The Foster Streetscape Plan has been a long time coming, but we're finally close to the finish line.
From the original plan in 2003, to the the restart of the planning process two years ago, this plan has been taking its time - waiting for a combination of funding, activism and politics to come alive. That time has come.
On Thursday the 15th the Portland Mercado groundbreaking took place, bringing supporters, organizers, politicians and the community together to share, eat and celebrate the coming of the Latino Market to southeast Portland.
The building may not look like much yet, but the sign boldly announces the soon-to-come market.
A major new development is coming to Lents, and the neighborhood association wants you to learn more about it.
Tucked into a sleepy corner of NW Lents is the shuttered Foster Elementary School (EDIT: the school site is at SE 86th & Steele). The school has been sitting vacant for years (last used as a public school in 1982, and occupied periodically since then), but it’s about to get a big dose of energy in the form of new complex of housing, education, and services provided by the Native American Youth Family Center (NAYA).
2014 is going to be a great year for Foster, in large part thanks to the soon-to-be Portland Mercado coming to 72nd & Foster.
The Mercado started with humble beginnings as a Hacienda CDC sponsored graduate student urban planning project, and has since turned into the community-driven professional effort we see to day. Here are the top headlines related to the latino market:
SPECIAL DISPATCH FROM THE FOSTER AREA BUSINESS ASSOCIATION (FABA)
Letters advocating support for, and an expedient approval of, the Foster Streetscape are on their way to City Hall. Members of the Foster Area Business Association (FABA) as well as concerned community members signed off on 22 letters which are en route to Portland City Commissioners and Mayor Charlie Hales following FABA’s April 8 board meeting.
Given how "environmentally-friendly" and "green" our city is reputed to be, you might find it hard to believe that Portland has a serious air quality problem -- but it's true. In August 2013, a national study named Precision Castparts Corporation (PCC) as the nation's #1 toxic polluter due to the quantity of the company's emissions, the toxicity of the pollutants, and the proximity of these emissions to the people in neighborhoods around them; neighborhoods like those in SE Portland. From cobalt to nickel and chromium to manganese, the company emits a toxic soup of carcinogens and neurotoxins. As a result of industrial pollution and that the fact that Oregon is becoming a dumping ground for dirty diesel engines that are now outlawed in California and Washington, many of our local schools have some of the most dangerous outdoor air quality in the entire nation.
The City of Portland is updating their Comprehensive Plan to manage and direct growth over the next 20 years. This plan sits at the top of the zoning, transportation and housing related regulations that control the shape of the future - so when the City asked the city to chime in, the Foster neighborhoods were up to the challenge.
By way of follow-up to February 15th's Foster Summit event, we're running summaries of topics and ideas from the Summit breakout sessions. We will publish these, along with the 'butcher paper' notes in the weeks to come.
Were you were there? What did we miss? Even if you couldn't attend the event, we hope you'll share your take on these important community issues.
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We had a diverse and great group for the Foster Summit breakout session on housing.
Portland's hot real estate market of a few years ago gave way to a real estate crash in 2009, which is now being followed by a comeback of sorts. If these tribulations have buffeted the middle class, they've been devastating to low income Portlanders --many of whom are not Portlanders anymore.
Much of the housing discussion at the Foster Summit focused on ideas for how we, at the neighborhood level, could try to stem the negative impacts of these changes.