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2009-03-11

Willamette Neighborhood Association March 11, 2009 Meeting was called to order by Beth Kieres. Introductions followed It was decided to rearrange the agenda and have the Main Street group first New Business Willamette Main Street Jamie Johnk. Clackamas County Main Street Coordinator with Clackamas County business and economic community development introduced the Main Street Program. She gave some background on the history and purpose of the program to assist the preservation and development of viable downtowns in communities across the nation. She outlined the 4 parts of the Main Street approach which are organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring. The committee for Willamette is recruiting volunteers for all parts. Jamie also elaborated on the program levels which are 1)Performing Main Street (Oregon City is the first in OR), 2)Transforming Downtown and 3)Exploring Downtown which is where we are in West Linn with Willamette as the initial community then Robinwood. The County has resources to assist the community including education and training sessions the first of which is scheduled for March 19 and 20 at Marylhurst and a local market analysis A partnership is sought between the County, City, chamber of commerce, the local businesses and the neighborhood. The Willamette Main Street group is working to develop a mission statement which was discussed and brain stormed with suggestions from the WNA and also to set measurable goals for the year and the first 3 years. They have defined the Main Street area as south of the I 205 from 4th to 16th including the historic business overlay zone, Willamette Market Place and 8th Court. They hope to: 1) Finalize the mission statement and their vision, 2) Establish the specifics of what they want to accomplish, 3)Identify the challenges to accomplishing the goals, 4) Identify and attract the businesses which are desired and compliment those here 5) Recruit volunteers and a strong board. Ideas from the WNA included flower pots by the businesses, lighting, public art, increased merchant involvement and raising awareness of Willamette’s downtown in the rest of West Linn. The Chamber of Commerce luncheon will be available to anyone for $20 at the Oregon Golf Club on 3/17/09. The Main Street will be the featured presentation A motion was made and seconded that the WNA send a letter to new businesses welcoming them to our community and inviting them to the WNA monthly meetings. Jerry Offer will draft the letter and Linda Neace will help by identifying the businesses. Motion passed unanimously. Savanna Oaks Property Roberta Schwarz presented information on the White Oak Savanna a 20 acre piece on the hillside above the 205. It is a unique ecosystem and wild life habitat. The City Council has approved a resolution to support the acquisition the property with the understanding that the cost would be shared by the Trust for Public Lands and other donors. 14 acres of the property is white oak savanna and 5.6 acres is potentially developable. The property would become part of the city parks system for the City to maintain. Roberta suggested this could be a destination drawing people to the downtown Willamette. She also pointed out its value to school children and others as “nature in the neighborhood”. At the conclusion of her presentation, Roberta provided a prepared statement for the neighborhood to endorse. The WNA discussed the need for adequate parking at the site, restroom facilities and perhaps an interpretive center if not a multiuse community space. There were questions about whether there would restrictions on such amenities if the area were deemed a “natural park forever” as the resolution that Roberta presented stated. It was not felt we could support the resolution as presented without knowing the restrictions that might be involved but there is a general recognition of the value of this opportunity. A motion was made and seconded that the Willamette Neighborhood support the City of West Linn acquiring the Savanna Oaks Property. Motion passed unanimously (13 ayes, 0 nays 0 abstaining) This motion will be forwarded to Roberta Schwarz. Willamette Neighborhood Association vision update 2009 This was presented to the City Council at a work session. We will move forward on each of the specific items throughout the year. Announcements There are 2 upcoming preapplication meetings. 1) at 4835 Willamette Falls Dr. An historic landmark home is converting to office 2) 1697 5th Ave request for accessory dwelling behind the existing garage, not to be any higher or wider than the existing structure. There was discussion about the need for the WNA to have representative at preapplication meetings. Buffalo Zobel expressed willingness to do this as did Jerry Offer. The City provides training for this and Beth will find out more information Take Care of West Linn day May 16. WFDr planters and Centennial pathway in the park. More next meeting Meeting Adjourned Next Meeting April 8 7pm Submitted, Stephanie Nicoletti, acting as Secretary