General Meeting
September, 2001

Minutes of the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association Meeting
September 5, 2001
September 5, 2001

President Wes Risher called the meeting to order at 7:30.  There were no minutes from the previous meeting.   The agenda for this meeting was approved.  

Rebbecca Chiao, Deputy City Ombudsman from the City Auditor's Office gave us a brief history of the City Ombudsman office and an overview of the job.  The word Ombudsman is a gender neutral Swedish word, and refers to someone who represents the people.  The Ombudsman was originally attached to the Mayor's Office, but that created awkward situations in dealing with other departments, to that position became the Public Advocate's Office, and the Ombudsman moved to the City Auditor's Office, starting July 1 of this year.  The Ombudsman impartially investigates citizen complaints and makes recommendations, but has no enforcement authority.  Glen Bridger asked whether complaints were traacked to help identify "hot spots" in the City bureaus.  They are.  The possible problem with new parking meters that don't have hoods or any other way to indicate to a passing motorist that they are not in service is a possible situation where the Ombudsman's office can be of service in alerting the appropriate department to a potential problem.  

Dave Kelley, architect for the Portland Jewish Academy expansion at the Mittleman Jewish Community Center showed us the plans for a new kindergarten building in the triangle along Capitol Highway.  PJA currently owns a single lot adjacent to the parking lot and plans to have a new kindergarten building ready in a year.  They want Neighborhood approval to put a pedestrian path on the east side of the building instead of along the 25th St right-of-way as was previously approved.  Since PJA now owns that property, Glen Bridger asked if they had reconsidered the plan to make the main entrance to MJCC across from Vermont St.  They have not.  David Blum, a MJCC board member said PDOT had refused them permission to do so.  Several HNA members thought that PDOT had preferred that alignment for the main entrance.  It was agreed that HNA could not vote on the sidewalk placement until the issue of the main entrance was resolved, but since the PJA proposal is still in the pre-app stage, there is time to discuss this with ODOT.  The Hillsdale Transportation Committee meets Sept. 18.The current plans for the building include a tower on the northwest corner.  Several HNA members think putting the tower where it will be more visible will make the building more interesting and attractive.  Kelley agreed to consider moving it.  Since future plans include PJA acquiring the rest of the triangle along Capitol Highway, removing the houses currently there and developing the site for PJA, Wes asked if there were any plans to replace housing, perhaps in buildings with other uses on the first floor.  There is not.  

Wes Risher passed out a Waterfront Park Use survey for anyone who wanted to express an opinion.  

Abby Winston was appointed the HNA representative to the Off-Leash Committee. 

SWCP goes to City Council on Oct. 17.  The Planning Commission recommends approval.  Each neighborhood association is asked to prepare a written packet to go to City Council, to cut down on the time needed to present it.  Glen Bridger suggests 3 main points:  1) HNA supports the proposal to expand the Town Center boundary to include MJCC, Hoot Owl corner, the churches and synagogue at the corner of Dosch and Beaverton Hillsdale Highway, Hillsdale Park, and Robert Gray School.  2) Amend the  Town Center Plan to include the expanded boundary. (He says both of there points are needed).  3) Reaffirm the HNA position of years ago the a comprehensive Barbur Boulevard Plan be done.  It was agreed that this should be done.    

Wes Risher suggests that we add to the letter to City Council the recommendation that the zoning on the Christensen property remain R7 until it is decided what will be done with the property.  Approved.  

Since there is not accord between the architect and the artist who was engaged to the art for the new Hillsdale library, it seem possible that there will be no art.  Rick Seifert made a proposal, to be sent to the City - see attachment.  It was moved by Jan Baldwin and seconded by Bob Baldwin that we approve the proposal.  Approved unanimously.  

Rick also proposed that we send a resolution to the City concerning using a small part of new franchise fees to underground utilities - see attachment.  Since Hillsdale is the only community to embrace the Town Center concept, and since we are striving to be a show place for what can be done, it is not unreasonable to expect that the City will help us to improve our Town Center by undergrounding the utilities.  It was moved by Rick and seconded by Glen Bridger that we approve the proposal.  Approved unanimously.  Since Qwest if withholding the franchise fee pending a court decision about whether they can be charged more than the cost for their lines, we may not get anything from this though.  

Claludia Atherton noted that the cell tower by the church is being done in good taste.  

Glen Bridger reminded us that committee volunteers are needed.  

Wes Risher suggested that we each bring a neighbor to the next meeting.  

Meeting ended at 9:13.  

Keturah Pennington, substitute secretary 

HNA Meetings Page
HNA Home Page