The Portland neighborhood beat
Agencies join forces
Neighborhood House is teaming up with Community Partners for Affordable Housing to propose building a low-income housing and social services project on the site of the Sgt. Jerome Sears United States Army Reserve Center in Multnomah Village.
The U.S. Army is donating the property to the city with the condition that it be redeveloped into something that serves the public. Neighborhood House offers social services out of its Multnomah Village offices, and Community Partners for Affordable Housing is a housing agency building the Watershed apartments for low-income senior citizens in Hillsdale.
According to Neighborhood House Executive Director Richard Nitti, there is a pressing need for more affordable housing in Southwest Portland, especially for formerly homeless families transitioning back into the mainstream.
He said the two agencies will hold a public design forum on the proposal once they have toured the 3.7-acre site, 2731 S.W. Multnomah Blvd.
The Portland Development Commission, overseeing the redevelopment process, has requested project proposals by Dec. 22.
Skyline changes planned
The Northwest Portland transition zone will see one of its largest buildings if plans for a six-story, 96,000-square-foot mixed-use condominium project at Northwest 19th Avenue and Overton Street are approved.
The front portion of the building would take over the site currently used by the Hendrix Motor Co. garage.
Developers for the building have recently presented plans to the Northwest District Association planning committee and the Portland Bureau of Development Services. The plans were met with general approval by the neighborhood committee, according to committee Chairman John Bradley.
The proposed building would rise six stories and would include underground parking and retail shops on the first floor.
Zoning gets a fresh look
North Portland neighbors are keeping a close eye on the city planning bureau's effort to revisit the zoning along a 2 1/2-mile stretch of the Interstate light-rail line.
City planners are reviewing the zoning within a quarter-mile of each MAX station between the Kenton and Overlook stops for the first time since the MAX line opened in 2004.
In some areas, planners said, there are disconnects between the existing zoning pattern and the city's 'transit-supportive' policies, as well as the city's vision for the area as adopted by City Council in 2002.
That strategy report included the need to revisit the zoning pattern and make amendments as necessary. The planning bureau will hold community meetings through next summer before any changes are brought forward for an official vote.
'We're not against it,' Overlook Neighborhood Association co-Chairman Tom Kilbane said of the review. 'We're hoping the development is done in concert with the character of the neighborhood, taking into account buildings are going to be built up against single-family homes.'
Rose City hosts forum
The Rose City Park Neighborhood Association will hold its annual candidates' fair tonight, beginning at 7:41 p.m.
The fair will include speeches from the two major-party candidates running for the 45th district Oregon House of Representatives seat - incumbent Democrat Jackie Dingfelder and Republican challenger Dick Osborne.
It also will include remarks from the two candidates for an open seat on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, Jeff Cogen and Lew Frederick.
The fair also will feature speakers giving details on several state and local ballot measures.
The fair will be held at Rose City Park United Methodist Church, 5830 N.E. Alameda St.
Bridge talks begin
The first public open-house meeting to identify long-term solutions for the deteriorating Sellwood Bridge will take place Wednesday evening at the Oaks Amusement Park dance pavilion, just north of the bridge itself.
The purpose of the meeting, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at 7100 S.E. Oaks Park Way, is to share information with the public but also to receive input from nearby residents and other citizens.
Information and ideas from the public will be considered by a task force and used to help rank possibilities early next year. Multnomah County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey is leading the effort.
Multnomah County maintains the bridge and five other Willamette River bridges.
New blood's on board
Following a year of dissension over the issue of gentrification, the Lents Neighborhood Association has elected a new board, and its philosophy doesn't look much different.
Outgoing President Kristina Lake Nord, a real estate agent who has led the group for the past year, was replaced by an ally, Dewey Akers.
Akers beat out a previous president, Judy Welch, who has been a voice against gentrification, saying it will price out current Lents residents.
The board's new vice president is Rebecca Stavenjord.
A tie in the race for treasurer, between John Notis and Deanna Hess, will be settled in a runoff at tonight's general meeting, 7 p.m. at Lents Adventist Church, 8835 S.E. Woodstock Blvd.