I’ll talk transportation first because there are a few things happening on this front. TriMet has a survey of what improvements they should make this year. There was a bump in bus funding statewide as part of a large transportation package that passed this year. At the top of Eliot’s priority list would be extending line #24 to NW Portland. The #24 is currently a marginally useful line that runs from Legacy Emanuel hospital east along Fremont to Gateway TC. The proposal is to have the line continue westward across the Fremont bridge to Goose hollow, connecting to the MAX on both ends.
Much has been made of the Eliot historic conservation district rezoning proposal. Most of residential Eliot is being down-zoned from R2 to R2.5 which is more reflective of what is currently on the ground and slightly limits what can be built after tearing down an existing house. (The corridors are mostly getting up-zoned slightly and a new mixed use zone instead of the RX or EX designation they had before.) See the Map App for detailed information.
We are in year 3 of Portland’s Comprehensive Plan process, which is almost 5 years late, mostly due to Portland’s famous “process.” The good news is that process provided Eliot with the opportunity to shape the Plan in more favorable ways. I will end with the bad news.
“It is difficult to predict, especially about the future.”
This quote is rooted in a Danish proverb according to the ever- reliable internet, although it has been attributed to a number of notables. Regardless, it is true. I personally subscribe to the maxim “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” One of Eliot’s predominantly German residents from the 1920s would still recognize many of Eliot’s homes, but would miss the streetcars along MLK and other streets, and the residential community that used to exist west of the gulch occupied by I-5. The number of automobiles would be a shock as would the lack of livestock in rear yards. Even indoor plumbing would be novel. But, their Eliot would still look a lot like ours. Many of the houses would be the same along with the streets, but the street names have changed over the years.
The Portland Comprehensive Plan is a long range 20 year plan for land use and infrastructure in the city. The plan is currently undergoing an update as mandated by the state of Oregon. Last fall, the deadline was extended for input so you still have time to submit written comment on the plan until March 13th 2015. The easiest way to comment is using the Map App.
If you are a property owner, you probably received this notice in the past month. Normally, a notice like this is cause for alarm, but not in this case. Two major changes are proposed in Eliot as part of the Comp Plan; changing R2 (one residence per 2000 sq ft) zones to R2.5 (one residence per 2500 sq ft) and changing all C (commercial) and E (employment) zones to “Mixed Use.”
The second Draft Comprehensive (Comp) Plan is out for review. As noted in previous columns, the State requires Portland to prepare a 20-year plan to accommodate expected future growth. The current Comp Plan was adopted in 1993 and is showing its age. The Draft Plan is expected to be adopted by City Council next summer. City planners are accepting comments on the plan through the end of October and a discussion of the Plan will be part of the General Membership meeting October 13th. This will be your best chance to comment before the final plan. Two public hearings are scheduled in October (the 14th and 28th), and comments can be submitted anytime using the “Map App” and other links on the Comp Plan web site.
The next milestone for the Comp Plan is July 21st. This is the day the next draft of the Plan and the interactive “map app” will be posted by Planning staff. The “map app” allows users to browse a Portland map with proposed zone and other changes to review and comment. The draft Plan will, I assume, expand on the text from the previous draft, which had whole sections yet to be written. Public outreach will follow posting of the plan including “open houses” and “notices of proposed zone change” to property owners. Assuming the next draft includes the Eliot Land Use Committee’s proposed zone changes, most property owners in Eliot will receive such a notice.
There isn’t much to report on but things that are pending may fill the entire fall issue of Eliot News! The “big” issues are the pending Williams and Rodney bike projects and the next version of the Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) proposal. Also, there are two developments proposed, one at Williams and Fargo and another at 7th and Brazee.
The Comprehensive Plan process continues. The second round of plan comments ended December 31. The Comp Plan, as it is called, is a 20-year blueprint for how the City of Portland envisions its growth and development in the upcoming two decades. It will affect how all of Portland’s neighborhoods and streets evolve, especially close in neighborhoods like Eliot. Some of the plan’s outlines were already agreed upon in the NE Quadrant Plan that was covered in the Eliot News previously. That two year effort proposed a number of changes to zoning along Broadway and into Eliot and west of Williams south of Russell.
The current Comprehensive Planning process provides city planners with a once every 20-year opportunity to rethink planning processes and tools. It is evaluating two tools that are important to Eliot as part of that process; the Ex zone and “institutional” (hospitals and colleges) land uses and users.
Eliot Neighborhood Association Proposed Comp Plan Zoning Amendments
Submitted by Mike Warwick, Land Use Chair
Our purpose is to protect and preserve the historic properties and character of the former City of Albina, to better align zoning to the prevailing development preferences of residential infill developers and to address underutilization of property over the past 20 years due to inappropriate zoning, both too high a residential density for single lots under separate ownership and parcels along MLK.
Portland is revising its Comprehensive Plan. Comp Plans are a State requirement and need to be revised every 20 years. Eliot land use and zoning is currently covered by the Albina Community Plan and the Eliot Plan within it. Previous columns discussed revisions to the Central City Plan. All these plans were adopted over 20 years ago.