Albina Rail Yard Relocation

By Monique Haskins

If any city’s residents stick around for a while, they are likely to witness some sort of transformation. During Portland’s history, the city’s boundaries have physically changed, absorbing neighboring cities, like Albina, into the fold. Portland’s demographics and key industries have also shifted over the years. In previous versions of Portland, residents realized that some forms of transportation were better suited for the growing city than others and invested in transforming to new transport modes. Vestiges of these changes remain visible; some houses in Eliot have horse tethering rings anchored to the curb, evidence of the early 1900s, when deliveries were made with horse and wagon instead of by truck.

Mo Badreddine, a Portland-area local from birth and the driving force behind the Albina Rail Yard Relocation Project, hopes that Portlanders are at the cusp of another change. Badreddine is encouraging communities to ask Union Pacific to relocate its railroad infrastructure out of the center of the city. Badreddine believes that a new location for the railroad will benefit Union Pacific and Portlanders through improved operational efficiency, decreased traffic interference, and lower pollution. In addition, if Union Pacific were to relocate from Albina, they would vacate 215 acres of riverfront property. With development funds and community input, the former rail yard could be reimagined as mix of housing, shopping, parks, and public spaces contributing to Portland’s overall attractiveness and livability.

With increasing pressures on air quality from projects such as the Oregon Department of Transportation’s proposed Interstate 5 expansion and high traffic through the Central Eastside, any project looking to decrease pollution is worth exploration. Along with cleaner air, relocating the railroad infrastructure would improve access to other parts of Portland, and provide an economic boost through new shops, restaurants, and jobs. With this in mind, below you will find an interview with Mo Badreddine on the importance of the relocation project and how you can help.

What are your goals for the Albina Rail Relocation Project? Ultimately, our goal is to create a new path for Union Pacific that will increase the railroad’s operational efficiency, alleviate operational, safety, and environmental concerns for the public, while also retaining the economic benefits of UP’s railroad service to our community. In addition to that, I think we can redevelop the site(s) into a more communal and meaningful space where, housing, transit, art, health, science, and wildlife all coexist.

How did you get involved with the project? My curiosity and passion for large-scale infill redevelopment stumbled me into Homer [Williams]’s office many-a-years ago, and like many, I’m a product of my environment. Homer’s efforts are focused on getting people off the streets with his non-profit, Oregon Harbor of Hope, so Portland is incalculably lucky to have him. (oregonharborofhope.org)

What do you want Eliot neighborhood residents to know about the project? Probably the same thing we’ve been telling everyone: we’re not crazy. Rail relocation is not a new solution — rather, it is one that has proven to be effective and necessary given the right conditions. It is happening all throughout the United States, in big and small markets alike: Memphis, Burlington, Boston, Nashville, San Gabriel, Lafayette (IN), Reno, Chicago, LA, and Salt Lake City, are among the cities that are planning or have taken steps to move their rail facilities from urban core to outlying areas. I encourage you to think big, to think as big as you possibly can because this is a generational opportunity for every individual, motorist, cyclist and organization, living near or commuting through the CEIC (Central Eastside Industrial District).

What’s the status of funding for the study? We’re a little more than $5,000 short (of reaching our $25,000 goal), which is incredible. When we raise the remaining amount, the community will be able to say that this is a community funded & driven effort and ultimately, get to be a stakeholder throughout the decision-making process.

What can individual residents do to get involved with the project? Every dollar helps. With your assistance, we can let the creative engineers explore the possibilities of moving the Albina & Brooklyn intermodal facilities. Donations are being accepted online at https://
http://www.albinarailrelocation.org/

LUTC Meeting Minutes 2019-11-11

DRAFT- not yet approved

submitted by Allan Rudwick

In attendance: All Committee members: Brad, Monique, Zach, Phil, Allan, Jonathan

Public: PSU student Andrea was observing. Judge showed up too

Developer for page and Vancouver NW corner – 2 representatives: Alicia and Casey

Ali Sadri- Legacy Health

706pm
2306 n Vancouver
Zoning: CM3d – plan to use community design standards. may submit before end of the calendar year.
Proposal: 43 units. 1 loading zone. Mostly studios and 1br. 3 2br
Concerns: Neighborhood feel, street appeal important. Main entrance not gloomy. We would like more larger units less studios. Also want the building to address the street better. If they get below 40 units they can get rid of the loading zone

Ali from Emanuel (7:40pm)

Emanuel IMP ends 2023, but rules aren’t changing much
New building still going up. Planning on 16 OR. Quicker turnaround.
Core and shell of the building are very flexible. This will allow them to build spaces in the new building and then when finished move units over from older spaces. One highlight is a modernized burn center

Evergreen topic: Land between Vancouver & Williams. Ali & Emanuel want to rezone land they hold and change the development rules on their campus (which we support) but can’t due to city or something. Setbacks are holding everything back. Allan proposed getting some meetings with the city to get things going forward. Ali said he would attend if the right meeting can get set up.

Monique asked about air quality concerns with I-5. Hospital doesn’t care about air quality, they filter everything a ton already

Parking summary: car dealership wants to build a big building. Neighborhood not excited about it. Will continue letter-writing and staying on top of things.

Safer 7th: need to reach out to Nick Falbo and see what is going on and when we can start construction

Another devleopment proposal- we want them to come in for a future meeting – N Flint and Hancock.

6-0 passed: Motion to approve minutes
6-0 passed: Motion to keep land use committee

LUTC Meeting Minutes 2019-10-14

submitted by Allan Rudwick

In attendance: Almost all Committee members: Brad, Monique, Zach, Phil, and Allan

Steve gemmel (EarthquakeTech)

7:05pm: EarthquakeTech street vacation.
In general memebers mentioned that they would want to see more community benefits from street vacation, however the location of this request makes us think that no one is actually using the street anyhow. The committee generally supportive of the street vacation due to the location.

We were invited to an open house November 14. The will be a talk (by a speaker who has previously done a TED talk). At 2310 n Kerby

7:45 Other topics:

Toyota expansion

motion 5-0 to oppose the parking garage dealership expansion & write letter (even though it is just a pre-app conference)

Residential Infill Program(RIP)/better housing by design (BHBD)
RIP is taking forever, BHBD about to go to council for a vote.

Motion 5-0 to write a letter to supporting BHBD and anti-Displacement effort

Lloyd to Woodlawn greenway. Members going

Topic for Next month
2306 n Vancouver

Land Use and Transportation Committee Agenda

November 11th, 2019 7:00-8:30 pm

Location: 120 NE Knott St

  1. 7:00 Open meeting, Welcome guests, Introductions (5 mins)
  2. 7:05 Discuss agenda and accept any additions (5)
  3. 7:10 2306 N Vancouver Proposed Development (35)
  4. 7:45 Emanuel updates (35)
  5. 8:20 Discuss upcoming projects and if we want to get involved (5)
    1. Residential Infill Project, Better Housing by Design, and Anti-Displacement measures
    2. Lloyd-to-Woodlawn greenway and Safer 7th improvements.
    3. Broadway Toyota’s proposed parking structure
  6. 8:25 Approve Minutes (5)

LUTC Minutes for August 12

Attendees:
Mark, Brad, Monique, Zach, Phil, Jonathan

Welcomes
Want to add discussion of Rodney letter to meeting

3019 NE MLK. Design hasn’t changed since we last chatted. They applied for Land Use Adjustment. Completed application July 28th and will hear back within 120 days. Then will adjust designs or scrap the project based on results. If all goes well, they hope to break ground Q1 2020.

Rodney letter. Folks were happy with result from the city. With traffic engineer coming to the neighborhood, folks also wanted to let them look into:
1. Rodney greenway. There’s a lot of car traffic and it seems like cars are speeding. Still folks might not feel like biking on it. Is there an opportunity to reassess how well it’s working?
2.The turn lane on NE MLK when driving northbound and turning left onto Morris. The sensor doesn’t seem to work all the time. Noted that multiple folks have noticed having to wait through multiple cycles for it to turn.

Didn’t get to approve the minutes from last time since we didn’t have them.

LUTC Agenda for October 14th, 2019

Land Use and Transportation Committee

7:00-8:30 pm

Location: 120 NE Knott St

  1. 7:00 Open meeting, Welcome guests, Introductions (5)
  2. 7:05 Discuss agenda and accept any additions (5)
  3. 7:10 Earthquake Tech expansion plans (20) 
  4. 7:30 Discuss upcoming projects and if we want to get involved (50)
    1. Residential Infill Project, Better Housing by Design, and Anti-Displacement measures
    2. Lloyd-to-Woodlawn greenway and Safer 7th improvements.
    3. Broadway Toyota’s proposed parking structure
  5. 8:20 Approve Minutes (10)

How to Research Your Home and Understand Portland’s Built Environment

By Abby Morgan

As we see Portland change before our eyes, there is a number of proactive ways to invest in learning about and understanding the historic built environment through archives and community events this summer. Do you live or work in a historic property and want to know more about it? The opportunities to investigate are boundless, but below are just a couple of ways to get started. 

National Register of Historic Places

A free resource offered and operated by the National Park Service since 1966, The National Register of Historic Places is a national program that recognizes districts, sites, structures and buildings of historical significance. Homes listed on the NRHP can be designated for many reasons including architectural design. Their digital archives are available for viewing, for free, online. Is your home listed on the NRHP? If the previous owner took the steps to list your property on the register, then you are already off to a great start with your research. All you will need to do is search your property address in their index. Each historic designation is accompanied by a nomination form that dives into the property’s history. 

Not on the register but have a solid case to nominate your home? Start the process with NRHP or contact the City of Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Office about additional steps: 503-823-7700.

Oregon Historical Society- Address: 1200 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97205

Context will help your search. Cast a wide net by looking into census data, land and property records, et cetera before narrowing in on information about your property. Offered online or in-person, the Oregon Historical Society’s Davies Family Research Library is free and open to everyone. Make an appointment to visit their archives by emailing libreference at ohs dot org or calling 503-306-5240. 

Multnomah County Library

Like OHS, Multnomah County Library has a wealth of resources at your disposal. Check out their compiled list of house history research tools or join in on a guided tutorial. On Wednesday, July 10th from 2-4pm, learn how to research your home through The Historical Oregonian at their Central Library Computer Learning Center (801 SW 10th Avenue, Portland, OR 97205). Free; class registration required. (https://multcolib.org/events)

Architectural Heritage Center – Address: 701 SE Grand Ave., Portland, OR 97214

The Architectural Heritage Center’s mission is to “preserve the historic character and livability of our built environment, and to promote sustainability through the re-use of period homes and buildings.” While AHC occasionally offers research workshops and lectures, their summer programming is filled with walking tours of Portland’s historic districts. Though city-wide, if you’re interested in exploring neighborhoods near the Eliot, AHC will host walking tours of the Historic Albina and Boise-Mississippi neighborhoods at the start and end of the season. Cost per tour is $20 for the general public and $12 for AHC members; registration required. (visitahc.org/walking-tours/)

Historic Albina Tour 

Offered once or twice a year – check the website for future dates

The Boise & Mississippi Avenue Tour

August 17, 2019 from 10am-12pm

Letter from the LUTC Chair – Traffic Safety is a Must

Safety is a priority for the Land Use and Transportation Committee, and we want to make sure that folks in our neighborhood safely get to the places they want to go to. 

In the last year, we’ve had two students at Tubman hit by cars as they were walking to school. About a month ago, a woman was hit and killed on NE Broadway and Grand. Generally in Portland, “pedestrian fatalities have trended up over the last five years” according to PBOT’s Vision Zero website. Finally, over 50% of car crashes happen within 5 miles of home.

There are many potential reasons why things are getting less safe out there for people on foot. One possible reason is that cars are getting bigger and taller which means a more powerful impact. Also, the economy is doing well which means people are driving more. More driving, in general, leads to more crashes. 

There are many long term solutions that will ultimately make it safer for people. If the city and the neighborhood continue to work for the city to be more friendly for walking, biking, and transit, there are two benefits. Better biking, walking, and transit infrastructure typically means having some separated, safe place to travel by those modes which means you’d be less likely to be hit. Also, with more people taking those modes there will be fewer folks driving and fewer opportunities for folks to be hit. These are the types of things the Land Use and Transportation Committee usually advocates for.

So in the short term what can we do? Try to drive less. It’s summertime and the weather is great, so hop on a bike, walk or take the bus to the grocery store, or try out an e-scooter. Every trip that’s made outside of a car leads to a safer city for everyone. If you’re car shopping, consider getting a smaller car or a car with a lower bumper. Think about where your bumper would impact a kid if the car you’re driving came into contact with them. Finally, if you’re going to be driving around in the neighborhood, be safe: drive slow and stay alert.

Have a wonderful and safe summer!

Compatibility in a Conservation District

By Jonathan Konkol, AICP; Eliot LUTC Vice Chair

Picture of a cream and wood building with a white truck parked in front
Duplex under construction in the Boise Neighborhood. Photo credit Jonathan Konkol.

There’s a perennial debate in the design and planning world about what kinds of standards are appropriate for new development in a historical context. Should new buildings blend in, or stand in contrast? Is it “phony” or “context- sensitive” to replicate historic vernacular forms?

Continue reading Compatibility in a Conservation District

LUTC Meeting Minutes 2019-04-08

DRAFT- not yet approved

Minutes submitted by Allan Rudwick (recorder)

Started at 7pm. In attendance: Committee: Brad, Allan, Jonathan, Public: Monique, Zach. Developer: Marc, architect- didn’t get name. Kat from PSU.

– 3019 NE MLK development. (60)

  • 2 buildings – one on MLK and one behind with a pathway on the north side. Each building would have 2 1-floor units per building, 1 double-height unit on top.
  • Members were excited that something might be built on the site.
  • Design seemed to be relatively well done given the amazing amount of site constraints
  • Bike parking seemed like it was being forced onto the front of the building in a strange way that has no examples elsewhere
  • Street side ground floor unit- could it be a live/work space?
  • Full disclosure: developer currently lives next door to Allan.

– Other updates? (parking permit, N/S Neighborhood Greenway on 7th or 9th Ave, improving intersections around Tubman, revamping Rodney greenway, state housing bills) (15)

  • short discussions, nothing major to report

Motion: Add 2 members to the committee. Passed 3-0 (this has been ratified by the ENA Board)

  • Monique Gaskins, Zach

8:25 Approve Minutes (5)

  • minutes approved 3-0

LUTC Agenda for June 10th

Eliot Neighborhood Association

Land Use and Transportation Committee

Agenda June 10th, 2019

7:00-8:00 pm

Location: 120 NE Knott St

  1. 7:00 Open meeting, Welcome guests, Introductions (5)
  2. 7:05 Discuss agenda and accept any additions (5)
  3. 7:10 Discussion points (30)
    1. Should we write a letter of support for enforcement of m-overlay zones? (15)
    2. Letter about dangerous crossings in the neighborhood (15)
  4. 7:40 Other updates? (parking permit, N/S Neighborhood Greenway on 7th or 9th Ave, improving intersections around Tubman, state housing bills) (10)
  5. 7:50 Approve Minutes + confirm emails of new members (10)

Letter from the LUTC Chair — A Variety of New Developments

A lot is changing and more is going to be changing in Eliot neighborhood, in the city, and at that state level.

It’s a great time to join the Land Use and Transportation Committee to be part of the conversations around how we can influence these changes to help make our neighborhood better.

Continue reading Letter from the LUTC Chair — A Variety of New Developments