Feedback sought for proposed food cart pod
Community discussion part of agenda for neighborhood association meeting
HILLSDALE - Community members will get another chance to comment on the food cart pod proposed for Hillsdale at this month's Hillsdale Neighborhood Association meeting.
The pod, proposed for the green space at corner of Southwest Capitol Highway and Southwest Sunset Boulevard, is the brainchild of Richard Stein, a Hillsdale resident and designer and founder of the Hillsdale Vision Group.
Stein is preparing to submit a second draft of his design for the pod to the city of Portland's planning commission and said he wants to hear from the community before moving forward.
While the response he's gotten from the public so far has been mostly been in favor of the project, he said some neighborhood residents have reservations about the appearance of the food carts, the possibility of teenagers congregating at the site and the competition it would create for established restaurants nearby.
'Their concerns are really legitimate and valid, I share the same concerns that they do,' Stein said, 'but they presume the project I'm proposing is going to be like the others in the city.'
Whereas other food cart pods are required to be sited on designated parking lots, Stein said city officials have given him permission to 'create something that is a good social space.'
'They said, think of the property as a whole and arrange things so you have things like outdoor seating or little mini plazas … and we will prefer that,' he said. 'I've prepared a design that I think is much more socially enriching to Hillsdale.'
Stein said inspiration for his design came from an outdoor dining street he visited in The Hague, Netherlands, where outdoor food carts are surrounded by trees, twinkling lights and tables and chairs.
At the Hillsdale Neighborhood Association meeting, he said he hopes to gain feed back and input so that he makes sure his final design addresses as many of the community's concerns as he can.
'If there is something that people bring up that I can adjust, yes, I will,' he said.
Three carts have signed on to the Hillsdale pod so far, another is considering and Stein has decided to add a fifth to the mix. He said he is open to suggestions about which cart should fill this open position.
'I believe the project will be an attractive project on that gateway corner that it will have some good outdoor social spaces,' he said. 'I really care about creating good hangout spaces for my community.'
The Hillsdale Neighborhood Association will meet June 6 at 7 p.m. at St. Barnabus Episcopal Church, located at 2201 S.W. Vermont St.