NWDA Letter to Mayor Adams

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In response to Mayor Adams’ request for NWDA input regarding re-adoption of the Northwest District Plan, the NWDA Board of Directors authorized the following letter summarizing NWDA’s position and proposed process:

Mayor Sam Adams
1221 SW 4th Ave, Room 340
Portland, Oregon 97201

Dear Mayor Adams:

Thank you for helping us reinstate the Northwest District Plan. As you know, there was broad-based neighborhood opposition to Council’s extensive, last-minute revisions to the plan; that plan had been carefully developed over two years. However, we are confident that, with careful community engagement, our next steps can be smooth and productive. We recommend the following process to restore and refresh our plan.

When readopting ordinance 177920:

1. Institute Type III Design Review procedure in design overlay areas where Type III was replaced with Type II procedure and community design standards. Provide value thresholds consistent with neighboring districts.

2. Commit to a schedule for the following planning efforts, agreed to by the NWDA and the City, for elements that are essential to the Northwest District Plan and its implementing ordinance:

• Green Street standards for Pettygrove and other neighborhood streets, as identified in the Plan. Projects currently being planned and constructed must conform to the goals of the city and the NWDA for storm water management and green space. We have already leveraged small amounts of city support to design the Northwest Pettygrove green street.

• A citizen-endorsed Comprehensive Transportation Management Plan for the Northwest District, including parking regulation. The city has already committed to provide this program, but its development has stalled for six years.

• Support the community’s planning process for the Transition Area/Slabtown/Con-way property, initiated by the NWDA, with Con-way’s participation. This project was launched this summer, engaging a range of expertise to envision making the Northeast section of our neighborhood a model of sustainable, progressive urban planning.

The NWDA has not yet taken a position on urban renewal in Northwest Portland.

Thank you for considering these minor adjustments. They are already supported by the volunteer initiatives of our members, and your support will yield tangible neighborhood improvements. We look forward to working with you on this process.


Juliet Hyams
President, Northwest District Association

Slabtown Meeting Agenda

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The agenda for the next Slabtown Plan Committee meeting on Thursday, October 1 is as follows:

1. Intro – 5 minutes

2. Identify essential background info for Committee and Workshops – 15 minutes

3. Presentation of workshop goals and organization for discussion – 30 minutes

4. Discuss ideas for community outreach – 20 minutes

5. Admin (discuss new members and future meeting time) – 15 minutes

6. Wrap-up and next steps – 5 minutes

The meeting will be in the Legacy Good Sam Northrup Building first floor conference room at 2282 NW Northrup Street, near the corner of NW 23rd Avenue, from 4 pm to 5:30 pm.

The meeting is open to the public and anyone interested is encouraged to attend.

Meeting With Mayor Adams – Sept. 30

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The Northwest District Association will hold a special board meeting on
Wednesday, September 30, 2009, from 6-7:30 p.m., at Good Samaritan
Hospital, in the Wistar Morris Room. Mayor Sam Adams will attend to
discuss the future of our neighborhood plan.

All neighbors are encouraged to participate in this important discussion.

Slabtown Meeting On Thursday, October 1

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The next meeting of the Slabtown Plan Committee will be held on Thursday, October 1, from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm in the Good Sam Northrup Building first floor conference room at 2282 NW Northrup Street. The meeting agenda will be posted as soon as it is available.

The kick-off meeting is not a community workshop but it is open to the public. All are welcome.

Slabtown Minutes – 09/17/09

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Slabtown Plan Committee
Meeting Minutes
September 17, 2009
4 to 5:30 pm
Northrup Building, 2282 NW Northrup Ave.

Committee Members Attending: Ron Walters, Don Genasci, Wayne Clark, Craig Boretz, Steve Pinger, Brian Bramlett.

Committee Members Not Attending: John Bradley (NWDA Planning Committee Chair), Peggy Anderson (NHBA) , Dan Volkmer (resident).

Guests Attending: Juliet Hyams (NWDA President), Greg Aldrich (NWDA Board Member), Mary Czarnecki (resident), Jeanne Harrison (NWDA Transportation Committee), Bette Schei, (resident) Mike Goldstein (resident), Fran Goldstein (resident), Bill Welch (NWDA Planning Committee), Laurence Qamar (Portland resident), Patrica Gardner (PDNA).

Meeting called to order at 4:05 pm.

Motion 1:
Craig Boretz moved to elect Don Genasci and Ron Walters co-chairs. Brian Bramlett seconded.

Vote: Motion passed unanimously.

Motion 2:
Craig Boretz moved to nominate Greg Aldrich, Patricia Gardner, and Bill Welch for NWDA Board approval as new Slabtown Committee members. Steve Pinger seconded.

Vote: Motion passed unanimously.

Meeting adjourned 5:35 pm.

*** End of Minutes ***

Meeting Summary:

Ron Walters welcomed Committee members and guests with brief introductory remarks. Don Genasci provided group with background on NWDA purpose and goals. Following, attendees introduced themselves and their goals, expectations, and reasons for attending the meeting.

Two motions were approved to elect co-chairs and new Committee members. Mary Czarnecki expressed interest in becoming a Committee member. Group briefly discussed additional potential Committee members who will be considered at future meetings.

Group informally agreed to protocol of raising hand to speak.

Group attempted to find permanent meeting time and location. Most Committee members and attendees are able to meet Thursdays at 4 pm. Next meeting date is scheduled for Thursday, October 1 at 4 pm. Location TBD.

Ron will communicate with Committee via email to explore alternative meeting times and set agenda for next meeting.

Meeting adjourned at 5:35 pm.

H&E Minutes – September 14, 2009

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Present: Bob Amundson, Paul Koberstein, Kitty Midson, Bob L., Bob Holmstrom, Chia Yin Hsu, Monica Russell (DEQ), Caroline Skinner, Jo Wilson Greenstreet, Biljana Milkovska, Conde Cox, Mary Peveto, Allan Classen, Sharon Genasci .

Monica Russell briefed the group on the status of the new DEQ permit for Esco (Esco’s permit expired in August, and they have applied to DEQ for a new five year Title V permit). DEQ has now decided on a one to two year public process that will bring the public into the permit process more than in the past. The draft writing of the permit will not occur until a public meeting chaired by Mitch Greenlick has completed its object of raising issues for the permit. There was some concern that neighbors will continue under the current Esco permit with its toxic emissions for one to two years before a new (hopefully improved) permit is in place.

Bob Amundson spoke about the history of H & E’s work to clean up the airshed in NW Portland beginning in the mid 1990s. He began by talking about DEQ benchmarks. Benchmarks were set by the DEQ Science Advisory Committee, one of whose members was Candice Hatch, an Esco contract employee and a member of the Executive Committee of AOI (Associated Oregon Industries). In the DEQ job description for members of the Science Advisory Committee there were to be no conflicts of interest.

Sharon Genasci wrote to DEQ at the time and protested the appointment of a prominent industry representative on a board setting health benchmarks for the state. She is still on that committee, and was known to influence the committee to raise the benchmark for diesel emissions. H & E committee argued for adopting the more stringent California standards at the time.

Dr. Amundson spoke about the DEQ strategy of characterizing the main problems of air pollution coming from individual sources such as lawn mowers or hair spray, rather than dealing with large industrial sources.

Part of that DEQ effort has been to approach air pollution from a regional perspective, tending toward averaging pollution doses over large areas, rather than dealing with high doses over long periods to people living near pollution sources.

Bob Holmstrom reported on a meeting he had with Esco’s Carter Webb .
He gave Mr. Webb information about foundries that have cleaned up their emissions, and asked him to consider taking this step for the neighborhood.
He also met with Earl Blumenauer, who is more familiar with water issues, but was interested to hear about NW neighborhood air pollution problems.

Conde Cox gave a brief explanation of MACT (Maximum Achievable Control Technology) a DEQ pollution control of sources. There was some discussion of Esco’s emissions being greater than the limits of its synthetic minor designation.

Mary Peveto spoke about her meeting with Andy Ginsberg, Head of the Air Division at DEQ. Andy was reporting on Dick Pederson’s response to Mary’s meeting with him. Part of his response is the new public process for the Esco permit, which will take one to two years. Another response is that DEQ is considering arranging for an independent audit of Esco to see what technologies could be utilized to reduce emissions. Our committee asked for this audit several years ago. DEQ did not, however, agree to our selecting the auditor. (We plan to select someone who is familiar with foundries and best technologies for pollution reductions).

– Sharon Genasci

Slabtown Kick-Off Meeting Agenda

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The Slabtown Plan Committee kick-off meeting will be held on Thursday, September 17, from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm in the Good Sam Northrup Building first floor conference room at 2169 NW Northrup Street.

The agenda for the meeting is as follows:

1. Introductions – 10 minutes
2. Purpose: NWDA/Neighborhood – 10 min.
3. Purpose: Member Goals and Expectations – 20 min.
4. Elect Co-chairs, new members – 10 min.
5. Set future meeting time/place – 10 min.
6. Review/Discuss Work Plan/Process – 20 min.
7. Next steps/next meeting – 10 min.

The kick-off meeting is not a community workshop but it is open to the public.

Planning Minutes – 08/06/09


Committee: Chair John Bradley, Bill Welch, Roger Vrilakas, Don Genasci, Steve Pinger, Stephen Metzler, and Noel Johnson.

Guests: Mark Desbrow, Adam Tyler (neighbor), Mary Czarneke, Lee Stapleton, MIke Goldstein & Fran Goldstein, Jeannie (last name not known), neighbor, Kim Knox, Sheils Obletz Johnson, Meredith Hendricks, Mark Mikolavich, Greenleaf Architecture.

1. Stephen Metzler moves to accept design proposal for Streetcar Maintenance Facility at NW Overton and 16th with changes: a welded wire mesh fence in place of chain, as is used in airports. Seconded by Roger Vrilakas with suggestion to rethink awning along the face of the building–something that works better with trellis.

Bradley — motion is to approve with conditions:
1. Some other type of fencing than chain link
2. Further work on design of plaza to emphasize as major entrance.

Motion passes.
In favor: Bill Welch, Roger Vrilakas, Steve Pinger, Stephen Metzler, and Noel Johnson.
Opposed: Don Genasci

* End of minutes *

Meeting Summary: Mark Desbrow (previously from OPUS) and Noel Johnson (this committee) presented some very preliminarily ideas for the development of an adult coop building at 19th and Johnson. This is the third set of developers to look at this former motion picture storage and processing site. Despite the fact that this property lies outside the Alphabet district the committee continues to feel that the unique façade of the current buildings must be incorporated into any new structures. In the third and last meeting with the streetcar barn architects the committee moved to approve with modifications. The modifications asked for were, increased design emphasis on the building entrance and that the security fence be made out of some other material other than chain-link. – John Bradley, Committee Chairperson

Additional Meeting Notes:

Desbrow, Johnson (Johnson as developer, presenter.) Working on new venture, older adult cooperative housing.

Desbrow – worked on Park 19 apartments, left OPUS. Was commuting, but was also discouraged the way senior housing is managed, consolidated and run by large corporations. He was in financing and acquisitions, and had to run projections–a profit generating model that didn’t have the seniors interests in mind. This may work for an apartment–there are other options, but not for seniors with limited resources & unpredictable expenses.
There’s a model in the Midwest, cooperative housing, and they are cooperatively owned and hire their own site management.

This allows people to make a lifestyle choice early based on future concerns and needs. No limitation on income, can be mixed. HUD. Only option that allows equity retention by owners.

We have a few projects looking at, one with most legs is in NW: we have a group of people that have asked us to build a building for them, not speculative.

Johnson – options aren’t varied, we think this can be as exciting as buying a first house. Can choose amenities, assembled based on interest. 55+ is HUD requirement. This requires great sites: in other models people bring you property for senior housing because the don’t know what else to do with it.

SW corner of 19th and Lovejoy. Lovejoy used to have a vibrant history, mansions, now 19th has parking lots, Legacy, med office building.
Full building on the site, L shaped, would take the building down. Was Fox film site (1930’s) became MGM… Film chemicals were explosive so they build cast concrete walls, site has tiny rooms and small spaces. It’s two buildings as a single structural system.

The site has gone around to various interested buyers, OPUS, TCR. TCR had tried to save the lower building. We’re anticipating removing bad dirt since floor drains channeled chemicals into the soil. We don’t think we can save any of the buildings.

Desbrow – the environmental contaminants are the main reason we have to demolish the building. Not eligible for brownfields. Due to one-way on 19th and Streetcar on Lovejoy, entrance would be on Kearny, underground parking.

Czarneke – details and entrance scales are the best part, if you could save these and duplicate palazzo courtyard style and detail. Other buildings are around by the same architect. Would add an element to NW that is a counter to the Pearl.

Johnson – # of units will be determined by the number of members/purchasers. Desbrow–realistically expect a 5 or 6 story building. The code tops at 65’ if wood structure.

Stapleton – you’re talking about a co-op, Park Place on Vista. If a senior component are you talking age restricted? (Yes, it’s 55+) Is it contemplated to have services like a CCRC? Continuation of care?

Desbrow – in this model you don’t pay for services you don’t need, contract for in-home care provider would be available. Won’t have assisted living. Genasci–did you do testing for chemicals?

Johnson – we did take deep samples in alley, and cored through slab near internal drains.
Desbrow – $40,000 spent on environmental research.

Johnson – must haul off soils, can’t cap. Not much ground water, fortunately, expect only hot spots.

Vrilakas – at my age you develop a respect for the past. Even just a facade here would be salable.

Bradley – agrees, it’s a unique building. I’m sorry to hear the inside is contaminated. Silver, brominated hydrocarbons, breakdown of cellulose.

Johnson- cadmium.

Genasci – the front edge of 19th street is the best part of the building, cut the rest loose and there’s still room for a 5 or 6 story block. Would give a scale and entrance through these buildings that would be unique in modern buildings.

Talking about leaving the front of the building the depth of the primary building. Earthquake standards are met by tying this to the new structure. It’s a generous site, and an opportunity to put together the new with the old without a corny Disneyland thing.

We’ve done four early interest meetings, 75 people have come. We’re doing unit selection and collect deposits in September. Grass roots marketing has been successful, people want to live with friends. 50 units, units are customized. Most of the people have steep staircases in current residences. One of the hardest things for people leaving their house is their garden, so we’re looking at this. Possibly rooftop.

Johnson – so style is different than other buildings nearby, what cues should we take from other surrounding.

Czarneke – would not call it Disneyland to put a new Traditional style building. Would like to see a modern building adjacent, it’s so doable to have the traditional style.

Welch – historic facades and compatible infill were done in old town, setback options. I know these exist.

Website is done, and a good one.

Bradley – continuation of Streetcar Maintenance Facility review. Third meeting with this, some adjustments requirements and Design Review. Window patterning, entrance placement, fence with slats were concerns.

Knox – heard don’t comeback unless there’s some change. So we seriously went through this in light of committee’s comments. General theme: More interest and activity on 16th avenue, and fencing.

Form follows tracks, recaps how we got this design. Expansion first includes Eastside loop, more to come. Can’t say if this will become a permanent dead end.

Hendricks – re use: short term maintenance in this shop.

Knox – looked at regularization of windows which we discussed (shows drawing) and if entrance is added, to reach elevation change we lose office space–this was a quickly done study. Blows out constrained space on that side. Building entry sequence from a presence on the street perspective. (will continue momentarily)

Fencing differs from other areas in that it is inside the property & not on the sidewalk line. It’s required for security. Behind landscaping. This isn’t different from last week but I wanted to emphasize this.

Hendricks – on 16th we pulled back the fencing on the corner and landscaped as much as possible. Pulled fence back on the far side of the building, 5’ setback on Northrup.

Czarneke – Rose Gardens have chain link, painted green, black. This is a plain, metal & concrete building, could use color. Oregon green. This is a public utility, there was a day when these sorts of buildings were iconic public facilities. Charm factor could go up if you utilized paint. If the roof went up to the freeway, pitched, it could be much improved. Terra cotta color like train station, sign that calls it out.

Doesn’t mind the utilitarian aspect of the building on the street, but the randomness I didn’t like. Simpler, older buildings–train stations–could give a clue. The metal concrete look is alien.

Knox – From a customer perspective you do want the system to read as a whole, I take your point.

the bar part of the building starts taking on the proportions of a streetcar, someone here asked about murals. Talked with PSI about public art. I can plant the seed of having this part of the site put into that program.

Genasci – Drawing doesn’t solve the problem of the Bar area. If you flip the offices over, corridor on the backside, each office with a window to the street, make these larger?

Hendricks – they are 5’ x7’ tall. Ceiling height.

Genasci – those are reasonable. If you raised parapet could get more presence on the street. It’s easy to be functional and offers more to the street.

Hendricks – 15’ building at high side, 14’ at low side. Over half the spaces are toilets, janitors rooms, and wouldn’t have windows. Only one office. A pedestrian can look through this office, see streetcars inside, and also corridor activity.

Genasci – could also put the rooms you don’t want to see on one end. If you really want to solve the problem, it’s not that difficult to solve. The issue is getting a presence on the street and not turn the building’s back to the street.

Hendricks – we took the comments about the presence on the street and the entrance relationship to 16th. Similar, but have reshaped trellis, extended as part of the plaza, 15’ tall. Added extra, lower element at sidewalk, added planters, green on the street, and planters along the ADA ramp. Private entrance but reads more as a public entrance.

Mikolavich — One response to this concern is an entrance on the center of the street side, the other is a courtyard entrance, which is what we’ve done.

Hendricks – trellis also wraps around to point you towards the entrance.

Theisen – Trellis makes me think of open screen.

Hendricks – it’s light framed steel with mesh, solid element over entrance door.

Genasci – secondary trellis marks what looks like entrance but it’s not. People will be going there. Can cantilever trellis over the street, so it marks the entrance.

Hendricks – lower trellis is for the pedestrian on the sidewalk.

Genasci – if you ran it down the whole building?

Vrilakas – I understand the programmatic problems with the door placement, the trellis for pedestrians is nice, run the whole length.

Theisen – it’s open, so no shelter from the rain.

Czarneke – If you put a slanted roof by the entrances it makes a building in itself. I see a thin wall, I want to see a solid wall punched. Window and door closer, utilitarian. Either move the entry or do a simple, iconic thing. Too much fuss trying to do something.

Pitched roof would go with other roof better. Very plain. Friendlier street element. More uniformity without bottom set of windows.

Bradley – calls end of discussion. Review is due Monday, August 10th.
Still have slatted cyclone fence, pulled back and landscaped.

Bradley suggests fencing as art project. Email messages will seek quorum if need for meeting before end of August.

Design Advice Request for Overton Pettygrove 14th-15th formerly Fosler’s work on office. Looks residential. Outside NA, but on the edge.

Slabtown Kick-Off Meeting on Thursday, September 17

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The first meeting of the Slabtown Plan Committee will be held on Thursday, September 17, from 4:00 pm to 5:30 pm in the Good Sam Northrup Building first floor conference room at 2282 NW Northrup Street. The meeting agenda will be posted as soon as it is available.

The kick-off meeting is not a community workshop but it is open to the public.

Slabtown Workplans

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You may download a copy of the Slabtown Plan Committee workplans by clicking on the links below.

Slabtown Workplan – Phase I-III (August 2009 to June 2010)

Slabtown Workplan – Phase IV (June 2010 to October 2010)