|Argay Neighborhood Association builds coalitions with apartments
Editors note: For your reading pleasure, we present Perlmans potpourri a roundup of news items from the Gateway and Parkrose neighborhoods of Mid-Multnomah County from veteran Beat Reporter Lee Perlman.
Perlman starts Decembers potpourri with good news about funding of the 102nd Avenue Project in the heart of the Gateway district. Next, Perlman reports on the efforts of Argay Neighborhood Association Chair Valerie Curry to clean up the part of her neighborhood populated with large, low-rent apartment buildings, a Buddhist Temple and a Kmart.
In last months offering, Perlman reported on the fight to keep a family-oriented 21-and-over bar and grill out of the Wilkes neighborhood. In this months chapter, the Wilkes Community Group loses this battle as the Oregon Liquor Control Commission tells them there is nothing they can do to stop it.
Ah, good news for the friends of Senns Dairy Park; they get funding for projects at this Parkrose park.
What would a Perlman potpourri be without news of Gateway Urban Renewal efforts? Wed call that an incomplete potpourri. Not to worry, this month as usual, Perlman lets us know about the Gateway goings on in two informative items no less. The first is about the strategy for Central Gateway, or Prunedale. Someone at one of these meetings said that the Central Gateway area (see the boundaries defined in the Central Gateway Strategy developed item) used to be called Prunedale. Do any of you readers remember the area being called this? The second urban renewal item has to do with defining the term affordable housing (you say tomato and I say towmotto) and how much of our Gateway Urban Renewal area should be dedicated to affordable housing.
On to Hazelwood Neighborhood Association news; Perlman goes with two items. The first about the associations support for a proposed bicycle and walking trail from the Sullivans Gulch neighborhood near Lloyd Center to Gateway. The second about its generous gift of gravel to a homeowner on a potholed street of which we have more than our share in Mid-county who said neighborhood associations dont fulfill their potential?
TriMet has agreed, albeit reluctantly, to install a new traffic signal and build traffic control devices and improvements around its new park-and-ride lot adjacent to the I-205 light rail station theyre constructing.
Perlmans final two items are about parks the Glenhaven Skatepark adjacent to Madison High School and the Hazelwood HydroPark, adjacent to a water tower.
102nd improvement funding
Gateway advocates weighed in on behalf of additional funding for the 102nd Avenue Project at a recent hearing on Metro: Metropolitan Transportation Improvement Program budgets. MTIP funds are distributed by Metro to projects in the tri-county area. Typically, the cost of potential projects far exceeds the money available, and there is intense competition for the funds.
The 102nd Avenue Project would reconfigure the street to provide for four traffic lanes, a center turn lane interrupted at strategic points by pedestrian islands, bike lanes, street trees and other pedestrian amenities between Northeast Weidler and Southeast Washington streets. At one time the city felt it had enough funding for the whole project, but with inflation in the cost of building materials, it can now do only Weidler to Burnside. An MTIP grant of just under $2 million would allow the project to be completed.
Hazelwood Neighborhood Association representatives Linda Robinson and Arlene Kimura testified in favor of the appropriations. Robinson argued that the improvements are critical to new development in the area and we dont want to stretch it out for another five years. Kimura said that with regard to urban renewal and city activity in general, Theres a lot of skepticism to overcome. We dont want to leave this unaccomplished and leave people to say, Look, they didnt do what they promised.
N.A. says: Clean up Argay!
The Argay Neighborhood Association is working on coming together residents, businesses and apartment managers to become a better community.
There has been dissention between homeowners and tenants over problems such as litter, noise and unruly behavior, Argay Chair Valerie Curry told the Memo. Were all neighbors, we all live in this little village, we dont live in a slum. We want a safe place for our children to play. In every society there are people who dont share those ideals, but were appealing to people who do have a sense of order.
As a first step, the association, mostly peopled by Argay homeowners, sponsored a meeting with apartment managers and businesses at the north end of the neighborhood, adjacent to Sandy Boulevard. It was a really great meeting, Curry said. Those present said theyd like to do it again on a regular basis. Many who came said they subscribed to Argays values and discussed plans to upgrade their property. For example, the Columbia Station Apartments, at Northeast 134th and Sandy Boulevard, are building five large garages to help get tenant cars off the street. The 122nd Avenue Kmart is trying to do a better job of picking up abandoned shopping carts and will come for them if they are called in at 503-255-8903. Melrose Apartments are putting on a new coat of exterior paint. The Sandy Terrace Apartments, at 12800 N.E. Sandy Blvd., are renovating individual units as they become vacant. The Wat Buddharam Temple at Northeast 133rd Avenue is trimming its trees. The Willow Springs Apartments, at Northeast 125th Place, recently did a complete re-roofing and are now replacing gutters. Others, including the Stonehurst Apartments, an example of a good neighbor, also at Northeast 125th Place, have pledged to continue picking up litter conscientiously and aggresively screen prospective tenants.
With the assistance of Russell Chair Bonny McKnight, Curry is also seeking a $3,500 grant to do outreach directly to tenants. We have people doing things that are very destructive to the neighborhood, Curry said. We want to try to get them to think of this neighborhood as their neighborhood rather than as a place to trash. We want to get a community feeling going.
As part of the effort, Argay would attempt to recruit interested tenants (from the apartment complexes listed above) into the neighborhood association. To aid this, the association will seek the services of translators. Ive lived overseas, and theres nothing more difficult than to sit through a meeting when you dont know the language, and nothing more boring, Curry said.
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