Saturday, February 17, 2007

Hillsdale calls for plan implementer

Don Baack, Hillsdale Neighborhood Association president, is asking that the new city budget include money to pay for a part-time "Town Center Plan implementer" for Hillsdale.

A delegation of "plan implementers" from Vancouver, B.C. visited Hillsdale last fall and impressed Hillsdale leaders with their work in helping neighborhoods.

Baack's request would pay for an implementer to be in Hillsdale one day a week to move forward parts of the Hillsdale Plan, which was passed in 1997.

The implementer could work with other Portland town centers on the other days of the week. The job also would entail working with other non-Portland government entities such as the county, Tri-Met, Portland Public Schools and Metro.

Baack cited several Hillsdale projects that need to be moved forward including:

• Sunset Triangle. A master plan is needed for the triangular residential area north of Capitol Highway. "Utilities, streets and pedestrian pathways are the major issues in addition to suitable housing styles to fit the community and needs of the community," Baack said in a message to the neighborhood board.

• Hillsdale Plaza. Several issues need to be worked out to create the plaza, including site ownership and funding. The plaza would provide year-round shelter for the Hillsdale Farmers Market, and amphitheater and civic plaza.

• Undergrounding utilities. Renewed effort is needed to remove the streetscape blight of wires and transformers in the Town Center. A start needs to be made around the new Watershed Housing project, now under construction.

• Transportation issues. Safe pedestrian routes, including new sidewalks, are still in great need.

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