Willamette Neighborhood Association
September 10,2008, 7:00 PM
The meeting was called to order by president Beth Kieres at 7pm in the Pacific West Bank community room.
1. Attendance: Beth Kieres, Buffalo Zobel, Elizabeth Rocchia, Andy Rocchia, Linda Paige, Carol Yates, Shannen Knight, Julia Simpson, Keith Stuart, Karen Stuart, Ruth Offer, Gail Holmes.
2. Minutes from July 08: were unavailable to read and approve.
3. Treasurers Report: After introductions, the treasurer’s report was given. The current balance in the WNA account is $2273.90 with few expenses anticipated this coming year.
Committee Reports/Community news
Police/Fire Advisory Committee Report: No report from the Police or Fire Departments this month.
10th Street Traffic Task Force:
Background: Sometime during planning and construction of the new Willamette Marketplace, the city began exploring potential traffic solutions that were anticipated to occur at 8th and 10th streets. One decision made was that the developers were to provide a budget of $800,000 to pay for the proposed traffic light for that location.
Current Events: The 10th Street Task Force met August 11th and Ruth Offer attended for WNA and reported that the businesses located on 8th were present at the meeting as well. During the meeting, ODOT claimed to own the 8th/10th intersection from a 1968 deed thus complicating the approval for installation of a traffic light at this intersection. The City is now looking into ODOT’s claim. A multi-governmental agreement will be needed before any progress can occur. No other monies are available for traffic mitigation in this area.
Willamette Falls Historic District Application update:
Willamette Historic District application will be presented to the State Historic Review Board on Oct 9th. Ruth Offer is planning to attend the meeting. The next step will be the National Parks Board which oversees historic properties. Gail Holmes reported that funds for a consultant were matched with WL city funds. Ruth will go door to door to inform residents within the boundaries. There are multiple benefits to the designation; some tax advantages, benefits for home owners with historical home improvements, national recognition as a historical area and the pride that comes with this, special signage, and tourism benefits as well.
Planning Commission Activity:
Holiday Inn Express Hotel August 26th special meeting
The Holiday Inn Express made a presentation August 26th at the WL Library. Beth reviewed the highlights of the meeting and discussion followed. Height, signage, traffic, tree removal, wetland mitigation, and proximity to a grade school were issues discussed. The following motion was made, seconded and passed but not unanimously:
The WNA does not support the Holiday Inn Express application because of the following concerns:
1. Feasibilty of wetland mitigation by developer-discussions and feedback from area residents and professionals questioned that there were no other wetland areas that could be mitigated to balance out what will be filled in at the building site.
2. Preservation of the oak tree on the applicant’s property-discussions from area residence supported keeping the tree and moving the building to keep it.
3. Proximity to the bus stop for young children and proximity to their school due to the transient nature of the motel clientele was a concern for some area residents and may require rerouting the school buses.
4. Variance requested for the height needed for a 4 story structure-discussions of residents did not support the additional height of the building over and above the code for esthetic reasons. It was also suggested the some additional screening from tree plantings in the divider between Willamette Falls Drive and the residential Willamette Falls Drive should be considered to help screen some of the homes facing the proposed hotel.
5. Inadequacy of parking spaces for the hotel and the adjacent lawyers’ office parking agreement-this discrepancy of parking spaces to rooms seemed unusual and concerning to area residents. The hotel owners admitted to making an agreement with the neighboring law office to give them some of their required parking spaces in return for some of the property to fulfill their parking lot needs. So in essence, the parking lot needs of the hotel will not actually be met.
6. Apprehension for the preservation of the character of the Willamette district-some neighbors felt that the hotel at this particular location was more in the neighborhood and less in the town area. They questioned the success of the hotel because of the location.
It was requested that these minutes be sent to the Planning Commission.
Willamette Centennial Committee:
The final event; Willamette Living History Tour will take place Saturday September 20, 2008. Tickets are available at the Farmers Market look for Beth and Danny at the Centennial booth. Or, for more information please visit the website at www.willamettecentennial.org
To order tickets, contact Danny Schreiber at 503- 723-9688.
Addendum to committee report: The weekend of October 4th and 5th the Centennial committee is laying the Centennial Path in Willamette Park. This project was supported by the City and the Parks and Recreation department has excavated the path. James Manning, co-chair of the Centennial Committee, suggested the path as one final project to complete an amazingly fun and productive centennial celebration year for Willamette. Please note:
James solicited donations for all the bricks and organized volunteers for laying the path on the weekend of October 4th and 5th. Any local DIYers are welcome to call him and help out that weekend (503-655-4228 James’ phone). The WNA will provide food and drinks for the group over the course of the two days. Any volunteers for food service are welcome to call me ( Beth 503-722-1531).
Lockfest: Saturday, September 13th at Willamette Falls.
Willamette Art Festival: Saturday September 13th and Sunday September 14th at Willamette Park, West Linn.
Planter Clean up:
Saturday, September 20th from 9-11 am.
Clackamas County Historic Review Board: will hold a public hearing on the request of steve Tekander to present the remodeling of the Berlin Bear Restaurant at 1889 Willamette Falls Drive. The meeting is scheduled for September 24th in the Willamette conference Room at City Hall 22500 Salamo Road in West Linn.
Next WNA Meeting: October 8, 2008, starting at 7pm at Pacific West Bank in Willamette Marketplace. Current agenda items for
October: Renewal of funding for school operation ballot measure 3-307 Presented by: Michele Beyer, West Linn Co-Chair Coalition for Excellent Schools, and introduction and discussion with city council candidates who attend. Invitations will be extended to them.
General comments: The block party was the best part of the Centennial celebration. Because of the great response and enthusiasm, it would be nice to repeat it annually.
Andy Rocchia suggested the WNA sponsor a forum of business and commercial property owners to discuss long range vision and goals for Willamette. With hard economic times upon us, rents rising and businesses closing or moving, the community needs to think about its future. A brainstorming session that could lead to a “Willamette Plan” would be helpful. Andy agreed to investigate the interest level in the community and the Chamber of Commerce.
The meeting adjourned at 8:45pm.
Beth Kieres and Elizabeth Rocchia