Minutes for January 8th

Meeting in the library at Irvington Elementary School on NE Brazee Street

Board Members Present:  Tom Mertes, Jeff Jones, Nathan Corser, Jim Barta, Pam Lindholm-Levy, Brian Schaeperkoetter, Barb Christopher, William Archer, Peter O’Neil, Dean Gisvold, Aaron Stuckey, Steven Cole, Nathan Christensen, Tiffanie Shakespeare, Susan Hathaway-Marxer, Michela McMahon and Jason Messer. 

Board Members Absent:  Christine Cours-Mitchell, Bev Burn, and Kysa Alport. 

Visitors:  Nikki Johnston, Jim Heuer, Bill & Evie Hausman, David Austin, Erin Yanice, Deven Shollenberger, Alexandra Giddings, Keith Testerman, Mandy Barberree and Alex Celeste Carroccio (the last six from Blackwater Brew Pub going in at NE 8th and Broadway), and Sarah Long (re NE 7th & Thompson) 

President Steven Cole called the meeting to order at 7:05 pm.  A quorum of board members was present.   There were no minutes available to approve from the last meeting (December 4, 2014) so it was stated that they would be available prior to the February meeting and approved then. 

No Portland Police Officer present.  Steven asked if there was anything going on in the neighborhood that people had questions about, and Susan requested that we get a report from the Police Bureau representative about the incident on NE 16th and Brazee that occurred in October.  

HISTORIC DISTRICT (HD) CHALLENGE:  A group calling itself the Alameda-Irvington Overlap Committee (A-IOC) has filed a petition to delist 24 blocks in the northeast section of the Irvington Historic District from the federally approved Historic District (HD). The Alameda Neighborhood Association became reactivated when the Portland School Board proposed changing the boundaries for attendance at Alameda School and a group of the neighborhood people has now moved on to challenge the boundaries of the HD.   

The group wants to be associated with Alameda, not Irvington, and is conducting surveys in the area proposed to be delisted. They are also handing out pamphlets, explaining that the area they want out of the HD is the area bordered by Fremont on the North, 27th on the East, 21st on the West and Knott Street on the South.  

The Committee has scheduled a community meeting for 7:00 pm on January 14 at Fremont Methodist Church.   They are looking to generate support from people who own property in the overlap area to support their case for delisting. 

The Landmarks Commission will meet and discuss the matter on February 9th at 1:30 pm.  It is expected that the A-IOC will testify at the meeting and request that the 24 blocks they’ve identified be delisted from the HD.  The Landmarks Commission is advisory to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHIPO), which will be meeting February 20.  If that group decides further action is necessary, it will issue a recommendation to the National Park Service, Dept. of the Interior, as the issue is governed by federal law. 

The ICA has retained Kirk Ranzetta to advise the Board regarding the petition, at an initial cost of $3,000. His initial review has indicated that the A-IOC’s petition (a 340 page document) has a number of errors and factual representation is missing.  Several ICA board members stated that the ICA needs to reach out to people within the identified 24-block area because of hard feelings about the information being disseminated. 

If the Landmarks Commission rejects the petition, there could be political and public relation aspects. If their decision is issued to reinforce the HD, the ICA could use the decision as an opportunity to again discuss the often-heard questions about front of house design and window changes, which are believed to be confusing for many HD residents.  

Steve will not be attending the January 14 meeting called about the potential delisting of 24 blocks from the Historic District (HD) because he will be attending a meeting of the Broadway-Weidler Coalition on that evening.  Jim Heuer, Barb Christopher and Mr. and Mrs. Hausman plan to attend the January 14 meeting and Board members are encouraged to attend as well.   

BLACKWATER BREW PUB:  Keith Testerman, manager of the new pub going in at NE 8th and Broadway spoke and talked about the hours, food and drink offerings and other issues connected with the new business’ operation.  Blackwater is a vegan brewpub that plans to be open from 11:30 am to 2:00 am, but it will not have live music past 11:00 pm.  Mr. Testerman and his crew (five guests in attendance) also have a used record store on NE Russell and he says they have superior soundproofing skills they will be using in the NE 8th location.  The brew pub will have a capacity of 98 people.  It does not want to be like the 715 Club and develop a bad reputation.  It will have all vegan food, salads and burgers. The appearance of the place will change due to a new paint job, and historic design review is necessary for their new sign.  They hoped to open on January 1, but resolving potential issues with the ICA has delayed them.  

Dean Gisvold proposed that the ICA and the Backwater Brew Pub sign a good neighbor agreement (GNA) to memorialize the intentions of each party regarding their initial commitments and documenting an ongoing way to resolve any problems or misunderstandings.   Dean moved that he be authorized by the Board to negotiate a GNA with Blackwater Brew Pub in an expedited fashion, with the goal to have it finished by January 16.  William Archer seconded the motion and all directors present approved it.  

LAND USE:  Dean and Jim Heuer testified at City Council on December 17th regarding changes to the City Code regarding the City’s demolitions policies.  Not everyone was able to speak so the meeting was adjourned and ordered to be continued until February 12 at which time only those persons who signed up to testify on December 17 can speak.  The appointed citizen committee working on this issue is expected to proposal additional changes on Feb. 12.  The big issue for the ICA and many other neighborhood associations is demolition policy and the improvement of notice for neighbors. Demolitions are going on in neighborhoods all around the ICA, and the Historic District requirements regarding demolitions is what’s keeping the diversity of homes and solid values in the ICA.  This will be discussed at the January 22 Land Use Committee meeting.  Specific items before the Committee are:

  1. A group known as Rare Bird Investments owns a 50 by 100 foot lot at the NE corner of 13th and Tillamook and wants to partition it in order to get another, narrow lot for a single family residence (with a tuck-in garage) on the site.  
  2. A new garage with a 26-1/2 by 17 foot deck on top has been proposed for the corner of NE 26th & Brazee.
  3. Property at 2106 NE 11th, owned by Don Wood, has lost its right to be a duplex because of being used as a single-family residence for the last 25 years.
  4. Mr. John Brennan, residing in the inner SW portion of the ICA, has inquired of the Land Use Committee about obtaining a mini-parking permit.  This is a new option offered by the City but it needs neighbor hood approval.  Dean has invited Mr. Brennan to the next Land Use Committee. Irvington has never had any “restricted to neighbors” permit parking.  This is thought to be permit parking such as Goose Hollow has.
  5. Sarah Long, who rents an apartment in a building at NE 7th and Thompson, spoke about the proposal to build a 12,500 SF building across NE 7th.  This building would have no parking available for residents and would be located very close to the “Soviet-era looking” building proposed by developers at NE 7th and Russell.  Both properties are in Eliot neighborhood.  

NEWSLETTER:  Jeff Jones and Steven discussed the proposal to hire an individual layout person to work on our newsletter, at $30 a page.  The Gresham Outlook will publish our newsletter.  Articles for the next issue, to be published/mailed on March 1st, are due by January 30 to Steven Cole.  The following people offered to submit articles:  Jim Heuer on the Historic District; Steven on the challenge to the Historic District boundary; Michaela on the inspiring work done by neighbors on NE 11th as they installed a new roof for their elderly neighbor; Nikki on the new street tree zoning; Peter on the tree survey work to begin in the spring and on his very laudable GREEN BAG food contribution program; Brian on the ICA Home Tour; Dean on Land Use Committee matters and action; and Nathan Corser on the new website.   

WEBSITE:  Tiffanie Shakespeare and Barb Christopher demonstrated the proposed website the ICA could have through Square Space.com.  Much conversation occurred as to how the content would be managed.  Tiffanie will oversee the ICA content on Square Space; it was moved by Peter, seconded by Dean and approved, with one abstention, to move the ICA address to Square Space.com at a cost of $192.00 per year.  A system will be needed to manage the authorization of who will be able to do what on the site, but it is expected that each Committee Chair will run the pages for their committees. Barb and Tiffanie said they would be asking people for content, including photographs, and they hope for a quick response so the site will be strong and interesting from the beginning. 

HOME TOUR:  Brian reported that things are in good shape for the May event.  The houses selected are all East of the “overlap area” in the NE corner of the ICA.  Pam distributed Home Tour Brochures and asked board members to volunteer to work a shift on May 17.  It is a 3-1/4 hour commitment and it’s important for board members to participate.  Volunteers are always needed and all of them are invited to the pre-tour event.  Volunteer chair is Kay Moseby.  

NEW BUSINESS:  Peter informed the Board that he did apply on the ICA’s behalf for the City’s tree survey project and will be looking for volunteers to do the work this spring and summer.  

William asked about the applications submitted in November to PSU for student help on the Klickitat Mall and Broadway-Weidler Corridor projects.  Steve said he expects to hear from his contacts by the end of February.  

The JANUARY 2015 meeting was adjourned at 9:00 pm.  


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