WOODLAWN NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATION MEMBERSHIP MEETING – meeting minutes
Wednesday, October 5, 2016 – 7:00 – 8:30PM
CLASSIC FOODS, 817 NE MADRONA
This month City Commissioner Amanda Fritz was able to attend the first part of the meeting. As we did our introductions we also each mentioned a topic of concern.
Introductions (and concerns!) Board: Maija – housing; Anjala – trains; Andrée – speeding; Beth – safe streets; Dennis; Byron – air pollution/industry; Luke – nurturing neighborliness; Shirley – possibly abandoned cars stored on the neighborhood streets.
Community introductions (and concerns): Adam – air pollution; Tom Anderson – traffic & building; Catherine – safety & environment; Wayne – supporting and adding more local retail; Shelly – agrees on neighborliness; Misty – safety, supporting local community; Bill Gates – United Methodist Church – how to do economic development w/o displacing anyone; Liz – number of apts w/o parking, speeding; Pat – building, trains, pollution; Phyllis – oil trains & coal trains – car places on MLK that are storing cars on the streets, also parking; Francisco – trains, street parking
Approve agenda for tonight: – motion to approve Beth, Dennis approve. All in favor.
Approve minutes from September – Andrée moves to approve as written, Byron 2nds, all in favor.
City of Portland Commissioner Amanda Fritz:
City commissioner Amanda Fritz – oversees Portland Parks & Recreation and also The Office of Neighborhood Involvement. Her comments:
She’s the only one on the council concerned re parking. Will be having hearings on the comprehensive plan tomorrow at 2 and next week (Thursday) at 2. If you can’t attend, send messages – in London they require one parking place per unit. She got some parking elements in the comprehensive plan over the objection of her colleagues, would love to have us share our stories. Go to her website – Portlandoregon.gov, section of links, will have ways to contact OR go to each of her colleagues. Original content is more meaningful than using a template email to send comments.
She was last in front of the WNA in fall 2014 re parks bond which passed at 74% – highest ever. As promised, she helped get improvements to the Matt Dishman facility as part of it, – they are ready to open soon.
She wants to mention three ballot measures:
Measure 26-178: Metro to keep levy in place to manage green spaces – asking for the same amount they’ve had the last several years.
Measure 26-179: $258 million bond to build affordable housing in Portland – 1300 deeply affordable housing units and workforce housing. City would build and own permanently affordable housing. This is related to the Welcome Home Coalition, which the WNA endorsed earlier this year.
Measure 26-180: 3% tax on recreational marijuana sales – ONI manages the marijuana policy program, business permitting etc. Right now the tax is 25% and it all goes to the state. In Portland we charge an application fee to cover the cost of staff reviewing the applications. We don’t get any of the 25% tax being paid. In January the tax rate will go down to 17% and we will get 1% of that – used for law enforcement. We can add 3% if voters approve – would be about $3 million/year (meaning the marijuana industry is doing $100 million in business per year). To be used for:
- Drug & alcohol education and treatment
- Public safety – police, fire improvements, crosswalks,
- Support neighborhood small businesses & individuals, especially those negatively affected by cannabis prohibition in the past. Last legislature had a measure go through to expunge convictions that were caused by pot possession – but it costs $1,000 to hire someone to do that. We could set up a grant program to help fund expunging the convictions.
As a point of comparison, the tax in CO is 27%, in WA is 35%, so saying yes to 3% brings total tax to 20%. Why isn’t it more? Legislature caps the request at 3%.
Statistics hold up that minority people have been disproportionately affected by pot convictions – and now those same people can’t be part of the $100 million/year marijuana business because of past pot-related convictions.
[Q: Why does it take a lawyer to do the expunging? A: The way it was set up. Representative Frederick hoped to make it simpler but it just isn’t at this time. ]
Commissioner Fritz is proposing a new public campaign finance system. She was initially elected by raising money from the public, then got matching funds – and that system was put to the ballot in 2010 and lost by 1600 votes out of 210,000. (Note that the vote was during the recession and money-related votes were hard-pressed to pass, in her opinion.)
Past 2 mayors – Sam Adams and Charlie Hales both expressed dismay at having to spend the year before their reelection runs focusing on fundraising/campaigning, but without public campaign finance they had little choice.
Her proposed system is based on New York City’s system which has been in place for over a decade. It’s really changed their elections – a lot more representatives, more campaigning in all neighborhoods not just the affluent ones. Each $50 donation from a member of the public is matched 6 to 1 = that’s $300 for every $50. A relatively small fundraising conversation in a home visit could result in lots of money being raised without relying on wealthy donors. Commission Fritz also wants to tighten reporting requirements – will have all candidates report every seven days of their running system. This system will be voluntary, can’t force participation (per citizens united). There will be a hearing on Thurs Nov 3, she’s trying to have it in the evening if possible, if not will be 2pm.
Need info? Go to the websites for ballot measures; for the campaign finance idea, call her office & the staff person working on it will be able to share more.
Land Use & Transportation Committee – Anjala & Dennis
Land use report: quiet month. Only thing to report is there will be a hearing on Oct 11 on inclusionary housing, which is one technique the city might use to bring in more affordable housing. It’s 1:15pm downtown – planning & sustainability commission. Have one hour for people to brief commission members on what inclusionary housing would involve. NOT a time for testimony, instead it is a time for education. After that they will discuss fossil fuel infrastructure changes. Will also have discussions on the ‘missing middle’ – types of housing that are neither houses nor apartments. Duplexes, triplexes, etc. Talk to Anjala for more info. There will be a meeting on changing the zoning codes to reward people for building more housing spaces.
Dennis: there’s been a request to demolish a house on NE Stafford across from Woodlawn school’s playground – he forgets the address. Notice was posted on Nextdoor.
Land use and transportation – 3rd Sunday back table at Ps & Qs at 4:30. – Oct 16 is the next meeting; the more people attending the more the committee can do.
Dennis: his conservative count is 120 new apartment units in Woodlawn in the next year – none will require parking. Also, the Dekum & 7th community garden is for sale. Anjala: there are talks at the city level to have neighborhood parking permits to regulate parking. Some neighborhoods have that already – NW for example.
Safety & Livability (SALT) Committee: Meg had to leave the committee, Byron is the lone representative. There is now a staff-led model. Adam recently put together a community conversation in Woodlawn Park about justice reform. Other organizations that helped coordinate the meeting were the NAACP, Black Lives Matter, Oregon Justice, (and at least one other org but he couldn’t remember the full list). It was a great turnout with about 200 people there. Portland has a difficult past – minimum sentencing among other things they want to discuss/revisit, also discretionary sentencing that comes out of our district attorney model.
The numbers have dwindled in SALT at NECN – Byron is proud he stuck it out but realizes that the future may need some changes to maintain effectiveness. Byron has been involved in SALT for 2-3 years, but he only understands 5% of the ongoing work so far: among other topics, SALT covers environmental design, crime prevention through environmental design, food insecurity, and many more.
There’s a new resource they are producing that documents the huge impact on pollution and NE neighborhoods, all the industry can affect our health.
Conversation in the Woodlawn Park re measure 11 – mandatory sentencing requirements for a variety of crimes. That was led by Black Male Achievement.
NE Coalition Committee Updates: Shirley – raises the question about the Woodlawn newsletter/newspaper that used to be produced monthly by a team of local volunteers. Now the NECN coalition is talking about doing a joint NE neighborhoods newspaper, trying to figure out the balance, some neighborhoods still have newspapers and they don’t want to step on toes.
Adam: NECN is 12 neighborhoods, 60,000 people, 28,000 households. 4 or 5 neighborhoods have monthly newsletters. It’s labor intensive & expensive. NECN has grant funding, staff, infrastructure – could they do an all-inclusive newspaper? They are very effective at getting into everyone’s homes w/o relying on the internet’s closed loop conversations. They are actively looking into designing it, looking at doing it quarterly to start. It would highlight neighborhood events and businesses, disseminate city information. Aiming for Dec 15 to have something published & distributed to ~16,000 households – working on NOT stepping on Irvington, Concordia etc. Specs: 16 pages color, 11×17. Right now only budgeted for quarterly. Want it to be very community-driven while staff craft it.
Q: So who decides what gets published about what we’re doing?
A: Prototype now is info they send out isn’t editorial, it’s more events, what’s going on, what can people get involved with. Mostly determined by your representative to their board – so Dennis Kennedy is the WNA rep on the NECN board. We assume they’ll also follow on facebook/nextdoor to pull info.
Q: is there any way to send pdfs via email? A: yes, and if you want to get on their e-newsletter and e-digest, he can get our emails and add them. Or go to the NECN webpage. (http://necoalition.org/)
Byron – testified for the Planning & Sustainability Commission about the fossil fuel infrastructure that Anjala talked about. Micah Meskel coordinated it along with the Humboldt Neighborhood Association & the Audubon Society. Our stance is we don’t want any more fossil fuel infrastructure.
Architect on 434 NE Stafford – was also the architect for the one next door which is almost built at 424. The difference is this one has an R zone so required to have 10-foot buffer along the east side, and certain landscape requirements. Proposing 10 units – ground floor are 1 bed, upper levels are 2 stories, 2-bed townhouse style. Common walkway along the west side to enter the stairways. Main entrance to the ground floor units with a porch on Stafford. Going through design review now. It will stay under 30-foot height per R zone height requirements. Brick and lap siding. Will have cantilevered balconies & bay windows looking out at the 10-foot buffer.
Q: Where do they park?
A: No on-site parking per the city guidelines.
Q: is this affordable housing?
A. no – market rate – it’s going to be expensive. He’s not the developer, he doesn’t really know the prices.
Q: why aren’t you offering parking?
A: cost of land, # of units, doesn’t pencil out.
Q but the rents will generate so much $$$$$$$$
Q: how many SF
A: 1 bed are about 680; 2 beds are 900 sf.
Maija issues a reminder that parking, affordable housing are city council issues; the developers and architects are working within the current set of rules. Talk to city council to devise incentives.
Anjala reminds us that the city listens to groups more the persons, come to land use committee and propose a letter. It’s also worth mentioning that each parking space costs on average 40k, increases cost of construction, service charges, rent/sales price, etc.
Community comment: when you drive over to Vancouver WA & see their housing, they all have underground parking etc. Another person points out the rules are entirely different there.
Byron addresses the board and audience: with respect to our guest, we’re barking up the wrong tree. We are hearing more often that people have concerns about parking in the neighborhood. We as a community need to strategize about that – to achieve the goal of advancing the position of more parking we need to find something constructive we can do. Byron’s suggestion is we bring the land use meeting to the WNA meeting and hash it out among ourselves. Perhaps we make this a full agenda item for some future meeting.
Architect: In his opinion, the city’s whole concept is to get rid of cars, push for bikes, mass transit, walking.
Shirley: worked in city hall for 9 years – when she wanted to get things done she went to the mayor and city council, you only need 3 votes to get things done. Political communication/pressure is the way to go on this issue.
Maija suggests re this issue: the new board needs to bring forward for future discussions.
Treasurer’s report – Reviews revenue vs expenditures. Questions? None. Motion to approve: Anjala, Maija second, all in favor. Luke asks for board to authorize this group to send thank you notes to some of our sponsors. Maija: we can just do that, no vote needed.
Street painting update – Martin: was successful. Over 100 volunteers signed in, even more actually there. Used $700 WNA funds to partially fund it. Total cost was around $1100, the balance came out of the farmers’ market funds.
Q: how long will the paint last?
A: it varies. They wanted to pressure wash the street before but didn’t get a chance. At a guess 1-3 years before touchups/new volunteer effort required. Maybe we should do something next month. Last month we discussed organizing some sort of art committee to help maintain these.
Andrée: All the pizza was donated, the paint was half off from Miller, lots of thanks need to go out.
Environment Oregon Request to sign community solar coalition letter – sign letter to the Public Utilities Commission to make a newly created solar program accessible to everyone. Earlier this year the legislature passed a law – large percentage of the population can’t have solar panels since they rent/roof can’t take it, varying reasons. Now can purchase panels to be set up elsewhere. Oregon PUC is working out details – how accessible is the program to underserved communities. Asking WNA to sign onto a letter. Andrée moves to approve, Luke seconds, all in favor.
Celebration of WNA Accomplishments for this Year (October 2015-16): Reading the accomplishments of the WNA for the year
Elections for WNA Board Members for Next Year (November 2016 – October 2017)
Adam is here from NECN to help with/oversee the election. Voters have to be signed in & attest you live/work in the neighborhood.
First slate: Four officers, one-year term: Chair, vice chair, treasurer, secretary
Second slate: Up to 8 at-large members. It’s ok to nominate people in absentia. According to our bylaws elected persons are required to go to all meetings; with 3 unexcused absences they can be removed.
Nominations – three calls for each.
Chair: Martin nominates Maija Spencer; Vice Chair: Maija nominates Martin; Treasurer: Liz nominates Luke Groser; Secretary: Maija nominates Beth
Full uncontested slate – Ask each candidate to speak – why do we want the role? Maija: has been chair the last 2 years, willing to step down but no volunteers. Views her job as making the meetings go smoothly & do outreach to community. Martin: this is his 2nd year, just wants to be involved and is willing to take on that role. Luke: he’s willing to do it, he’s been doing it 7+ years & esp in the last 3 years it’s had many more people involved and seems to be a growing organic organization and he wants to nurture that. We also need new blood! Beth: happy to take notes.
Full uncontested slate – can pass with a majority show of hands. All in favor? Majority vote, none in opposition. Officially passed & documented in a photo.
At-large positions: up to 8 total. Maija recaps what it means here – you’re not one of the four official roles. Current setup: Andrée provides snacks, Anjala & Dennis serve on land use, Byron and Meg serve on safety & livability. Enables you to vote on binding votes at board meetings.
First position at large: Andrée nominates Anjala
Second: Maija nominates Shirley
Third: Anjala nominates Andrée
Fourth: Kathryn volunteers
Fifth: Maija nominates Byron
Sixth: Beth nominates Dennis
Seventh: Anjala nominates Emily Anderson
Eighth: Dennis nominates Shelly
Does anyone want to nominate additionally? None more added. Three calls for nomintations. Full slate uncontested – all in favor? Passed.
Q/statement about conflict of interest – you can have it, you just have to disclose it, you can even still vote on the issue. Might be wise to recuse from a vote, but the rules are pretty liberal. Martin plans to recuse himself from any votes re the farmer’s market if it affects his partner.
General neighborhood news/commentary:
- FYI tamale boy is doing some Day of the Dead activities near the end of the month – keep an eye out. Traditionally Nov 1.
- If you go to Portlandmaps.com and check your sewer info you may see the original owner of your house.
- Commentary about parked cars – there’s a number you can call.
8:30 Meeting Adjourn – Next meeting November 2nd