By Kate Mitchell
MTNA Land use co-chair Stephanie Stewart provided background on a disputed bed and breakfast application submitted for a property at 536 SE 55th Ave. Nearby residents at the Sept. 17 meeting voiced concerns including noise of people arriving during off hours, high turnover of strangers in the neighborhood, high number of school age children passing by the house. Stewart has written a letter in support of a Good Neighbor Agreement being put in place before the application was approved.
“I don’t support approval of this application at this time,” she said in her message to the city. “A number of issues exist, in the current short-term-rental on this site, and these negatively impact livability in the immediate neighborhood. I would ask that a decision on this application be withheld pending talks between the applicant and his neighbors, a reduction of negative impacts, and a written Good-Neighbor Agreement that satisfies a majority of parties.
“ If this application is approved, I would suggest that you only do so with prescribed conditions on that approval. These conditions should address the neighbors’ concerns and offer them a voice moving forward.”
Due to the timing of the deadline for comments and the MTNA meeting, Stephanie wrote the letter from herself only. A motion to put MTNA on record as supporting the letter was approved on a voice vote but with several abstentions and one vote against.
Concerns were expressed about this being a bigger issue with other short-term rental properties in the future. Stephanie then motioned that MTNA support good neighbor agreements in relation to short term vacation rentals, and that a group of neighbors work to set up guidelines for these situations.This motion was approved with a unanimous who of hands.
In other business, Rich Newlands of the City’s Transportation Bureau said the controversial traffic diverter at SE 50th and SE Division, a key component of the 50s Bikeway project, is nearly complete. Road markings have been completed and signal adjustments are being made. Residents of 52nd stated they have noticed decreased auto traffic and increased bike traffic. Neighbors mentioned instances of people confused by the new restrictions. Feedback can be passed to Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503.823.7780.
The next meeting will be Wednesday, October 15, 7 pm at Mt Tabor Presbyterian Church at SE 54th and Belmont, with social time starting 6:50 pm. For more information, visit www.mttaborpdx.org.