Neighborhood news for Southwest Hills Residential League.

SWHRL Quarterly Membership Meeting
Wednesday, Oct 19
Ainsworth Elementary Auditorium

Please join us next Wednesday evening Oct. 19 for this SWHRL Neighborhood Assn. quarterly meeting, open to all. We'll update you on issues affecting the neighborhood, and we need your input. In particular we'll work together with a map to compile a list of potential trails/steps/ped/bike connections we'd like to see built on unimproved public right of way (ROW) in SWHRL, so bring your ideas! This list will be submitted to the City for recognition under the Southwest in Motion (SWIM) Trails Initiative.
The meeting agenda will include:
*Southwest in Motion (SWIM) Trails Initiative
*Speeding down SW Broadway Drive & potential mitigation
*Vision Zero Portland (traffic safety, speed reduction)
*Land Use Updates - Proposals & Decision
*SWHRL Elm and Street Trees Update
*Update on Vista-Spring Restoration Project
*Proposed SWHRL Bylaws Changes
*Strohecker's Update
*Alternatives to Vista Bridge chain-link fence
*Progress Report on Goals for 2016-17
See you there!

Other Events

Discussion on Compatible Residential Infill
Monday, Oct. 17, 6:30-8:30pm
White Stag Block, U of O PDX Campus, 70 SW Couch St.
Free, but register in advance:  
Fall 2016 Stormwater Workshops - Oct. 16 & 29 
Stormwater Stars is a FREE hands-on program to help residents reduce stormwater runoff. Learn to build a landscape that uses soil, native plants, walkways, and other methods to improve water quality. Register now.

Emergency Preparedness Fair - Get Ready for the Big One
When: Sat, Oct 22, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Where: University Place Hotel & Conference Center, 310 Southwest Lincoln St., Portland
(Posted on 10/7/16)

Next SWHRL Board meeting
Wednesday,  November 16, 2016, 7-8:30pm 
Ascension Chapel, 1823 SW Spring Street

Board meetings open to the public. Let us know in advance if you have any issues to discuss.
SAVE THE DATE: Ainsworth Holiday Home Tour - Thursday, December 8, 2016
Ainsworth is still looking for additional homes for the tour. 
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SWHRL Street Trees & Elm Tree Fund

 At the May 2015 SWHRL membership meeting, members agreed that SWHRL should re-purpose the Save Our Elms Fund, in view of the increasing expense and time-consuming labor of inoculations against Dutch Elm disease. Subsequently a letter was sent to residents with elms in their front yard right-of-way (ROW), advising them that SWHRL would no longer carry out the inoculations. 
SWHRL has maintained a Save our Elms fund (currently $1,050) for the purpose of inoculating elms within the neighborhood boundaries. In 2010, 85 elms were inoculated in SWHRL at a cost of $125 to $200 per tree. Ladd's Addition currently spends up to $450 per tree using the latest and most effective methods and this is required every 3 years to maintain efficacy. 
Obviously, an extensive fundraising effort would be required every three years to maintain a Save our Elms program. The SWHRL Board is proposing instead to use the existing $1,050 to plant new street trees where elms may have been removed for any reason or just to replace missing street trees. We can also provide inoculation information to homeowners who would like to treat the trees themselves. Note that SWHRL neighborhood has not had any trees infected with DED in at least the last year.
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Please continue to lobby TriMet to restore our bus service! Emphasize they need to look not only at ridership numbers, but also prioritize coverage in underserved areas such as ours.
Email from within: 

A recent email from TriMet touted their enhanced bus service in Portland. No, SWHRL is not included yet, though expanded service in our neighborhood does feature on their future wish list. Per TriMet: "We're set to add new or improved bus service twice a year - in September and March - through 2025 thanks to a 1/10th of 1% increase in the employer payroll tax being phased in over 10 years..."  Let's hope Portland Heights doesn't have to wait till 2025!

Here are the proposed bus service enhancements for us. Contact TriMet to support early implementation of:
  • Southwest Hills to Hillsdale, Lewis & Clark/Collinsview (Line 39) Merge existing Lines 39 and 51 to serve Terwilliger, Capitol, Sunset, and Dosch, connecting Lewis & Clark College/Collinsview, Hillsdale, Southwest Hills and Downtown Portland. Add midday, evening, and weekend trips.
  • Council Crest to Downtown Portland (Line 51) Due to low ridership, create a single line serving Council Crest and run during the weekday commute hours only.
And on the subject of transit, ODOT wants our input on the Oregon Public Transportation Plan (OPTP), as they develop their priorities and strategies. Vote for better public transit coverage for SW!
Take the online survey by October 28.

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Land Use Decision : LU 16-189632 EV
Re. Environmental Violation on undeveloped property at SW Cardinell Dr. and SW 13th Ave.
Environmental violation on SW Cardinell

Violation: Trees topped and/or removed  without pe rmit f rom steep slope within the Environmental Conservation zone in 1999 and 2013.  Remediations required subsequently were not  carried out.

Current remediation: Applicant is to remove invasive nuisance plants, plant, maintain, and monitor for 5 years: 400 native trees, including Douglas & Grand fir, cedar, hemlock, alder, bitter che rry and cascara; 600 native shrubs; and native grass seed.
It would behoove us as neighbors to keep an eye on the plantings over time to make sure they are accomplished, since in the past, the City did not enforce previous required remediations. 

Land Use Proposals SWHRL is tracking:
File # EA 15-279816: 4335 SW Humphrey: Proposed 40-lot subdivision with new street. Pre-App conference was 1/21/16. Status: Nothing new submitted to BDS on this proposal since the January 2016 Pre-Application conference, according to BDS Planner Jean Hester, Oct. 2016. (503-823-7783)
File # EA 16-143727: Proposed for 900 SW Broadway Drive: 81-unit apartment building with parking at the ground level and units above.
Status: Nothing new submitted to BDS on this proposal since the May 3 Pre-Application conference, according to BDS Planner Jean Hester, Oct. 2016. (503-823-7783)

Recent Short-Term Rental Permits in SWHRL
1929 SW 13th Ave. (97201), Type A: to rent one bedroom to overnight guests, who will park in driveway or garage. Host will remain on site during guest visits. 

3576 SW Mount Adams Drive (97239), Type A: 2 bedrooms, up to 5 guests (of only one party) renting 2-30 days.
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SWHRL Vista-Spring Restoration Project Update

Accomplished so far: Weeding, initial replanting with natives, construction of seating area with boulders, gravel and wood chip paths.

Vista-Spring Path-photo by Rich Greene

Next steps:
  • Oct.-Nov.: More weeding, second round of planting natives, mulching.
  • Spring 2017: Work with Ainsworth art students to add ceramic art - perhaps plant labels, perhaps something with Native American theme, to accompany Ainsworth unit on Native Americans. There was some resistance to a totem pole, so that's off the table.
  • Add dedicatory plaque to Phyllis Towne.
  • Consider further ideas, e.g. book kiosk/free lending library with spot for people to share poems as well as books; display that provides info about the history of the neighborhood/SW Hills, starting with any native tribes who may have lived here, plus info about the school, the fire house, cable car, and any other notable history. We're also exploring a way to honor Mr. Duncan York, Portland fireman at Vista-Spring who befriended a family who fled Nazi Austria in 1939, and subsequently lived above the Vista Spring CafĂ©. (We're open to more ideas!)
  • Dedication celebration with storytelling.

To participate in future work parties, or for more information call Nancy Seton at 503-224-3840 or email . Donations welcome to fund mulch, art, book kiosk, etc. Make checks out to Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. with a note "For SWHRL, Vista-Spring Restoration." Mail to Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc., 7688 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219.

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SWHRL Strohecker's Committee 

No additional news on the Strohecker's property owner's search for a new grocery tenant for the site as yet. You may have noticed recent routine maintenance of the property. Neighbors are encouraged to lobby their favorite grocery prospect to demonstrate our strong interest. SWHRL now has a "Stroheckers Committee" which is researching good prospects, and strategizing on how to protect the current "grocery" zoning for the site. Contact SWHRL if you're interested in participating. 
Book Release by SWHRL Past President Jim Thayer:
Hiking From Portland to the Coast

To research this hiking guide,  Jim spent years scouting and documenting possible trails to the Coast, mapping them on GPS, and collecting related stories on early pioneers and Native American residents. Check our website or Facebook page for details of upcoming book readings. For a description of the book  Click here
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News From Friends of Marquam Nature Park

Help Us Keep Marquam Park Safe:

- SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY, call the Park Rangers at 503-823-1637 (8:00am-9:30pm) or email: . You could also call the Portland Police non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.
- HOMELESS CAMPING IN THE PARK: Go to or call 503-823-4000 so that the city can document the location and other details.
- NON-EMERGENCY PROBLEMS WITH TRAILS  OR GENERAL PARK CONCERNS  such as trees down across trails, landslides, damaged structures, illegal dumping, graffiti, or parking, visit here.

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Public Safety / Crime Prevention

Update (lightly edited) from Gander Ridge resident, Sept 2016:
Pavilion Construction, the firm working for College Housing NW and reconstructing the Clifton House Apartments, has been working diligently to keep homeless camps and street crime away from our area.  
They have been working smart with ODOT and have closed most of the fences broken open at the construction site (SW Clifton and 10th, and also SW Clifton and Lincoln).  They have also tried hard to fix the fence holes at the SE corner of the 12th Avenue overpass to I-405.  Fence holes continually reappear. ODOT had been in our area regularly, thanks to Pavilion, sometimes two times a day repairing chain link fence.  
Pavilion has also worked with the Portland Police to assist in moving out camps below Cardinell Street and between SW 12th and SW 10th. Given Pavilion's vigilance and work, and with the camps gone and ODOT fences mended, the drug dealing on our SW 10th Avenue street had quit. Car break-ins were significantly down. Heroin needles were rare to find on our streets or in our park, as had occurred before. 
SWHRL Needs You! 

Volunteer to help SWHRL accomplish its mission to make this an even greater neighborhood. Join the SWHRL Board so we have good representation from all corners of the neighborhood. That will help us: 1) learn what issues concern you, 2) make balanced decisions, and 3) allow us to give the best feedback to the city on issues that concern us all.
Just bring a positive attitude, a willingness to deliberate on the variety of issues that come before us, and a commitment to attend as many of the Board and general meetings as you can. The Board meets once a month - 3rd Wednesdays except when we hold our general membership meetings in January, May and October.

SWHRL Board members 
Members of SWHRL Committees :
  • Land Use
  • Transportation (trails, bike, pedestrian, transit issues)
  • Communications & Membership (website, newsletter and membership list maintenance)
  • Schools
  • Emergency Preparedness
  • Stroheckers
Representatives to SWNI Neighborhood Coalition Committees (to represent SWHRL interests):
  • Public Safety
  • Land Use
  • Transportation
  • Parks and Community Centers
  • Schools
  • Communications
  • Equity and Inclusion
  • Watershed
  Contact us at  or call Nancy Seton at 503-224-3840.
Donate Now!  We do not charge dues for SWHRL membership, so your voluntary donations fund the above mentioned activities and commitments. With your support we can continue to represent, strengthen, and inform our community. Please consider a contribution of at least $35.00 per household per year.  If you could help us out with more than that, we would be very grateful.
Contributions to SWHRL are tax-deductible if checks are made out to Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. with a note "For SWHRL." Mail to Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc., 7688 SW Capitol Hwy, Portland, OR 97219. Checks may also be sent directly to SWHRL, PO Box 1033, Portland, OR 97207. Or use the "Donate" button on the SWHRL website:

We welcome questions, comments or concerns.
Contact us at:   or

PO BOX 1033
President, Land Use Chair : Nancy Seton,  
Vice President: Sean Baioni
Secretary : Kara Stone

Treasurer: Margaret Gossage 
Other Board Members:
Kady Al-Saeed
Mark Christensen
Bill Failing
Ryan Fedie

Transportation Chair : Ryan Fedie
Schools: (Open)
Emergency Preparedness: Kara Stone
Communications: (Open)
Historian: Jim Breithaupt
Newsletter Editor:  (Open) Nancy Seton interim
Representative to SWNI Board: Nancy Seton

Southwest Hills Residential League

Southwest Hills Residential League (SWHRL) is a neighborhood association that serves the communities south of the Sunset Highway and along the slopes of the West hills from the historic Portland Heights neighborhood to Council Crest and as far south as Healey Heights.