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Brooklyn deep in MAX issues: Development, zoning, parking

Attendees at the May 22nd Brooklyn Action Corps meeting re-elected the Executive Board for the coming year, then listened to a Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability representative discuss proposed zone changes along Milwaukie Avenue, and parking issues related to the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail project.

There was also a presentation from the neighborhood's Development Advisory Board, previewing the winning development proposal for the MAX light rail’s “remnant parcel” along S.E. 17th Avenue between Boise and Mall Streets.

Troy Alan Doss, Senior Planner with the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, and Project Manager for the upcoming Quadrant Plan for the Central City, facilitated a discussion on how to request the zoning changes BAC hopes for, to encourage business development along the Milwaukie Avenue corridor. He also addressed parking issues, in light of the Portland Comprehensive Plan Review now taking place, and asked for input.

by: RITA A. LEONARD - Bill, from the Development Advisory Board, showed the BAC meeting the winning development plans for the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail parcel between Boise and Mall Streets on S.E. 17th Avenue.Doss invited anyone interested to a June 8th Brooklyn Neighborhood Walk, 9 to 11 am, to explore zoning and parking issues, along with Park & Ride concerns related to the new MAX line’s Brooklyn Station area. For information, call 503/823-6042, or go online to: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/cc2035/sequadrant

Carrie and Bill from the Development Advisory Board next presented the winning proposal for developing the narrow parcel along S.E. 17th Avenue between Boise and Mall. “This area is envisioned as both a buffer for the neighborhood, and a connection with the PMLR corridor,” she explained. “The parcel is about 400 feet long, and ranges from 33 to 48 feet wide.

“We considered several configurations for it with a sense of flexibility, but hope to design a series of four separate sections of affordable garden apartments there, spaced with parking and bike stalls, and enhanced with street trees,” she explained. “Closer to the intersection with S.E. Holgate Boulevard, we hope to interest a small, high-quality market that combines the best aspects of a convenience store and a New Seasons-type market. The space at the corner is envisioned as a small art and bike parking plaza.”

After that, Jennifer Koozer, TriMet’s Community Affairs Representative For the PMLR Transit Project, gave an update on the construction. “Thank you for your patience while we installed the Powell overpass girders,” she said. “Due to round-the-clock work, we were able to finish installation early. Upcoming civil construction around S.E. 17th and Lafayette Street will cause lots of detours, and other neighborhood streets will temporarily have right-turn-only restrictions. “From July 15 to August 5,” she continued, “Light rail tracks will be going in. There will be lots of traffic detours over the summer. We’re starting construction on a new parking lot behind the PGE building for employee parking. We’re hoping to have the new bridge across Powell Boulevard open in September, which will free S.E. Milwaukie Avenue of temporary bus routes. If you have any questions, phone me at 503/962-2116.”

In other business at the Brooklyn Action Corps meeting, BAC Chair Mike O'Connor introduced Nate Dewey, owner of the Brooklyn Park Pub and The Bear Paw Pub, who announced the opening of outdoor customer patios at both sites, and invited neighbors to visit – or to contact him with any concerns, so he could deal with them pro-actively before problems were to arise.

Marie Phillippi gave a report on the successful Neighborhood Cleanup and Rummage Sale held May 4, which raised funds for the September Ice Cream Social in the Park. “We filled four dumpsters of mixed waste, and one of yard debris,” she said. “We were also reimbursed for a load of scrap metal, and we hope to expand the Rummage sale next year.”

Brooklyn Community Garden Coordinator Lee Kamrass revealed there was a new wheelbarrow path at the Garden, new berry bushes, and new grant money available to build a pedestrian path handrail, a bulletin board, bench, herb garden, and solar powered lighting around the garden shed. She added that neighborhood artist Alex Southworth volunteered to paint a mural around three sides of the shed. A nursery in Woodburn donated about 100 gallon-size grafted tomatoes, which were dispersed among plot holders.