Slabtown Square Development Public Outreach Meeting
5:30-6:45 p.m. Wednesday April 29th
Legacy Good Samaritan Auditorium
1040 NW 22nd
The NWDA Planning Committee will report the status of the design of the Slabtown Neighborhood Square. All members of the public are encouraged to attend to provide input.
NWDA Planning Cte 2015-03-05
John Bradley, Roger Vrilakas, Bill Welch, Steve Pinger, Don Genasci,
Bradley–can we send a brief on the Con-way Square to the commission?
Pinger–I think it would be better to send it to the development team, with whom we have a good relationship.
Welch–let’s assume we don’t send it, the proposal goes through, staff sends it to the commission.
Bradley–this is a DAR, I think we should send it in.
Pinger–we should send it to the development team, the developer’s architects.
Vrilakas–I think we should point out that it’s our square, 16000 square feet, etc.
Pinger–that will all come out in the process.
Bradley–if you wanted to be more circumspect, you could send the set of proposals and point out which one is preferred.
Genasci–if we gave it to the staff, that might be gentler–and to the development team, with a nice letter saying we’ve worked with the development team, and have certain reservations. We haven’t seen what the next version is.
Pinger–I’m surprised by that: they aren’t on the commission schedule. The next open time is early April.
Vrilakas–we should wait to send this until they’ve scheduled with the commission.
Pinger–I’ll check with staff to see where this is in the process.
Bradley–sounds good, once it’s submitted we’ll send something about our preferences. The committee doesn’t have to vote today.
Vrilakas–this is one of the few instances of us being concurrent with the development rather than simply responding to a submittal.
Pinger–25th and Raleigh–to Adjustment Committee. Ruling won’t be for a few weeks. Sympathetic to the appeal, it seemed.
Bradley–that surprises me, the current building has the same setbacks.
Vrilakas–less, but the mass is much larger.
Bradley–we voted very closely on that, approved two of the setbacks, and against one. Vote was 4 to 3. The applicants went away thinking they were OK. We have somewhat shifted in midstream: said go work with the neighbors, now we’re on the side of the appeal. Did I rush that?
Pinger–the thing that came up, I remembered the motion differently.
Welch–we could summarize why we vote like we do, for the reviewers. Explain our votes–commissions do that before they vote.
Pinger–when it came up last week that we were going to testify in support of the appeal, it seemed normal.
Bradley–good idea to explain votes. I’ll give each application a half hour.
Pinger–Tess O’Brien appeal was rejected unanimously. A lawyer could have done better, we could have been more strident my presentation. The council thanked me for the well reasoned argument and civility. We were trying to force a question about what does D7 mean, we did that: Hales said he read the guideline differently. The way I framed our first slide–appeal is about the purview of discretionary design. How do you transition to denser areas? Council seemed reticent to take on this bigger question.
Bradley–we’ve been three times for design review, and lost all three. The council interpreted code differently than we did. I’m not sure how much we should appeal, because this spins our wheels–unless there’s something big. No saying don’t appeal, but design guidelines appeals aren’t working.
Pinger–Ballow & Wright, different, was successful, as was Goose Hollow’s appeal of Block 7. Amanda’s memo was telling staff to look at this more rigorously, and that may be in response to these issues.
Genasci–Each time we take a developer to a hearing, that’s a cost and a lesson.
Vrilakas–can we send Amanda a letter thanking her for the memo?
Bradley–yes, why don’t you draft it and bring it back to the committee.
Pinger–shall we communicate with Council about Tess O’Brien?
Welch–I didn’t hear you say that they had said anything to talk about?
Bradley–any comment from them about the BDS error? (no) Tavo was to write a letter on the error to the city attorney, has that been done?
Pinger–I will draft something. There were some significant ideas we raised about discretionary design review.
I have a question–I gave a presentation, and they did, and I had an opportunity to rebut, but I didn’t. There wasn’t anything directly to rebut, except the 55 meetings claim etc, but didn’t seem worth that. The ‘generous courtyard’ played as something great. It’s the obvious best way to organize that odd through-block parcel. To say he could have done a denser project wasn’t accurate, but I decided not to go after that.
Vrilakas–I think that anytime you can have the last word, we should take it. Lawyers love that.
Bradley–I have the previous testimony, which I will write up and send to the group. The next meeting is the 12th.
Rezoning: since they’ve asked us specifically for map adjustments, should we ask for the RH downzone in the Historic District as proposed by Wendy?
RH & EXd?
Genasci–the interest in these properties is that the value of development means redevelopment is being proposed.
Welch–the reason there is this group of RH is that Michaelson and others in the 1970’s were trying to keep the industrial area from expanding, and the zoning increased the property value so that this was not viable.
Pinger–last week I heard someone was proposing something other than R2, but limiting FAR.
Bradley–that’s not clean and neat, won’t work.
There’s also a swath of R2 around Wallace Park–do we want to ask for R5, which would better match the existing pattern and framework.
Genasci–there are quite a few apartment buildings along 25th. Could you rebuild?
Bradley–the area around Catherine Paglin’s is R2.
Genasci–part of the appeal of the area is the mix: large houses, small apartment buildings. Not tall buildings.
Bradley–I have concerns about how R2 can be used.
Pinger–I didn’t think I’d have to face the point of gentrification where my house could be torn down for three townhomes. what gets my attention is they’re paying $650,000 for a lot to tear down home.
The NWDA has learned that, even as interior demolition of the historic Goldsmith House had resumed on May 2nd, private parties, who are active in the community, have entered into a sale agreement for the combined properties at 1507 and 1525 NW 24th Avenue. Go to http://restoreoregon.org/1898-victorian-mansion-saved/ for more information.
This follows an on and off again stop work order that was intended to give the neighborhood an opportunity to contact the developer in the interest of saving the home from the in-progress demolition. That contact was made and a major effort made on the part of the new investors to take over the two properties. Tentative plans call for the restoration of the house in conjunction with the redevelopment of the balance of the property. The NWDA is pleased that all parties were able to come to this arrangement and that a historic piece of our community’s heritage will be saved and restored.