On Oct. 10, approximately 60 people gathered for a planning forum on improving 82nd Avenue, Portland’s eastern border until the mid-’80s. Portland Mayor Charlie Hales keynoted after a microphone-and-speaker feedback-challenged emcee. The crowd was attentive; refreshments were served.

Co-hosted by the 82nd Avenue Improvement Coalition and Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the community forum was held at Jade/APANO (Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon) Multicultural Center off 82nd Avenue at Southeast Division.

Hales said Portland’s population is expected to grow by 200,000 in the next 20 years, and planning for that growth must begin now. 82nd Avenue will become the Avenue of Roses lined with infill centers and corridors with higher, mixed-use buildings that are more attractive and friendly to both residents and businesses. Most attendees, by an overwhelming show of hands during the keynote, signaled to the presenters they could get away with city planner-speak, the jargon of which the presenters spoke fluently. For the remaining few who didn’t understand the lingo, helpful handouts were available that explained and illustrated key concepts like permeability, capacity, accommodation and greenness. High permeability means a high degree of accessibility, whether to another street, to another building, another business, another residence, etc. High capacity means a high degree of space to accommodate one’s presence. High accommodation allows for outdoor seating or informal contact, walk-up business, buildings closer to the street and visually broken up by facades’ physical, textural and color articulation. As always, green means low-carbon building standards and large trees or eco-roofs.

There will be some resident dislocation of those living along, not just on, 82nd Avenue, which is why many attendees were present by invitation—because their residences might be jeopardized by the proposed mixed-use zoning project. Public hearings and adoption by city council are slated for spring 2016.

For information, contact 82nd Avenue Improvement Coalition chair Brian Wong at wong.brian57@yahoo.com or call him at 971-221-4718.