General Meeting
October, 2002

Minutes of the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association Meeting
October,  2002

October 2, 2002

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 pm by President Was Risher. The agenda was approved with additions from Glenn Bridger and Don Baack. The minutes of the last meeting were approved.

Don Baack reminded us that the SWTrails map is now available for sale, and circulated a petition asking that the word "support" be changed to "provide" safe routes to school in the current plan.  This would assure that the city is serious about funding for safe routes. 

Marty Treece, developer, and Barry Smith, architect, presented revised plans for the Hillsdale Town Center Condominiums, including the pedestrian access to Sunset that the neighborhood had asked for.  The condos will be 1500 to 2000 sq ft, 2 bedroom, 2 bath or 3 bedroom 2 bath homes in a variety of colors and styles, and sell fro $320,000 to $400,000.  This project can go forward only if the CC&R's in Hillsdale Heights are modified to allow an underground gravity sewer to be put in, or if a private sewer requiring pumping is installed.  Each home owner in the Hillsdale Heights development must vote and a majority approval is required for modification.  A "yes" vote affects only the four properties being developed and does not affect the property of any other owner regardless of how (s)he votes.  There was concern that H.H. property owners should not be asked to vote until they knew the details of the development.  Treece explained that this was very early in the process and the details would not be known until they knew what, exactly , might be required of them.  There were concerns and requests involving improvements on both 18th and Sunset.  Treece said he had authority over only those properties that the company controlled, and while he respected the neighbors' desire for street and traffic improvements, there was nothing he could do.  This also applies to the request for access to the north and to the south from the middle of the development.  Building heights were discussed.  They will be 35' to 45' high, but the slope will cause the roofline as viewed from Sunset to be fairly near the roofline of the current homes on Sunset.  An elevation drawing of the view from sunset was promised for a later meeting.  Drawings of views from various parts of the proposed development will be available at the temporary library for those who want to see them.  Many of the existing trees will be preserved.  If public streets are part of the development, a reduction in the required density can be granted.  Treece said he could not reduce the number of planned units and still make it economically feasible.  To evaluate the quality of previous developments Treece has done, visit NW 24/Quimby and NW 11th/Hoyt. 

Jayne Cronlund, Executive Director of Three Rivers Land Conservancy, a 10 year old group similar to Nature Conservancy but on a local basis, spoke about a Willamette Forest Corridor.  She presented a map showing areas of high ecological significance in Portland.  Two major areas are Forest Park and Tryon Creek State Park, but between them are many smaller areas that are sometimes habitat for deer, elk and occasionally bear.  Ivy in these areas is taking over, creating "ivy deserts".  It smothers other vegetation and its weight on trees makes them susceptible to blowing down or falling in ice storms.  TRNC is trying eradication programs, and evaluating their effectiveness and cost effectiveness.  Comparing volunteer pulling, paid crew pulling, and pesticides, the pesticide use at the moment seems to be most cost effective, $8,000 per acre for paid crews, $500 per acre for pesticide.  Volunteer labor is cheaper, but uncertain and very slow.  TRNC is very ecologically conscious and will not use pesticides in a way that will degrade the environment.  They are also concerned about other alien invaders, such as clematis. 

Wes Risher gave a brief history of Hillsdale's interest in an OLA. The Neighborhood considered an OLA several years ago, and again recently.  The consensus is that since the problems at Gabriel Park and still unsolved, we are reluctant to invite the same problems to Hillsdale Park.  We do not oppose an OLA that seems destined to success, but at the moment, with the current funding available we don't see a high probability that an OLA here will be any more successful than the one at Gabriel has been, and we oppose importing it.  When resources permit the development of a facility that addresses those problems that are plaguing Gabriel, we will revise our opinion.  Bill Joseph of C SPOT, gave a concise history of the work of both previous committees appointed by the city and the current OLA committee.  A committee worked for two years discussing whether or not to have OLA's in Portland and decided that we should.  When the OLA committee was formed, the OLA at Gabriel was already there.  The 16 SWNI neighborhoods, C SPOT, Cadre Gold (both are dog advocate groups who have done a lot of work in addressing dog problems in the city), and one member at large, Lilli Fitzpatrick, were invited to participate in the discussion.  The city gave the committee guidelines and the committee visited each park in SW 3 times to evaluate their potential for an OLA.  They selected two parks, Hillsdale Park and Willamette Park, as having good potential for becoming OLA's in addition to Gabriel.  The committee also discussed and proposes a list of improvements and strategies that the city should undertake before opening another OLA.  They propose a one-year trial before evaluating each OLA.  The draft report is ready to submit to SWNI for approval.  A lively discussion followed.  There was general agreement that the main problem at Gabriel is overuse, and that that comes from having the OLA too well known to folks who have no other place to take their dogs -people from other cities, including Vancouver.  If more sites open in Portland that may relieve the problem somewhat, but NW has declined to participate in opening an OLA there, so if SW does open more, they will likely have to accommodate some (many?) of NW's dogs.  One point was that at some future date something will be developed at Hillsdale Park, and would a soccer field, tennis court or other development be less of a problem? Money is a problem.  Jordan has promised $150,000 to each coalition for dog parks.  Parks Bureau is tired of getting complaints about dogs and wants a solution.  The $150,000 is part of the 20/20 Plan and will be available eventually. There was opposition to having an OLA adjacent to the Robert Gray playing field.  It was pointed out the playing field is fenced and dogs and kids probably wouldn't interact except at the entrance and that the OLA committee had taken pains to recommend a design that would move dogs into the OLA with minimal contact with either neighbors or areas of other use.  There was a request for a first class OLA with good design, but not a "cheapy" trial. Sentiment in favor of making space in our parks for dogs was voiced.  A motion was made and seconded to rewrite the letter Hillsdale sent to Parks.  A motion was made and seconded to table that motion until a future meeting when everyone had a chance to read both the OLA committee report and the Hillsdale letter.  This motion passed.  Other questions were asked, but due to the late hour it was suggested that they be addressed when there was time to give them full consideration.  The OLA committee wants input and helpful suggestions, not just opposition.  We should all do our homework and come again, prepared to find a solution to what is admittedly a problem all over the city.  Voting yes for the Parks bond measure can't hurt either. 

Don Baack reported that the speed bumps will soon be returned, the speed limit will be reduced, and parking will be removed from the west side of Sunset . These improvements will help create a safer walkway along Sunset.  The Robert Gray students participated in National Walk to School Day to promote safer walking routes (see link below).   Don again reminded those who had not already done so to sign the petition urging city commitment to funding safe routes improvements.  A need for improvements to many pedestrian routes along busy streets was mentioned. 

Glenn reported that there were no urgent land use issues at this time.

Wes announced that from now on HNA will meet at 7:00 and the board will meet at 6:30. Meeting was adjourned at 9:50.

Keturah Pennington, secretary


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