At last month’s meeting, Argay Neighborhood Association board members approved not only a name change reflecting the neighborhood’s original name—adding “Terrace” after “Argay”—but also added four new board members, bringing the total to 11.
In addition, the board approved new, updated bylaws and finalized plans to launch a website controlled by them rather than bureaucrats at the East Portland Neighborhood Office (EPNO), the city’s umbrella organization for 13 recognized neighborhoods east of I-205.
The bylaws and name change had been on the table for months; however, with 10 out of 11 new board members animated by an apartment development to join the board, that’s been occupying a majority of the group’s efforts (“Argay still angry over farmland’s development” MCM September 2015).
Efforts to keep both Morris Court and Rose Parkway closed—two dead-end streets abutting the development—have been partially successful. With a building slated to block Morris Court, Rose Parkway is set to open into the neighborhood, which neighbors are fighting, contending that Northeast 148th should be the development’s only access.
The city, in the form of Development Review Manager Kurt Krueger, has repeatedly told the group that 148th is unsafe and that the development needs to open into the neighborhood, abrogating neighbors’ wishes.
However, neighbors say conflicting traffic reports on the safety of an entrance/exit from the development are proof that it’s a feasible argument to make. Furthermore, neighbors say with traffic from both sides already entering and exiting Northeast 148th, 60 or more cars wouldn’t matter. “Our position is since 148th [Avenue] is deemed safe for all the other traffic accessing it, it’s safe for everybody,” said Al Brown, ATNA land use chair.
Responding to the city’s intransigence, the recently renamed neighborhood association is activating and encouraging individuals to complain directly to the city. In addition, an official ATNA email, phone and letter-writing campaign is being organized to lobby both elected politicians and bureau functionaries.
Furthermore, in a sign the group is acting independently of the city, plans finalizing a new website’s launch that will be in neighbors’ hands (www.argayterrace.org) were discussed. Currently, EPNO provides a website to all the neighborhood associations under its auspices as part of its mission; however, it maintains content control and owns the web addresses, which is why the association wants to control its own content and message, not the city.
The group’s regular general membership meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 17 at Portland Fire & Rescue Station No. 2, 4800 N.E. 122nd Ave.