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.

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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


Time Sensitive Discussion: Help determine Woodstock’s Comp Plan testimony

Attendees of Woodstock’s March neighborhood association meeting — Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at 7pm at the Woodstock Community Center — will be asked to consider and discuss the message(s) we as a neighborhood want to convey in testimony submitted to the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability for the City’s Comprehensive Plan Update.

The deadline for public comment on the Proposed Draft of Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan is March 13, 2015. In addition to WNA testimony, individuals are strongly encouraged to submit their own comments. For more information about the city’s comprehensive plan update process and how you can weigh in, visit

Woodstock Neighborhood is likely to change significantly in the next 20 years. Big changes are already underway, in both the residential and commercial parts of our neighborhood. Our discussion Wednesday will focus on Woodstock Boulevard, and will be informed partly by discussions begun at October’s Woodstock Visioning/Charrette, in which many neighbors participated.

The green dots on the map below (click on the image to download a large-sized PDF of the map) indicate properties adjacent to Woodstock Boulevard for which zone changes are being requested — changes from Residential use to Commercial Mixed Use. Mixed Use can mean high-density residential or commercial uses, or a mix of both.

map graphicProposed zoning changes for the green-dot-designated properties shown on this map have been discussed in WNA Land Use Committee meetings and were also displayed and reviewed at the Woodstock Charrette. (Properties with blue dots have been proposed for zone changes by the property owners, but have not had similar exposure and review by neighbors.)

A new and very recent proposal that was brought up in the February Land Use Committee meeting is to change ALL the zoning in the entire block between SE Woodstock and SE Martins, from SE 41st Avenue to SE 49th Avenue, from Residential to Mixed-Use Commercial Zoning. Such a proposal would be accompanied by a request for the strongest possible constraints that would allow neighborhood guidance and oversight in the design of future development.

Final citywide decisions on zoning and land use policies are coming on fast. Come to the March 4th WNA meeting if you want to help influence the direction of WNA testimony.

From the Community, for the Community

fanciful drawing of woman holding plant with bird on her shoulderLooking Forward to Another Great Plant Sale

SAVE THE DATE! This year’s WNA Plant Sale — an event held annually on the day before Mother’s day — takes place Saturday, May 9, 2015 from 9am to 3pm at the Woodstock Community Center (5905 SE 43rd Avenue). Proceeds go to the Woodstock Community Center Maintenance Fund, which supplements neighborhood volunteer efforts to provide routine maintenance for the Center. This is a key part of the agreement between the Woodstock Neighborhood Association and Portland Parks and Recreation that keeps the Center open and available for community use. The Maintenance Fund pays for custodial service and supplies, as well as some landscaping and other needs.

The success of the plant sale hinges on generous plant donations from the gardeners in our community. Gardeners contribute by potting divided perennials or seedling “volunteers” from previous years’ plantings. Sometimes people contribute plants they have decided to replace. In addition to many varieties of perennials, plant sale offerings usually include vegetable starts, herbs, ground covers, native plants, grasses, houseplants, and small trees and shrubs. Ours is one of the longest running plant sales in Portland, and one of the best in terms of selection and prices. Because the plants come from neighbors, they tend to be things that do well in the Woodstock climate.

Plant contributions are received at the Woodstock Community Center the day before the sale between noon and 7pm. This year, that’s Friday, May 8th. Although May seems a long way off yet, it’s not too early to begin potting up plants. If you need empty pots, call Terry Griffiths at 503-771-0011.

Movies in the Park

MITP is part of Portland's "summer free for all" program
Hey neighbors! It’s time to start thinking about what we would like to screen at our annual Woodstock summer event, Movies in the Park!

If you aren’t familiar with Movies in the Park it’s a free annual event during the summer where we show a movie at Woodstock park on a giant screen — it’s a lot of fun!


Thank you for all the votes! Great suggestions everyone, including a movie we showed last year 🙂 After tallying all the votes from the website poll, Nextdoor, the Facebook page, here are the movies we will be requesting from Parks:
1. The Boxtrolls
2. The Never Ending Story
3. Guardians of the Galaxy

Thanks again to all Woodstock neighbors for weighing in. We will let everyone know, as soon as we hear back from Parks, the final word on movie and date for Woodstock’s Movie in the Park event. Many thanks to Elisa for taking the lead on organizing, and we look forward to seeing you all at the park later this summer!

Come Dream the Year with Us

Please join us for our first meeting of the new year!

The Woodstock Neighborhood Association meets this coming Wednesday, January 7 at 7:00 PM (doors open at 6:30) at the Woodstock Community Center.

We have one item of official business: to vote on bringing Chris Tarwater onto our board of directors as WNA’s new Webmaster.

We’ll then commence with an organizational orientation for anyone who wants to learn more about who we are, what we do, and how people can plug in, and then get into a preview and brainstorm of WNA-sponsored special events for the coming year.

WNA is focused on building community for ALL who reside in Woodstock, as well as those who work or own property here. With your help we will continue in our quest to make Woodstock one of the best places in the world to live!

NOTE: The WNA Board usually meets immediately after the general meeting, but this month we’re planning a longer strategy session, which has been scheduled for a week later, Wednesday, January 14, from 6:30 to 9:00, at Fenders Moto Cafe.

Join Us for Woodstock Charrette Finale on December 4th

The Woodstock Charrette is Not Over Yet!

Please save THURSDAY EVENING, DECEMBER 4, and plan to come out one more time to All Saints Episcopal Church (corner of Woodstock Blvd. and SE 40th Ave.) for a WOODSTOCK CHARRETTE FINAL COMMUNITY PRESENTATION. Doors open at 6:30PM and the main event begins at 7:00.

There will be a few more concept drawings to look at, and once again you will have a chance to express your opinions and weigh in on important design considerations for the future of Woodstock Boulevard. This presentation will be considerably different than the one that took place on October 27th, so we encourage all neighbors to come, regardless of whether you were able to attend that night or not.

About 90 folks turned out for both the first and last meetings of the October 23-27 Woodstock Charrette (a.k.a. Visioning Project), and almost as many dropped by during the Saturday afternoon open house. After all was said and done, the National Charrette Institute team members sat down with the neighborhood charrette committee (representatives from WNA, the Woodstock Community Business Association, WCBA Stakeholders and Reed College) and decided to “roll up our sleeves,” as Bill Lennertz put it, “and get back to work, to get it right.” The feeling was there was not enough time built into the charrette process, and enough feedback loops, to be able to develop a satisfactory final report. So all parties are putting their heads together in order to deliver a revised presentation to the community.

PLEASE NOTE: The December 4th meeting is in lieu of our usually scheduled First Wednesday WNA meeting. We will return to that schedule, and the Woodstock Community Center, on January 7, 2015.

Friday is October 31st!

Join us for the annual Woodstock Neighborhood Halloween party this Friday, October 31st!  

Sponsored by New Seasons Market and Woodstock Tax Service, we will be kicking things off at 4:30pm at the Woodstock Community Center, located at 5905 SE 43rd Ave., and the fun will last until about 8:00pm.

Enjoy live music by local musicians, Status Crow and Genie T.  TapSnap Photographer, Scott Farestrand, will be there to capture you in all your Halloween finery and send you home with a keepsake photo. There are crafts and games for the kiddos, along with popcorn, warm apple cider, and sweet snacks for everyone!  Hot dogs will be available for little trick-or-treaters, graciously provided by Otto’s.

Raffle tickets will be available for purchase for some great items from local businesses.  (Check back soon for a list.)

Big THANK YOU to all our sponsors for this year’s event!

  • New Seasons
  • Woodstock Tax Service
  • Scott Farestrand of TapSnap Photography
  • Sauvie Island Farms
  • The UPS Store
  • Cornhole by O’Tingley
  • El Gallo Taqueria
  • Kahut Waster Services
  • Kid’s Castle Cuts
  • Otto’s Sausage Kitchen
  • Pace Setter Athletic
  • Palm Beach Tan
  • Papaccino’s
  • Portland Fish Market
  • T and A Enterprises, LLC
  • 47th Avenue Farms
  • Lonesomeville Pottery

Feedback Loop

We’re into Day 3 already of the four-day intensive Woodstock Charrette (a.k.a. Visioning Project)…. The National Charrette Institute team, assisted by volunteers from the neighborhood, have been hard at work listening, collecting ideas, compiling data, and beginning to render some visions and solutions on paper for our consideration.

All Saints Episcopal Church has been converted into a design studio which has been open these past couple days for people to drop in and observe the process or just take a look at all the evidence of the big visioning session that took place Thursday evening.

Based on my personal observation, some of the main conversational themes that have emerged so far in the charrette process are:

  • Community—creating public gathering spaces and developing in a way that welcomes diversity.
  • Walkability—encouraging a safe and friendly environment for pedestrians and bicyclists.
  • Autos—finding solutions for slowing, traffic, decreasing congestion and solving parking problems before they develop. One challenge is to remove parking lots the face the boulevard (which now create an unattractive “gap-toothed” pattern along Woodstock) while avoiding the kinds of parking nightmares experiences in the Hawthorne and Division commercial districts. Unimproved streets figure prominently in the traffic management conversation, especially those closest to Woodstock. Public transit is another important element.
  • Zoning and Buildings—locals are open to a future that includes larger mixed-use buildings along Woodstock (roughly SE Cesar Chavez to SE 57th), i.e., retail on ground floor with apartments or office spaces above, but prefer the height of those buildings to be capped at 3 floors (as opposed to 4).

Please join us for the Open House event, today (Saturday, Oct. 25) from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. This is one of the main feedback loops of the charrette, our chance to let the designers know whether they’re taking us in the right direction…. Hope to see you there!

Please also turn out and tell your neighbors about the Public Results Meeting scheduled for 6:30 to 9:00 pm on Monday, Oct. 27. This is where we get to see the final results of the community design process.

Learn How to do Preparedness Outreach

Contributed by Liz Bryant

On March 21, published this article about our spring series of Disaster Preparedness workshops planned for SE Portland.

Now I want to highlight the second workshop in the series, Help Friends & Neighbors Get Prepared, coming up this Tuesday, May 13 and next Tuesday, May 20. This will be presented by Alice Busch and myself and will be an interactive discussion about how to confront one’s own fears about bringing up disaster with the unaware, and dealing with their objections (it won’t happen here/in my lifetime/to me, won’t be that bad, the gov’t will save us, etc.).

It will also cover the practicalities of sharing preparedness info and how to do Map Your Neighborhood (MYN). If you’re not familiar with the MYN program, it’s about organizing with neighbors to help each other effectively after a disaster — since, as I’m sure you know, our neighbors will be our best source of help in a major disaster. (From the NPR story, The Key to Disaster Survival? Friends and Neighbors: “while official help is useful…it is the personal ties among members of a community that determine survival during a disaster, and recovery in its aftermath.”)

The workshop is free and no preregistration is required. There will also be door prize drawings. Here are the details:

Workshop #2, “Help Friends & Neighbors Get Prepared”
Tuesday, May 13, 6:30-9 pm, SMILE Station, 8210 SE 13th Ave.
Tuesday, May 20, 6:30-9 pm, Reedwood Friends Church, 2901 SE Steele St.

The last workshop in the series may also be of interest. It includes information useful to renters — fire safety and nonstructural measures to protect against earthquakes — as well as seismic upgrades for homeowners.

Workshop #3, “Secure Your Home Against Disaster”
Saturday, May 31, Trinity United Methodist Church, 3915 SE Steele St.

Liz Bryant
Woodstock Hub NET Team