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Rhododendron CPO Minutes

Nov. 19, 2016

Hoodland Fire Station

Open Meeting
President Steve Graeper called the meeting to order at 1:02 PM. A quorum was determined. Twenty-five people attended.

Secretary’s Report
The minutes of the September meeting have been on display at the Rhododendron Post Office and were distributed by email before the meeting. Graeper asked if there were any changes or corrections. There were none. Carol Haugk moved and Sharon Lamoreaux seconded a motion to approve the September 2016 minutes as written. The motion carried.

Treasurer Report
VP/Treasurer Sharon Lamoreaux gave the Treasurer’s report:

Beginning Balance
General Fund $478.18
Garden Fund $111.67
Total Combined as of 9/17/2016 $589.85
General Fund Donation to Ant Farm ($ 50.00)
Ending Balance as of 11-19-2016: $539.85

Guest Speaker
Graeper introduced recently elected Clackamas County Commissioner, Mr. Ken Humberston, who began his remarks by stating the issue of the Rhododendron CPO Boundary expansion is on the BCC agenda for consideration at the January 10, 2017 Policy Session. Humberston went on to explain that one of the big issues he wants to address is employment in the rural areas. The harvesting of timber is very important to the economy in our area and Humberston said the county’s approach should be selective harvesting. There are about 500 acres of harvestable timber in the Mt. Hood corridor. Community member, Don Mench, voiced his concern with regard to logging in our area and how it could affect area watersheds. Humberston would follow up on Mench’s concern and asked they be in contact after the meeting. Graeper thanked Commissioner Humberston, expressing that he is very encouraged with Humberston’s concern for our area, and hoped that rural Clackamas County would be heard.

Old Business
Clackamas County and The Villages at Mt. Hood
Graeper reported on the issues between the Villages at Mt. Hood and Clackamas County. He has attended several public meetings on the issue and expressed how he believes the BCC and the Villages should work together. Carol Burke felt the Villages were not being heard at the county level.

CPO Boundary Change Update
Graeper reported that the county recently informed him of the new procedures the county will follow regarding the CPO boundary change. First, staff will present the issue at a BCC Policy Session to be held January 10, 2016. Property and homeowner’s in the areas affected will then be notified of a Public Comment meeting via County sponsored mailings and notice printed in the Mountain Times. The public comment meeting will be held January 21, 2016 at the regular CPO meeting. After the Public comment meeting, the BCC will place the issue on the agenda of a regular meeting of the BCC, where public testimony and consider written comments will be considered.

CPO Boundary Change Update (continued)
A map of the proposed boundary change was available for review and is attached to the minutes.

Graeper explained that the big benefit of a boundary change would be to give the Census Bureau a more accurate boundary to use when determining the economic demographic of this area.

Rhododendron Memorial Garden Report
Barbara Novinger thanked the volunteers who worked in the garden this year: Carol Haugk, Judy Fletcher, Michelle Lamoreaux, and John Young. The mower needs repair and a Bark Dust bill for $33.00 was presented for reimbursement.

Road Clean up
Carol Haugk gave an update on road clean up and said clean up will be suspended until spring.

Chamber of Commerce Meeting Report
Carol then reported on the guests who spoke at the last two Chamber meeting pointing out that interested citizens could keep informed of Chamber News through the Mt. Times or by visiting the Mt. Hood Chamber web site. The next Chamber event will be the Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast on December 6, 2016.

Bike/Pedestrian Committee Report
Michelle Lamoreaux reported that she has been attending meetings as part of the Bike/Pedestrian committee. The proposed Bike/Pedestrian Implementation Plan is for the entire Mt. Hood area and more will be presented later in the meeting.

New Business
Rhododendron Redevelopment
President Graeper had the audience close their eyes and imagine, as he gave a narrative view of Rhododendron and what the overall possibilities would look like as an imaginary traveler through Rhododendron. He explained how those possibilities would positively change the core business area of Rhododendron by creating a more apparent business district. The changes would help beautify the area; make for safer pedestrian crossings with sidewalks, safety islands and a lower the speed limit; as well as stimulate economic development. If Rhododendron developed a more defined business district, there would be a better chance of ODOT lowering the speed limit to 35MPH, something the CPO has sought for the past 10 years. Graeper shared that he held an informal meeting with the core area business and property owners on October 22, 2016. The meeting was to determine the amount of support this type of project would generate from the business community. After explaining the concept and presenting some sketches depicting what a redeveloped Rhododendron could look like, the 20 plus attendees all supported the idea. The notes and sign-in sheet from that meeting are available upon request.

Graeper had Michelle Lamoreaux introduce Lori Mastrantonio who is a Senior Planner for Clackamas County. Mastrantonio spoke on the Villages at Mt. Hood Pedestrian and Bikeway Implementation Plan. She had several copies of the plan for audience review and said that it could be viewed at the county web site:

The plan calls for major changes in the County Planning codes to allow for implementation of safety improvements throughout the area. The Pedestrian and Bikeway committee has been working on these plans for over a year and has hosted several community events to ensure that community concerns are heard. The input was well received incorporated into the final draft. Mastrantonio explained that Graeper and Lamoreaux’s testimony at a recent Planning Commission hearing played a key role in the Planning Commission’s approval of the draft plan. The draft now goes to the BCC for public comment and hopefully final approval.

Graeper’s goal is to incorporate the recommendations listed in the Bike/Ped plan, into the plans for the Rhododendron Core redevelopment.

Graeper then introduced Mr. Mark Seder, of Seder Architecture and Urban Design, LLC. Mr. Seder was selected after Graeper sent out RFP/RFQ’s (Request for Proposal/Request for Quote) to several urban planners. Seder demonstrated a genuine interest in the redevelopment project and met with Graeper on several occasions to get a better understanding of the needs in our area. Seder, Graeper, and Mastrantonio even met with ODOT representatives to determine the level of cooperation any development would generate from ODOT. The results of the ODOT meeting were very promising.

Seder then presented the CPO with a visual display of what could be done in our area and what they would look like. Much of what is in his plan is similar to the look of Government Camp, using Cascadian Style architecture and blending the proposed improvements into the forest theme.

Graeper explained that he personally committed to pay Seder $1300.00 for his initial time and efforts in order to get some initial renderings drawn in order to help the community visualize the possibilities. He went on to explain that he made this commitment with the hope that the drawings would help the community visualize the possibilities and would generate discussion to approve the concept of redevelopment and vote to move forward to the next steps. A copy of one of the visualizations is attached to the minutes.

Graeper then asked for community support. He explained that in order to qualify for any future grant funding, the community needed to show that it supports the project. He explained that a motion to support the project needed to be entered into the minutes and the community needed to show its support by making some funding commitments by way of donations to help defray the $1300.00 expense. In order to make this plan to come fruition, we need a definite commitment from the community and the area businesses.

Vice President/Treasurer Lamoreaux indicated that the CPO is a registered 501(c)(3) and as such, any donations could be tax deductible. Graeper added that the CPO has already received a generous donation from Dave and Regina Lythgoe to help fund the project and he hoped the community would join Dave and Regina by helping build a separate fund in the CPO account specifically designated for Community Redevelopment. Carol Burke mentioned that we could do some fundraisers to also help with expenses.

After some discussion, Linny Adams moved and Carol Burke seconded a motion stating that the Rhododendron CPO supports the plan for redevelopment of Rhododendron. The motion carried.

Barbara Novinger then moved and Mia Quilles seconded a motion to form a committee to help with and direct the process of Rhododendron redevelopment. The motion carried. Graeper asked that anyone interested in being on the committee

Graeper thanked the Lythgoe’s for their generous donation to the project. Carol Haugk then presented a nice donation to the fund and hoped it would be followed by many more. Graeper added that any donations to the Rhododendron Redevelopment fund be made out to the Rhododendron CPO and noted that the donation is for the Redevelopment Fund. Donations should be sent by mail to the CPO via P.O. Box 33, Rhododendron, OR 97049.

Other New Business
Swinging Bridge
Carol Haugk reported to Graeper about a week ago that the county had allocated $150,000 for the renovation of the Swinging Bridge. She had met someone from the county while cleaning the bridge that informed her of the possible funding. After hearing from Haugk, Graeper did some investigating. He met with county bridge officials and received a copy of the independent engineering report on the structural stability of the bridge. He also received a copy of the engineering details on how the bridge will be rebuilt and upgraded. If the county approves the funds, the entire wood structure of the bridge will be replaced with treated all natural wood. The steel support ties, the railing and fencing will all be replaced and the underneath tie rods will be upgraded. Graeper has a copy of the report if anyone is interested

Ski Bowl Billboard
The Hanna Corporation has placed a trailer, with a billboard on both sides, on the All Ways Towing property. Several people voiced disapproval with how it looked and that it detracted from Rhododendron. In addition, the question was asked if the trailer encroached on ODOT Right-of-Way. Graeper indicated that Hanna Corporation was free to place any advertising on the property as long as it meets all county, state, and federal guidelines for advertising along highways. If it encroaches on ODOT right-of-way, then it will likely be moved.

Mt. Hood Area Chamber of Commerce Breakfast
Graeper reminded everyone that the Annual Volunteer Appreciation Breakfast, put on by the Chamber would be Tuesday, December 6. If interested in attending, contact Coni Scott, Chamber President.

Disbursed Camping
Disbursed Camping was discussed at the last CPO meeting. Graeper reported that he had been made aware of a possible violator camping in the woods between Skyway Tavern and Road 9 on the north side of Hwy. 26. Graeper indicated that the site has been reported to the Forest Service and they will be investigating.

The next Rhododendron CPO meeting will be held Saturday January 21, 2017, time and place to be announced. Sharon Lamoreaux moved and Michelle Lamoreaux seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed, and the meeting was adjourned at 3:10 PM.

Respectfully submitted,

Merv Novinger, Secretary

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