By Jill Riebesehl
It’s fall. Gone are the summer days of ice cream socials and movies in the parks. Gone is one item of concern to many in the neighborhood. The state Land Use Board of Appeals ruled in August against the siting of Right 2 Dream Too within the Central Eastside Industrial District, which overlaps with the Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood District.
While students knuckle down into a new school year, so too is the HAND neighborhood digging into both old and new housing, traffic and development issues and challenges.
At the September general meeting Amy Nagy, with Portland Development Commission, presented draft plans for what’s being called the Clinton Triangle, a piece of land bordered by Powell Blvd., Milwaukie Ave., and the MAX line. The two largest owners are Stacy and Witbeck, Inc. and the Portland Fire Bureau.
Redevelopment might include low-cost housing and other residential, a community center, shops, office space, usable open space, or a bicycle thruway. Nagy said a high-rise is not in the triangle’s future.
Board members were pleased to learn that the Portland Comprehensive Plan has placed People’s Food Coop and Palio’s coffee house in a proposed CR zone, which will allow them to continue operation among the residential neighborhoods with some restrictions regarding types of business and closing times. An earlier proposal with few protections for surrounding residential properties had been an ongoing concern for HAND board members.
Board members have been sitting on the Clinton Neighborhood Greenway Enhancement Project Evaluation Committee representing HAND and other entities. The committee is exploring the effect of the traffic diverters on Clinton Blvd.
While bicyclists are generally supportive of the diverters and resulting decreases in automobile traffic, new traffic complications are reported by residents, pedestrians. and West Clinton Industrial Area freight operators on streets both east and west of 17th Ave. The board will be sharing those concerns and suggested changes with the Portland Bureau of Transportation.
Members of the board are updating letters to the city’s Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council regarding proposals for zoning changes and transportation projects that are a part of the Comprehensive Plan, the Central City 2035 Plan, and the Transportation Systems Plans. We have been busy for the past two years keeping up with the proposals as the plans have made their way through the process for final acceptance by City Council, expected next year.
A letter regarding the need for the replacement of a pedestrian bridge over the Union Pacific and MAX tracks will be sent, again, to TriMet, City Council members, Union Pacific and the Portland Department of Transportation. The bridge, a neighborhood icon, was removed during MAX Orange Line construction, and has not been replaced. HAND believes it’s necessary for providing safe crossings when the rails are blocked by trains, sometimes for as long as 45 minutes.
Another letter to the Bureau of Transportation will ask that a traffic study planned for Hawthorne Blvd. after the recent tragic death SE 43rd Ave., be extended westward to at least 20th Ave., and perhaps 12th Ave., long an area of concern for the HAND neighborhood.
The board will underwrite some of the Friends of Trees operations, and will step in to help out two residents/owners affected by a designation in the Comprehensive Plan between SE Tibbetts and Powell, 19th and 20th.
HAND’s Land Use Committee heard TMT Development’s plans to build on the block due east of Grand Central Bakery on Hawthorne Blvd. Kruger Farm’s Market and Flying Fish Company are located there now. The plan is for 60 rental units and shops on the ground floor with some parking at the back of the building.