By Jill Riebesehl
Neighborhood news chills as the election nears and the weather dampens temporary outdoor street gatherings, but at our October Zoom board meeting (which all residents and business owners in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood were more than welcome to attend and participate in), we jawed over interesting upcoming issues and took action on a couple.
We have been asked to support a growing move to outlaw gasoline-driven leaf blowers in the city, on the basis of noise and pollution. We will revisit the request after getting more information.
Folks planning a Limited Edition Portland Marathon in Spring that would use a part of the Esplanade passing through HAND approached us for our okay, which is officially needed. We voted unanimously to sign off on the event.
We discussed again a revision of the city’s Tree Code, which would, in effect, help increase tree canopy citywide, as well as in our neighborhood; a recognized tree desert.
The Board is aware of a rewrite of Portland’s Historic Resources Code that would be the first in 30 years and would affect a portion of larger HAND, but mostly Ladd’s Addition. In the knowledge that comprehensive changes are rushing ahead without widespread involvement, the HAND Board will request that the city extend the time for consideration of the changes. A hearing on the issue was held October 27.
The HAND Board wants it known: there is no interest in interfering with development, but to preserve the city’s historic and cultural history; it would like to add the city’s Landmark committee to the sign off; it sees no problem with adaptive reuse; the historic resource index needs updating; there needs more demolition review for certain projects; and is concerned about a proposal that lets builders wanting to protect a historic site to trade its height rights to buildings unrelated geographically.
Discussions are moving ahead on changing the usage of a stub of open land on SE 19th Ave., off Division St. HAND assumed responsibility for the site decades ago and is now seeking to hand it off. We are enthusiastic about its conversion into a garden within the city’s community garden system. A path forward is finally coming into view. Involved parties are New Day School, Portland Parks, and the Bureau of Transportation.
We were pleased to learn that the Gideon Crossing, connecting Hosford-Abernethy and Brooklyn neighborhoods as it passes over the Orange MAX line and Union Pacific tracks, will open mid-November. A local brewery has created a special edition IPA in its honor. TriMet, the bridge-builder, will hand over management to the Bureau of Transportation who will have the unenviable task of dealing with usage conflicts among pedestrians, cyclists, fork-lift truck drivers and people living outdoors, as well as how to provide for the delivery truck and trailer rigs.
HAND meets via Zoom, for now, at 7 pm, the third Tuesday of every month except December and August. All are welcome. Visit our website for Facebook page for details.
Montavilla Neighborhood Association
By Louise Hoff
Montavilla Neighborhood Association elections will be held online in November. Those who have attended a general meeting (public or virtual) in the past year are eligible to vote. Southeast Uplift (SEUL) is in the process of creating a ballot which has a vibrant lineup. We are thrilled that neighbors have come forward to run for Corresponding Secretary and Public Safety. We encourage those who have a good idea for our community to let us know and maybe chair a committee to get things done.
Adam Wilson, our Land Use Chair, is in the process of creating an addition to our website so that people can view building and zoning changes as we are made aware of them. He has done a mountain of work organizing the ceramic mural project and applying for additional community funding. We cannot wait to see Hector Hernandez’ completed art work on NE Glisan and 82nd Ave.
The Portland Clean Air Project is looking for neighbor volunteers to monitor diesel exposure in Montavilla. Jacob Loeb initiated a project getting input for more trash cans around our community and is now looking at new service projects.
Our Montavilla East Tabor Business Association (METBA) has initiated a Bingo Game to stimulate more local shopping. For those starting to think about holiday gifts, a gift card to a local shop, music lesson, restaurant, farmer’s market or our very own Academy Theater is always welcome. People can always call a shop and ask if they have an item before ordering from a national retailer online. We have adorable gift shops in King Plaza and inside Hong Phat.
Art, music, growing a garden and shopping local will pull us through this time of COVID-19 and of economic downturn for so many.
North Tabor Neighborhood Association
By Kim Kasch
The North Tabor Neighborhood Association met via Zoom on the evening of October 20. This was our second Zoom meeting and the first one we did without assistance from SEUL. Everyone was pleased with how well it worked out. At the meeting, a new Board was constituted, all current members were retained and was supplemented by two more neighbors for a total of 13 board members. Officers will be elected at the November meeting, which will also serve as a brainstorming session for activities in 2021. Though the ongoing pandemic certainly presents a challenge, we believe that the change to virtual meetings might encourage more neighborhood engagement and make it easier to schedule outside speakers.
Final issues left for resolution include the legality of conducting matters requiring voting at Board meetings–though current open meetings laws have essentially mandated in-person gatherings, we hope that the current relaxation of those requirements might be retained (perhaps with some modification) post-pandemic.
Richmond Neighborhood Association
By Allen Field
The RNA meets the second Monday of the month, 6:30-8:30 pm. Everyone is welcome. Agendas are posted on richmondpdx.org and sent out via the RNA Announce listserv. Meetings will be via Zoom until further notice. Preregistration is required, the link to preregister is on the agenda. To be added to the RNA’s listserv, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
At the October 12 monthly meeting, Commissioner Fritz presented on three city sponsored ballot measures: 26-213 (Parks Levy), 26-217 (independent community police oversight board), and 26-219 (Council approval over uses of Water Bureau property). Q&A followed on the ballot measures, homeless issues and the Mayor’s race.
The Board voted to send a comment letter on the Historic Resources Code update process. Proposed changes include: Conservation Historic District decisions would shift to Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC); historic review process would be simplified; more flexibility in adaptive reuse options; more allowances for solar panels; removing unranked historic resources from the inventory list; eliminating parking requirements for landmarks and adding Demolition Review to Conservation Districts to give more public input and formal review than the current 120-Demo Delay policy.
The Board voted to recommend: the Landmarks Commission should continue to decide on creating Conservation or Historic Designations instead of transferring that role to PSC; support Solar Panel changes; support Demolition Review for contributing structures within Conservation Districts; establish clear pathways for communities to form new districts; encourage the use of PSC’s 2016 Low Rise Commercial Vintage Buildings Study as a priority for consideration of future districts; and extending the deadline for comments.
There was a discussion around guidelines for providing donations in the context of a Board member’s request to donate to the Equitable Giving Circle. The Board’s donation policy is guided by its Mission: “to provide a forum to develop neighborhood cohesiveness and improve livability by coordinating neighborhood projects, disseminating information and promoting active involvement in neighborhood activities” and its Guidelines for Donation Requests and Letters of Support: “The RNA will consider requests for donations and letters of support for projects or events which enhance the environment, sustainability, safety or overall livability of our neighborhood or a significant number of Richmond residents or businesses, and which occur within the Richmond neighborhood or benefits its residents or businesses. Funds or letters requested for projects or events outside of Richmond will be given greater scrutiny. No funds or letters of support will be provided to, or for, for-profit activities or projects.”
Simon Kipersztok is our new Newsletter Editor. He is putting together a Winter edition. If you are interested in contributing short articles on events, projects or issues relating to Richmond or helping to distribute the newsletter, contact email@example.com.
The RNA’s next meeting is Monday, November 9, and will include House Dist. 42 Representative speaking to state election results. To get on the agenda, the agenda request form is on the RNA’s website.
Sunnyside Neighborhood Association
By Dave Boush
The SNA continues to make communication through our website, newsletter and meetings a priority. Not every neighborhood has a newsletter and we hope to leverage communication to help all our neighbors get through this crazy time. We welcome stories on any topic but especially contributions that might ease the burden of work/life/health in our Sunnyside neighborhood.
We hope to promote the cultural and business contributions of our residents. You can send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org (200 words max. please).
The Thursday, November 12 meeting will feature OR House Representative Rob Nosse. Rob’s insights on legislative issues are always insightful. We will continue to discuss the worsening homeless situation and how we can help as a neighborhood.
All SNA meetings continue to be via Zoom, so see the SNA website, sunnysideportland.org, for the time and connection info. We’d love to have you join us. Stay safe!