PPS Proposes Boundary Change for Woodstock School

Next nearby community meeting: Monday, Nov. 23, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Lane Middle School, 7200 SE 60th Ave.

<em>PPS boundary-change map</em>
A detail from a PPS map, with dark gray
indicating the affected area.

Portland Public Schools (PPS) has proposed boundary changes that would route some children away from Woodstock School. The affected area — from approximately SE Martins south to Duke, and from SE 62nd east to 70th — lies outside the formal definition of the Woodstock neighborhood but contributes to neighborhood character and makeup nonetheless.

Woodstock School is home to a renowned Mandarin-language immersion program and has consistently high test scores among the city’s elementary schools, making it a coveted destination. PPS cites “balancing enrollment” among its reasons for the proposal. Woodstock students move on to Hosford Middle School and Cleveland High. The PPS proposal would route students in the affected area to Woodmere Elementary, Lane Middle, and Franklin High.

“Don’t Chop Woodstock!”

Parents in the affected area are understandably concerned, with many citing how they chose housing in the area based heavily on school boundaries. They have organized the “Don’t Chop Woodstock!” website to rebut the proposal. The website raises several points — including a claim that 35 children currently attending Woodstock would be removed from their cohort to attend Woodmere instead, and that the proposed boundary changes apparently would lead to overcrowding at Lane Middle School.

Parents, please share developments

One detail that seems less than clear so far is the full extent to which children would be uprooted. A PPS “Frequently Asked Questions” document relates that “current policy allows students already attending a school and their younger, incoming siblings to remain at that school following boundary change in most cases,” but also that “policy could be revised and other exceptions could be recommended.” Parents attending the meetings are warmly welcome to share the latest developments by adding comments below.


The New Seasons Effect: On Parking, Traffic and More

The view from aboveAfter nearly three weeks of New Seasons on Woodstock Blvd., some effects on the neighborhood have begun to emerge.

Parking

At the neighborhood association’s meeting earlier this month, New Seasons manager Mark Feuerborn said he has received complaints about customers and staff parking motor vehicles on neighborhood streets. Because such parking is lawful, the manager can’t greatly influence what customers do. But Feuerborn is seeking the most neighborhood-friendly option for his staff, which includes 15 to 20 people per day who arrive by car. He’s exploring whether they can use parking at or near one of the banks, with KeyBank seemingly the most logical alternative (though not during Farmers Markets, of course).

The Woodstock and 45th Intersection

Thanks to New Seasons’ impressive Treehouse Bar & Lounge, it’s possible to pull up a chair four stories above the intersection closely connecting the boulevard’s two grocery stores and observe the goings-on from a bird’s-eye view. (See photo.) You’ll see road users, with and without motors, attempting to turn right and left from both the main road and the cross-street. You’ll see people on foot using the unmarked crosswalk there, as is quite lawful. You’ll see people in vehicles occupying the main road’s center lane while waiting to turn, complicating the movements of people on the cross-street. In total, you’ll see more (and more complex) activity than the intersection most likely was designed for.

You can smooth your trip for now by counting on making only right turns — but maybe, over the long term, the intersection would merit some kind of upgrade commensurate with its sudden new role as the town center’s “dead center.”

Congestion and Speed

It’s less than empirical, but traffic on Woodstock Blvd. during most times of the day now seems a little more dense and therefore slower moving. That’s not a bad thing for a commercial district, because slower speeds can mean a better chance to cross the road for an errand once you’re out of your car — and it might encourage through-travelers to use alternate routes such as Steele, Holgate or Johnson Creek.

One Cunning Strategy

Keep in mind that it’s effectively an ecosystem: If you’re concerned about the potential for more car congestion (both parked and moving) and slower travel times when you drive the area, a cunning strategy would be to encourage other people to come without their cars. For example, be sure to watch for people walking and biking to the stores and give them a break in their crossings and turnings.

OK, Your Turn

What other aspects of “the New Seasons effect” have you observed in the neighborhood — maybe even beyond traffic and parking?


Celebrate Halloween on Woodstock!

Come celebrate Halloween in the neighborhood!

Stop by the Woodstock Library, Trick or treat at participating businesses, and come by the Community Center for a family-friendly party!

4:00 Not so scary stories at Woodstock Public Library
4:00 – 6:00 Trick or Treating at participating Woodstock businesses
4:30 – 8:00 Family-Friendly party at the Woodstock Community Center

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Land Use Committee Preps for Comp Plan Testimony

Wednesday, October 21 at 7 p.m. in the Woodstock Community Center, 5905 SE 43rd Ave.

One way you know you’re on Woodstock Boulevard is the mix of residences and businesses — sometimes in the same building. Among the questions that have faced the Land Use Committee in recent months, is how the new mixed-use zoning designations may affect the shape of development along Woodstock Boulevard.

On the agenda for the October 21st Woodstock Land Use Committee meeting, is the committee’s preparation of final testimony on Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan. Committee members will also discuss preliminary comments on the Discussion Draft of the Mixed Use Zones Project, which lays out the zoning regulations for the newly created Mixed Use Zones.

Comment deadlines are looming for citizen input to different aspects of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, and attending neighborhood LUC meetings is one of the best opportunities for familiarizing yourself with the draft, understanding the neighborhood context, and learning how to register your own concerns.

For example, how might the city’s proposed bonus system affect Woodstock? In other cities, bonus systems encourage developers to build affordable housing — typically by allowing additional building height even when zoning might otherwise preclude it.

Other Business

The committee submitted comments last March about the city’s draft comprehensive plan for the Woodstock area. A new round of comments is due before the city’s next hearing on November 19. This is your chance to review the previous comments and help determine what to add, omit, augment, or change.

Closely Related

Michael Molinaro, the SE Uplift representative on The Stakeholders Advisory Committee for the city’s Residential Infill Project, will present at the November 4 meeting of the Woodstock Neighborhood Association (7 p.m. at the Woodstock Community Center). If you’re concerned about neighborhood houses being replaced with ones of larger footprint and/or greater height, or by more than one “skinny” house, this might be a good one to attend.

 

Toward Easing Off-Leash Tension at Woodstock Park

Recent incident raises both fears and hopes

Dog and child together
Image courtesy of Nogginmama.com via a Creative Commons license.

Recently at Woodstock Park, a dog strayed from the off-leash area, entered the playground and left a six-year-old child on the swings with “scratches and one puncture-looking cut/bruise,” according to the mother’s account on Nextdoor.com. The incident rekindled concerns over the close proximity of the two areas and the absence of a barrier between them.

It’s unclear whether the encounter owed more to aggression or exuberance. The dog and its owner left the park quickly after the incident, which was covered by KATU news.

Discussion of the matter took up a good chunk of the Woodstock Neighborhood Association’s October meeting, attended by both concerned parents and ambassadors for the off-leash area. Among the significant points that emerged:

  • Both sides expressed grave concern and a desire to work together.
  • A neighbor and dog owner who volunteers as an “ambassador” for the off-leash area at Woodstock park said neither he nor others recognized the dog and its owner as “regulars.”
  • When similar concerns were raised a little over a year ago, the Neighborhood Association repeatedly reached out to the city’s parks department but received little response.
  • The city currently has a vacancy in the staff position that’s most clearly responsible for sponsoring relevant changes at the park.
  • Ambassadors for the off-leash area suggested that a full fence may not be the best solution. The few fully fenced off-leash areas in Portland parks have shown a tendency to become de facto “doggy day-care” areas, where an inconsiderate owner might leave a dog unattended while using other areas of the park.

The most positive development that emerged was that a city representative had agreed to walk the park with stakeholders and consider options to improve separation, with a preference for using plantings and other landscape features rather than a full fence. Watch for outcomes in a future post.

In the wake of such incidents, it’s easy to oversimplify — but many families rely on the park as a place for both kids and dogs. Do you have constructive ideas on how best to serve both needs? Please comment below.

How will the Mixed Use Zones Project and new Zoning Map affect Woodstock?

What does Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan mean for Woodstock?

The city’s timeline for the Mixed Use Zones Project and Zoning Map process, which was shared here on September 9th, has changed significantly since then. Click here to download the latest version of the timeline, with new dates. This new flyer also includes an announcement for WNA’s October 21st Land Use Committee meeting.

Draft Zoning Map Preview from 9/16How will the Mixed Use Zones Project and new Zoning Map affect Woodstock?

At WNA’s Wednesday, September 16, 2015 Land Use Committee meeting, Marty Stockton, Liaison to Southeast Neighborhoods for the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, attempted to answer this question, taking time to explain proposed Comp Plan and Zoning Map changes and how they apply to our neighborhood.

Click here to download the minutes from the September 16, 2015 Land Use Committee meeting.

Members of Woodstock’s Land Use Committee will review some of this information at their next meeting, which is almost always held on the third Wednesday of the month. LUC meetings are open to the public. Also on the agenda: Portland’s Residential Infill Project and a report back from a meeting of the Residential Infill Stakeholder Advisory Committee.

NEXT MEETING: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 21st at 7:00pm at the Woodstock Community Center – 5905 SE 43rd Ave (at Knight)

For the latest updates on Portland’s Comprehensive Planning Process, visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/68386

Portland Fish Market – 1 Year Anniversary!

pfm-logo-nonwhite

The wonderful folks at the Portland Fish Market are celebrating their 1st anniversary here at Woodstock on August 15th.

To show their appreciate to the neighborhood they will be donating a percentage of ALL tuna sales on Saturday August 15th to the Woodstock Neighborhood Association!

So stop by for some of the best fish in Portland and support a local business and your local neighborhood association.

2015 Movie in the Park Set to be Best Ever

Hosted by the Woodstock Neighborhood Association in collaboration with City of Portland Parks and Recreation and sponsored by many local businesses, this year’s Woodstock Movie in the Park on Friday, July 24th is gearing up to be a fantastic event. The fun starts at 6:30 pm and the classic 1984 film, The NeverEnding Story, starts at dusk. Many different kinds of food and pre-movie entertainments have been lined up…. There will even be a bike valet! Find all the details on our 2015 Movie in the Park event page or on the Facebook event page.

THANK YOU to all the awesome business sponsors of this year’s Woodstock Movie in the Park:

  • The Missing Link Bike Shop
  • Dieringer Properties, Inc. (Woodstock Shopping Center)
  • Woodstock Natural Health Clinic
  • Fotosnap
  • Portland Family Health
  • City Sanitary Services
  • First Cup Coffee House
  • The Joinery
  • El Gallo Taqueria
  • VCA Woodstock Animal Hospital
  • Woodstock Farmers Market
  • The Bee
  • Odango Salon
  • Plaid Pantry

LUC Looks at Potential Impacts of Comp Plan on Woodstock

WNA’s Land Use Committee meets Wednesday, June 17 at 7:00 p.m. at the Woodstock Community Center.

Land Use Committee Co-chair Ben Bortolazzo will facilitate the meeting. The main topic is the proposed comprehensive plan map, which has just been released by the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), as well as the mixed use zones project, with particular focus on implications for Woodstock. Marty Stockton, SE District Liaison for BPS, has promised to appear, likely towards the second half, and meeting attendees are asked to bring any questions they may have for her. Ben proposes looking at the relationship between the unimproved sections of SE Knight/SE Martins and the Mixed Use–Neighborhood designation.

Related Links:

Many Hands…Many Thanks

Wednesday, May 6, 2015 is election day for Woodstock Neighborhood Association

You won’t be getting a pamphlet or a ballot in your mailbox. Since snail-mailed communications are beyond our budget, a blog post, WNA email, and social media messaging will suffice as notice, and any eligible member who shows up at our meeting that night gets to vote. (That is, anyone who lives, works or owns property in Woodstock, and who cares to participate.)

Given the low-key nature of our annual board election, you might ask, is it important? You bet it is! It’s important because it represents another year’s commitment of the volunteers that drive our organization and make it work on behalf of the neighborhood.

kiosk_concrete“Many hands make light work!” is a reminder we often see on the flyer advertising the annual Woodstock Boulevard Clean-up (this year on May 23rd). And it really is true. It’s true for that event, it’s true for the Woodstock Plant Sale (a benefit for our community center, this year on Saturday, May 9th), and it’s true for every year’s worth of work and fun that gets done, by volunteer effort, under the umbrella of the WNA.


What We Do

Skimming WNA meeting agendas from May 2014 through April 2015, I am truly amazed by all that has transpired in a year. All these things are accomplished by the joint efforts of our elected board members, plus all the other committee members and dedicated volunteers who show up to help out.

WNA spearheads several special events annually, most of them free, thanks to business sponsors. These events include our family-friendly Halloween party, the summertime Movie in Woodstock Park, and Arbor Month activities planned by our Tree Team. In addition, we boast one of the very best plant sales every May, the day before Mother’s Day, a benefit for the Woodstock Community Center.

halloween_entryWNA participates as a cosponsor and collaborator on many additional events in a year’s time. In 2014 these included the Woodstock Blvd. Cleanup, SE Neighborhood Kickball Tournament (initiative of Mt. Scott-Arleta), Farmers Market, Feast for Southeast, Friends of Trees’s December tree planting, and Woodstock’s Winter Wonderland holiday tree-lighting event. Also, members of the Woodstock Neighborhood Emergency Team were instrumental in organizing a successful series of “Get Ready for Anything” emergency preparedness events in Southeast Portland.

WNA’s monthly meetings, held every First Wednesday evening at the Woodstock Community Center, provide a regular time and place for neighbors to connect with each other, discuss crime and safety concerns, hear from representatives of other nonprofits as well as local government, and bring their own issues to the table.

In addition to our official monthly meeting, WNA now hosts an informal gathering every Last Friday of the month at Papaccino’s. Organized as a kind of “welcome wagon” for new neighbors, long-time residents are just as welcome. Another place we connect with residents is at the Woodstock Farmers Market, where WNA tables and sells t-shirts once a month during market season (June through October).

Our powerhouse Land Use Committee worked hard this past year organizing the Woodstock Charrette that brought hundreds of Woodstock residents and business owners out for a community visioning process that sought to shape the future of commercial development in Woodstock and helped to inform WNA’s input to the city’s comprehensive plan. This alone signified a year’s worth of work, but at the same time the LUC, under the expert (though sometimes admittedly weary) guidance of Terry Griffiths, kept up on local development cases that required our input, including one case for which members testified at two hearings, the second one an appeal in front of City Council that was decided in our favor.

Plant_sale_photoWNA’s other standing committee, the Friends of the Woodstock Neighborhood Center, upholds our partnership agreement with Portland Parks and Recreation to ensure our community center stays open and is well maintained. We invite all in our community to show their support and gratitude to the Friends by turning out for the Woodstock Plant Sale on May 9th.

Next time you visit the Woodstock Community Center, whether for the Plant Sale, for one of our monthly meetings, or for one of Parks and Rec’s classes, take note of the beautiful “Woodstock Community Information Kiosk,” a special posting board erected in front of the center thanks to a Neighborhood Small Grant from Southeast Uplift and the City of Portland, and thanks to—you guessed it—the hard work and generosity of a dedicated team of volunteers.

We are grateful to all who participate. You are one of the reasons Woodstock is such a great place to live.


The Slate

Woodstock's five areasThe WNA board includes the elected positions listed below along with the people currently up for election. All terms are for one year. Additional nominations may still be submitted (with permission of nominee) for any of these, up until the moment of voting. Please note we have two slots open for Area Representative. See the map graphic for an idea of the location of these “areas.” According to our Bylaws, the Area Representative helps represent their part of the neighborhood when weighing in on issues that may come before the board, plus any other duties the board agrees to assign to them.

  • Chair – Becky Luening
  • Vice-Chair – Elisa Edgington
  • Secretary – Florence Dejeix
  • Treasurer – Merrilee Spence
  • SEUL Representative – Moshe Lenske
  • Newsletter Editor – Ruthann Bedenkop
  • Web Administrator – Chris Tarwater
  • Area Representatives:
    1 – OPEN
    2 – Ann Crowder
    3 – Jan Elliott
    4 – OPEN
    5 – Jacky Jarrahzadeh
  • Co-Chairs, Land Use Committee – Terry Griffiths and Aaron Cronan
  • Chair, Friends of the Woodstock Community Center – Lonnie Port
  • Chair, Outreach – Kenny Heggem

Please come out to WNA’s May 6th meeting (7pm at the Woodstock Community Center), and show your support by participating in our little election, and voting in the board that will steer WNA for the next year. I look forward to seeing you there!

—Becky Luening, Chair, Woodstock Neighborhood Association