Neighborhood Notes May 2021

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By Jill Riebesehl

Within Hosford Abernethy Neighborhood Association’s boundaries lie Ladd’s Addition, Colonial Heights, the Central Eastside Industrial District, OMSI and various and assorted small-businesses, renters, homeowners and people who are houseless. In other words, the neighborhood is a mixed bag.

The HAND board will hold its annual general meeting, including Board elections, Tuesday, May 18 via Zoom. We have not nailed down the agenda, but have great ideas for speakers. We will post an agenda in a week or so. It should be fun and interesting. As for elections, Board members look forward to adding several more members from the community. 

At our April meeting, Heather Flint Chatto and Linda Nettekoven sounded the alarm for protecting the major and longtime features of Portland: our Main Streets. Heather, Linda and others have long been studying what makes Portland unique and liveable from the standpoint of built architecture.  

The work was extra motivated by the rapid development of SE Division St., with the high dark walls of indistinguishable buildings on the south and the north that defy walkability, sunlight and safety. The many-years-long Main Street volunteer effort produced a detailed and thorough analysis with suggestions for ways development can happen and be modern, economical, useful and in keeping with the city’s history and uniqueness.  

Portland’s planners are currently busy finishing plans to rezone for development (portland.gov/bps/doza). They have not, despite constructive, sustained volunteer work and suggestions from the Main Street project and others, included standards that would protect one of the crucial ways that make this city Portland.

City Council will be hearing the rezone proposal on May 12. Soon after, the city will be making decisions about the design overlay. Neighborhoods throughout the city are gathering support for incorporating the many constructive ideas for protecting Main Streets. Learn more at pdxmainstreets.org.

At our April meeting, TriMet’s Thomas Scharff brought us up to date on the Division St. transit redesign. The $175 million project has finally reached our neighborhood with work between SE 26th to 11th Avenues that will include street reconfigurations. TriMet expects the first articulated bus to arrive from New York soon, with a fleet to follow. The agency anticipates the project opening next year. 

We learned that the Gideon Street Overcrossing – a new bicycle/pedestrian project we strongly lobbied for so bicyclists and pedestrians could get over the tracks – is receiving heavy use, and the gutters, designed for cyclists to wheel their bikes up and down the stairs, work well.  

Montavilla Neighborhood Association

By Jacob Loeb

A fire broke out in the early morning of April 19 at the Portland Garment Factory, located in the center of Montavilla at 408 SE 79th Ave. The apparel maker lost all of their materials and tools due to the acts of arson. A GoFundMe page is accepting donations to help rebuild the business (gofund.me/19ab100f). As an ethical employer with a commitment to environmental sustainability, Portland Garment Factory became an essential part of the neighborhood’s culture. With more support, this company can reopen stronger than before.

The Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) continues its efforts to clean the streets. Membership in the volunteer Clean Team continues to grow and partnerships with other groups amplify their efforts. Free cleanup kits are available for volunteers. Sign up at montavillapdx.org/clean. Fundraiser Chair, Ron Thrasher, is working on a scrap metal and styrofoam recycling event. The date for that event will appear on the MNA website’s calendar page, montavillapdx.org/mna-calendar, along with additional information regarding accepted items.

The next MNA meeting is Monday, May 10, 6:30 pm, with guest speaker Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. Register for the online Zoom meeting at montavillapdx.org.

North Tabor Neighborhood Association 

By Kim Kasch

The North Tabor Neighborhood Association (NTNA) hosted a safety presentation on Emergency Preparedness by Linda Bellerby at the April 20 Neighborhood Meeting via Zoom. A recording was made of the presentation which will be up soon on YouTube. Check our website for further details at Northtabor.org.

NTNA hosts a presentation on Short Term Rentals (Airbnbs), Tuesday, May 18, 6:30 pm via Zoom followed by questions and discussion. Presenting will be the President of Host2Host, an organization of short-term rental hosts (including several North Tabor residents). They are not affiliated with any of the booking platforms that have worked with the City in developing the way such rentals are regulated in Portland.

Neighborhood Meetings are every third Tuesday at 6:30 pm via Zoom. Links are listed on the website. If you have questions, direct them to board@northtabor.org.

Richmond Neighborhood Association

By Albert Kaufman and Allen Field

The Richmond Neighborhood Association held its monthly meeting April 12. RNA meetings are held via Zoom on the second Monday of the month 6:30-8:30 pm. Preregistration is required, the link to preregister is on the Agenda, which is posted to richmondpdx.org and sent out to the RNA Announce listserv. To be added to the listserv, email richmondnasecretary@gmail.com.  

The annual Board election will be Tuesday May 11, 6:30-8:30 pm in the Waverly United Church of Christ, parking lot at SE 33rd Ave. and Woodward. Eight candidates are running for eight seats: Ann Sandvig, Brian Hochhalter, Claire Cofsky, Debby Hochhalter, Hope Townsell, JoAnne Knowles, Kamal Belkhayat and Madeleine Anderson-Clark.

Candidates will give short statements at the RNA’s May 10 meeting. Candidate statements will be posted to the RNA website, the RNA listserv and NextDoor Richmond. Any person 18 or older who is a Richmond resident, business or property owner can vote.  

Ballots will be emailed to the listserv, posted to the website and available at the voting site in the Waverly Church parking lot May 11. Ballots can be filled out at home and dropped off at the church. Under the City’s rules, voting by mail and proxy voting are not allowed, so people have to drop off their own ballot.  

There was discussion how the RNA can support the Sunnyside Farmer’s Market, opening June 1, at Central Christian Church parking lot, 1844 SE César E Chavez Blvd. The RNA listserv is limited to announcements of agendas and events directly relating to or impacting Richmond and is not for discussion or advocacy purposes, especially not for promoting for-profit businesses. The Board discussed having an information table at the market and will send out notices to the listserv when an RNA table will be at the market.  

Leah Fisher, SE Uplift (SEUL) Interim Executive Director, explained the reasons behind the changes to the neighborhood association (NA) communications funds program, where funds to NAs were cut in half, with the other half to be distributed to non-NA groups. 

The RNA Board had sent a letter to SEUL objected to cutting the NA communication funds in half because the decision was made by SE Uplift staff without consultation with or approval by the SE Uplift Board, which consists mostly of NAs. Leah described SEUL’s challenges given the city’s budget changes and said that NAs in the future may not get the level of support from SEUL as in the past. She introduced our new SEUL liaison, Alexander McPherson and a bio of Alexander is on the SEUL website. 

The closure of the Hawthorne Fred Meyer south entrance (it’s been changed to emergency-use only) was discussed again by the Board. Last month the RNA voted to inform Fred Meyer that it plans to oppose its application to close the south-side entrance. As of the April meeting, Fred Meyer’s land use application to close the entrance was still not complete.

The next RNA meeting is Monday, May 10.

Sunnyside Neighborhood Association 

By Dave Boush

The April SNA general meeting continued last month’s discussion on building design and police oversight, endorsing documents on both topics. Johanna Brenner from the Portland Metro People’s Coalition and Sarah Kowaleski, Coalition Organizer at Jobs with Justice, fielded questions relevant to their March request for the SNA to endorse a letter recommending specific language in the PPB contract. (See the related article in the March newsletter and read the letter at uniteoregon.org/policing.) The SNA voted to endorse the letter. 

Heather Flint Chatto continued the discussion about building design in the neighborhood, especially along Hawthorne Blvd. and Belmont St. As in the March meeting, a principal focus was the PDX Main Street Design Guidelines, which you can find at pdxmainstreets.org/designguidelines. These guidelines are aimed at improving the fit between new infill and old buildings. Among Heather’s main points was that good design is key to increasing density. Buildings can be built taller when they fit in well with the existing pattern. The SNA voted to adopt the Hawthorne special buildings list and the Main Street Design Guidelines for Hawthorne. The SNA endorsed a letter to City Council advocating for Main Street design-specific standards and for parity in design review with downtown. An example of design parity is when a specific building height triggers design review. 

The Board voted to elect Vincent Dawans as a Board member, replacing Sunia Gibbs, who recently resigned. Vincent has done wonders as SNA Clean-Up Coordinator and we look forward to working more with him. We thank Sunia for her service. Please note the announcement of our Annual Board elections on July 8 and consider running. Visit sunnysideportland.org to learn more about how to run for an open Board seat during our next elections. 

South Tabor Neighborhood Association

By Tina Kimmey

May is the month for neighborhood elections. As mentioned previously, we have two positions that are on the ballot currently, Chair and Secretary. We also have an opening for a new vice chair. If anyone is interested in holding a position on the Board or has any questions about the duties of a Board member, email chair@southtabor.org. The current chair is resigning so feel free to ask him about the positions. 

During this past year of staycations did you realize that you have more stuff than you need? Need a reason to purge some items from your home? South Tabor NA is promoting a neighborhood yard sale Saturday, June 12. If you are interested in helping out or participating, contact secretary@southtabor.org. We will create a map with participants so you’ll know where to find the good stuff. One neighbor’s trash is your new art project. White Elephant gift? That thing you never knew you needed. 

Since Board elections are this month we will hold a general meeting, Thursday, May 20, 7-8:30 pm. Our Land Use Committee (as always) meets the Tuesday prior, so this month will be May 18, 7-8:30 pm. All meetings currently are held on Zoom, so check southtabor.org for links and agendas. See you soon! 

Neighborhood Notes May 2021

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