By Sean Barnett, Elisabeth Varga & Allen Field
A meeting of the board of the Richmond Neighborhood Association was held Monday, December 8, at Waverly Heights Church, 3300 SE Woodward St.
Michael O’Connel requested the Board to support a petition to change the Comprehensive Plan designation on SE Caruthers between 35th Pl. and Cesar Chavez from commercial (UCb) to residential (R5). Caruthers is presently zoned R5. The Board voted to support the request to the extent of supporting a change from commercial to either R5 or R2.5, but not for properties fronting on Cesar Chavez.
Kurt Schulz of SERA Architects and Aaron Jones of Urban Idea presented the design for a 130-unit apartment building at SE Division St and 50th. It will be 4 stories and provide parking for a 3rd of the units, accessed from SE Caruthers St. Retail space is planned for the SE corner (likely Los Gorditos), and the ground level residential units could be modified to retail space in the future. Parking was the biggest issue raised by neighbors. The project is expected to break ground in Spring 2015.
At its November 10 meeting, the Board addressed issues relevant to the Comp. Plan update process that will set the framework for the development and growth of the city for the next 20 years. Chair Allen Field highlighted some 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 regional functions, 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 have 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 this and other issues in the Comp Plan, visit: 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 Monday, February 9, 7 pm: Roger Geller, PBOT, will discuss the Clinton Bike Blvd and concerns about bike safety; the Board will address the proposal for a 35’/3-story height limit on Division St., and the proposed Mixed Use – Urban Center designation for Division and Clinton will be discussed.