By Jill Riebesehl

We could say with spring for sure comes change, or in human terms, at least planning for change. We are looking forward to our annual meeting, which will give us a chance to talk what we’ve been up to, hear what people are talking about, what’s new in the hood and what we think is coming next.

We just recently heard from two city bureaus about plans that will affect our neighborhood, and we anticipate more activity along Division St. Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is drawing up changes to rules for documenting, designating and protecting historic resources. Several code changes would affect the historic district of Ladd’s Addition, a large chunk of our neighborhood. Briefly, involved would be garage demolitions, minor alterations, increased allowances for adaptive reuse, building relocation and quicker response to alterations and new construction. The HAND board will be providing written input on code changes this month.

We also heard from the development commission, now called Prosper Portland. We were briefed on the bureau’s budget and planning schedule that will be given to the City Council in May and we heard draft plans for the ODOT blocks the city now owns. They lie just north of the Hawthorne Bridge, adjacent to the I-5 freeway. The proposed use is industrial and could include buildings as tall as nine stories. Mentioned during that presentation was that OMSI is also busy at work on ideas for its property.

In planning for our May 21 annual meeting, we followed up on Prosper Portland’s general report and invited OMSI to talk with us about ongoing development ideas for its property, which lies between the river and Front Ave. Included may even be rerouting Front Ave. itself.

We are looking forward at the meeting to hear what St. Philip Neri is thinking about doing. In partnership with Catholic Charities, the parish is considering whether the campus at SE 16th Ave. and Division could provide affordable rental housing alongside continuing parish use. The project is in the conceptual phase so the design parameters and the community members to be served are still under discussion.

We welcome all our neighbors to HAND’s annual meeting. We will gather in Carvlin Hall on the St. Philip Neri campus at 7 pm. May 21. In addition to presentations, there will be refreshments and discussions about our neighborhood, plus a formal meeting to elect board members.