Land Use and Transportation in Sunnyside and Beyond!

Hello neighbors!  Last month I became a new Sunnyside Neighborhood Board member.  This month, I’m excited to introduce myself as your Land Use and Transportation Committee (LUTC) chairperson. There hasn’t been a LUTC in Sunnyside Neighborhood for a while, so it will take some time to get up and running again. At the moment, I’m the only member of this committee, which is tasked with tracking all matters related to land use and transportation that affect the neighborhood and communicating that information to the community. I’m particularly interested in this topic: my professional background includes 20 years in land use and transportation planning and design for communities along the West Coast and across the country. If you are interested in getting involved, email me at [email protected] or attend our next neighborhood association meeting.  Meeting details are posted at

Until we get enough folks interested to warrant regular meetings, this column will be my way of sharing what’s going on. My plan is to share happenings in the neighborhood as well as items from around the region that may impact our community. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

In the Neighborhood

4738 SE Belmont St.

A new 3-story, mixed-use structure is proposed on the .13-acre site at the southwest corner of SE Belmont and SE 48th.  The proposed building includes 19 apartment units and ground floor commercial space. The ground floor will host 1,150 sf of commercial lease space along Belmont St. The building’s total square footage is 11,473 sf. A drywell on the south end of the site will dispose of stormwater.

We hope to have the architect present at the October neighborhood association meeting. Watch the website for a final agenda.

3114 SE Belmont St.

A new residential building is being proposed at 3114 SE Belmont. At our August meeting, William/Kaven Architecture shared design concepts for each floor of this five-story building. The building’s 24 units range from roughly 360 to 720 square feet, with 2 – 4 affordable units included. No commercial uses are proposed. The ground-floor of the building includes common areas, utility spaces, and some of the building’s bike parking. The building is set back and the height is stepped down adjacent to the single-family house on both the south and southwest sides. According to the architects, the building’s height and setback are similar to a typical 2-story house with a peaked roof.

Hawthorne Pave and Paint

The Hawthorne Pave and Paint project will repave and restripe the stretch of SE Hawthorne Blvd between SE 24th and SE 50th.  The City sees this as more than a routine maintenance project and has identified three key goals for the project: improving safety, supporting Hawthorne’s function as a Main Street, and connecting people to other parts of the city. See SNA President Dave Boush’s overview of the project and links to learn more and provide your feedback on page 1.

In the Region

Get Moving 2020 Transportation Measure

The Get Moving 2020 measure from Metro will be on your November ballot. This measure (26-218) proposes $5 billion in funding for a wide range of transportation improvements across Washington, Multnomah, and Clackamas counties. Watch this space for more information and learn more at at:

COVID Times in a Three Generation House

I’ve been looking forward to 2020 for a long while.  It’s a year with great branding—what could be better than perfect vision?  This is also the year my only kid graduated from high school. Big changes were coming—the end of an era, surely, but also the start of an exciting new adventure for our family. Well, 2020 has certainly been the end of an era in many ways. Three generations comprise our family: Mom was born in 1944, I was born in 1974, and The Kid was born in 2003. We don’t agree on much, but we can all agree that the combination of COVID and the current president has resulted in the end of the future as we expected it. 

Remember my son, who was set to head off to college this fall?  When COVID hit in April, he was in the midst of deciding between U of O in Eugene and the U of A in Tucson and aiming to pursue interdisciplinary studies in business and psychology.  We were weighing pros and cons of cost, opportunity, and distance from family when it became clear that school might not even exist in the fall.  Best case, it would be primarily online.  Would it be worth the money and the risk to attend university in the first year of an untried and unproved approach to education?  In the end, we decided no.  So he is spending this next year at home self-educating and looking for ways to work.

My mom has had her own challenges.  In early April, she suffered a mild stroke and spent a week over at Providence Portland stabilizing and undergoing an endarterectomy.  She could only have one visitor during her stay, but we were grateful to have that!  Over the week, as I entered and exited the hospital each day, I watched the staff scramble to provide good care and good information with the protocols changing daily. In a chaotic and uncertain situation, they were amazing. In the months since, she has experienced ongoing health challenges made all the more so by the uncertainty around seeking care in a medical environment that could itself be life-threatening. While her recovery has taken much longer than anyone anticipated, recovering slowly is much better than the alternative.

And me, personally, I have ups and downs—over the weeks and during each day. I used to take the #14 bus or my bike downtown each morning and return with the flow of commuters in the evening. The commute time that used to be dedicated to enjoying the rising sun and a podcast is now dedicated once per week to The Trip to The Grocery Store.  This major production begins with suiting up in personal protective gear and ends with a decontaminating shower.  I’m no longer so sure that all of my commitment to not letting anything touch anything else until it’s been washed is rational, but I do know it calms my anxiety.  And I’m finally able to laugh at that anxiety when I’m watching a movie and see a crowd scene or two characters standing too close together.