Archive for September, 2008

Amanda Fritz at Historic Association Meeting

September 26, 2008

City Council candidate Amanda Fritz is coming to speak and hear Portland’s neighborhood concerns Monday, October 13th at the monthly meeting of the Buckman Historic Association.  Come hear her at 7 pm and then stay to find out more about the Association.

The Buckman Historic Association is forming a cross-neighborhood coalition to address development policies in support of sustainable neighborhood growth, preservation of existing historic neighborhood character and livability, creation of walkable and green neighborhoods, compensation of increased density with neighborhood amenities, enforcement of development policies, and more.

The meeting will be held at Hinson Memorial Baptist Church, SE 20th & Salmon St.

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Routes To The River – Final Report Issued

September 23, 2008

The final report for the Routes to the River Project was just released and is available for download in the library (link to the right).   The next task for this project is working with PDOT on the implementation phase.

Janus Youth property at SE 16th & Morrison

September 19, 2008

Male youth offenders currently housed in Tigard will be moved into the Janus property at 16th and Morrison for approximately 4 months while their Tigard facility is being remodeled.

Persons with questions and concerns should contact Janus Youth at 503-233-6090 and attend the October 9th BCA Meeting where the Executive Director, Dennis Morrow of Janus will be there to answer your questions.

Bridgehead Development Still In Limbo

September 19, 2008

The Burnside Bridgehead project is still “on hold” following the withdrawal of Opus Northwest, the project developer.  The Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) tracking the project met on June 25th to review several alternatives for making the Couch Street connection to the Burnside Bridge as the design for the Burnside-Couch Couplet is finalized.  The CAC rejected options that significantly reduced the size of Block 76, the block at the northwest corner of the intersection of Burnside and Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.  This is the most important block of the overall bridgehead project site for establishing a “gateway” into the downtown and anchoring the overall Bridgehead project development.

The Burnside – Couch Couplet project is facing construction cost increases as the design is finalized at the same time the Central Eastside Urban Renewal District is projecting a major budget shortfall with the failure of the Bridgehead project to proceed.  The Couplet project will have to adjust the design to fit within existing appropriations for the project.

(image from the Portland Development Commission)

Want To Save The World

September 19, 2008

Fritjof Capra

When Fritjof Capra (physicist, philosopher, and the author of The Tao of Physics) last spoke in Portland, he talked about the findings of a thought experiment he and his colleagues researched. This thought experiment ranked which human activities pose the greatest ecological impact to our planet.  Based on Capra’s findings, having a child causes the greatest impact, followed by eating meat and driving.  For many people, these are tough activities to avoid.  Capra’s advice: Strive to minimize participation in one of these activities.

Capra's wheels

Capra claims to drive a first generation Prius, has two daughters, but is a vegetarian.  I, on the other hand, have a two children and am a full fledge meat eater. (In college, I experimented with vegetarianism to no avail.) So according to Capra’s ideology, if I want to save the world I need to drive less.  Fortunately, I live in the Buckman neighborhood where walking and biking can meet most of my daily transportation needs.  Buckman and its surrounding neighborhoods, are close to downtown; have good mass transit service; and include great schools, restaurants, entertainment options, coffee shops, grocery stores, hardware stores, second hand stores, retail, not to mention a vital bar scene.

Lunch

Adam's Lunch

Currently, a couple efforts are being made to improve pedestrian and bicycle access throughout the Buckman neighborhood.  Buckman Community Association chair, Susan Lindsay and I recently participated in the Routes to the River stakeholder’s workgroup lead by PDC and its team of consultants.  In a nutshell, Routes to the River was a promise made by the City to the Eastside neighborhood during the planning of the Eastbank Esplanade, to provide better connectivity from the neighborhoods to the River.  A final draft of recommendations that were developed during the stakeholder workgroup sessions is due out in early September.

In addition, I am currently working with the Kerns Neighborhood, HAND, the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, and the PDOT to designate SE 9th Avenue (or other near by north/south Avenue) as a bicycle boulevard.  Bicycle boulevards are low traffic streets that are designed to encourage bicyclists and discourage thru motorized vehicle traffic.  SE Ankeny and Clinton streets are good examples of two existing bicycle boulevards.  The boards from Buckman, Kerns, and HAND have all recently made motions to support this effort.

Next up – contacting the Central Eastside Industrial District (CEID) regarding this proposal.

– Adam Zucker

Lone Fir Cemetery Benefit Concert!

September 19, 2008

The Doug Fir Lounge at 8th & East Burnside is sponsoring a benefit concert for Lone Fir Cemetery on October 24th with new songs and music being performed specific to the ancestors residing here.  Tickets are now available, please see www.dougfirlounge.com for more information.

Zoning Changes Being Considered On Hawthorne

September 19, 2008

The Portland Planning Bureau is working on a project to look at non-conforming commercial uses along Hawthorne Boulevard to consider changing the zoning to Storefront Commercial (CS), consistent with the current building uses and the commercial zoning along other parts of Hawthorne Boulevard.  18 properties between SE 15th and 34th Avenue have been identified that have existing commercial uses with multi-dwelling (R1) residential zoning.  These uses are non-conforming, which can make it difficult for property owners to expand existing businesses and prohibits new businesses from being created in new developments.

The Planning Bureau has initiated a study to consider changing the Comprehensive Plan Map and zoning to bring the zoning into conformance with the commercial uses. One of the key factors is determining if the zone change will have any significant adverse impacts to the transportation system.  Although the CS zone has the same maximum building height (45 feet), it can enable larger mixed-use buildings with more units than the R1 zone.  Therefore, this study will include a traffic impact analysis to determine the potential impact to the signalized intersections along Hawthorne Boulevard.  Tom Armstrong from the Planning Bureau will be at the October 9th general meeting to discuss this study.

Once the traffic impact analysis is completed, there will be a community meeting in late October or early November to discuss the findings and decide whether or not to proceed with the proposed zone changes.  For more information, contact Tom Armstrong, Planning Bureau, 503-823-9140 or tom.armstrong@ci.portland.or.us.

The BCA has some distinct questions and concerns about these proposed changes that go beyond the City’s interest in creating a more dense urban landscape and the Hawthorne property owners desire to redevelop their lots. Any new development under these changes could not only increase traffic but would also triple at least the density of the properties and there is be no required parking called for in the plan as Hawthorne is a transportation street. For those Buckman residents on Hawthorne, Madison and Main, this proposal may have some significant impacts both positive and negative.  We will discuss this proposal at the upcoming BCA land use meeting on Sept. 25th in preparation to the City’s presentation in October.

Portland Plan looks at long-term growth

September 19, 2008

Building on its visionary urban design legacy, the City of Portland is taking the lead on sustainable, equitable and economically viable long-range planning. Over the next three years, the Bureau of Planning will be updating its 1980 Comprehensive Plan and the 1988 Central City Plan in an effort called the Portland Plan.

The Portland Plan is a guide to the physical, economic, social, cultural and environmental development of Portland over the next 30 years. The plan will build on the work the community did through VisionPDX, which captured our shared values of sustainability, equity and accessibility, and community connectedness.

This plan will form the type of neighborhood Buckman will be in the future.  Therefore it is important for our residents and associations to review these plans and influence the goals,  policies, and implementation actions.  Issues that Buckman has identified to date include: the appearance, scale, and type of new development, Washington / Monroe community center and swimming pool as a major capital improvement, creating more equity among Portland citizens through economic development, and creating more livable and sustainable communities.  But given the fact that Buckman is likely to grow by several thousand people over the next twenty years we don’t want development to change our neighborhood character for the worse.

“As a community, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape the future of our city. The global trends of climate change, a worldwide economy, the growing equity gap and population shifts require that we proactively define how our City looks and works for this generation and those to come.”     – Mayor Tom Potter

Work has been underway for about nine months.  The next public review period will be September through November of this year.

More information is available on the Portland Plan website.  At this site you can get e-mail updates of future activities as well as read about the previous reports and information.

Plans for Lone Fir Cemetery (SE 20th & Morrison)

September 19, 2008

After METRO officially closed there offices at the corner of SE Morrison & 21st in the fall of 2003 a group of people began to gather to decide the future of this piece of property. They included neighbors, Metro, Multnomah County, the City, the Chinese Benevolent Society and other interested persons. After years of deliberation they have come up with some options for citizens to examine and comment upon. Jane Hansen, Lango Hansen Landscape Architect, has been with this project since the beginning. She lives in Buckman and said, “This is an important project, it will be here for a long time.”

The three renderings to the left are the results of discussions held during the meetings. They were displayed at the Open House at Lone Fir Cemetery. None of these will be the final plan, but a combination of these elements along with other ideas will form the final design.

The Buckman Community Association has discussed the development designs at Lone Fir Cemetery twice and the Buckman Historic District Committee reviewed at their August meeting.  While Buckman has a thirty year interest in the development of the Morrison/Belmont/20th intersection as a small commercial node, the BCA has taken the position that the general character of the preliminary designs is acceptable.  The BCA will continue to review the developments and are well represented on the METRO Lone Fir Cemetery work group by Susan Lindsay and Don MacGillivray.

Unfortunately funds are not available for these improvements, but with the significance of this historic cemetery it is believed that resources will be found from a variety of sources.  More information will follow later this year.

For more information contact METRO’s project manager Janet Bebb, at 503.797.1710 or online at www.oregonmetro.gov/cemeteries.

Mural Underway at SE 12th and Morrison

September 19, 2008

Work is underway on the replacement of the Buckman mural on the south side of the Plaid Pantry store at SE 12th & Morrison.  It is 640 sq. ft. in size and is being created in cooperation with the Buckman Community Association with funding from the City of Portland through the Bureau of Environmental Services, Community Benefit Opportunity Program.

Working draft of mural design

Murals provide a unique opportunity for expression by weaving individual  elements into a visual whole on a large scale.  The Buckman mural takes this approach by combining historic, architecturally interesting buildings, people and places with contemporary people, activities, settings and other relevant themes such as sustainability.

The composition of the Buckman mural is anchored on both ends by the Hawthorne and Burnside bridges. The Center of the mural will depict early Buckman in sepia tones and it will transition to full color as it moves outward in both time and space. The foreground will depict a variety of people walking, bicycling and conducting daily life activities in the present time. Features include the Eastside Esplanade, the big dig, the Willamette River, Lone Fir cemetery, the area under the Morrison bridge and some prominent buildings on the Portland skyline.

Mural in progress - September 2008

The artist, Joe Cotter, has been painting murals in Portland and the surrounding area for 20 years. Most recently, he was lead artist for the 2008 mural in Estacada, painted by members of the Artback Artists Cooperative.

Artist Joe Cotter at work

The finish date of this mural will most likely be in December.

Bill Bradbury On Climate Change

September 10, 2008

Secretary of State Bill Bradbury has arranged with the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association to give his climate change presentation to a crowd of SE Portland residents. The event will be held on Tuesday, September 30th, from 6:30-8:30 pm at the Sunnyside Methodist Church (3520 SE Yamhill St).

Sustainability Committee

September 10, 2008

Buckman, in response to the current interest in sustainability locally and nationally, is offering an opportunity to meet and discuss options that interested residents can use to improve their lives and help society achieve a more livable future.

We meet at Buckman school at 7 pm on the second Tuesday of each month. We wish to accomplish several things: 1st. give people a more informed idea of what sustainability is all about and some of the options available locally; 2nd. Allow like minded people to find each other and work on projects with help the neighborhood as well as themselves; and 3rd. make people more aware to local resources, plans, events, and people that involve sustainability.

One such opportunity is the Free Master Recycler Plastics Roundup on Saturday, October 11th in Milwaukie at 9600 SE Main (the Old Southgate Theater), hosted by City of Milwaukie. For more information: http://www.masterrecycler.org

We also have a list of links to various sustainability resource sites on the Buckman webpage at. www.neighborhoodlink/Portland/buckman

Other neighborhoods in southeast are creating similar committees which are coordinated through SE Uplift. We are in close contact with Portland’s Office of Sustainability which has resources available to as including a wonderful website. If this interests you and you are available on a Tuesday evening, drop by and say hello.

Buckman Community Association: Join Us!

September 10, 2008

The nine member Board of the Buckman Community Association welcomes all residents and business owners or otherwise interested persons to become members of the Buckman Community Association. Buckman, the first eastside neighborhood of Portland, is bounded by SE 28th, Hawthorne Blvd., East Burnside Street and on the west, the Willamette River. While most of the thousands of residents live in “East” Buckman (east of 12th Avenue), “West” Buckman, a designated industrial and commercial sanctuary, contains a historic district, is home to over 17, 000 jobs and has dozens of excellent eateries and nighttime venues.

Your neighborhood association is the place where you can come to find out about current happenings and plans in the area, meet and get active in progressive planning and projects, get assistance with perplexing and difficult issues, and volunteer your time, energy, ideas and leadership skills. We host three meetings a month, all at Buckman Elementary School, located at 320 SE 16th. Meetings are held either in the cafeteria or the library. While there is plenty of room for large gatherings, feel free to bring your own lawn chair (as it is after all a K-5 school).

The first Thursday of the month is the Board Meeting held 6-7:15pm so you come by and can still get to any first Thursday events of interest. At this meeting the Board discusses upcoming issues and sets the next week’s general meeting agenda.

The 2nd Thursday is the General Meeting, held 7-9pm. This meeting allows for in depth discussion about proposed plans and changes, and provides for community organizing.

The last Thursday of the month is the land use and public safety meeting, held 6:30-8pm. This meeting provides property owners and developers an opportunity to air their proposals and also is attended by our own Officer Robert Pickett and Officer Andy Edgecomb to help residents deal with crime, drug problems and livability concerns.

The BCA also has two sub-committees. The Sustainability Committee is a group that wants to get involved with creative energy and conservation projects in Buckman and inner East Portland It meets the 2nd Weds of each month at 6:30 also at Buckman Elementary.

Finally there is the Buckman Historic Committee which works to preserve the historic character of Buckman. This group is led by Christine Yun. Contact her directly for meeting information at  pyung@pyung.com.

So, do you have a project you’d like to get started?  Do you have an idea on how things could be better?  Do you want to meet your neighbors?  Are you interested in getting the Community Center in place?  Looking to volunteer and help your neighbors?

Please join us at any of the above meetings. Your participation is always welcome.

Your can also always email us at buckman_comm2000@hotmail.com, (503) 236-2214 or visit our website http://www.neighborhoodlink.com/portland/buckman/