Board Minutes – January 26, 2009

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Members Present:
Juliet Hyams, Greg Aldrich, Brian Bramlett, Kim Carlson, Tavo Cruz, Rachel Cody, Perry Heitman, Noel Johnson, Sharon Kelly, Steve Pinger, Scott Seibert, Ron Walters

Members Not Present:

Dan Anderson (excused)
Bud Clark (excused)
Jeff Love (excused)
Stephen Metzler (excused)

Call to Order
• at 600p by President Juliet Hyams

Call of the Roster
• as noted above
• also in attendance: Mark Sieber, NWNW; Allan Classen, NW Examiner; Michael Marino; Carmella Ettinger; Ruth Thomas; Andrew Bean; Lee Stapleton; Sandra Stapleton; Alison Wallisch; Pete Colt;

Prior Board Minutes
Motion 09.03, S. Seibert: approve November minutes with corrections as discussed, T. Cruz second;
Motion 09.03 approved

Old Business

President’s Report; Juliet Hyams:
Letter to Commissioner Fish re: Couch Park, MLC pool;
• Tanya March to be Parks Committee chair;
• will provide PP&R with point of contact and frees Pete Colt to focus on public safety issues;
• Frank Silva is NW Crime Prevention Specialist;
• Couch Pool:
• S. Seibert: suggested Board position should be that the facility be open and accessible;
• R. Walters: is this really a NWDA priority?
• L. Stapleton: reminded the Board of the work of a previous subcommittee regarding the MLC pool;
• N. Johnson: letter should cite the work of the previous subcommittee;
• S. Seibert: subcommittee reported that the cost to repair the leak would be ~$100k, and to make the facility accessible would be ~$1.0m, and that the pool is a PPS issue;
Motion 09.05A, S. Seibert: approve letter to Commissioner Fish as modified (original draft attached), S. Kelly second;
Motion 09.05A approved;

Pettygrove Greenstreet
• are guidelines approved?
• S. Pinger: guidelines are not approvable by the City as currently written. Planning Committee is tracking 2 proposed projects on Pettygrove, at 16th Ave and at 20th Ave;
• K. Carlson: have the guidelines been coordinated with the Transportation Committee comments? Is a storage facility appropriate on a greenstreet?
• S. Pinger: reminded the Board that the storage facility is an allowed use outright, and that the greenstreet guidelines have no standing. The Planning Committee is trying to work with the willing developer of the storage facility to see what of the guidelines could be implemented. The guidelines need to be revised to incorporate comments from the PDoT, BES and the Transportation Committee

• Annual Meeting

• Commissioner Fritz will be attending NWDA Annual Meeting. Meeting is proposed to be May 18 2009;
• NWDA Bylaws and proposed revisions are posted to the website and need to be reviewed by all Board members for adoption at the May Board meeting;
Motion 09.05B, S. Seibert: approve May 18 2009 date for NWDA Annual Meeting, with Board meeting to follow, P. Heitman second;
Motion 09.05B approved;

• Website update
• the website revisions are in process;

• I-405 TAC
• the TAC is recommending awarding funds to the received proposals per the (attached) worksheet;
• S. Pinger: given the dire financial circumstances of the NWNCC, why isn’t the TAC providing more assistance?
• S. Seibert: NWNCC did not apply for any funding beyond what is shown;
Motion 09.05C, S. Seibert: approve recommended I-405 TAC funding awards, P. Heitman second;
Motion 09.05C approved;

Neighborhood cleanup
• scheduled for Feb 18, starting from the NW Library;
• coordinator needed;

• Central Portland Plan update meeting
• scheduled for Feb 11th, neighborhood representative requested;
• G. Aldrich: Sue Aldrich is a BES staffer and would be willing to attend;
• K. Carlson: she is planning to attend;
• S. Pinger: thought that the CPP staff was looking for a single representative, and felt suggested that the representative should be from the Planning Committee;
Motion 09.05D, K. Carlson: appoint Steve Pinger as the NWDA representative to the Central Portland Plan Update meeting, N. Johnson second;
Motion 09.0D approved;

• Board Retreat
• scheduled for Mar 7 at Serrato;
• verify follow-up from 1st retreat and information to be distributed;
Treasurer’s Report

Health and Environment Committee Report

Public Safety Committee Report

Parks and Recreation Committee Report

Transportation Committee Report
• NDP remand;
• being tracked to assess impacts of North Pearl Development Plan and proposed Con-way redevelopment;
• Cornell traffic calming;
• Hillside NA developing report;
• Bike corrals;
• several site have been identified for installation;
• 24th Ave traffic;
• looking at calming devices at Vaughn St.
• Bike Blvd. designation?
• Streetcar System Plan NW District Working Group report;
• SSP is a component element to the comprehensive plan update;
• SSP is asking for NA comments on the DWG reports;
Motion 09.10, S. Seibert: recommend NWDA support of the SSP NW DWG report, N. Johnson second;
• S. Pinger: amend the motion to approve the SSP NW DWG Report, conditioned on its consistency with the goals and objectives of the Northwest District Plan, the reinforcement of the “mainstreet” designations of NW 21st and 23rd Avenues and NW Thurman St, and at least equal prioritization of service to existing destinations with service to potential future development areas.
• Motion 09.10 approved;

Planning Committee Report

Staff Report

Announcements

Adjourn
• at 738p by President Juliet Hyams

Motions Summary:

MOTION 09.03
approve November minutes with corrections as discussed.

MOTION 09.05A approve letter to Commissioner Fish as modified (draft attached)

MOTION 09.05B approve May 18 2009 date for NWDA Annual Meeting, with Board meeting to follow.

MOTION 09.05C S. Seibert: approve recommended I-405 TAC funding awards.

MOTION 09.05D appoint Steve Pinger as the NWDA representative to the Central Portland Plan update meeting.

MOTION 09.10 recommend NWDA support of the SSP NW DWG report, amended to condition support on its consistency with the goals and objectives of the Northwest District Plan, the reinforcement of the “mainstreet” designations of NW 21st and 23rd Avenues and NW Thurman St, and at least equal prioritization of service to existing destinations with service to potential future development areas.

Voting Summary:

All motions were approved unanimously.

Planning Minutes – 02/26/09

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NWDA Planning Committee February 26, 2009

John Bradley, Kevin Kenaga, Steve Pinger, Roger Vrilakas, Stephen Metzler, Greg Theisen,
Noel Johnson, Allan Classen, Lee Stapleton, Patricia Gardner & Tad Raines, Chesshir Architecture.

733 NW 23rd

Bradley—Type I Sign Review New exterior sign package. NW 23rd & Johnson.
Brooklyn Industries 17’6” wide. Image rooftop water tank 6′ x 3′. 72 square feet total. Type I design review. Community Design Guidelines, Alphabet District Design Guidelines.

Tad Raines—Permitted for design review, above the doors. All exterior remains the same except for signage.
Gardner—tried to keep in spirit of what NAU had planned, had permitted, name is longer, needs longer sign but didn’t go as tall. Main difference is the logo: Icon is a water tower. Pin mounted water tower sign on corner of Johnson is the main difference.
The one debatable sign is the one on the property line, if built next door would be gone. Parking lot next door. Windows are set back so sign on south side was requested.

Bradley—people on the street thought the building was overly branded.

Theisen—moves approval. Pinger—seconds.

Bradley—no historic sign review per se.

Gardner—small, thin BK lights. Really small. Can see them at antique store in the Pearl, at Starbucks. All pin mounted, none backlit. Water tower sign not even illuminated, despite light on drawing, which won’t be put in.

Theisen—not an off the shelf plastics, why I moved this.

Gardner—The Brooklyn signs are lit. Stucco wall isn’t easy, so only the ones on the wood—above entry on 23rd and above glass on Johnson—will be externally lighted.

All in favor, Bradley will write letter.

Green Streets

Gardner—we got money for PDOT to look at transportation issues in the Pearl, a master plan. Coming to Pearl meeting on the 17th. Trying to get the cross section of Pettygrove settled. The idea was to try to get Mauricio Leclerc to fold in looking outside the district, to get the greenstreet part done. May be able to roll this cross section for you into our official package.

Pinger—I’ve heard the funding is for updating the street standards? Also, are you aware we’re looking at a proposal on 16th and Pettygrove?

Gardner—Yes, and yes. We don’t have any teeth, which is why we’d like to get this into the street standards which gets both neighborhoods standing.

Bradley—let’s continue with the Pettygrove Green Street discussion.
Theisen—has expressed frustration with 16th street/Pettygrove issues to PDOT. What we need is a methodology within the engineering to implement, or a design (we have a great design) that can be applied. On a given project, can only go halfway across the street.
Do we know engineers who can help articulate this, or go project by project.

Metzler—Linda & Mauricio said (funding available) a complete Green Street design could be put together that would be applied as development occurs.

Pinger—there are some fatal flaws we need to deal with, but that being said, the thing that’s key about the two proposed projects are at corners, which is where most of the Green Street will be concentrated—fewer options mid-block.

Trying to get options fleshed out. The project on 16th is in for frontage permitting already, willing to work with us so long as we don’t hold up the permitting. We’re willing to do our part but that means the city also has to be willing to move forward.

Theisen—so we need an approved conceptual plan, cross sections and a build method that allows this to be done project by project.

Gardner—Cross section in stone would be good. You also have issues we do with partial block –e. g. sidewalks changing width—PDOT hates that, but we just transitioned it. PDOT doesn’t like to do short transitions but if not, we’ll never get the streetscape.

The city needs the plan, with design guidelines the staff needs to be able to pull it out and say ‘this is what you need to do.’ Suggests solutions to ½, ¼, 1/8 block solutions to partial block buildout.

Theisen—we’ve identified elements, but for funding. Put a recreational element in to tap the funds from I-405?

Bradley—deadline is too far off for this project.

Metzler–26th and Pettygrove

Bradley—we hadn’t seen this, school, Transportation committee, this committee haven’t seen it.

Metzler—it’s a CIP—BES. Pipes need replacing and it’s in the early stages. Any street revision of more than 500′ needs to put in 5% for green improvements. If it can’t, goes into a fund that can be applied elsewhere. Stimulus funding may be available—I think through DEQ.

Gardner—if it’s not PDOT, then that’s the fund to go after since no-one is thinking about it.

Metzler—they’d rather see a conceptual design and hand it off to contractor.

BES Green Street document is detailed. Linda is with BES.

Theisen—there might be funds available from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability in the Sustainability section.

Bradley—is the plan ready to go? A cross section?

Pinger—it’s a starting place.

Theisen—it’s not shovel ready.

Pinger—but it’s approvable.

Gardner—I can get a timeline on the 17th, but Mauricio’s project is funded and going forward.

Metzler—travel lane width is currently 20′ required, Don is pushing for less; I think PDOT is willing to look at alternatives.

Theisen—travel lane is the biggest issue. If we could do a bump-out, maybe even re-stripe for head-in parking to change the dynamic, saves the space for the future.

Gardner—BTA works with us a lot, from a bicycle standpoint the angle parking doesn’t facilitate bike movement. At Ankeny at 20th there’s a block to cars but allows bikes through.
Put this at 19th (or 20th) and you’ll change the flow.

Stapleton—hospital districts are a problem.

Gardner—we haven’t heard about this.

Pinger—Marshall, west of 23rd where it runs into Good Sam sets an odd precedent—but narrower, negotiated street.

Metzler—there are ways around the fire department, curb style etc. Part of Adams’ hundred days is an Eco District.

Sieber—so long as you have a connected grid, the fire response can be re-routed. They resist it, but it’s easier than you changing your design just to accommodate fire trucks.

Gardner—Kearney is the narrowest of the pedestrian ways. Center curb at Ankeny can be crossed by vehicles if needed.

Pinger—it’s important that we keep in the conversation with the bureaus how Pettygrove works as a street, connecting the parks at each end. Everything is secondary to this.

Bradley—is our Transportation Committee on board with this?

Metzler—she’s more stern about curb cuts, we understand you can’t control this but could see this encouraged in the future.

Johnson—we should brief Transportation Committee about this meeting coming up.

Letter to Commissioner Fritz re ConWay

Bradley—revised letter to Amanda Fritz that she had asked NWDA reps to come to, dealing with ConWay. This is the lead-in letter.

Johnson—Should we cc the other commissioners? ConWay?

Bradley—probably a good idea.

Theisen—should say that the plan was adopted by City Council.

Vrilakas, Pinger—“is the basis for (our) planning decisions.”

Theisen—should we say something about the boundary, which is broader than ConWay.

Metzler—spell out who creates the Master Plan?

Theisen—a [n approved–Johnson] master plan, [developed by the city with input from the community and property owners—Metzler. Bradley—City won’t get it done.] is imperative, focused on ConWay but incorporating the whole Transition Area.

Pinger—assign them to a public process? BPS?

Vrilakas—fewer words: remove ‘progressive’ subarea.

Sieber—private planning doesn’t currently have any public process standards, which is what you are looking for here; to call this out for Amanda (not necessarily in this letter.)

Metzler—does the existing Master Plan process have a public input requirement?

Bradley—yes, but the process itself is voluntary.

Pinger—we should note that the master plan doesn’t replace the NW District Plan. There is a hierarchy (which is outlined in the letter by the order of topic.)

Theisen—should we note active park space? Greenspace doesn’t call this out.

Metzler—public neighborhood park Pinger—as in District Plan.
Kenaga—community center?

Vrilakas—need to say (in the one line item) that we want to do something.
What level of mass transit is needed? vs. existing sentence.

Bradley will do edits and send it back out.

Johnson—would you (John) sign as a co-signer? You’re well known, respected by city planning folks

Bradley—I’ll add it pending Juliet’s acceptance.

Planning Minutes – 02/05/09

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NWDA Planning Cte 2 5 09

Bramlett—presentation

Nic Bowman, Intel—coming here to ask for your help. We see a trend in computing where rich visualization and 3d are coming together with social interactions—work and games coming closer together. Technologies for games are being used to get real and concrete results. e.g. simulation of economy, groundwater, environmental impacts on the real world. Text based, and while back end data works well, it’s hard to get engagement on the front end. The 3D ‘virtual world’ environments—Second Life, There etc.–are to connect people to people. We’ve been looking to see if we can make people to people to data connection to get to real work.

This is research, not a product you can run in a couple of weeks, some rough edges, things will not work as we’re still figuring it out. Today we’re here to find out what users want, require, so we can build more useable programs.

“Immersive Connected Experiences” MMOGs (Massive multplayer online games—World of Warcraft etc.), Metaverses (3d Virtual Worlds), Paraverses (Virtual + Real Mashups: virtual surgery, meeting planning.)

ScienceSim is the prototype. A virtual world for the SuperComputing community. Education, Collaboration and Visualization. Created by its Users, for its Users.

The application of the technology? A place where people can interact in what looks like a city, and still have data in the back end. Another program looks at the interaction of molecules, but doesn’t have a good output that people recognize.
One can tweak these worlds to see what would happen if… what would the world look like?

Genasci—we have a specific place with a plan we’ve had for years, one of the ways this kind of thing could be useful for us is that it could begin to describe the issues we see and we could talk about these in real time. Is this possible?

Bowman—we don’t have applications at this time, want to keep this freeform. We’re here to explore the issues. In these worlds we can define the rules, like physics. Can build a marble drop, for example, without having to build in the physical world.

We don’t currently do simulation of pollution, effects of material on sound. We can simulate cars, pedestrians, reasonably accurate models of buildings you see, and it’s relatively easy to make changes in this environment. For example, we can build a property into the simulation the noise you’d hear three blocks away from I-405, change building configurations, traffic volumes on I-405 etc.

On screen examples. It’s a network-centric application, simulation is at a central location but client provides and receives data. In a small network pipe things get confused.

Bradley—approaching this from a science/physics background. Since we’re architecturally oriented, a simulation of pollution buildings near I-405 would get, we would struggle with getting the pollution data. Would you plug in a module?

Bowman—short answer is yes; because this is a collaborative interaction where different individuals bring different skill sets. Other experts other places understand pollution or noise modeling much better, so for example we could connect with someone at Duke or Georgia Tech and they can work with the model at distance. Plug in a weather model, a pollution model etc. If you want good visualizations for an individual, will always look better on a local machine without network interaction. If you want, though, to bring experts in with more skills you collaborate over the network.

Bramlett—for example, we could soon look at how traffic volumes on NW 21st.

NW 21st—model from Second Life, where people get together—some local, some ex-Portlanders. We’re playing with models of city blocks, at 1:5 here (on screen). One of the things Brian, Robert and I have been working on is taking GIS data for 4km chunk of NW Portland at 1:1 to show the detail. We can’t build all the models, we’re working with getting various data outputs to get these.

(shows height increase on screen for one block.) can show shadows, but that needs lots of data than the network

Hyams—can you show how much traffic you’d get from a particular building.

Bowman—if you had the capacity of the building you could add cars, pedestrians etc. What we’re trying to do here is not build the simulation but take the information back to the people who are building the simulation, let them know what you’re looking for—types of zoning and effects on physical environment, etc.

Model of Yellowstone. Different scaling: 21st was for socialization, buildings 40′ tall compared to avatars. Accurate but 5:1 scale. Museum feel for Yellowstone, 50:1 scale for vertical height enhances the view (1:1 flattens it out.) Can see how landmarks sit relative to others. Earthquake data is projected on to this, can see depth, etc. with real time data stream. Can see swarm of earthquakes was all along one fissure below the lake. When you’re really interacting with the environment, can see different perspectives than from seeing a 2D map.

Demos the collaborative element. Goes to UC Irvine, they have a model (early in development) of the campus, with all the buildings with correct size bounding boxes, roads laid out, simulated pedestrians and all backed by a traffic simulation.
The professor putting this together is a friend of ours. Seeing data from simulation on back end. Effects: see pedestrian and car interaction, the amount of CO2 produced, cars stop for peds, then produce more CO2, etc. Mixed busses and cars. Looking to develop new pedestrian bridge design. The developer has had help designing cars, she’s had industrial design groups help with CO2 modeling, coordinating various people with needed skill sets.

Amount of person hours? Pretty quick, maybe hundreds. You can share models, instead of building car models could buy them etc.

Bramlett—we know traffic modeling does exist, not available to mere mortals, working on how to get these.

Bowman—the government is probably the biggest user of this type of simulation, not only wargames but disaster planning, such as city model with a flood, and mock up people responding.

Role playing with a very serious purpose, to uncover the pieces you didn’t know.

Bradley—as we slide down the skill set scale, will there be a library of models attached to this where you could test out a set of assumptions. e.g. make me a 100 x 100 lot with five buildings. What are traffic flows if residential? Etc.

Bowman—doesn’t work that way now, but we would like to see that happen.

Bramlett—we can probably synthesize a model of the neighborhood if we know what we are looking for, get that developed, and then bring back to non-technical users. Not in next five or six months.

Walters—we want to model 23rd and Vaughn, but somewhere out there there is another model of an intersection that is a starting point.

Genasci—we’re decidedly site-specific and low tech, but brought some examples. We’re interested in how neighborhood is improved by development. I have 15 students, each looking at it in a different way, based off the neighborhood plan, and from options proposed by developers. Also taking our own position about what would improve the neighborhood. Would like to work with the neighborhood to see how this fits with their needs. Presentation on the 11th.

Concerned about getting to the fine grain, the quality of the presentation because some things are specific to this area. There are so many overlapping conditions that apply to this area. There are kinds of programs out there, such as Sketch Up, which do a perhaps reasonable job of showing some of the variables.

Sketch up model shown (non-moving) of NW Portland. Student has been looking at relationship with I-405, it’s important how city is experienced. Looking at 6:1 FAR, models wall to protect this part of the city from the highway impacts. How, then do you get light to the nearby buildings? Reduce thickness of buildings, so what would this look like on ¼ block? Maxes out at 120′ before reaching 6:1.

Part of a block might trade FAR to another part of the block.

Genasci—Assumption here that the block size is important, perhaps a restriction to 100×100, and what does that actually mean in terms of building configurations under this scale.

Bramlett—here we have data in Sketch Up format, but when you want more people to join and spec the model then the virtual version is more useful. Converting the models into a virtual environment is what we need to do.

Genasci—can you model the pollution, for example, in real time, and simulate alternatives.

Pinger—the freeway model here is five years old, an open model shared by companies which worked well. In the course of that five years the model has become more sophisticated but less accessible, more commercial as Portland City Model, which has been used successfully for modeling the streetcar & other projects. Now the province of architectural firms. Don Newland’s. How can we use this and build on it? Still need a model we can use and beat up on—participate in, more accessible and less sophisticated.
For our purposes, this would be a good start for layering on other ranges of information.
Bramlett—can we work with the city to share data, attach to the model?
Pinger—it’s private, though.
Bramlett—has the older model, wants to work on converting a Sketch Up model of that size to the virtual environment. We want to get down to the experience on the street. Would like to get data from the city about traffic and plug in some cars on the freeway.

Bradley—there’s a book, $250, that includes all the assumptions that go into zoning capacity etc.

Genasci—Sketch Up is easy to use.

Bramlett—and it’s free.

Student—you have data, assumptions, parameters that are part of that environment, and engines—how do you assess the validity of the assumptions being modeled? What if it ends up in private hands and a case is made for something that looks attractive, but the underlying accuracy of the animation is not certain?

Sheehan—city bureaus if not reluctant are hesitant to release modeled data because of this. How do you verify this in a practical manner?

Bowman—sounds like a hesitancy to be open with the data due to a fear of it being misunderstood. Are there examples of this?

Sheehan—trying to discuss these where I don’t fully understand them to an audience who understands even less. Underlying assumptions being shown gives some comfort, assurance we haven’t tweaked the assumptions to make it look better.

Bowman—Second Life ‘Wikitecture’ project. Came in with a building in India where alternatives would be voted on for a building design. A critical element was putting into a fairly realistic model of the environment it was going into, topology. The first is under construction, another going to the University of Alabama. Generated by blueprints on the back end.

Hyams—about two traffic engineers having different data interpretation. We know them, get a sense of their style. Don’t the software engineers have different assumptions which will effect the outcomes, and how do we evaluate this?

Bowman—yes. For example, which tax software do you use, trust? You get trust reputations, but never the same as gut response to a face to face meeting with someone.

Genasci—at 5pm at White Stag building on the 11th you can see 15 versions of this. Wednesday.

Transportation Minutes – February 2, 2009

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NWDA Transportation Committee meeting
February 2, 2009
6:30pm
NW Cultural Center

Members present: Kim Carlson, Jeanne Harrison, Bud Clark, Sharon Kelly, Devin Liebmann, Greg Aldrich, Joel Weishaus (Scott Siebert, Charlie Grist – excused)

Pedestrian Rights Clinic, sponsored by Willamette Pedestrian Coalition and Neighbors West Northwest and presented by Ray Thomas.