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Street study comes to conclusions


Editor’s note: The following are Gateway and Parkrose neighborhood news briefs from veteran beat reporter Lee Perlman.

In August’s compendium, Perlman reports on the tentative conclusions reached by the 122nd Avenue study and on Parkrose School District Superintendent Michael Taylor’s views on his territory. This month Perlman also reports on the state of pedestrian traffic safety along 122nd Avenue, the ever successful Rossi Farms Barn Bash, new rules regarding the operations of neighborhood associations codified by City Council, East Holladay Park planning and finally, Columbia Knoll, the 335-unit mixed-age development on the old Shriner’s Hospital on Sandy Boulevard, has its first renters move in.

122nd study reaches tentative conclusions
Attendees enjoy scrumptious chicken dinners at the Rossi Farms Eighth Annual Barn Bash held last month at the 125 year-old farm located at Northeast 122nd Avenue and Shaver Street in Parkrose. We lost the names of these partygoers, but would like to identify them in the next issue. The first person to call the Memo with all the names will receive two free tickets to next year’s Rossi Farms Barn Bash. Because this event has so many products and services donated, $17,000 was raised in one evening in support of the Parkrose Youth Activities Fund.
Having studied the issue for nearly six months, city planner Barry Manning and his associates are nearing recommendations for development regulations on Northeast and Southeast 122nd Avenue.

As expected, their tentative proposals call for relaxing current development regulations on the avenue, especially relating to automobile sales, but less so at and near the intersections of Northeast Glisan, East Burnside and Southeast Stark streets.

“Because of its proximity to a major MAX station, the intersection at 122nd and Burnside is envisioned as a mixed-use ‘node,’ with housing as a main component,” the conclusions read. “The intersections of 122nd with Glisan and Stark are current locations for retail and services, and the concept calls for building on this foundation in a more pedestrian-friendly manner. To encourage the envisioned development at these three intersection ‘nodes,’ exterior display and storage would not be permitted in new development. Existing uses at the nodes with exterior display could be allowed to reconfigure under certain conditions.”

And what does an “intersection node” mean? Manning recommends it include everything within “200 to 300 feet” of Glisan and Stark streets and 122nd Avenue, and “300 to 400 feet” of the Burnside MAX station. Within this area, in addition to there being no exterior display, buildings can be set back no more than 10 feet from the sidewalk.

Elsewhere on the street, exterior display of cars and other merchandise would be allowed - a major goal of Ron Tonkin and other dealers - and buildings could be set back as much as 20 feet, although a landscaped buffer at the sidewalk would be required. Another requirement is that not more than 50 percent of the frontage be given over to “open vehicle parking, storage and display.”

The study calls for pedestrian safety aids such as curb extensions and center medians within the nodes. They also call for pedestrian islands at selected locations - specifically, at the Midland Library, north and south of Northeast Davis Street, and between Southeast Pine and Oak streets. The study is less specific on the touchy subject of on-street parking; it simply calls for further study beyond observing that “current on-street parking...is not utilized to its full potential,” and that some “unused parking areas are being used as de facto travel lanes, potentially endangering bicyclists and pedestrians.”

Previous studies called for the dedication of property for new streets when large parcels were redeveloped, with the intent of eliminating excessive driving or walking to get through the district. Currently, the study notes, the area has “a widespread and discontinuous network of streets.” However, as the study also noted during public input, “There was general consensus that a ‘tailored approach’ to circulation was appropriate in the study area. Specifically, attendees felt that this area of Portland has a very different street and block pattern from the grid found in close-in sections of Portland.” Thus the study merely calls for a “master street plan” for the area.

The study team plans to work on refinement of these proposals during the rest of the summer before bringing final recommendations for public review and City Council adoption by year’s end.

Contact Gay Greger at Portland Parks & Recreation at 503-823-5113

For more information about the process, or to pre-register for the design workshop visit http://www.portlandparks.org/Planning/eastholladaypark.asp.

Columbia Knoll tenants soon to start moving in
Residents will soon be moving into Columbia Knoll, a 335-unit mixed-age development on the old Shriner’s Hospital property on Northeast Sandy Boulevard at 82nd Avenue. Management spokespeople say that some of the buildings of the Terrace, a series of multi-unit structures providing affordable family housing, should be complete by late July or early August. Meanwhile the Heights, a senior housing structure at the top of the hill, should be complete by Dec. 15, ahead of its original schedule. For more information about the 10-acre complex, call 503-203-1094.

Pirates invade Rossi Barn Dance
Once again, Joe Rossi and sidekick Tom Mannen managed to come up with something new for the eighth annual Rossi Farms Barn Bash, although some might say it was a bit of a stretch.

Mannen, who produces western-themed films through his Turkey Creek Productions, found that Oscar Wilde once visited Tombstone, Ariz. in the wild days of the 1880s. Observing the colorful scarves and bandannas sported by local gunslingers, he called them “land-locked pirates.”

In past years Mannen has produced original short films about the early days of Parkrose, starring members of the Rossi family, and screening them for Barn Bash guests. This year he pretended to direct a scene from such a production, only to have his actors dressed as pirates - cutlasses, peg legs, eye patches, even a parrot - thanks to a befuddled wardrobe mistress.

Mannen says he’ll be filming for real later this summer for a film to be shown at next year’s dance.

There was more entertainment from a civil war re-enactment troupe complete with cannon. The Last Rodeo Band and local singer Tracy Klas provided the music. Rossi Farms and the Parkrose Lions fed the hungry, Widmer Brewing Company the thirsty.

The event took in $17,000 - up $1,000 from last year - for the Parkrose Youth Activities Fund, which augments very stressed budgets for activities in and out of local schools.

Joe Rossi credits employee Amy Salvador, the event’s organizer the last three years, for much of its success. “There’s a theme every year to the comments I get afterward,” he told the Memo, “and this year everyone said how well it was organized. That’s due to Amy.”

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