Minutes for February 12th

Steven Cole, President of the ICA, called the meeting to order at 7:02 pm. 

Board Members in Attendance: Barb Christopher, Dean Gisvold, Jason Messer, Tom Mertes, William Archer, Susan Hathaway-Marxer, Steven Cole, Peter O’Neil, Tiffanie Shakespeare, Aaron Stuckey, Jim Barta, Nathan Corser. 

Board Members Absent: Jeff Jones, Christine Coers-Mitchell, Beverly Burn, Nathan Christensen, Pam Lindholm-Levy, Kysa Kelleher, Michela McMahon, and Brian Schaeperkoetter.

Visitors: Jim Heuer, Nikki Johnston, Lynsey Stuckey, Woody and Kay Mosby, Sherry Williamson, Lynn Robinson, John Hoffnagle, A.J. Arriula, Alice Jacobson, Peggy Harkins, Rinderd Schutten, Mel Solomon, James Foster, Bill Hausman, David Turnbull (PSU student), Kathy Tiekotter, Mile Marshall, Scott McDevitt, Douglas Benson, and Merrily Ghilach. 

No Police Officer was present. 

Minutes: The December 2014 and January 2015 minutes had been distributed by email. Dean Gisvold moved to approve the December 2014 minutes and all Board Members present approved the motion. The January 2015 minutes were amended to show that both Dean and Steven were authorized to negotiate and sign a GNA with Blackwater Brew Pub. With this correction, the January 2015 minutes were approved by vote of all board members present. 

Website Update: Barb and Tiffanie reported that the new website went live last weekend (the first weekend of February). They were both congratulated by the Board Members for the ease of access and terrific look of the new site. They still need photographs, hopefully of ICA activities, and asked that Board Members provide any they might have. They also want feedback on use of the site and more content. The site has already been used to post a “stranger danger” notice, advising of the situation reported around the school where a male in a white car has been reported trying to lure kids into his car. 

NECN Update: Steve reported that many committee members and several staff have left the organization, and there have been no meeting minutes published. The group has advertised for a new Executive Director. 

Sidewalks: Several neighbors were attending to discuss their issues with City-issued sidewalk repair notices. Ms. Arriula described how her sidewalk crack doesn’t meet the “1/2 inch” trigger for needing a fix and says the City told her that surface repairs are not allowed. If a contractor is not engaged to do the work, the City will have its crews do it and usually at a higher cost. Many people in attendance told of getting notices and attempting to communicate with the City, potential contractors and other residents who have experience with the prolific number of notices being sent to ICA homeowners. The notices are issued because of a complaint. 
The initial sidewalk inspections that result in notices do not appear to factor in the health of existing trees, so property owners often have problems trying to figure out how to obtain approval for a “custom fix” in order to save a street tree. Tom suggested taking photographs to illustrate the areas being cited. Dean moved that the ICA send a strongly worded letter to Commissioner Novick about the situation and requesting a meeting within two or three weeks. Peter seconded the motion and all directors approved. The letter is to be posted on the ICA website. 

People also want to know who is informing the City about sidewalk conditions. Peter suggested that the ICA do a public records request. Tiffanie suggested checking Irvington Nextdoor about other Irvington resident’s sidewalk experiences. (Note: the web site is https://nextdoor.com/) Many people would like the City to put a moratorium on the apparent, current policy of allowing an individual to anonymously trigger the sidewalk repair notices. 

Dean moved and Tom seconded that a letter be sent to the Grant Park Neighborhood Association responding to their request for help in funding a dog park. The motion was approved. The letter will state the ICA’s support for the project, but not endorse the idea as presented, particularly the demands attributed to City Commissioner Amanda Fritz. 

Apparently, Commissioner Fritz notified the Grant Park Neighborhood Association Board that neither planning nor construction and operation of a fenced dog off-leash area at Grant Park would be authorized unless it can be totally funded by the neighborhoods that want it. Furthermore, she will not authorize Parks Bureau personnel to participate in any meetings about such an endeavor unless the same funders agree, in advance, to plan and construct a similar facility in another unspecified park. Commissioner Fritz’ desire is to correct well-recognized inequities in the distribution of park facilities and services in the City, but many people in attendance were offended by the idea that the circumstance of inadequate Park services and facilities are not being corrected by the City and that some neighborhood associations are being held hostage to improving their own facilities. The letter will state that this issue should be brought to the attention of the City’s Ombudsman and Mayor Hales with a request for intervention and mediation. The ICA recognizes that a fenced dog off-leash area at Grant Park would be a big benefit for Irvington residents, particularly those located closer to Grant Park than Irving Park. 

SUGGESTED IMPROVEMENT OF EAST/WEST BIKE TRAVEL: Brad Perkins, former ICA Board Member and resident at NE Schuyler, sent Dean the draft of a letter that he wants the ICA to submit to the Director of PBOT. Dean distributed the draft letter by email. It puts forward a request for funding of several proposed changes to certain streets in Irvington to aid bicycle transportation. Both Dean and Peter explained that taking this position with the City was not appropriate at this time because of Irvington’s significant effort not to interfere with anything related to the progress of potential Broadway-Weidler Corridor improvements. In addition, Brad’s proposed letter would put the ICA in the position of interfering with the Sullivans Gulch Neighborhood Association’s priorities. No action was taken, the letter was not authorized. 

BROADWAY-WEIDLER CORRIDOR IMPROVEMENTS: Steven announced that the leadership of the NE Broadway Business Association (NEBBA) does not wish to cooperate with the recently developed resident-citizen group looking to jump start funding and work on NE Broadway-Weidler Corridor Improvements. The City is no longer mentioning funding for improvements on Broadway-Weidler, and Steven and other people he is working with from Hollywood and Lloyd District feel that they must become a formal organization and take direct action to gain standing with the City and promote desired change. These changes, including wider sidewalks, bike lanes, traffic slow down devices and potentially a streetcar line, are not desired by the leadership of the NEBBA. Steven is attending a meeting on February 19 to help activate a group focused on specific improvements that will make Broadway more pedestrian friendly. 

LAND USE: Dean Gisvold discussed Recap 7, which is a 257 page general housekeeping report from City staff on zoning code changes. Comments are due on February 27. 

He also discussed the Revitalize Main Street Act (SB 565) being considered by the Oregon Legislature, which will, among other things, create a Historic Rehabilitation Fund to be funded by a public auction of state income tax credits at a capped amount. The purpose is to attract new investment to revitalize the State’s many and various “Main Streets” sites as desirable places to live, work and shop. There is significant positive economic impact for small towns and growth of public sector resources if the legislation is approved. Jim Heuer requested that the ICA vote to support the proposed legislation. Dean moved and Barb seconded and all Board members approved the motion in attendance. Jim Heuer volunteered to write the ICA letter of support. All persons present were urged to contact their State Representative and Senator and ask them to support SB 565.

Comp Plan comments are due to the City on March 13, the day our next ICA Board meeting. 

The Blackwater Brew Pub is due to open at the NW corner of NE 9th and Broadway in March. Its operators approved and signed the Good Neighbor Agreement that Dean and Steven wrote. That document has been signed and delivered to the OLCC. 

A proposed renovation at NE 9th and Tillamook is being monitored in its pre-app stage. Dean, Jim and Nathan met with the property owner re the proposed partition and presented the neighborhood’s suggestions and concerns for this project. 

At NE 7th in the Eliot neighborhood where the NA passed a deadline concerning a house demolition, Mike Warwick advised Dean that they missed the deadline for a variety of reasons. They are, however, still very concerned about the design and potential traffic impacts at the site of the proposed high-rise building at NE 7th between Knott and Russell. 

HISTORIC DISTRICT (HD) CHALLENGE: The City Landmarks Commission met earlier today (February 12) in a very civil proceeding to consider the proposed delisting of a certain geographic portion of the HD. The Commission, which is only advisory in this matter, recommended rejection of the proposal when it comes before the State Historic Preservation Office in Salem on February 20. Dean, Barb and Jim Heuer attended the Landmarks Commission meeting and reported that Kirk Ranzetta, our consultant, did a terrific job describing the original HD decisions regarding boundaries. He explained to the Commission that the research presented by the group calling itself the Alameda- Irvington Overlap Committee was unsubstantiated. The Commission’s decision was unanimous and the challenge was not successful. 

Nathan suggested that the things we do next about the challenge are very important. Mr. Mosby said it would be right to do good things for the community now. Kathy Tiekotter spoke about improving communications with Realtors working in the area so they can present a correct and positive situation, and Peter said that he personally sends HD rules to all listing agents working Irvington. Barb suggested that ICA revisit with the City’s Bureau of Development Services just how the Type I applications are working. No action was taken, no motions were made. 

BENSON BUBBLER (BB): Nikki and Dean reported on their recent visit with Commissioner Fish regarding the ICA’s wish for installation of a Benson Bubbler. The City has changed how its pricing works. The one-time expense to purchase one BB, either a one bowl or a four bowl, is $16,632. The items are available, even though no more are being produced. The ICA would also have to pay all installation costs, which could include the expense of nighttime installation, if the City thinks it necessary. To get a four-bowl fountain, the ICA will need to obtain approval from the City Council, because that design has traditionally been limited to the downtown area. Nathan said he would call the ICA Capital Expenditure Committee together to work through the idea of getting it. 

NEW BUSINESS: Steve reported that PSU did not take on the Klickitat Mall Study Project. The ICA will have to try another way to get change accomplished there. 

NEWSLETTER: Steve reported that he is doing most of the work on the Newsletter. He is acting as the Newsletter Editor and seeking content. 

HOME TOUR: Nothing new to report, although it is known that seven homes have been enlisted for the tour. And, volunteers are being sought to work the day of the tour. Board members are encouraged to volunteer. 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:47 pm. 

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