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January 2008 meeting minutes

Mt. Tabor Neighborhood Association
Regular meeting minutes
January 16, 2008

Board Members present:  Cascade Anderson Geller, Mark Bartlett, Nadine Fiedler, Dave Hilts, Cathy Kuehnl, John Laursen, Paul Leistner, Justin Leonard, Bunny Marechal, Gayle Marechal, John McLaren, Nancy Norby, Bruce Treat and Bing Wong

Board members absent:  Clifford Carlson and Don Jacobson

Others present:  Estella Bernal, Brent Carpenter, Brent Charbonneau, Dallas DeLuca, Lynette Doht, Barbara Grimala, Tim Hall of the Water Bureau, Nancy LaPaglia, Gary Manougian, Michael Neuman, Dee Reddy, Jerry Shrall, Katie Shrall, Steve Slusarski, Dawn Smallman, Greg Snider, Steve Stenberg and Gene Tiehle 

Bing Wong led introductions.  Minutes from the November meeting were previously distributed via email and several copies were brought to this meeting.  With no changes, they were adopted upon motion by Dave Hilts and seconded by John Laursen.  Bing Wong presented the treasurer’s report. 


Michael Neuman says that the Belmont Area Business Association, which is in its fifth year, is looking to expand.  They are reaching out to include businesses on Stark and Burnside, from roughly 39th to 70th, and anything in or around that rectangle.  The idea is that eventually these businesses would spin off and form an association of their own.  The belief is that this area has been underserved.  Michael has agreed to be an ambassador.  Any interested parties are encouraged to contact him at 503-297-6087, or 

Officer Manougian of the Portland Police Bureau gave a report on recent crime activity in the neighborhood.  Thefts from cars are the leading crime though there were three or four residential burglaries.  GPS devices are frequent car theft items.  Officer Manougian advised to keep valuables out of sight.  Bicycle thefts are also up and he advised the use of the sturdier U-shaped locks instead of cables.  He also handed out materials regarding crime statistics and safety tips. 

Steve Stenberg of Warner Pacific College visited and informed us that WPC wants to improve its cafeteria and add space to McGuire Auditorium on its eastern side.  This update will trigger a type 2 land use review.  The conditional use Master Plan will need to be updated.  Pink flags in the dog park adjoining WPC are there to mark space regarding the new construction but WPC will not be cutting into any space in the dog park with new construction.  WPC will also be adding trees on Division Street.

Gayle Marechal announced that the annual clean up will be Saturday, May 10 at Mt. Tabor Middle School.  Mark your calendars and please volunteer if you can. 

Paul Leistner said that the underground storage tank is scheduled for removal from Tabor Commons in February and the hope was that Café au Play would open by the summer. 

Cascade Anderson Geller said that Portland Public Schools wants a bond to build new schools and enhance facilities. 

Old Business

Traffic Safety

Michael Neuman is still collecting traffic surveys for the neighborhood around Thorburn/Stark and 60th/76th streets.  PDOT has added directional lines at the intersection of 60th/Stark to assist traffic flow.  Some in the audience expressed confusion at the lines. 

Water Pipe Work on 60th and Area Around Adjacent

Tim Hall of the Water Bureau said that work directly on 60th will take 8-10 weeks.  The Water Bureau is seeking feedback on the contractors.  Lincoln Street is still being used as a staging area but some may overflow to Harrison.  The Water Bureau is still looking at a completion date for the project of November 2008. 

Committee Reports

Public Land Use

Mark Bartlett recently wrote a letter to Mayor Potter asking for more public involvement in city decisions on land use.  Mayor Potter responded that the city will be using the Planning Commission as representatives of public involvement.  Paul Leistner said that SEUL has contacted the city to voice its displeasure with this decision and that a meeting was set between SEUL and the city for January 28th.  Cascade Anderson Geller said that the public needs to be involved in public process. 

Land Use

Dave Hilts says that MTNA needs a representative at SEUL for their Land Use Committee. 

According to citizens at the meeting, the owner of the lot at 6371 SE Yamhill wants to divide the lot into at least four more houses.  Neighbors are concerned because of a fear that lots of trees will be eliminated and erosion control issues such as stormwater disposal.  Dave Hilts made a motion that was seconded by Nancy LaPaglia that MTNA write a letter opposing the owner’s current proposal.  Motion passed. 

Owners of the properties at 6132 and 6300 SE Yamhill St. would like to subdivide.  They believe that part of this process may involve removal of a large tree on one of the properties.  Many of the citizen’s in attendance opposed removal of the tree.

According to Mark Bartlett, there is a wall at 6401 SE Taylor Ct. that is ten feet into the right of way for pedestrians on the sidewalk.  Mark has filed a complaint with the city about this issue and feels like he is getting the run around.  Paul Leistner made a motion seconded by Bruce Treat that MTNA write a letter to BES and Bureau of Land Use supporting the complaint by Mark.  Motion passed.


Paul Leistner announced that Gary Berger has recently resigned as SEUL’s Land Use person and that SEUL was looking to fill the position.  Paul said that some grants had been funded.  Community Connect is going before city council on January 26. 

Friends of Mt. Tabor Park

Nancy Norby is now the President of Friends and she said that their winter meeting will be March 18 at the Western Seminary at 7 p.m.  Henry Kunowski will speak on the history of Portland’s park system at the meeting and John Laursen will give an update on the master plan process at the Mt. Tabor maintenance yard.  Nancy said that the dog off-leash area will soon receive gravel and bark to help with mud problems. 

Entryway Project

John Laursen said that the planting party on December 9 of various plants around the entryway sign was a success.  Unfortunately, he also relayed the bad news that on December 26, a driver coming west on Hawthorne had jumped the curb and damaged the entryway sign.  The entire basalt stone will have to be replaced but at least none of the plaques were damaged.  The driver’s insurer will be covering the replacement costs. 

Friends of the Reservoirs

Cascade Anderson Geller said that people were and will be gathering to oppose burying the reservoirs.  Paul Leistner made a motion, seconded by Nancy Norby that MTNA donate $300 to Friends for help in upgrading their website and to help with printing costs.  Motion passed. 

Mt. Tabor Park Master Plan Update

John Laursen reported that Portland Parks has hired a project manager to manage the process.  He said that 33 members consisting of citizens, downtown Parks employees and Mt. Tabor maintenance yard Parks employees make up the committee to determine the future of the yard.  Jamie Damon, who served as co-facilitator on the mediation process, has also been hired as the facilitator for this process.  John is optimistic of the work being done with Parks and was glad to see that this work is budgeted in Parks master budget.  The next meeting, always open to the public, will be in February but a date hasn’t been determined yet. 

Meeting adjourned at approximately 8:35 

The next MTNA meeting will be Wednesday, February 20 at 7 p.m. at the Presbyterian Church as SE 54th /Belmont.

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