner that does require the community to wait for code improvements in 2017.
At the monthly meeting on January 11, neighbors and the board worked on the RNA’s vision statement and goals for the new year. Those in attendance were most interested in reducing carbon emissions, improving the RNA’s website, building community, and creating more affordable housing in Richmond.
We heard from the community that Portland Parks and Rec has been asked to cut their budget and is considering a plan that would double plot fees for all community gardens and that PBOT has put in traffic diverters on SE Clinton at 32nd and 17th. Neighbors and visitors are adjusting to the design, and PBOT will establish a committee to evaluate and provide input this spring.
We’d love to see you at our next RNA general meeting, Monday, February 8, at Waverly Heights UCC (in the basement), 3300 SE Woodward St., from 7-9 pm. RNA’s website is richmondpdx.org.