To: Board of Commissioners, Clackamas County
From: McLoughlin Area Plan Implementation Team (MAP-IT)
Re: Quarterly Report of Activities
Honorable Chair and Commissioners:
Since our last report to you on December 31, our committee has met three times and subcommittees have also met a number of times. Listed below are our items of primary focus during the past three months:
Street Lighting on McLoughlin – We were advised by County staff at our March 7 meeting that the work on the lighting for the west side of McLoughlin Boulevard is ready to begin. Weather permitting, the first lights should go up in early April, starting at Park Avenue and working south. Phase II of the project (the east side) is out for bids and work should begin within about three months. We look forward to celebrating the completion of the first phase of the project before mid-year, and to the entire project being finished by the end of this year or early in 2018. We appreciate the efforts of Dan Johnson and his staff for making this happen.
Design Overlay Suggestions for Sections of McLoughlin Boulevard – It is a pleasure to announce that our recommendations to the Planning Commission were supported by the Planning Department and have been approved for inclusion in the 2017-18 work program for Planning. This work will initially focus on the area around the Park Avenue Station area and the commercial zone on McLoughlin between Park and Courtney. Our April meeting will be almost completely devoted to discussions between our committee, County staff and other citizen groups on how to begin the work to secure the necessary funding and retain an outside consultant.
Repurposing ideas for Concord Elementary School – As you know, the Concord School property is now part of the North Clackamas Park District. An announcement should issue shortly from the Park District on a series of public outreach meetings to settle on the final use of the building and its surrounding property.
Completion of Sidewalk Network on McLoughlin Boulevard – Since members of one of our subcommittee met late last year with representatives of the County, ODOT and Metro, ODOT has continued working with one of our members so that we can assist the County in applying for a grant later this year which would enable completion of this work as well as sidewalk and crossing improvements on some surrounding streets.
Open Space Preservation – The Oak Lodge Water Services District (OLWSD) reports that the design for the first phase of the Boardman Wetland Complex regional park is expected to be 90% complete by April 3rd, 2017 with one more review by the citizen advisory committee scheduled for about April 14. The in-water work is still scheduled for July with completion of this phase by the end of 2017. Additionally, the OLWSD Board also voted to partner with the North Clackamas Parks & Recreation District (NCPRD) to apply for a grant from the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department to develop a nature-themed learning park on the remaining parcel fronting SE Addie Street, expanding the entrance to the wetland park. The completion of the park and expected foot traffic will necessitate completion of the sidewalk system along SE Addie Street (presently intermittent). This will be a good addition to the Jennings Avenue bike-ped project currently in design at the County and scheduled for completion in 2018-19.
NCPRD and the North Clackamas Urban Watersheds Council hosted a planting event at Stringfield Family Park on March 4 to replant barren spots in natural areas on both sides of Boardman Creek and for a mile northward along the Trolley Trail. In spite of rain and hail at times, new volunteers continued to appear the whole morning and take ownership of these valuable community resources.
Schoolyard Farms is on the cusp of fully developing the County-approved landscape plan for the pilot project at Candy Lane Elementary School. With the recent donation of hoops for a propagation greenhouse, the last structure of the learning center will soon go up. This helps SYF develop year-round production capacity, which is an important but difficult goal.
Additionally, the recent donation of dozens of mature grape vines (some over 50 years old) and white currant bushes, which are being retrieved and replanted in March and April by volunteers, will fill in the areas on the farm that were set aside for fruit production. Initial plantings are being done at Candy Lane, and expected excess grape and currant bushes will be planted at the second farm on the grounds of the New Urban High School in downtown Oak Grove. The organization is looking for volunteers to help manage this aspect of the farm and expects to begin offering produce from these plants later this year through the community-supported-agriculture (CSA) program, school cafeteria and Head Start as well as selected local restaurants. Fruit production also opens new opportunities for job training at New Urban High School, which is contemplating a partnership with SYF in a farm stand at the school, to be run by the students.
MAP-IT Work Plan for 2016 – 2017 – none of these have changed:
- Work with ODOT, the county, and other agencies to prepare a project and then secure funding to complete the sidewalk network on McLoughlin Boulevard, Courtney Road and Johnson Road around the Sabin-Schellenberg centers,
- Work with the Planning & Zoning Division to continue our focus on identifying any improvements needed to current C-3 zoning on McLoughlin to encourage mixed use buildings, improve property values and attract more community businesses,
- Work with CPO’s and the Planning & Zoning Division on identifying any changes to zoning regulations that may be needed in order to more completely protect and preserve neighborhood character,
- Be an active participant in the advisory group formed to work with Metro in identifying “brownfield sites” on or near McLoughlin for future clean up.
Listed below are those areas where we believe the County Commission could support one or more of the projects or programs we are studying:
- We are still quite interested in being represented on the advisory group proposed by Metro to conduct surveys of possible “brownfield properties” on or near McLoughlin Blvd. Cleaning up these properties can yield positive benefits for future redevelopment of the area. We understand that this is delayed due to questions about the continued availability of Federal funding,
- As mentioned above, much of our work during the next year will be focused on working with the Planning Division in developing a special zoning overlay for the Park Avenue Station area and the surrounding properties. We will need your assistance in supporting staff applications to identified sources for funding and for the establishment of a special group to work on this outside of our normal meetings. Successful completion of this effort will be something of which we can all be proud!
It has been a distinct pleasure to write this report and to recognize the number of our projects which are now nearing completion. We deeply appreciate your support of these efforts, and for making staff available to meet with us as needed. Working together, we can make a sizeable difference in this area as we continue to implement the vision, values, guiding principles and programs and projects identified in MAP I and MAP II. Thank you!
Ed Gronke, ChairTerry Gibson, Vice-Chair