William Archer, Vice-President of the ICA, called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm.
Board Members in Attendance: William Archer, Aaron Stuckey, Barb Christopher, Dean Gisvold, Jeff Jones, Pam Lindholm-Levy, Jim Barta, Bev Burn, Nathan Christensen, Christine Coers-Mitchell, Susan Hathaway-Marxer, Tiffanie Shakespeare, Nathan Corser, and Peter O’Neil.
Board Members Absent: Steven Cole, Jason Messer, Brian Schaeperkoetter, Michela McMahon, Thomas Mertes, and Kysa Kelleher.
Visitors: Nikki Johnson, Eric Hovmiller, John E. Brennan, Celina Garrido-Meyer (new Assistant Principal at Irvington Elementary School) and Philip Schmidt.
No Police Officer was present.
MINUTES: The minutes of the February 12, 2015 meeting were approved.
HOME TOUR: Pam Lindholm-Levy gave a report in the absence of Kim Bissel, co-chair of the Home Tour Committee. The tickets will cost $25 and go on sale the first of April. All homes in the 2015 tour are located east of NE 17th avenue. There is a public event going on in our area that day, the Rock N Roll Marathon, but it is supposed to be finished prior to the start of the Home Tour. Pam reported that the Home Tour Committee needs all ICA Board members to volunteer for a shift on the day of the event and urged them to contact Kay Mosby, who is chairing the Volunteer effort for the Home Tour Committee.
NEIGHBORHOOD EMERGENCY TEAM (NET): Eric Hovmiller, an Irvington resident, gave a presentation about the purpose of the NET. It is a City-run program, was started in 1994 and its purpose is to train citizens in disaster relief and first aid, search and rescue. The Bureau of Emergency Management manages it and citizens are trained by the Fire Bureau. The Irvington team has 37 members; some are from outside the neighborhood. They meet once a month and conduct outreach. They urge people to take stock of their own preparedness plans and to review and promote emergency management with their neighbors.
Eric said that the Irvington team is looking for a location for its “bench cart” that holds supplies and that it is looking for money to acquire additional supplies. There is a need for financial support outside of City of Portland resources.
LAND USE: Dean Gisvold reported on the Land Use Committee’s work. He discussed the proposed new Comp Plan and said that the key issue for the ICA is density. The new plan calls for greater density in Irvington. Comments are due on Friday, March 13. There was considerable discussion about density and how much Irvington can and wants to accommodate. Of particular interest was conversation about the CS and the CX zones becoming CM2. Dean said that the Land Use Committee wants to protect what’s known as the Broadway Edge and to reduce the pressure for over-redevelopment and keep every new height from being the maximum allowable. There are many contributing single-family homes in the existing RH zone and Irvington is not the only neighborhood pushing back on language that will increase the density in the RH zone. Irvington wants medium density increases, not high density increases. Dean produced a list of Recommendations for Board Action, Items No. 1 through 7, and urged the ICA Board to support these recommendations as the ICA’s principal submission to the City on the proposed comp plan. A copy of the recommendations is attached to these minutes.
Broadway Street is labeled a connecting corridor in the proposed plan, and the Land Use Committee wants it to be a neighborhood corridor. Peter said that the Broadway-Weidler Alliance group was okay with Broadway being a connecting corridor and felt it was already known that way, particularly when considered by people in the Hollywood area and others east of us. Barb Christopher moved that Dean submit the ICA recommendations to the City on March 13 and Bev Burns seconded the motion. Items No. 1 through 7 on The Recommendations for Board Action handout were approved to be the ICA’s official comments on the comp plan. The motion passed, although Jeff Jones, Christine Cours-Mitchell and Peter O’Neil voted no.
HAVING A PARKING PERMIT PROGRAM: John Brennan, who is the principal advocate for initiating changes with regard to car parking in the Southwest corner of the Irvington neighborhood, spoke about the City’s new mini-application for a “minor area” parking permit program. He described the current and growing problems with people from outside the area coming to park and leave their cars in front of homes for the whole day or even longer. He said that 1,700 new residential units are being constructed in the Lloyd District area and the majority of the people expected to live there will have no or very limited parking. It is well known that many people already leave their cars in Irvington and walk or transit elsewhere. Many people park their cars in Irvington and take the #8 bus to work downtown or up to the VA Hospital. Several of John’s neighbors in the proposed permit required parking area have expressed concern; they are upset about signage, aesthetics and some have issues with its extension to NE Tillamook. The ICA has to be the initiating body for this parking permit program to be approved by the City. The cost of a permit is expected to be about $60 a year for a permanent resident. There is criteria for getting a permit and neighbors will have to be vigilant about proper use of the permit hangar for their own parking. Bev Burn asked how low the cost of the permit could be. John said he would be willing to negotiate that with the City. It is known that the City’s parking meter patrol officers will enforce the permit system. Dean moved that John be authorized to apply for the “minor area” parking permit program and that he be authorized to state that the ICA agrees with the definition of the existing problem. Jeff seconded the motion and it was approved with no dissent.
CAPITAL PROJECT REPORT ON SECURING A BENSON BUBBLER: Nathan Corser spoke about a meeting of the Budget and Finance Committee and said that the Committee was seeking the ICA Board’s commitment to following through with the project, with certain parameters. Among the parameters is that the ICA only wants a four-bowl Benson Bubbler water fountain and its location is to be at NE 15th and NE Broadway in front of Peet’s Coffee. ICA would need to pay the $17,000 fee. There is no cost for the object itself; the cost is for installation, water lines, etc. There was discussion about negotiating with the City to get the additional $1,500 in fees for permitting and inspection reduced or eliminated. Given City ordinances, only the Portland City Council can approve the installation of another Benson Bubbler at any location within the City. This may not be easy to achieve.
There is $15,000 in the current ICA budget for a neighborhood improvement project, and there was a suggestion to take $6,000 still budgeted for website development, which is now thought not be needed (because the new website is so extraordinary), and apply it to the cost of the installation. This will leave $2,235 in the website fund and the neighborhood project fund will become $21,000. Nathan moved that the ICA Board authorize the expenditure to acquire a four-bowl Benson Bubbler for a neighborhood improvement project.
There was considerable discussion about the possibility of a memorial type plaque or “collar” around the fountain that could honor neighborhood founders. Many people objected to the idea of a collar and it was considered unlikely that the City would allow either object. It was not included in the motion. It was clear that a four-bowl fountain was the group’s choice and it was stated that a one-bowl fountain would not be considered. Even Nikki Johnson, the long-time proponent and tireless worker to obtain a Bubbler, only wants a four-bowl.
Jeff made a motion to transfer the $6,000 from website development fund to neighborhood project fund and to authorize the expenditure of $17,000 for a four-bowl Benson Bubbler and further that the ICA attempt to negotiate with the City to get the fees reduced. After much discussion, eventually Bev Burn seconded the motion. The motion was approved, although Peter O’Neal, Barb Christopher and Tiffanie Shakespeare voted no.
NE BROADWAY/WEIDLER ALLIANCE (BWA): Peter O’Neil reported on the current status of the group’s activity. He and Steven Cole are representing the ICA. He said that BWA wants traffic improvement work to be done in one project from the Broadway Bridge to the Hollywood area, as opposed to doing it in two chunks, Bridge to 24th first and then 24th to Hollywood. If done in phases, each phase would take ten years. It’s a big point of the group to combine the work area. There is no intention to decouple Broadway/Weidler and it is expected that the streetcar would go east on Weidler with an interchange at I-84. There would also be a new bike crossing constructed across I-84. The group is getting organized. Peter said it has sent a letter to the City Bureau of Transportation and the City Planning and Sustainability Commission seeking a significant voice in transportation system planning and highlighting the BWA’s strong support for several potential new projects in the proposed Transportation System Plan (TSP) component of the new Comp Plan. Members of the ICA Board were emailed a fully executed copy of the 5-page letter, dated March 12, 2015, and signed by Carol Gossett of Sullivans Gulch Neighborhood Association, and Murray Koodish of the NE Broadway Business Association.
HISTORIC PRESERVATION: Barb Christopher reported that work has begun on a “fence mending” plan to help the people who live in the area known as the Alameda overlap (basically the NE quadrant of the Irvington neighborhood) better understand the conditions for proposed changes to property in an Historic District. The Historic Preservation Committee met last night (March 11) and is coming up with a draft document for eventual hand delivery distribution to people in the overlap area. They also want to go back to having a welcoming letter distributed to new residents that will explain the benefits and requirements of our Historic District. The plan is to distribute this welcoming letter with Home Tour tickets to welcome new neighbors.
WEBSITE: Barb and Tiffanie are still looking for content to post on the website. They want photographs and announcements related to upcoming school activities.
STREET CROSSING AT NE FREMONT: Jeff Jones explained a situation regarding the installation of a crossing improvement project at 9th and Fremont that did not have any money left in its budget to pay for striping. The crossing serves people going to and coming from Irving Park. Dean moved that, if needed, the ICA authorize up to $2,000 to pay for the striping at this location. Nathan seconded the motion and it passed with no dissent.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:49 pm.
THESE MINUTES APPROVED AT ICA BOARD MEETING ON APRIL 9, 2015