A Letter From the Chair
At the beginning of each new year we each face the unknown with renewed focus, both for ourselves, and as a community. It is a time to rethink our focus and find new ways to become more effective. This is a time to get to work.
First of all, thank you to all who participated in our Eliot resident survey. We had close to 75 responses and they came from a mixture of new and long time residents of our neighborhood.
Here’s a recap about who we are as a neighborhood, what we like, what we’d like to change and also what events you’d like to see us work on organizing so we can get to know each other better and make Eliot an even better place to live!
Happy New Year Eliot! With 2017 upon us it is time to reflect on what we were able to accomplish and experience in 2016 and make some resolutions and plans for this new year. I find January a month I look forward to as a sort of reboot after all the busyness of the holiday season. Now well into winter, we are able to take some time to start a few new habits, take up a new exercise routine, focus on a new skill, try a new entertainment venue and also meet some new friends in the process.
Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods (NECN) has put together an Air Toxics Report. Please follow the link below for the North/Northeast Portland’s Air Pollution Report. You will find a map and narrative with facts about industrial facilities and diesel truck pollution. Learn what we can do to improve air quality!
Eliot Neighborhood Association
Land Use Committee
Minutes for January 9th, 2017
DRAFT-not yet approved
a) 829 N Russell Street (Otak) proposing: 5-story shared housing project with 79 “micro-studios” and 14 common kitchens. A 800-900 square foot retail/commercial space will be located along the Russell St frontage. The site has a sewer running diagonally across it so they have a angled front entrance with a space for a coffee shop or similar retail space. The rest of the building is taken up by 1 room apartments 280-330 sq ft, 3 kitchens per floor and a small bike room on the ground floor for 20 bikes. There were concerns on the committee about pricing — how can it be affordable if the rooms are going for $900 — $3/sq ft and some comments about how value engineering might take out all of the nice things they showed at the end. There was a concern that with no car parking and very limited car parking the residents would take quite a bite out of available street parking in the area. We were told that the target demographic is a young one that targets “experiences” over material goods and are very transit/bike/walk friendly. It was mentioned how great it is to bike in the area when really it is not close to much without climbing a large hill.
b) The units are grouped such that the developer can claim there are six bedrooms for each kitchen, so 14 “units” rather than 79. The committee viewed this as misrepresentative of the project and possibly a way to end run building requirements that would apply to a 70 “unit” building, although none of the members present had sufficient knowledge to know if that was the case. Concern was also expressed that this “product” may miss the market as the Millennial generation’s demographic “bulge” will pass before it is completed. In addition, it is relatively isolated from amenities and zoning on surrounding industrial properties won’t allow much additional development to provide those amenities. The developer indicated they expect the units to appeal to bike-only residents who will leave the area for services along Mississippi. Otherwise, the comments on building design were very favorable, which some concern that the building may mislead prospective tenants into thinking it was more luxurious inside that it will be in fact. Concern was also raised about the density of units in an area which has the highest air pollution in the city. The developer was unaware of this fact and will recommend attention be paid to air filtration.
2. Air Pollution – major diesel operators in Eliot with unfiltered engines- should we push this issue & who wants to champion?
The top 2 unfiltered diesel operators in Eliot are:
NECN is having a meeting on Wednesday the 19th and it seems like a city-wide effort is going to be required to change the rules about diesel operation. There were some in the room who would like to hear more, and it seems that this issue is not a good one for the Land Use & Transportation committee to take up so it will see life in another arena. To Be Continued
NECN report here: http://necoalition.org/report/
The Adopt-A-Block initiative is gaining some traction, adding new folks slowly but surely. Below is a list of your neighbors who are interested in making Eliot a safer and more pleasant environment in which to live. Let me know if you are interested in keeping your block free of litter and the storm drains flowing and I’ll add your name to the list which will be published periodically.
Eliot Neighborhood Association
Land Use Committee
Minutes for December 12th, 2016
DRAFT-not yet approved
- Neighborhood contact from project(s) on N Williams and N Fargo — (Currently People’s Pig, an abandoned house and bluehouse green house)
- The proposed project will be L-shaped, with the long leg fronting North Cook across from the new apartments at 115 Cook and abutting the new Century apartment building. The short leg will extend south along Williams to the Solterra site. The L shape creates an interior courtyard. The building as proposed will be six stories (5-over-1) as are other nearby projects. Retail spaces will be on the ground floor and 70 housing units are planned with 30 underground parking spaces. The top (sixth) floor is planned to have distinctive features so it will appeal as penthouse apartment space. The committee was generally receptive to the proposal while Ken was present. Afterwards concerns were voiced regarding elements of the sixth-floor design and material use.
- Diagonally adjacent to boarded up house on N Fargo. Proposal to turn this abandoned house into a 4-story building with ground floor almost entirely taken up to store 4 cars. Allan mentioned that this seems like a waste of space although other LUTC folks seemed to think that all off-street parking is good regardless of how space-inefficient
- History of the site: The Parker’s are long-time black owners of this property, Ms. Parker is proceeding with development planning. She also owns a house on the block fronting North Fargo and a site on NE Cook, where her new home is being constructed. Her properties on this block are surrounded by other new apartment development proposals and she continues to be pressured by realtors and developers to sell out to white developers. If this development proceeds, it will be the first major development by a black property owner in Eliot. The architect for this project is Ken Moholt-Siebert, who used to live in NE Portland, but moved to California to take over a small family farm. Nevertheless, he continues to work for clients in the area. He is also working with the owner on her new residence and plans for development of her other lot in this block.
- The property is currently zoned Rx; however, Eliot requested it be downzoned to Rh. That, and the fact surrounding properties are being developed to Rx density, spurred this large apartment proposal at this time.
- Discussion about #24 bus continuing to NW Portland and advocacy surrounding early implementation (Sherifa Roach)
- LUTC approved signing on to a letter which hasn’t been finalized yet supporting the extension of the #24 ASAP.
- Comp plan update – possible letter proposing to support Institutional zone plan (Allan)
- people were supportive of writing a letter re:Institutional zoning with the specifics that it would enable Emanual to build on land that they have been neglecting due to the restrictions in the IMP
Adjourned around 8:45pm