Archive for December, 2011

First Look: New development at 20th & Morrison

December 13, 2011

At our most recent general meeting on December 8th, David Mullens from Creston Construction visited us to speak about the new residential apartment building development going up at SE 20th & Morrison. Some may remember this location as the site of another proposed development project that aroused quite a bit of ire among neighbors several years ago. That project eventually fell by the wayside as a result of neighborhood input and the weak economy.

This new project appears to face no such hurdles. Although Mr. Mullens faced some significant questioning from the neighbors present at last week’s meeting, the general consensus seemed to be that this project represents an improvement over the last one. The main area of concern was around parking. The development will only have 12 on-site parking spaces, although it boasts over 70 units. Mr. Mullens stressed that the developers will be aggressively marking this property to tenants without cars, and will also be offering some perks to its residents such as TriMet passes. As for economic factors, the project is apparently well-funded enough that Mr. Mullens was able to speak with some confidence of a planned late-January/early-February start to construction. Construction is expected to last about a year.

Mr. Mullens shared some images of the plans with us. These can be viewed below.



Notice of Hearing: Equivalent facilitation on Portland streetcars

December 9, 2011

There’s an upcoming hearing to discuss the city’s request for a finding of equivalent facilitation on Portland street cars. More information can be found here:

And here’s an e-mail we received from the city with details on the hearing:

Notice is hereby given that The City of Portland will hold a public hearing regarding its intent to request a finding of equivalent facilitation for the bridge plates of its low floor streetcar vehicles. The public hearing will be held at the following time and location:

December 13, 2011
Noon-1:30 p.m.
City Hall
1220 SW 4th Avenue, Council Chambers (second floor)
Portland Oregon 97214

Persons who need sign language interpretation or other communication service should contact Andrew Bryans 503-823-4079, TTY 503-823-6868, in advance of the meeting. Requests for other accommodations can be made by contacting 503-823-7677. Written testimony and comments regarding the application  or requests for accommodation can also be submitted by Friday December 14, 2011. Please submit to:

Shoshanah Oppenheim
Portland Bureau of Transportation
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 800
Portland, Oregon 97204

Or electronically at

Shoshanah E. Oppenheim
Project Management
Portland Bureau of Transportation
1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 800
Portland, Oregon 97204
p: 503-823-7677
c: 503-823-6351
f:  503-823-7137

Portland Plan Cheat Sheet

December 9, 2011

Got this e-mail from the always awesome Leah Dawkins at SE Uplift:

Hi Everyone- By now, most of you should know that the Portland Plan Draft is available for review. I have read the long version and with the help of Matt Wickstrom,  I put together a cheat-sheet to assist you in reviewing the document. I have highlighted sections I think will be particularly interesting or relevant to SE Uplift neighborhoods and I have hopefully addressed some of the more confusing parts of the document. The cheat-sheet is just full of suggestions, please read the whole document if you have the time and the interest! You can find the documents here: and I have one photocopy of the summary document for each neighborhood which you can pick up here at the office. The hearings start on Wednesday, November 9th. The first one is at Jefferson High School from 5:30 to 9:00 PM. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Thanks, Leah

Leah Dawkins
Land Use Program Manager
SE Uplift Neighborhood Coalition
3534 SE Main Street
Portland OR 97217
503-232-0010 ext. 314

Click here to check out the cheat sheet:


A Perspective on the Buckman Historic District

December 9, 2011

We recently received an e-mail from a Buckman resident with some questions and concerns about the proposed Historic District in Buckman:

I own an historic home in Buckman that we have lovingly restored over many years. I am concerned that it will become more difficult and more expensive to do the kind of good work that we are doing to our home. In addition, I am concerned that some of the good infill that is happening in our neighborhood will come to a stop while the old, ugly, and poorly build 70s development will continue to fall into disrepair. Is there a way for me to log my concerns and hear feedback?

We know there are many people in Buckman who probably have similar concerns. Tim Askin, a member of both the BCA board and the Buckman Historic Association, weighed in with his thoughts:

We thank you for your interest in the project and your concern. We in fact share many of your concerns. The city’s design review fees are both unreasonable and counterproductive. They are admittedly the highest such fees in Oregon and as research by the Irvington Neighborhood Association has shown, they are most likely the highest in the nation. The Buckman Historic Association and presumably the Buckman Community Association will be joining with Irvington, the Architectural Heritage Center, and many other neighborhoods in filing written complaints to the city and forcing current mayoral and council candidates to address the issue in public forums.

As to your own restoration projects and that of our neighbors’, presumably most of your work is interior. The historic district does not add any new regulation to interiors. It simply tries to assure that exterior changes are done sensitively and appropriately as yours have been. I am sure you have seen several beautiful 19th century houses all around Buckman and Portland where insensitive additions and changes have been made.

Finally, as to infill. Most of the recent projects in Buckman have been much more tasteful than the buildings constructed in the 60s and 70s. However, they have not necessarily been as respectful of their neighbors in size, scale, or massing as might have been liked (without regard to anyone’s preferences on design/style/aesthetics). Within the district boundary ( there is simply no inventory whatsoever of vacant, buildable land (Washington High School notwithstanding, the city that owns the grounds now and PPS which maintains ownership of the building are not going to part with those parcels under any circumstances). One of the primary goals of this project is to prevent demolitions of the wonderful buildings we currently have, which historically has been by developers who have no social stake in our community. Nothing in the city’s historic district regulations will prevent demolition of buildings constructed after 1938 (in Buckman’s district, the cutoff year is district-specific).

To this point, the Buckman Community Association has taken no official stance on the district proposal. I have been asked to draft the response, but I cannot speak on its behalf. I speak only for myself and the separate Buckman Historic Association.

As Tim mentioned, the BCA has taken no formal position on the Historic District effort. Our goal at this time is more to facilitate community members’ involvement in this interesting and important process.

Bosco-Milligan Foundation weighs in on draft Portland Plan

December 7, 2011

The Bosco-Milligan Foundation has drafted a letter containing their formal response to the draft Portland Plan. You can read the letter by clicking here: BMF_PortlandPlanCommentsNov2011.


Buckman Pool to close?

December 7, 2011

Portland Parks & Recreation is considering closing the pool at Buckman Elementary School. Additional information is available here:

In particular, there are a few links of interest in the navigation bar on the left-hand side of the page:

Neighbors are encouraged to submit their comments on the proposed closing of the pool. In addition, there will be an open-to-the-public budget hearing held next month:

January 9th
Multnomah County Board Room
SE Sixth & Hawthorne

“Virtual Open House” for Portland Streetcar Loop Project

December 3, 2011

Greetings Neighborhood Associations,

In an effort to get ready for the opening of the east side streetcar expansion in 2012, the Portland Bureau of Transportation is developing a proposed new fare policy aimed at balancing the need for operating revenue and ridership and is fair and equitable to all members of the community.

This “virtual” open house, taken from the two project open houses held on November 30 and December 1, provides an opportunity for people who could not attend to understand and provide feedback on the proposed streetcar fare policy.

Please review the information included on the link below, and email your comments to Shoshanah Oppenheim, project manager, by December 6, 2011:

Your feedback and the feedback from those who attended the “live” open houses will help influence the final fare policy recommendation.

Art Pearce
Project Manager
Portland Office of Transportation
1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 800
Portland Oregon 97204