WOODLAWN NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP MEETING – meeting minutes
Wed, September 7, 2016 – 7:00 – 8:30pm, held at: Classic Foods, 817 NE Madrona.

 

7:00 Introductions: Board: Maija, Beth, Anjala, Dennis, Martin, Meg, Andrée, Byron, Luke

Neighborhood attendees: Caitlin, Liz, Aaron, Erin, TJ, Jessica Rojas (NECN neighborhoods coordinator), Craig, Bill (pastor with United Methodist church – they closed their doors June 30 2016 but are still interested in the neighborhood, starting a listening project to hear residents & stakeholders), Wendy, Debbie (w/ sewer project) Adam Ciresi (artist for the upcoming street painting/mural), David Sweet (land use chair of Cully neighborhood, cofounder of Portland for Everyone). Others arrived later.
7:05 Approve agenda for tonight; approve minutes from July (no meeting in August) Beth moves to approve, Dennis seconds, all in favor. Minutes: Dennis moves to approve, Andrée seconds, all in favor

7:10 Police Officer’s Report, if available – none available tonight
7:15 Concordia/Woodlawn Sewer Project – Debbie Caselton, sharing information from the city about a new project:

They are very early in design of the Concordia Sewer Repair project, a little bit of which will occur in the Woodlawn area. Early in design, 3 miles of pipe, sewers are 80-100 years old, in dire need of repair. Should start in Feb 2018 and will run through June 2019. Woodlawn-affected streets seem to be small parts of Buffalo, Junior, Liberty, and 10th. For more information, get on the email list by mailing Debbie.caselton@portlandoregon.gov with “Concordia” in the subject line..

7:20 Residential Infill Project presentation – David Sweet, Portland for Everyone https://portlandforeveryone.org/ (30 min) & Charlie Tso

Advocates for abundant, diverse, and affordable housing in all our vibrant neighborhoods. A project of 100 friends of Oregon. It used to be the case that a person could buy an affordable home, then sell it and move up in the real estate market. In June 2016 the Oregonian reported that we are seeing historic rises in home prices; by 2035 we’ll have 260k new people making up 123k new households. Keep in mind that “new people” can mean many things: kids of existing residents, people returning home to Oregon.. not just an influx of people from outside the state.

 

How will we accommodate all our new neighbors? How will we maintain affordable housing so those who wish to can get into home ownership? One component: Residential Infill Project.

Portland is talking about:

The scale of new houses (size, mass, out of scale); The type of housing (how many units); On what size lots; In what areas?

Our newly built houses are getting bigger every year while households are getting smaller. At the same time people want to live in vibrant walkable neighborhoods. Houses are increasingly unaffordable to average-income or low-income households. The problem is compounded for households of color who statistically tend to be lower income.

One major problem we have is a lack of housing choice: mid/high rise; apartments; houses on small lots; attached houses; complexes. Altogether these are referred to as the “missing middle” of housing types – duplexes, triplexes/small complexes; bungalow court, townhouse … all prohibited by our current zoning code.

On a typical lot a single family house built today would sell for 600-700k. If instead you built a fourplex the price per unit is 225k. Perfect for a first time homeowner.

Portland for Everyone wants to modify and expand the current proposal the city is considering as part of the Residential Infill Project. In general the city is looking at encouraging more density in locations that are ¼ mile from neighborhood centers & transit corridors; Portland for Everyone thinks we should allow these denser “missing middle” style housing types everywhere single family homes are allowed.

Closing comment from Portland for Everyone: please Vote YES on Affordable Homes – an upcoming ballot measure to create a bond for affordable housing.

Q&A session:

  1. What do you want us to do?
    A. They want people to endorse Portland For Everyone & their work. King and Cully Neighborhood Associations have endorsed their work.

 

Q: Currently, the development fees assessed by the city are enormous, the planning process is painful; combined these drive up the cost of development. Is the city making changes to the fees or the process?

A: PFE will continue to advocate scaling development fees by house size. Right now an 800sf house pays the same system development charges as a 4k sf house. He’s heard that all bureaus that charge the SDCs are talking about scaling

Q: what is your position on parking? Are you encouraging eliminating parking requirements
A: We prioritize parking for people over parking for cars. Minimum offstreet parking requirements do increase the cost of housing. They favor eliminating or reducing parking minimums to keep housing more affordable.

Q: People DO have cars and need a place to put them.

A: About 24% of renters don’t own a car. About 4% of homeowners don’t own a car. Where adding parking greatly increases the cost of building, tenants either can’t afford to buy, or opt to park on-street rather than paying for parking. There are other parking mgmt. tools the city is looking at. City Council was looking at changing parking requirements in NW but were convinced to explore other ideas such as overnight residential permits, metered parking.

Q: But where people want to be a home owner the desire for a vehicle is not going to go away
A: Will have to agree to disagree about parking.

Go to www.Portlandforeveryone.org – register to be kept informed.

Martin: proposes WNA support the PFE and their goals. Dennis second, mostly in favor, Andrée abstains for lack of full info. Motion passes, Maija signs on behalf of Woodlawn.
7:50 Report on Summer Events – Movie, Sunday Parkways, National Night Out

Neighborhood business donations & the cleanup fundraiser paid for everything.

NNO was 400 people at least, at a guess – really good turnout

Budget: budgeted 1000 for NNO; received donations for the food, so the total cost was 456.80.

 

7:55 Woodlawn Board Elections in October – what does being a board member mean?

WNA is an official non-profit, we need people to be on the board to keep it running. President/secretary/treasurer/a lot of people on committees such as Land Use, Safety & Livability Team

We have bylaws and have to elect seats in a given order. Have up to 12 members on the board. Elections will be next month (October) at the regular meeting. People can self-nominate or be nominated by someone. If you are interested please let us know! Anjala wants to recruite people for the Land Use & Transportatoin Committee – so many exciting and meaningful topics such as: oil trains coming through our hood, industries potentially polluting the air, demolitions, etc. More people = more impact!

 
8:00 Approve Treasurer’s Report – Luke & Martin – & also update on the street painting project. Luke reviews treasurer’s report. We have a little cushion of about 5k/year. Anjala has a question about communication: we used to have to spend the NECN money or lose it.. Luke says last spring they passed a new rule that they’d keep giving us the money but we can spend it on what we want. He labels it communication but we can use it as we need to nurture the wellbeing of our neighborhood…and we spend more than that every year so we feel we’re covered.

Martin: street painting project update: He talked to the city today about the street painting.. strongly advising us to not do it sept 26. It’s not a good weather date. The street needs to be dry & paint needs 2 days of dry weather to dry. It’s not super likely that’ll happen at that point in the year. The permit guy strongly says do it next year – June. One suggestion: Can we set the date for end Sept and have a backup rain date for June? Worth asking. There are a number of hoops (street closure permit, and a permit to paint the artwork which involves us getting adjacent residents to sign & approve of the artwork) and not a lot of timte. There’s a lot to pull together in 2 weeks but they may try.

The other part of it is: It’s currently being funded by the Farmer’s Market; Martin proposes that the WNA contribute as well, given that this will be art enjoyed by all Woodlawn residents year-round. The market got a grant from NECN that was partially dedicated to funding it ($500) but they really need another $500-700 to pay the artists, buy paint & supplies.

Maija: when she put together the National Night Out 2016 budget we allocated 1000 and only spent 456. We could reallocate the NNO money toward the mural.

Anjala: loves the murals in the neighborhood already and knows the people who spent the time on those murals found that after they’re painted, it’s hard to get people to clean them up and maintain them. We have 3 in the area that have not gotten maintenance. She wants the neighborhood to know we need to commit to taking care of it… or accept that it’s art that may fade if it’s not taken care of. Example: the one on Holland was done, then a month later the city had to come out and do some work, so it’s got a patch in it now.

Adam/artist: would like to address a couple things. He’s lived here almost 10 years, Jerry the other artist has lived here longer. What they’ve created reflects the neighborhood as it has been, is now, and what we hope it will be. They’ve talked with lots of residents to gather ideas & feedback. It’s also inspired by the people at the farmer’s market. As far as upkeep goes: this is the farmer’s market spot, hopefully the community will feel ownership and work together to maintain it.

The plan is paint a mural in the street at dekum & durham between bushwhacker & firehouse. Adam (artist) and Jerry both live in Woodlawn and have been collaborating on the design.

Andrée: maybe the WNA should add mural maintenance as an ongoing line item in its budget, hopefully in consultation with the original artists.

Martin: what if part of our charter was neighborhood art and had a project every year ..

Andrée: would that be under land use?

Audience member: have you been doing much with PDC for grants? “beautification” comes under their umbrella, could perhaps make a case for that. Adam: RACC regional arts and culture commission might be another good resource.

Maija: we could have a whole conversation around art and possibly funding it.. We need to figure out next steps, since Martin is working on dates for Sept.. Can he get it done in time? Martin asking for some funding in the short term.

Martin: makes a motion to add an initiative to our budget for this street painting project for $700, anything less to be returned to WNA. Anjala: amends to add: We agree to allocate up to $700 for a Sept 2016 painting event, if the painting occurs later we will revisit the topic and discuss allocating funds from our 2017 budget.

Andrée seconds. All in favor; None opposed.

 

8:05 Northeast Coalition of Neighbors (NECN) Updates:
– Land Use & Transportation Committee – Anjala & Dennis. Emily at Ps & Qs wanted them to talk to the city about getting flashing lights at that crosswalk. In addition, people who run the Oregon Public House requested we ask the city for a crosswalk there. The committee also did their own foot research and would like a crosswalk between Bushwhacker & Firehouse. Wrote letter to city, city responded: 1) 13th ave crosswalk is properly designated & they’ll step up enforcement (let us know if you see any!). They will not be adding flashing lights. 2) They approve of a crosswalk in front of Oregon Public House, crossing Dekum. Would have to move bike parking, also have loading area issues. But city agrees one is needed, it’s going to go on the to-do list, there isn’t money for it now. Also it requires curb cuts. Anjala asked: What if we came up with private funding? They said go for it. We need to get a contractor to give us a quote on curb cuts … city says each curb cut is 4k, we think we can do better.

Reminder about the committee:

  • Meet 3rd Sundays Ps & Qs 4:30pm (Sunday Sept 18th)
  • See Nextdoor and other places for agenda items.

 
– Safety & Livability Team (SALT) – Byron & Meg – no update
– NECN Board- Shirley – no update

Any other business? Adam is here with the art, stick around to see it!

8:30 Meeting Adjourn – Next meeting October 5th

 

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