By Gabe Frayne

A “disaster preparedness” presentation offered by north Tabor residents Sean Besso and Linda Bellerby at the NTNA meeting on February 21 alerted residents to the fact that the likely occurrence of “the big one” – a major subduction earthquake, followed by tsunami – in the not-too-distant future must be taken seriously.

Besso explained the difference between an “inconvenience” and a “disaster” is that the latter is defined as “an event that poses an imminent threat to your survival.” This would be the case for thousands of Portlanders cut off from supplies or medical aid in the aftermath of a major quake.

Besso and Bellerby recommend that residents prepare themselves by taking the following steps as soon as possible:

• Stock up on water. Fourteen gallons per person would be enough for two weeks.

• Stock up on canned food, batteries and prescription drugs

• Find a safe place for all legal documents

• Do not store earthquake supplies in the basement if it is an older house that has not been retrofitted. In an apartment building, ask management about emergency storage facilities.

• Join a neighborhood emergency team. These are networks of neighbors who are trained by Portland Fire & Rescue to be first responders in the event of a natural disaster. To form or join a NET, go to portlandoregon.gov/pbem/31667

The NTNA appeal of three zoning adjustments granted to the developer of a proposed eight unit condo development at NE 53rd and Couch St. was heard by the Bureau of Development’s Adjustment Review Committee on Monday, Feb. 20.

The developer, Northwest Classic Homes of Vancouver, WA, got permission from the Bureau to extend the length of each unit to 146 feet (zoning code limit is 100) and to push out the setbacks on both the eastern and western ends of the building.

When residents in the modest cottage and bungalow neighborhood got wind of the proposal late last year, they approached the NTNA board to file an appeal, which the board agreed to do. No decision was made at the hearing, but the discussion will be continued on March 7, after which the committee will decide whether or not to overturn the Development staff’s adjustments.

North Tabor resident Stephanie Kaza, who has led the opposition to the new proposal, says the main objection is the “out-of-scale size of the whole project.” The developer has indicated that the target price for each unit will be 500 to 600 thousand dollars.