By Elisabeth Varga
The Richmond Neighborhood Association held its monthly meeting on November 10, 2014 at Waverly Heights Church at SE 33rd and Woodward St. Meetings are held in the basement; enter from the east door. The RNA’s website is www.richmondpdx.org.
A Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon (CUB) representative gave a brief overview of CUB, whose mission is to represent the interests of residential utility customers before administrative, judicial and legislative bodies, such as the Oregon Public Utility Commission and the Oregon Legislature. To learn more, visit http://oregoncub.org/.
Kari Schlosshauer spoke about safety concerns for pedestrians and bicyclists on SE Clinton which is a Bicycle Boulevard and Neighborhood Greenway. She spoke of concerns about aggressive drivers passing bicyclists, increased traffic on side streets, drivers using Clinton to bypass Division, and visitors looking for restaurant parking. She requested immediate, temporary traffic diverters, and the city to consider permanent infrastructure improvements. The RNA Board voted to request the City to examine whether there are safety issues on Clinton, and if so, to proposes possible traffic calming solutions. Roger Geller, PBOT, will attend the February 9 RNA meeting to discuss the city’s findings.
Heather Flint Chatto, Chair of the RNA’s Division Design Committee (DDC), put forth a formal recommendation for the RNA to authorize it to create design guidelines for Division St. from 11th to 60th. The DDC has been meeting monthly the past nine months to discuss community concerns regarding the development along Division. The DDC requested $3,500 for hiring a design professional to work with the DDC to draft design guidelines. The Board voted in favor of the request and to authorize it to draft design guidelines. The DDC will seek additional funding from other neighborhood and business associations and grants. The DDC will draft a scope of work and issue an RFP to attract qualified professionals.
The city is updating its Comprehensive Plan that will set the framework for the development and growth of the city for the next 20 years. Board Chair, Allen Field, highlighted some of the issues that will have impact on Richmond and surrounding neighborhoods. One of the most significant is whether the Belmont-Hawthorne-Division area is designated a “Town Center” or a “Neighborhood Center.” “Town Centers” are defined as serving a broad area of the city and have some regional function, significant employment, high capacity transit /light rail, room for 7,000 households, and mid-rise commercial and mixed-use buildings, typically 5 – 7 stories tall. “Neighborhood Centers” are smaller centers that serve adjacent neighborhoods and have frequent bus service, room for 3,500 households, and low-rise commercial and mixed-use buildings, typically 3 -5 stories tall; they serve a central role in achieving “complete communities.” Most people present agreed that this area better fits the Neighborhood Center definition. The Board voted to request the city to designate this area as a “Neighborhood Center” rather than a “Town Center.” The Board also voted to request the City (1) to perform a key sites inventory to identify and preserve historic resources in Richmond, (2) to require developers to provide better notice to the community of development projects, and (3) to preserve the Division Green Street/Main Street Plan.
To voice your opinion on these critical issues, visit: http://www.portlandmaps.com/bps/cpmapp2/. To add your comment put your address (or something close by) in the “what’s up near you” prompt (located in the top middle of map). Select “add/view comments.” Click on ” + “, and you will be prompted to add your address and contact info (required for the comment to be considered.) Add comments and follow menu through until you see the “submit” button, if you don’t do this, your comment is not added.
The next RNA meeting will be 7-9 pm, Monday, December 8, 2014 at Waverly Heights Congregational Church.