Neighborhood Notes January 2022

Buckman Community Association

By Susan Lindsay

The Buckman Community Association will meet Thursday, January 13, 7-9 pm. We meet on Zoom, so email us anytime for the link and password at buckmanboard@googlegroups.com. 

This month we welcome Multnomah County’s Mike Vaughn, Director of Assessment and Tax Collection, who will explain the often cryptic property tax bill property owners receive, where the money goes and how assessments are determined. The developers of a proposed new high rise on SE Sandy Blvd. and 10th Ave. will present too. Wondering about those big piles of garbage that don’t ever seem to get picked up? We do, so we’ve invited Metro’s RID team to present. 

Did you read recently how PBOT is going broke? Seems lack of parking revenue in metered areas is hard on their bottom line. One of their solutions is increasing neighborhood permit fees and placing an additional surcharge for those still trying to park downtown, which would discourage car parking, which will further decrease revenues. 

Last month, the architect of the new five-story, 112 unit (mostly studios), zero parking, zero electric car charging, apartment building to replace our swashbuckling Buckman icon, the Jolly Roger, came to the BCA to present, but would not reveal the developer’s name, nor could answer many attendees questions. We are asking him back and hopefully will get answers. We had a presentation from Bora Architects about their planned L-shaped Building on SE 12th Ave. and SE Ankeny St. The apartments will house Black professionals in conjunction with a program at Self Enhancement Inc. The new structure, squeezed between existing Victorians, is four stories high, has a community laundry room, bike parking and an outdoor “front porch” area fronting SE 12th Ave.

Happy New Year from the BCA! See buckmanpdx.org.

HAND

By Jill Riebesehl

The Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood has sure seen changes recently. SE Powell Blvd. is now a 30 mph zone, from SE 7th Ave to 174th Ave. Motorized vehicles can no longer turn east from SE 25th onto Clinton St. due to the one-block closure for outdoor businesses, which also rerouted the #10 bus. TriMet’s 15-mile Division Transit Corridor is taking shape, target date April 4, and motorists are already being faced with lane reconfigurations on Division. Hawthorne Blvd. is undergoing lane configurations, as well as pedestrian amenities and speed limit changes. 

Two houses on Division due east of the Clinton condos on 26th Ave. must be moved to make way for a new apartment building; construction expected to begin in the summer. Rumor has it they can be purchased for $1 each, not including moving costs (see William Kaven Architecture). OMSI just published renderings of its proposed “OMSI district,” to include 1,200 housing units in high-rise towers (more at omsi.edu/property).

The Water Bureau is finishing up plans to run a 45-inch diameter pipe about 80 feet deep under the Willamette to carry Bull Run water from the eastside to the westside in case of an earthquake. The project finish date is 2023. It will launch near the PCC building and run up SE Stephens and Harrison streets. More on the project at portland.gov/water/improvements/willamette-river-crossing and publicproject.net/wrx.

Regarding the traffic tie-ups at SE 8th,11th and 12th: At our December meeting, we had a visit from William Burgel, who explained that the two-five-hour tie-ups result from Union Pacific’s Unified Plan 2020 Update which double the length of its trains to 15,000 feet. This requires putting three sections together. We discussed options that could be developed for motorists to dodge “the wall,” as some are calling it. They include diverting traffic with signage, an “escape route,” the possibility UP might in the future build the trains on property it owns south of Brooklyn Yard and a city-built viaduct over the tracks. 

The Central Eastside Industrial District, HAND and Brooklyn Action Corps are circulating a petition asking for the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s help in solving the long traffic tie-ups at the railroad crossings at 8th, 11th and 12th avenues. You can access the petition here: bit.ly/TrainPetition.

Recent fires have produced a sense of urgency and awareness that SE neighborhoods are underserved by the Fire Bureau. HAND has renewed its request that the city increase staffing at Fire Station 23, 2913 SE 13th Pl., to make available a fully functioning fire engine. 

HAND is also bird-dogging ongoing broken elevator, signage and debris problems at the one-year-old Bob Stacey bike/pedestrian bridge over the Union Pacific and Orange line railroad tracks at SE 14th Ave. 

The next board meeting is Tuesday, January 18. It will be held via Zoom and starts at 7 pm.  You can find us on Facebook, our website and other public notice boards. 

Montavilla Neighborhood Association

By Jacob Loeb

Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) closed out 2021 focused on street safety and the changes to Portland Public Schools (PPS) in SE Portland. Two community speakers presented information and calls to action for the group.

Josh Roll, a member of the Portland Pedestrian Advisory Committee, but speaking as an area resident, outlined potential traffic calming initiatives that neighborhoods could enact. He asked the MNA to consider sending a letter to City Council asking to reinstate a program that would allow communities to fund speed bump installation. In the presentation, Roll introduced a framework for a new Neighborhood Initiated Safe Streets Program. That program could allow intersection and corner modifications that encourage vehicles to slow down.

As a member of the newly-created Education Committee, Stephanie O’Leary updated attendees on the PPS rebalancing program currently underway in SE Portland. PPS changes will address uneven enrollment by adjusting attendance boundaries and programming at specific locations. They seek to improve the Dual Language Immersion programs by ceasing to co-locate them in other schools. Other changes would split K-8 schools into K-5 and Middle Schools. Most schools in Montavilla will see changes based on current proposals. The MNA intends to work with interested neighbors on looking at this process and provide collective feedback. Contact Holly Wilkes the Education Committee Chair, to participate.

Please save your packing styrofoam this holiday season and bring it to the Montavilla Holiday Recycle day on Saturday, January 15. Volunteers will collect bagged styrofoam 9 am-2 pm in the Montavilla Church parking lot, 9204 SE Hawthorne Blvd. They are asking for a $10 donation.

On Monday, January 10, 6:30 pm, MNA will host the first meeting of 2022. Details are available at montavillapdx.org/mna-calendar. Audio recordings of previous meetings are online at montavillapdx.org/pdx-mna-meeting-podcast.

Richmond Neighborhood Association

By Allen Field

Richmond Neighborhood Association held its monthly meeting December 13. Meetings are held via Zoom the second Monday of the month, 6:30-8:30 pm. The link to preregister is on the Agenda, posted to the RNA’s website (richmondpdx.org) and sent to the RNA Announce listserv. To be added to the listserv, email richmondnasecretary@gmail.com.

Jeffrey Brown, Deputy Assessor for Multnomah County, gave a presentation on property tax, how the tax is calculated and understanding your county tax bill.

Angela Dorsey-Kockler Lewis, Host2host.com, and Justin Lindley, Code Compliance, Portland Bureau of Developmental Services (BDS), discussed issues and resources relating to Short Term Rentals (STR), such as Airbnb. Host2host is a nonprofit trade association of STR hosts focused on advocacy, education and building community among STR hosts. STR owners must reside on the property for at least 270 days of the calendar year. Most STRs are Type A permits: up to two units can be rented out with a limit of five guests/night. Type B permits allow three-five bedrooms for rental and up to 10 guests; it requires a conditional case review. The biggest problem BDS goes after are STRs without city permits. Complaints can be made to BDS, 503.823.2633. For more information: portland.gov/bds/astr-permits.

The Board voted to apply for two SE Uplift grants: a DEIA Capacity Building grant to develop an Equity Strategic Plan and a Community Small Grant for a needs assessment of Neighborhood Associations and under-represented, disenfranchised and marginalized communities.

To address the street takeovers that have been occurring at SE 48th Ave. and Division St. the past year, RNA has been working with PBOT and the Mayor’s Office and held a community conversation at its May 2021 meeting with diverse perspectives about the street takeovers.    

According to PBOT’s Vision Zero Program Coordinator, “PBOT will be installing some basic safety measures and street drifting deterrence at SE Division St. & 48th Ave. It will include some low-profile, rubber speed bumps… and a yellow, plastic curb with flexible wands… No parking will be removed. There are two impacted turning movements: (1) no left turns from eastbound Division St. to northbound 48th Ave., and (2) no left turns from southbound 48th Ave. to eastbound Division St. We will also be restricting left turns from westbound Division St. to access the Tokio Table driveway closest to 48th Ave. on the south curb.” The traffic engineer recommended upgrading the crosswalk to improve pedestrian safety. PBOT hopes to complete the work by March 1.

The next RNA meeting is Monday, February 14. Please attend if you want to be more involved in and informed about your community.

Sunnyside Neighborhood Association

By Gloria Jacobs

On December 9, the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association welcomed Oregon State Representative Rob Nosse who shared legislative highlights and answered questions. 

Chris Waldmann shared information on the Portland Charter Review Commission (PCRC), currently working on recommendations to update the governing document of the city. The PCRC will host listening sessions in January. For information, visit portland.gov/omf/charter-review-commission.

SE Uplift is accepting applicants to apply for their Small Grants and DEIA Capacity Building Grants. Learn more and apply by January 10 at seuplift.org/grants-application-2021-2022.  

SNA was recently approached by Josh Roll, a member of PBOT’s Pedestrian Advisory Committee, seeking our support for the city to restart its Traffic Calming Program. Roll will be joining us at our January general meeting to discuss this program and other low-cost solutions for pedestrian safety on our neighborhood streets. 

We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming meeting Thursday, January 13. Meeting details and the agenda will be posted on the SNA website, sunnysideportland.org, on Tuesday, January 11. The General meeting is 7-8 pm with the Board meeting to follow directly after, 8-9 pm.

Sunnyside’s Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Committee will now meet the second Tuesday of each month and January’s meeting will be held on January 11. Meeting details will be posted on the SNA website on Monday, January 10.  

Neighborhood Notes January 2022

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