By Brian Hochhalter

Richmond Neighborhood Association (richmondpdx.org) held its monthly meeting October 14. In addition to general housekeeping issues and committee reports, we hosted a Pro & Con presentation by guests Eric Fruits and Elisabeth Swarttouw on Bond Measure 26-203, authorizing Metro to issue $475 million in general obligation bonds to continue regional investments.

The next issue discussed was the City’s Design Overlay Zone Amendments (DOZA). The city is updating both the process and the tools used to review the design of new buildings, which include new citywide design standards and guidelines. This is the first major update in thirty years. 

RNA supported advocating for the previously adopted Division Main Street Design Guidelines to be included in the existing Division Plan District and lower design commission review thresholds as currently proposed to include the type of mixed use buildings we are witnessing being built in our neighborhood. 

Members in attendance expressed concerns about a 65’ height trigger to professional design commission review as this would not capture most new construction. RNA submitted a letter of testimony on behalf of the project, asking for a design preference survey and more public engagement in the process. See bit.ly/2pXUnt2 to learn more. The process is moving quickly and to make your voice heard about design concerns or priorities you can comment on the map app at bit.ly/2p4B6WJ.

We continued our discussion about community outreach and engagement which included topics such as our newsletter, social media, and providing food at meetings. Changing meeting times to 6-8 pm and providing child care was explored as a way to make meetings more accessible to those with young children who may want to attend.  

Our next meeting is Monday, November 11. Offer your ideas and any community projects you want to organize. Meetings are held at Waverly Heights Church, SE 33rd/Woodward St. in the basement; enter from the east-side door. All are welcome.