The Southwest Portland Post. (Portland, Oregon) 2007-current, January 01, 2008, Image 1

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Burlingame • Capitol Hill
• Garden Home • Glen
Cullen • Hillsdale
• South Portland
• Multnomah Village
• Raleigh Hills • Vermont
Hills • West Portland
Southwest Portland’s Independent Neighborhood Newspaper
Volume No. 16, Issue No. 3
Portland, Oregon
Readers respond to
our story about
dogs in Gabriel Park
-- Page 2
January 2008
Southwest community divided
over park fee increase
By Lee Perlman
The Southwest Portland Post
The Portland City Council last month
heard three hours of public testimony
for and against a proposed increase
in park-related development fees.
Southwest community activists were
represented on both sides of the issue.
The Portland Bureau of Parks and
Recreation proposes to increase the
Systems Development Charges (SDCs)
that it imposes on new development
from an average of $3117 per unit to
$8632 per unit in the central city. The
fee would increase to $7,879 elsewhere.
They would also impose a new SDC
charge for commercial development
or expansion at a rate of $410 per em-
ployee. Currently, the bureau says, the
fees pay 26 percent of the cost of the
new parks that increased development,
and the population it brings, needs. The
rate ranks 12th among 14 state jurisdic-
tions that have such fees.
The increase would make Portland’s
rates the highest in the central city, and
second highest to Sherwood elsewhere.
They would pay for 75 percent of the
cost of needed new parks.
“We all have our favorite parks,
we all treasure our parks, and (since
1998) they are recognized as part of
our infrastructure,” Commissioner
Dan Saltzman, who oversees the Parks
Bureau, told the City Council.
According to Saltzman, “Access to
parks is extremely important. (Develop-
ers) pay for the impact of growth, which
is a fair way to pay for the infrastructure
that’s needed for growth. The business
community has consistently supported
our parks. Livability is consistently
at the top of the list when businesses
decide where to locate and relocate.”
While no one questioned the need
for park development, business groups
complained that the amount of the
increase was excessive, and would
seriously hinder housing and business
Representatives of the Portland Busi-
ness Alliance, Building Owners and
Managers Association, National Asso-
ciation of Industrial Office Properties,
Home Builders Association, Columbia
Corridor Association, Small Business
Advisory Council and Commercial Real
Estate Economic Coalition all made this
Beverly Bookin of the Commercial
Real Estate Coalition said the City
Council needs to look not just at this
increase, but also at the cumulative
impact of all fees and charges on de-
velopment. Jim McCauley of the Home
Builders suggested that instead of tradi-
tional park development the city utilize
“surplus lands” owned by government
jurisdictions or dual uses of open spaces
such as the grounds of “Jackson and
Stephenson schools.”
Jim Thayer, president of the South-
west Hills Residential League, took
this position. He agreed that parks are
important, and said that in business he
has recruited firms to come to Portland
“often on the basis of our splendid park
However, he said, with an economic
downturn looming and two new bond
measures being proposed, the proposed
increase is “too dramatic too fast.” He
also complained that he received notice
of the proposal for the first time on
November 2. “The process needs to be
fixed,” he said.
Don Baack, chair of the Hillsdale
Neighborhood Association and the
Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. Trails
Committee, agreed with this last asser-
tion. “This is not citizen involvement,”
he said. He also aired some long-stand-
ing grievances with the Parks Bureau.
According to Baack, SWNI had rec-
ommended developing new park land
in the Collins View neighborhood, “and
parks instead, for their own reasons,
added land to Gabriel Park.” When he
began to develop the southwest trail
network, he said, “Everyone I talked to
said don’t go through the Park Bureau.
It will take too long and cost twice as
Margot Barnett of West Portland Park
took issue with Baack and Thayer on t
(Continued on Page 3)
Tuba Christmas
This classic buckboard carriage is pulled by two draft horses as a part of the Holiday Gala
in the Village, December 8. Sponsored by the Multnomah Village Business Association,
the ride starts and ends at Key Bank on Southwest 35th Avenue and Troy Street. (Post
photo by Don Snedecor)
Southwest Trails committee plans system of
bicycle boulevards
By Lee Perlman
The Southwest Portland Post
The Southwest Trails Committee has
prepared a draft recommendation to
the city for official bikeways through
southwest Portland, many of them low-
cost bicycle boulevards.
Both Trails Committee chair Don
Baack and city transportation planner
Greg Raisman credit volunteer Keith
Liden for spearheading the effort.
The Portland Office of Transportation
sent out notice earlier this year that it
was upgrading its official bicycle route
map, “and we realized we in Southwest
hadn’t done nearly as much work as
other areas in identifying good routes,”
Liden told The Post.
Moreover, the plan in existence needs
updating. “It emphasizes putting bike
lanes on big streets like Dosch, Sunset
and Taylors Ferry,” Liden said.
“They’re all expensive and difficult
to do. We could wait for Santa Claus to
come bring us a bag of money, but we
decided it was better to take advantage
of the streets we do have.”
Their method of doing so was to pro-
pose a system of bike boulevards. These
are designated routes on streets where
the traffic volume is low enough that
bikes and cars can safely share the road
without the use of lanes designated
exclusively for bikes.
Liden’s effort started with “some
folks sitting around a table with a map
and magic markers.” The group took
six rides to “investigate what works.
People said things like, ‘Oh, Jesus,
this is steep!’ and ‘We’d need to do
something about that intersection.’ We
The Southwest Portland Post
7825 SW 36th Ave Suite #203
Portland, OR 97219
More than 200 tubas (including a number of Sousaphones) performing songs of the
season as well as a crowd sing-along, at the 17th Annual Tuba Christmas, December
15 at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Like last minute shopping, for many the tuba
concert has become a holiday tradition. (Post photo by Don Snedecor)
whittled down what we had to at least
a draft list.”
This was aired at an early December
open house at the Multnomah Center
attended by about 50 people. Liden and
his committee were still processing the
feedback they have received.
Examples of proposed boulevards
are Southwest Boundary Street and
Fairmount Boulevard. They also have
identified a route utilizing several lo-
cal streets between Gabriel and Kelly
For these routes the committee is call-
ing principally for directional signage,
but also some improvements to aid in
the safe crossing of busy streets.
They are asking for bike lanes on
some particularly steep uphill areas
where bikes must slow to a few miles
an hour. They are also calling for some
new bike lanes to complete partial
routes, such as a lane along Southwest
Vermont Street between Capitol High-
way and Gabriel Park, and on lower
Dosch Road between Beaverton-Hill-
sdale Highway and Boundary Street.
“We probably have more routes now
than we really need,” Liden said, but
this could give the city a range of choice
if one of the routes proves problematic.
For instance, they have several routes
that cross Southwest Taylors Ferry
There are few places where there are
traditional intersections on the road,
and “Taylors Ferry is not a street you
want to ride a bike on any further than
you have to,” he said.
At press time the subcommittee was
set to air its proposals at a second open
house on December 29. It can be viewed
at, or at