Jan. 8, 2014 Transportation Committee minutes

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Attached are the minutes for the Jan. 8, 2014 NWDA Transportation Committee:  NWDA January 2014 minutes

Planning Committee Minutes – Jan 30, 2014

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NWDA Planning Committee
January 30, 2014

Committee Members Attending: Ron Walters, Roger Vrilakas, Bill Welch, Wendy Chung, Karen Karlsson, Greg Theisen, Tavo Cruz, Steve Pinger

Guests: Allan Classen (NW Examiner), Phil Selinger (NWDA President), Tony Schwartz, Vicki Skrye,

Call to order at 8:05 am by Ron Walters (chairing in John Bradley’s absence).

Move West Quadrant height and density discussion to second portion of the agenda in hopes Steve Pinger will arrive. Move on to discussion of Parking Minimums resolution passed by the Board.

On Monday, with the support of the Planning, Parking and Transportation chairs, the board of directors of the NWDA passed a resolution on parking.

Selinger–this was started a year ago, before the parking plan was adopted, Ron had started it, suggested reviving and revising it. Tavo Cruz, Parking Chair, spoke with Bill Hoffman from PBOT, and suggested not being too proscriptive but assert ourselves in presenting the issue. We did leave a suggestion for an interim adoption of the parking minimums adopted by Council for the rest of the city, with the addition of RH and EX zones.

Chung–Hoffman said that the silo structure of the city would cause problems between Planning and Transportation bureaus if a particular solution was proposed.

Selinger–the third bullet talks about alternative modes of transportation, there was some discussion about the relevance but the Transportation Committee found it important and it was retained.

Karlsson–at this meeting last week we talked about modifying the NW District Plan, not just the parking plan. I thought that was another place we could modify this.

Walters–the representatives can find out what approach would be most effective, and if what we think the best way to change it wasn’t, it would slow down coming to a solution. The first goal is to see if the city is receptive. If they’re not, the board talked about what to chain ourselves to.

Jeanne Harrison thought it was important to know how many units were new and planned for construction: this will document that we’re building more units than off-street parking spaces. I see this in my area of the neighborhood.

Some board members didn’t want to dilute the message with the other transportation modes, but I think this is only one leg of the stool, and we have this as an urgent issue (parking minimums, micro apartments) but not the only one.

Welch–many of our apartments were built for the streetcar system and never had parking.

Karlsson–there are statistics in the Eastside parking plan. In the newspaper this last week, they said that 85% of those who use transit & bikes as primary modes also have cars.

Walters– only the Vaux has more parking spots than units, the rest of C.E. John’s developments are in the range of 0.6 – 0.75 spaces per unit.

Theisen–I think the resolution is good, I’d have changed second paragraph to ‘most’.

Cruz–I made it a bit softer to make is more acceptable.

Theisen–this is a good start, bullet point two is strong. Need to look at the strategy, outreach, packet for those meeting with policy makers. These should be written down so you have them when you go to talk with these folks. In this case you’ll be meeting with people who are very busy and will want to see possible answers. It would be good to have three or four possible options to present.

Vrilakas–the level of people we’re talking with are those who take action. We should go with specific things we want done. There’s no downside, there are solutions in place in other parts of the city.

Selinger–some of the approaches are obvious, but at some level you don’t want to tell staff how to do their job. We’re making a bigger deal out of this than it needs to be.

Cruz–there’s a balance there: we need to think about solutions, but this is a thorny, difficult problem. We need to get people on our side, others have to take the initiative to find solutions. When, in the past, we’ve provided solutions, they are usually rejected. This is an opportunity to do both: get support, give examples.

Our first meeting is with Planning head Joe Zehnder, then on to council.

Pinger–we should request (not demand) what we’d like to see, not be utterly deferential to those who don’t have time to do this.

The real estate prices are moving up quickly around here, not sure if it’s the micro apartments or other forces.

Theisen–the place on Johnson & 23rd just sold for $2.5 Million

Walters–we’ve gotten no response to our letter requesting a moratorium on Micro Apartments. I asked John to specifically talk with Joe Zehnder about the loophole for no parking in large developments. I was personally offended by the building on Thurman, not realizing this can apply to ALL of Northwest. It can happen anywhere in the neighborhood.

You guys talking to the Mayor’s office, these are related issues, and related in their timing. Those buildings are remarkably profitable.

Chung–to address the positions for strategy, the resolution addresses this: it’s a two pronged approach. The city-wide minimums that were triggered by the SE concerns only call for 20% to 30%. To say you want what was already passed does not deal with the issues we have here.

The big chunk of our neighborhood is historic, we can’t build parking, but developers can. At the very least they should provide parking we can’t provide for ourselves.

Walters–we’ve never been able as a group (including board and committees) to gain consensus whether there should be a minimum and, if so, what exactly that minimum would be. Opinions vary from zero (discourage autos) to 1:1 or more. Reasonable people disagree. I tried to bring this back to the overall parking plan vs. one particular minimum. It’s a policy issue. I think we’ve come to the conclusion we need a tourniquet, 25% is better than none.

Chung–if we don’t provide some back-pocket solution so we don’t get something that the city imposes, but we also don’t want to tell the staff what to do.

Vrilakas–we do need a tourniquet, need something right now today. I would start with looking at the % now, parking vs. units. Total balance today for residents?

Walters–there’s enough parking spots for residents; but not residents, visitors and businesses.

Vrilakas–let’s get this going, we have wolves at the edge of our tent. It’s pernicious and evil…

Walters–if this group is agreed, it’s urgent: let’s send the reps to the city not to accept “we’ll get back to you.”

The committee agrees it’s urgent.

Cruz–Comment is made that nothing is owed to existing residents, they aren’t owed a parking space. There comes a point where existing conditions become intolerable. Maybe not owed a space in front of our house, but do need a place somewhere nearby.

Vicki–these units coming in do cause a problem: if we could add our own parking solutions, for example garages. Should get the data on construction without parking.

Theisen–the approaches are changing the NW District Plan, changing the parking plan, adopting the city wide parking minimums, case by case modifications, amending the community design standards and reinterpretation of the statute that all development go through that process, and the moratorium on Micro Apartments.

Need to meet with Nick Fish, Steve Novick.

Walters–also suggested to get on-street parking committee set up so it’s ready.
Cruz–the city disagrees, waiting for staffing after the budget it passed.

Karlsson–OK if I bug them about this?


Welch–Allowable off-street parking: do we want to change garage prohibition?

Theisen–under 75″ is doable, but often awful. There are different ways to do this.

Walters–Bill’s right, part of the parking plan should include an off-street parking plan, we have the on-street plan coming, and some elements of the off-street, some approved master plans (conway and legacy) and sites for parking garages. These are all part of a debate, not solved now, but the resolution essentially says to work on all these aspects.

Selinger–Christie White thought the Singers were ready to go with their garage.

Karlsson–but lost a potential tenant.

Cruz–Christie tied it into the adoption of the Parking Plan and expiration of his approvals, so he’s antsy.

PInger–Question–strategies, if we are asking for minimums to be implemented and moratorium on micro-apartments. How long does the existing ordinance to take to implement?

Theisen–two to three months?

Pinger–the 20th and Pettygrove building has not been moving well in the institutional market, and is slowing the type of development. The things we’re concerned with are not really of that scale. There’s a rush to do small infill projects with no parking, innovative housing. We could have the pipeline pretty well filled by that time.

Vrilakas–you will be stunned when you go talk to these people about how little they know. Don’t be shy.

Cruz–I have met with them a bunch of times, all the Council members and staff.

Theisen–PBOT has not done this neighborhood any favors historically: no green street on Pettygrove, crosswalks on 23rd had to be forced by the Mayor and are fading away. I don’t see much support unless you’re handing them a check…

Walters–talked with developers about new development, asking neighbors to find out small ones he may not be aware of, and Mark can ask Joan Frederiksen for an update of the construction vs parking spots.

Pinger–West Quadrant Height and Denisty. WQ staff will come on 19th of March joint Planning and Transportation committee. The summer will be all about feedback, so we have ample time to weigh in about several issues and would like to spend time with this committee on these.

I’ll send out a document on existing and proposed entitlements in the West Quadrant area. It would be good to look at conditions in our neighborhood and as reasonably informed citizens of the city to weigh in on the whole proposal. In doing so I think it’s important to have alternative diagram or diagrams for this. No alternatives were presented to the SAC. That’s the way to get to informed consensus. This is highly influential to how it feels to be in this city.

Walters–so look at Steve’s document, this will be on the agenda next week.

Meeting adjourned at 9:06 am.

No motions or votes.

Feb. 5, 2014 NWDA Transportation Committee agenda

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Attached is the agenda for the Feb. 5, 2014 NWDA Transportation Committee Agenda: 2-5-14 NWDA TransCom Agenda

January Board Parking Resolution

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The draft minutes from the very active January 27th Board meeting can be found at:  NWDA January 2014 minutes    The Board also passed a policy statement and resolution on the subject of off-street parking minimum requirements of new development Parking position resolution – adopted January 2014. The next NWDA Board meeting will be on the regular date, February 17th. Thank you to all who attended!

January 27th NWDA Board Meeting Agenda

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Greetings –

A week late this month, the NWDA Board of Directors will meet on January 27th, 6 pm at Good Samaritan Hospital. The agenda includes the usual updates and will feature a discussion of the current intensity of development and the relationship to off-street parking minimums. The agenda is: NWDA_Agenda_January 27 2014 and the DRAFT policy statement is:  Parking position resolution clean – PRS-TC January 2014 v2

The Board will also consider a letter to Metro requesting a forum to consider the coordinated growth for the two sides of the West Hills. That draft letter is: Westside Impact letter to Metro – Jan 2014

All are most welcome to attend. There is an opportunity for community input. Thank you!

NWDA Air Quality Meeting Minutes January 13, 2014

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Attendees:  Kathy Sharp, Bob L, Jorjan Parker, Evan Farnham


-Bob Holmstrom and Bob Amundson will be NAC members inspecting Esco GNA Emissions Reduction Projects #1 and #7 on Wednesday, January 22 at 9 am..  The dust collectors are installed and operational for the capture and control of Doghouse fugitives as per project 1.  Project 7 included bag leak detection probes installed, calibrated and operational for EAF and AOD bag houses.


City Council will be briefed on the Clean Diesel Conduct of Construction Good Neighbor Agreement Wednesday January 22 at 10:30 am.


We did not have a quorum.  Members in attendance request Kathy Sharp to represent the Air Quality Committee on the on-going Site Logistics Plan group until Sharon returns.


The neighbors who originally submitted odor complaints concerning Cascade Rubber Products were contacted and encouraged to continue to submit odor complaints as they are impacted.  Odor complaints that include the most details have the most impact.


There have been no odor complaints this month.  Complaints from neighbors experiencing air quality problems are what drive the system improvements.   We discussed what we can do to educate those impacted to report problems.


“What’s in Our Air”.  No update.


Thurman Street Bridge Closure Update!

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The Bureau of Transportation has provided the following update: Newsletter4 for the Thurman Street Bridge rehabilitation project, now scheduled for April 7th. Waterline relocation work will precede the closure.


Lil’ Nature Kids Program Scheduled

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Greetings from the PP&R City Nature, Environmental Education staff! We are excited to share information about our upcoming nature classes in all corners of Portland for children & youth beginning Jan 27th, and continuing in 4-week sessions through late spring!

Lil’ Nature Kids is a popular program for children ages 3-6 where children learn about ecology of the Pacific NW through stories, songs, exploration and play. Our Preschool Naturalists are highly trained and experienced educators who love children and nature alike! Classes are built using a creative curriculum of games, exploration, hiking and imaginative play, and the nature topic for each day is woven throughout subtly but effectively. (Plus we ALWAYS make time to stomp in puddles and look closely at worms and smell flowers along the way!) These classes help children learn how to have fun in any kind of weather, introduce them to new grown-ups who are trust-worthy and caring, and help them gain  knowledge of nature concepts and processes in an engaging way.

 Nature School and Nature Recess classes are for children & youth a bit older who still crave that infectious nature connection. Nature School is a bit more academic than Lil’ Nature Kids and Nature Recess is pretty much what you would expect – a way to give children that experience many of us had growing up, but with smart & educated adults around who can actually interpret the land, the birds, the plants and the animals in the midst of play. Learn more at: Nuts about Nature Flyer Email WIN2014 .

 Classes in YOUR neighborhood this Winter!

Winter Session (Week of Feb 24 – March 21): Tuesdays @ Hoyt Arboretum (Nature School)

 Spring Sessions (Mar 31 – May 23): Classes will be listed on our website in February! Registration will begin March 3rd! Tuesdays @ Hoyt Arboretum (Nature School); Wednesdays @ Hoyt Arboretum (Lil’ Nature Kids)

 Details of our Winter classes can be found on the Environmental Education “Programs for Early Childhood” web page: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/parks/62972

Chrissy Larson (a.k.a. Teacher Balsam)

November NWDA Transportation Committee minutes

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The NWDA Transportation and Planning Committees met on November 6, 2013. The minutes are attached at:  11-6-13 NWDA Trans Plan Cttees minutes

NWDA Air Quality Meeting Agenda January 13, 2014

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          Esco GNA Emission Reduction Projects #1 and #7 are complete.  As per Project 1 the dust collectors are installed and operational for the capture and control of Doghouse fugitives per project 1.  The bag leak detection probes are installed, calibrated and operational for the EAF and AOD bag houses, per project 7.  The GNA allows for inspections within 60 days.   NAC members will be inspecting.

          Clean Diesel Conduct of Construction Agreement.

o   Briefing the City Council on the Clean Diesel Conduct of Construction Agreement on January 22 @ 10:30 am.

o   Vote on our representative to the on-going Site Logistics Plan group.

          Cascade Rubber Products.  What are our next steps?

          Odor Complaints.

          “What’s in Our Air” update.

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