|Maywood Park residents since 1948, Luella and Gene Young walk along Maywood Place.
|MEMO PHOTO: TIM CURRAN
Maywood Park citizens get involved
BY CAMI JONER
FOR THE MID-COUNTY MEMO
Residents say Maywood Park is a nice place to live. And they aim to keep it that way.
Everybody works for the good of everybody, said Werner Zeller, 94, a retired Providence Portland Medical Center surgeon and Maywood Parks former mayor.
Zeller helped found the tiny city, leading residents to incorporate in 1967 in a desperate attempt to save the subdivision from the construction path of Interstate 205. They lost the seven-year battle, but had launched a tradition of community involvement by the time I-205 cut through the city.
Maywood Park lost 82 homes to freeway construction, though residents still celebrate their victory in pressuring state officials to build I-205 below grade. Today, instead of resting beneath 30-foot-tall girders, the citys remaining 300 homes are perched high above the freeways east bank between cross streets Prescott and Fremont. A sound-wall barrier and a park-like greenbelt also protect the current population of nearly 800 residents from I-205, as freeway travelers race past, oblivious to the neighborhood.
|What you need to know about Maywood Park
BY CAMI JONER
FOR THE MID-COUNTY MEMO
In 1926, Columbia Realty Co. purchased a triangular-shaped parcel of forestland on the east side of Rocky Butte.
Commonwealth Inc. purchased the parcel with plans to build a neighborhood similar to the Laurelhurst and Eastmoreland neighborhoods in Southeast Portland.
Developer Arthur M. Taylor said in 1968 that his mother had originally suggested Maywood Park as the subdivisions name because she thought the wooded site was most attractive in the month of May.
The Great Depression stalled home building, but by 1939 there were 23 homes under construction in Maywood Park.
By 1943, the Maywood Park subdivision was complete, consisting of nearly 400 homes, considered fashionable for their eclectic architectural styles.
In 1967, residents voted to incorporate the neighborhood to fight plans to route Interstate 205 through Maywood Park.
Eighty-two homes were removed from the west side of Maywood Park to build the I-205 freeway in the early 1970s.
With a total area of 0.2 miles, the city of Maywood Park is presently bordered by I-205 on the west, between Prescott Street to the north and Fremont Street to the south. The citys eastern border is 102nd Avenue.
With a population of 777 people, Maywood Park is mainly made up of residential properties, with 314 housing units and two commercial sites, including a satellite campus of Mount Hood Community College.
Homeowners in Maywood Park reside within the Parkrose School District and pay property taxes to the city of Maywood Park and Multnomah County.
Maywood Park is governed by a five-member city council which meets on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.
The city pays for law enforcement and fire services through Multnomah County Sheriffs Office and Fire District 10.
Events include a yearly Christmas lighting contest, the annual Easter egg hunt, and a Fourth of July parade and barbeque.
Mayor - Mark Hardie
Councilor - Art Winslow
Councilor - Dave Snodgrass
Councilor - Steven Gothro
Councilor - Jim Akers
City of Maywood Park
10100 N.E. Prescott St., Suite 147
Portland, OR 97220
Theres really no reason to drive through Maywood Park, which gives the wooded, all-residential community a tranquil appeal, said current Mayor Mark Hardie. Our mission is to maintain our independence and keep this a safe place to live.
Hardie heads an all-volunteer city council and a new generation of activists in maintaining Maywood Parks identity with community events and beautification projects like the citys new welcome signs.
Our city is what it is because of active volunteers and citizen involvement, Hardie said. Thats what is great about Maywood Park.
Maywood Park was first planned as an upscale east-county subdivision in 1926, a period when Sandy Boulevard was the only connection to Portlands then-distant downtown core. Most of the neighborhoods Cape Cod and English-style homes were built between 1938 and 1943, said Ed Medak, owner of local firm Medak Realty.
The citys boundaries are completely surrounded by the city of Portland today, a unique situation that has long attracted buyers, Medak said.
Its always been a popular area. People like the fact that Maywood Park is its own city, he said.
Hardie said he and the city council want to keep it that way.
I dont know that we feel any direct pressure to be annexed, but I know Portland would love the tax monies that would come from $66 million in assessed values, Hardie said.
Maywood Park was outside Portlands boundaries when the smaller city incorporated in 1967. However, a few years later Oregon state legislators passed a statute that prohibits cities to incorporate in close proximity to another municipality.
Homes in Maywood Park typically sell for prices ranging between $250,000 and $350,000 on average, according to Medak. He said between 15 and 20 homes are sold annually in Maywood Park.
Taxes in the city of Maywood Park are approximately 25 percent less than the city of Portland, Medak said. That attracts people, too.
Residents also like the citys traditions, which include a yearly Christmas lighting contest, the annual Easter egg hunt, and a Fourth of July parade and barbeque.