LUTC Minutes 2016-02-08

Eliot Neighborhood Association
Land Use Committee
Minutes for February 8, 2016

Committee Members present: Mike, Phil, Allan, Clint, Paul, Laurie and Montse

Guests from the neighborhood:  Kelly Gillard

Presenters from Solterra:  Josh Guerra, Justin Church, Tim Dudly, and Melynda Retawick (?)

Meeting was called to order by the Chair at 7 PM


Solterra Presentation

Solterra is planning another mixed use project in the cluster of properties it recently purchased near the church on Vancouver.  This project, called STRATA is on Williams between Fargo and Monroe, so south of their The Woods, project (which should begin construction this summer).  Solterra is a builder/owner/operator, not a “flipper,” so they plan to design and build projects for the long term, ~ 100 years.  STRATA is based on laminated geology, so linear elements are emphasized.  Their choice of geographic themes is designed to connect residents and neighbors to nature.  The Plan includes a 75 foot tall building (exclusive of roof mounted mechanical equipment, etc.  Units are:

  • 23 2- bedroom units of 777 Sq Feet
  • 54 1- bedroom units of 641 Sq Feet
  • 16 studio units of 565 Sq Feet
  • 6  Micro units of 332 Sq Feet

There will be 2 rental units on the corners and inner courtyard area.  There will be a rooftop lounge area.  There will be 31 auto and 56 bike parking spots, plus 11 bike parking spots at street level.

This presentation followed their Design Advice Request, which is required for buildings of this scale.  The Design Commission recommended they simplify glazing on the street façade and raise the sunken courtyard to grade level.  The building will be constructed using post-tensioned concrete rather than 5 floors of wooden construction over a first floor of concrete, which is typical of other builders along Williams.  The project will consist of two buildings with a courtyard between.  The façade is brick and PASSO, which is a bamboo composite siding material manufactured in China (according to the web manufacturer’s web site).  The bricks have with a more linear format than regular bricks.

The ratio of auto to bike parking spots and the location of bike parking was discussed, along with the strategy for tenanting the commercial spaces.  The committee requested they return once their designs are further along.

Minutes from the January meeting were approved.

Flag lot on Graham

The proposed lot partition to create a flag lot on Graham was briefly discussed, based on comments from a neighbor.

March LUTC meeting

There will be NO LUC meeting in March to accommodate a joint meeting with Eliot and Irvington neighbors led by PBOT to discuss proposals for a “greenway” between the two neighborhoods.  The Comp Plan and Bike Plan both have identified NE 7th and a potential greenway location.  Greenway’s are bike friendly streets; Rodney is an example.  The choice of 7th was based on a number of factors.  Any north-south route serving residents east of MLK needs to navigate Irving Park, which blocks routes between 7th and 11th and Lloyd Center between 9th and 15/16th.   Routes further east of 7th have to navigate steeper grades up and over the Alameda Ridge.  The route is expected to cross over I-84 somewhere between 9th and 7th at some future point.  NE 9th on the western edge of the Lloyd Center is planned to remain as the major auto circulator around the mall on its western edge.  Finally, 7th south of Broadway is now the streetcar route, which already limits auto traffic to accommodate the streetcar, its stations, a bike path, and very limited parking.  In other words, it is the best option for a north-south greenway between MLK and 20th.

This proposal has recently engendered over 100 signatures in opposition from residents mostly along NE 8th in Irvington.  They would prefer the greenway be on either 8th or 9th; options that were previously studied and rejected for the reasons noted above.  They appear to be reacting primarily to by-pass traffic when construction on 7th and Brazee results in closure and/or congestion on 7th.  One proposal (included in the Irvington letter to PBOT supporting 7th) is to divert traffic on 7th at Tillamook.  Residents on 8th fear that will simply direct current traffic to 8th and, according to Allan, PBOT is concerned about a diverter as well.

Additional topics

Allan noted the City has a pilot parking project for an area that is much smaller than normally required for parking permit areas.  That may be something to consider for the parking problems north of Broadway associated with Blazer games and now, streetcar commuter/parkers.  Mike noted this is also an issue in Irvington and could be something to discuss with them.

Phil sent a message to committee members and reiterated his point at the meeting that it would be helpful to have a “script” that we use in our discussions with developers, etc.  That would allow both parties to be better prepared and help structure and streamline the discussion.  Mike volunteered to work with Laurie on a draft that would address specific requests; lot partitions, Type 1, Type 2, etc.

Meeting was adjourned somewhat short of 9 PM.

4 thoughts on “LUTC Minutes 2016-02-08

  1. It is not clear whether these units are going to be rentals or condos. I have never had a response on these postings. But I’ll try again. Are these projects overpriced condos, or unaffordable rentals? And really, with parking for only 31 cars in a complex with nearly 100 units, more gas on the fire? Anyone there? Or is everybody on a “quaint tour” at Uroboros glass company?


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