Local Issues

Bridgeton Neighborhood letter

Morgan Steele
Bureau of Development Services
Land Use Services

1900 SW 4th Avenue
Suite 5000
Portland OR 97201

Case File: LU 20-116560 EN

Dear Morgan Steele
Bureau of Development Services
Land Use Services:

Due to the pandemic we received your notice after the prescribed deadline. We encourage you to take into account our insights and requests anyway.

The Bridgeton Neighborhood strongly supports the Columbia Children’s Arboretum. It is a vital resource to our community. The proposed improvements to the path through the arboretum will improve access to younger families with children and our older neighbors that require surer footing.

The application provides clear evidence that responsible organizations can manage the tree canopy without being unduly limited by the tree code. The CCA has been allowed to remove trees that no longer fit their purpose and replace them with different species and locations. We urge you to consider this for non-governmental agencies as well.

The proposed changes stop short of providing better access to the arboretum for pedestrians. Neighbors in East Columbia and Bridgeton as well as Portlanders taking the bus must walk on 6th Avenue NE to reach the Arboretum. The speed limit on 6th Avenue is 40 miles per hour and there is no sidewalk. We are in support of creating a sidewalk on the eastern side of 6th Ave. NE from NE Marine Drive to the Arboretum. The improvements to the arboretum path will increase usage while simultaneously increasing the risk of pedestrian fatalities on NE 6th Ave. We request that the City of Portland accept this as a Condition of Approval and direct PBOT to construct the sidewalk.

Sincerely,

Erik Molander
Land Use Chair
Bridgeton Neighborhood Association
epmolander@gmail.com

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Local Issues

Arboretum improvements to begin

The Environmental Review of the planned changes in the Columbia Children’s Arboretum is now open for public comment. If you live nearby, you got a notice in the mail. You can see the notice at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/article/757002 .

If you would like to comment, please get your written comments in before the deadline of 5 pm on April 8.

This plan is the result of efforts of many people, and led by Dick and Gyrid Towle who worked for over 8 yrs with Parks staff and Commissioners Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz to obtain funding for an ADA and more accessible park. An advisory group met the summer/fall of 2018 to review plans and advise the project. Parks planners have worked on the permitting for the past year having to get approvals for a number of zoning challenges to get to the filing of this Environmental Review.

The plans include a hard surface path, improved parking and an open shelter for group activities.

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Local Issues

Wetland Inventory: canceled

The city of Portland is updating its wetlands maps. If your property is deemed to have wetland characteristics, it may be subjected to increased zoning restrictions.

To find out more, come to an OPEN HOUSE on Thursday, March 26 between 5:30 and 7:30 pm at Multnomah County Drainage District Office, 1880 NE Elrod Drive, Portland 97211.

You can also learn more by calling a helpline at 503-823-4225.

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City wide issues

Homeless helpers recognized

Partnership between government and non-profit working to address issues of homelessness and public safety receives statewide recognition

Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare and Multnomah County Drainage District Partnership Recognized with Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) Award

February 6, 2020 – Portland, Ore. – Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare and the Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD) were recognized with an Outstanding Special District Program award by the Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO) for the organizations’ joint efforts to address safety and infrastructure issues through a Houseless Outreach & Coordination Pilot Project. The SDAO’s Awards Program recognizes innovative accomplishments by organizations that improve safety, public information and involvement in their communities.

The combination of increased housing costs, health care, and other factors have led to an increase in homelessness in metropolitan areas across the United States. With limited places to live, communities in the Portland-metropolitan area have resorted to camping along the Lower Columbia River and in areas protected by a series of federally authorized levee and water conveyance systems extending from North Portland to Troutdale. This increased activity has made it difficult for field employees to perform regular maintenance work, and in some instances, has caused unintentional damage to the levee system – posing greater flood risks for unhoused communities, thousands of residents, businesses, and some of the region’s most vital resources including the Columbia South Shore Well Field, a source of drinking water serving nearly a million Oregonians, and the Portland International Airport. In order to address these issues, MCDD and Cascadia formed a collaborative partnership and launched the Houseless Outreach & Coordination Pilot Project in 2019.

Through targeted outreach, education, and engagement, the project addressed safety concerns and minimized damage to flood risk-reduction systems with the added benefit of providing education and support services to individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as serving as a line of communication to vulnerable communities in low-lying areas during high water events. “The ability for our field crews to work closely with trained social service professionals on the ground allowed us to perform our core job functions while also gaining greater awareness of the conditions of people who are unhoused in our community,” said Randy Lyons, Operations Manager for MCDD. In addition to working with social services, the project also incorporated ongoing collaboration with other regional service organizations, law enforcement, government agencies, property owners, and the general public.

The project met its goal of improved safety and operations for MCDD and its systems, and expanded education and access to healthcare and housing services for individuals experiencing homelessness. With a total of 250 hours of outreach, MCDD and Cascadia made 148 contacts, provided education and information to 88 individuals, and enrolled nearly 20% of the individuals contacted in services over a period of six months. Additionally, in partnership with District staff, the program ensured the safety of approximately 50 individuals by prompting an evacuation from a low-lying peninsula during a high-water event in April 2019.

“When doing outreach in the community, our main goal is to connect with individuals who are struggling and help them get the support and resources they need,” said Kim James, Program Manager of Homeless Services at Cascadia. “We were thrilled to partner with MCDD on this unique program and offer our expertise in reaching individuals who are experiencing homelessness. Collaboration is a critical component to finding solutions to the issues we face in our community.”

The Houseless Outreach & Coordination Pilot Project represents the benefits of a partnership among public and non-profit sectors. The collaboration between MCDD and Cascadia prioritized compassion and human connection, and allowed a service-first approach in order to avoid traumatic experiences that often occur with the presence of law enforcement and regulatory entities. Looking forward, MCDD and Cascadia will continue to work together to develop strategies and plans that improve efficiency and safety in field operations, as well as health and housing outcomes for those experiencing homelessness.

The Special Districts Association of Oregon will host its annual awards program on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at the Seaside Convention Center in Seaside, Oregon. To learn more about the Houseless Outreach & Coordination Pilot Project, visit www.mcdd.org
 
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ABOUT CASCADIA BEHAVIORAL HEALTHCARE
Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare is a private, not-for-profit whose mission is to provide whole healthcare for people living with mental health and addiction challenges. For information on Cascadia’s comprehensive range of innovative, integrated clinical and housing support programs, visit: www.cascadiabhc.org.

Cascadia Contact:
Jennifer Moffatt
Senior Director of Communications
jennifer.moffatt@cascadiabhc.org
503-402-8117                 
 
ABOUT THE MULTNOMAH COUNTY DRAINAGE DISTRICT
The Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD) helps protect lives and property from flooding by operating and maintaining flood management systems for nearly 13,000 acres of land along the Columbia Slough and the lower Columbia River. These systems include: 27 miles of levee, 12 pump stations, and 45 miles of sloughs, streams, and culverts. To learn more about MCDD’s flood risk-reduction services visit www.mcdd.org.

MCDD Contact:
Karen Lorena Carrillo
Public Affairs & Community Relations Manager
kcarrillo@mcdd.org 
503.281.5675 ext. 302 Want to change how you receive these emails?
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