The city of Portland hearings officer issued his recommendation for the Colwood Golf Course rezoning proposal (6.5 MB PDF) on August 22, including the traffic mitigation plan that would require the addition of a third lane to southbound onramp from Killingsworth Blvd to I-205.

Final approval of the proposal (3.5 MB PDF) — which would preserve about 90 acres of the Colwood Golf Course as open space by turning about 48 acres into industrial zoning — goes to a public hearing at the Portland City Council on Wednesday, September 25 at 2 PM.

Neighborhood residents are encouraged to testify at the hearing to express their views about the onramp widening. Testimony can also be submit in writing in advance. See these helpful tips for testifying (PDF) on land use cases.

Southbound I-205 onramp at NE Killingsworth Street in NE Portland

Caption: Southbound again, the I-205 onramp at NE Killingsworth with nearby homes on the right

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 and approved in full by the hearings officer. 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, as Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN) was not notified about this part of the otherwise worthy Colwood proposal.

On June 26, I (Scott, SAN chair) filed comments about the onramp portion of the land use proposal (350K PDF). On July 23, the rezone applicant, the nonprofit group Trust for Public Lands, filed a response (2 MB).

Thanks to the applicant in correcting one point I made in my comments. The onramp is in the list of regional transportation plan projects (XLS), although it is not in the RTP itself (40 MB PDF).

For more background, see the previous item published in June when we first learned about this traffic mitigation plan.

The city Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) has informally notified Sumner Association of Neighbors (SAN) in NE Portland about the start of design work to enlarge the city’s pump station at NE Skidmore and NE 88th Ave.

City pump station at NE 88th and Skidmore

Caption: The city pump station at NE Skidmore and 88th is at the start of a two-year upgrade process. Construction is expected to start next year.

This project requires a Type III Environmental Land Use Review. Design will take about a year, and then construction will require another year after that.

Here are the high points, per Rhetta Drennan of BES:

  • The current pump station is old and undersized to meet the demands of additional development.
  • The new station would be about twice the size of the existing station.
    The new pumps are planned below ground in the wet well, and they should be quieter than the pumps are now in the current setup.
  • BES is very early in the design process. In fact they won’t begin the real design work until after the project has had its funding approved at council.
  • At about 30% design, BES will hold an open house for the public input and questions.

Sign on the pump station gateBES has also contacted The Grotto, as well as Madison South neighborhood association and the city of Maywood Park.

Anyone who wants to be notified of project update can email with “Grotto” in the subject line and she will be happy to add you to the list. SAN will post updates and the date when an open house is announced.

Shameless plug on an unrelated topic: Don’t forget to sign up for the Sumner neighborhood garage sale on Saturday, June 2.

Here are a few events that are nearby, and that might be of interest to you — the civic-minded denizens of Sumner neighborhood in NE Portland:

  • Wednesday, March 7: Cully Main Street open house: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. at Rigler Elementary School, 5401 NE Prescott St. As goes Cully, so goes Sumner? Review new zoning proposals for the Cully Boulevard main street area, as well as ideas for improving the local street system for the Cully neighborhood. The improvements are partially related to the neighborhood prosperity initiative from the Portland Development Commission (PDC). More info about the open house.
  • Thursday, March 8: Citizens Noise Advisory Committee Meeting: 6 – 8 p.m. at Port of Portland Headquarters, 7200 N.E. Airport Way, in the Anchor Room (1st floor). Not sure if they validate parking.
  • Tuesday, March 13: Sixth Transportation Safety Summit: Hosted by Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) at Jefferson High School, 5210 N Kerby Ave, 5:30 – 9 p.m. Learn about transportation safety efforts around Portland. The event is free. You can RSVP online.
  • Wednesday, March 21: Community Budget Forum: Hosted by the city at Cleveland High School Cafeteria, 3400 SE 26th, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. For more info, see the city budget community involvement.

Under a deadline to file for a conditional use permit or face daily fines, Water Truck Service (WTS) decided to pull the plug. On Nov 30, WTS notified the city and SAN that they would stop trucking and disposing septage — human waste from septic tanks — at their site at NE 89th and Killingsworth on Dec 2.

Instead, WTS said they would limit their activity to processing ‘leachate,’ which is runoff from landfills. Activity has ramped down sharply, but even so some nearby residents have reported noise and garbage odors since Dec 2 when WTS is active.

WTS wide shot
Caption: A short truck backed into a pumping bay at WTS, as viewed from NE 89th in June 2011

On Feb 1, new WTS site manager Jamie Hartley, called to request that his number be shared with all our neighbors, so everyone can contact him with concerns, questions and complaints. His number will be included in winter 2012 newsletter coming out in the next week or two.

WTS is based in Sherwood. They opened here in spring 2010. Noise and chronic odor issues — nuisances under city code — were noted by neighbors from early on. Two residents asked SAN for help at our June 2011 meeting. WTS was fined on Aug 27 for violation of land use laws, and completed a conference with the city on Oct 20 in preparation for the required conditional use permit. The tough compliance requirements for the permit — including traffic, setbacks, noise, odor and enclosed space for loading and unloading waste — led to the decision by WTS on Nov 30 to stop pumping septage in Sumner.

Despite these big positive steps, homework remains to see if leachate is also considered ‘waste-related’ under the city zoning code. Any waste-related use at the site requires the same conditional use permit.

For more background, see:

For a video report by local TV reporter Ed Teachout on KGW, see their report.

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