A $250,000 grant to the city of Portland to help build a third metered ramp lane to the southbound freeway on-ramp at the I-205 and Northeast Killingsworth interchange.
Caption: Southbound again, the I-205 onramp at NE Killingsworth with nearby homes on the right
What does it mean?
Here is the short of it is: The Colwood Golf Course rezone proposal (3.5 MB PDF) aims to turn about 48 acres of open space into industrial zoning. The 48 acres to be rezone is located entirely north of Cornfoot Road and Alderwood Road. Widening the onramp here in Sumner — 1.5 miles from the site being rezoned — is the traffic mitigation solution recommended by Portland city staff. Here is the recommendation:
Prior to issuance of Building Permit and/or Site Development Permits for new development on Tax Lot 100 (48.36 acres), off-site transportation improvements must be addressed, through coordination and construction under separate Public Works Permits issued by PBOT and ODOT, with the following improvements:
- Add a third queuing lane for the southbound on-ramp to result in three 12-foot wide lanes;
- Widen to the outside of the existing lane to accommodate the additional lane;
- Replace the existing ramp meter to accommodate the additional lane;
- Provide new illumination;
- Accommodate stormwater from the new impervious area in roadside swales; and
- Provide any necessary related improvements to NE Killingsworth at the intersection with the southbound I 205 ramp.
Normally a land use issue in a nearby neighborhood is of limited interest. The problem in this case is that the land use proposal is in one neighborhood, while the entire proposed traffic mitigation solution is located in another neighborhood. In such a case, the city is not required to notify the second neighborhood.
The hearing on the land use proposal was on Tues, June 12. Yesterday (June 26) was the deadline to provide comments about the proposed rezone. On behalf of Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN), I filed comments about the onramp portion of the land use proposal (350K PDF). The comments cited six approval criteria as unsatisfied and requested other improvements for traffic mitigation closer to the proposal Colwood industrial site instead of the onramp widening.
Comments needed to be tailored to address the specific approval criteria set out in the land use code. This particular proposal is complicated in that it is also seeking to amend the comprehensive plan map and the zoning map (which are similar but not exactly the same). So there is at least a second layer of approval criteria that must be met for the rezone to be approved.
What comes next
As a Type III Procedure, the Hearings Officer makes a decision fairly quickly at this point, probably within 7-14 days, unless the applicant requests that the comment period be extended. PBOT will probably get a chance to respond to our comments, but it’s not clear yet whether that will be before or after the Hearings Officer renders a decision. After the decision, there is a 14-day appeal period. If there are no appeals, it goes to City Council for testimony & final approval. (See the BDS’s handy timeline for Type III land use proposals.
One last thing: That $250K grant approved by the Oregon Transportation Commission has letters of support from Governor Kitzhaber’s staff, the directors of ODOT and PBOT, and a state agency called ‘Business Oregon’ for the onramp expansion. Those are some pretty big guns. Stay tuned.
Some thank yous
Just to understand where we are with this surprise project, SAN had help from a number of friends & people working for the city of Portland. Here are a few thank yous to them:
- Alison, Sandra and Ronda at Central Northeast Neighbors (CNN)
- Chris Warner in Commissioner Steve Novick’s office
- Kurt Kreuger at Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)
- Sheila Frugoli at Portalnd Bureau of Development Services (BDS)
See a few more pictures of the southbound onramp below.
Caption: Facing north from the Sandy Blvd overpass
Caption: Facing northesterly from the Sandy Blvd overpass across the MAX station
Caption: Facing west on Killingsworth at the entrance of the southbound ramp
Caption: Facing south, showing the bend in the onramp after the traffic lights for the two existing metered lanes on the ramp. Kurt at PBOT said only the upper portion of the onramp would be widened, that Killingsworth itself would not be widened, and that no trees would be cut down. Unfortunately, those details are not explicit in the current recommendation in the current Colwood rezone proposal
Caption: Facing northeasterly from the ‘SAN Lot’ at NE 92nd, property owned by ODOT that SAN hopes to rezone into a neighborhood park via the Comprehensive Plan Update process this year and next