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Thursday, June 5, 2008

A response from City Hall

The other day we ran a message from a King neighborhood resident who is upset about a drug and alcohol recovery facility being sited near her home. Today we received from Commissioner Dan Saltzman's office a copy of a response. Here it is:

Richard & Maureen,

Let me explain the process as I understand it to date:

In December 2006 Council grants Miracles $500,000 to find a new facility on Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. (MLK) as the facility Miracles had been operating in on MLK had been sold.

In early 2007 the Miracles Club found an available property across the street from where they have been operating for more than a decade.

When the Miracles Club is in escrow for the new property, the Club went to their neighborhood association (and yours) to talk and discuss their plans for the property.

In October of 2007, when PDC was considering bringing the subject property into the Urban Renewal Area, the Miracles Club made a presentation about the new proposed development. The presentation included preliminary proposed architect's drawings of both the exterior and a visual overview of the property in sort of an aerial view. And neighbors made comments on the initial drawings. The neighborhood association gave their support for Miracles to be brought into the URA. By being brought into the URA a property is potentially able to access urban renewal funds.

A number of other interested/stakeholder groups were contacted and consulted during this time including the N/NE Business Association, MLK Advisory Committee and others.

In March of 2008 notice was sent to the King Neighborhood Association and the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods requesting a meeting about the proposed project.

That meeting occurred in May of 2008 at the King Neighborhood Association. The Miracles Club offered to have further dialogue with Mr. Boardman and immediate neighbors. Mr. Boardman rejected that offer.

Another meeting is scheduled next week at the Neighborhood Association, where Miracles will make a special presentation about the proposed development.

After hearing from neighbors on Grand -- Charles Boardman & Maureen Kenny, the Miracles Club decided it will flyer the neighbors surrounding the proposed new development to invite them to attend the neighborhood meeting on the 11th of June. That flyering will occur this weekend.

Maureen Kenny emailed a list of questions to the Miracles Club. The Club responded to those questions within 24 hours, and offered to have a pre-meeting with immediate neighbors even before the neighborhood meeting to occur next week.

Which pretty much brings us up to date.

Richard as I let Maureen know in an email, the Miracles Club is eager to continue the conversations they have had with neighbors and the neighborhood association, take and respond to your input, and ultimately continue to be good neighbors. T

Miracles Club has been in your neighborhood for 14 years, and across the street on MLK for more than a decade. They have been and want to continue to be good neighbors.

Now let me explain what will happen going forward.

According to the City Code the new development will be subject to two different reviews - A Conditional Use Review and Design Review.

Once the Club submits their proposed drawings to the Bureau of Development Services (BDS), BDS will review the application and make an initial determination as to land use related issues with the site.

The Conditional Use process will involve and extensive layer of public comment and notice. The following groups/individuals will be notified:

- Neighborhood Association
- Neighborhood District Association
- Property owners within a certain range (400 feet of the site)
- Neighbors can be added to the mailing list at their request please contact Sylvia Cate if someone wishes to be added to the list

A public hearing before a Hearings Officer will then occur, comments can be made in person or in writing. A decision by the Hearing Officer is subject to appeal.

The Design Review will also progress, for complete details on the design review process please contact Chris Caruso at 823.5747.

For more information on the Conditional Use process please contact Sylvia Cate at 823.7771.

Also, BDS will be setting up a special page on their website for information about the proposed Miracles Club development. Hopefully, this additional website will help clear up some misinformation about the proposed development that appears to be floating about. I will let you know when that special website is up and available for viewing.

Thank you for sharing your comments and concerns,

Shannon Callahan
Office of Commissioner Saltzman

Comments (13)

Translation: You want notice and process? We will give you notice and process.

1. In the Conditional Use process we will hear your comments about any restrictions you would like to see on the development before we allow Miracles Club to build on this property.

2. In Design Review we will hear your comments about the buildings design before we allow Miracles Club to build on this property.

3. But rest assured that Miracles Club is going to get a permit to build on this property.

So what is the policy Greg C wants? Anytime a couple of neighbors object to a development, it should be denied? That's a smart way to a city.

All I am noting is that the long letter from Saltzmans office is so much BS. It's clear that neighbors don't want a project that they are going to get anyway. But they couched their objection as a "nobody notified us and we didn't get a chance to comment" complaint, so Saltzman replied. As far as I am concerned if the development meets the underlying zoning, which it apparently does, then that's fine by me.

Greg C

I would like respond by saying that I believe that we all hope to resolve this situation as positively as possible for ALL stakeholders. We are very open to discussion, communication and compromise as neighbors. We simply want our input to be valued- which should have been valued, and sought- right from the start. It is great that the Miracles Club is flyering residents within 400 feet of the project this weekend. Should have been done a year ago, and not just by the Miracles Club, but by the city and the PDC, according to their own public participation/citizen involvement policies.

We residents within 400 feet of the project are a separate and additional group of stakeholders, who should have been contact in addition to a brief appearance at the KNA. Indeed, we are the ones who will be most affected by the $11 million dollar project.

We certainly hope that the Miracles Club do indeed intend to be good neighbors. That is our fondest hope. What is worrisome is the long list of complaints made to the city about their current location; see link below to Portland Maps http://portlandmaps.com/detail.cfm?action=Permits&propertyid=R102905&state_id=1N1E22DA%20%2013000&address_id=582477&intersection_id=&dynamic_point=0&x=7648368&y=695159&place=4069%20NE%20MARTIN%20LUTHER%20KING%20JR%20BLVD&city=PORTLAND&neighborhood=KING&seg_id=108528

-as well as anecdotal evidence from their current, immediate neighbors.

Perhaps the new location will prove an opportunity for improved neighborhood relations. We very much hope so. Again, it certainly would have been nice to have a chance to air these concerns before it got to this point. We certainly hope we are given true voice now, rather than continue to be disenfranchised.

Maureen Kenny
Concerned Citizens of South King

Maybe if it had a house on the site owned by a disabled, elderly man Greg C and his city housing inspector co-hort could put some fines on it and then buy it for $1,300.

You should be in prison Greg "C".

You are going to Hell.



My guess is that the neighbors hoped that Miracles would be squeezed out of the neighborhood by increasing rents. I think the city bailout was not well received.

As a member of a neighborhood assn myself, I certainly wish that we spent more time and energy on efforts other than being the NIMBY police.

But I still believe in the Easter Bunny so there ya go.

Maureen, you have some real leverage through the city's conditional use process. Miracles needs to show they meet this criteria:

"The proposal will not have significant adverse impacts on the livability of nearby residential zoned lands due to:
1. Noise, glare from lights, late-night operations, odors, and litter; and
2. Privacy and safety issues."

You should negotiate with them to put strict controls on the potential nuisance impacts that worry you. That seems completely appropriate.

Oops, I mean "criterion", singular. My Latin is not so good. Mea culpa.

Dear Current CoP Employee,

Well I am guessing you don't want to out yourself publicly with your mistaken allegations but if you want to contact me privately I would be happy to explain your mistake.


You slam those of us still working here regularly on this site while you hide your own contemptible actions that allowed people that worked for you to engage in outrageous illegal and immoral behavior.

Now you want to engage in a "private" discussion about why you testified in favor of David Halberg in federal court and why you thought it OK for him to use his police powers to steal homes from defenseless elderly men? All with your approval?

You are a disgrace and I have no interest in having any exchange with you anywhere but the same forum you criticize your former co-workers. Right here Big Boy.

So there it is, Greg. Tell all who read this site why you are not a thousand times worse than those you now shoot arrows at from your comfy little Hood River cabin.

You suck.

Er, fellows? I think we are going to have a timeout now.

I was at the May King Neighborhood meeting that is referred to in this thread. Miracles and the city are not dealing with the neighborhood honestly. Their intentions are good, but it is clear they are trying to steam roll over any opposition to this project by burying it with process. The neighbors that are worried have a right to be and Dan Saltzman and the leaders of Miracles have a responsibility to the neighbors to hear them out and understand that the King Neighborhood of the 70's, 80's and 90's is the King Neighborhood of today.

With that said, the shame of this crap the City and Miracles is pulling is this could be a good project for the community. It has to be vetted out among neighbors and they need help. The City should hire a consultant for the neighbors....just like they hired one for Miracles or helped them hire one and address this issue in a professional manner. I like some of the stuff the City is now doing. Would like it better of there was a consultant working with the neighbors to make sure they understand the process and ensure the neighborhoods participate efficiently. After all, if Miracles deservers public funding of some of its soft cost for this project, so does King Neighborhood.

I will end that King residents have every right in the world not not want another social justice program imbedded with in its borders. Since 1970, few other neighborhoods have housed more social justice opportunities than King. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Miracles stays in King, but if it is time for them to move on....then so be it.

The letter conveys the same "bury them in process" tactic that Fred mentioned above.

Here's what I learned before my eyes glazed over:

$500,000 of new facility money from the city, process, PDC, process, inevitability, process, neighbors mad for no reason, process.

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