Taking stock of what was accomplished in 2015 was the only agenda item for the Dec. 7th meeting of the Richmond Neighborhood Association. Nine board members were present, as were six others.

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The deadline to submit comments on Portland’s Comprehensive Plan is Jan. 7th. Comments will be submitted by the RNA board, and a separate set of comments will be submitted by the Division Design Initiative. Follow the link to submit testimony, and learn more about the plan.

One vote was taken at the meeting. All nine board members present voted to apply to SE Uplift for just over $1,500 in communication funds to publish the Richmond News. The News costs $950 per issue to print, and a board member said the money from SE Uplift will cover about two of the four annual issues.

Reports were given from: Land Use Committee, DDI, The Richmond News, fund raising activities, and other activities of the RNA. There was also a presentation on neighborhood demographics, attendance at RNA meetings and an update on the RNA website. The SE Uplift representative was not able to make the December meeting.

Heather Flint Chatto, DDI coordinator and RNA board member, said that the DDI would be applying again for a SE Uplift small grant. DDI won a grant last year for design guidelines, and is considering a design tool kit for this year’s proposal.

RNA board chair Cyd Manro said the best way to win the grant is to explain how the project will better the neighborhood, involved multiple organization, and leverage funds from other sources.

Flint Chatto gave a short presentation on DDI’s 2015 accomplishments. The inter-neighborhood design group has raised $8,900, hosted 18 meetings with 17 organizations, distributed ten art installation suggestion boxes at local businesses, and crafted a list of ten design policy suggestions.

After two meetings, the Elections Committee is suggesting that board candidates give notice that they are running. There has been no decision on whether candidates will have to issue a statement on their positions, said board member Doug Klotz. There was no one to present from the ethics committee.

Klotz, chair person of the Land Use Committee, said he expects developers to submit more plans before Portland’s new comprehensive plan is enacted in mid-2017. It’s isn’t necessarily stricter, he said, but they are familiar with the current plan’s requirements. After the new comprehensive plan is enacted, he said, notifications will be required for all buildings. Now notification is only required along Division.

I reported on The Richmond News, as the new editor. I thanked everyone who helped me with the newsletter and said a neighborhood news survey would be distributed soon. Board member Jonathan King said it was distasteful to have Allen Field write the story about circumstance surrounding the board election when he was so closely involved.

The board also plans to express support for a grant for the 70s bikeway and a recreational center on the open space west of what used to be Washington High School. A pilot project on giving more notice for demolitions is proposed for the Richmond neighborhood.

An update on a Good Neighbor Agreement between Salt & Straw (3345 Division) and neighbors showed progress. There has been a reduction in noise, illegal parking, and litter.

There is a neighborhood visioning meeting planned for Jan. 11th, 7 pm at Waverly Heights Congregational (3300 SE Woodward). A board retreat will be held the day before.

Suggestions from the neighbors in attendance included: having a neighborhood calendar of events and plan to increase voting in future board elections.