Tag: MNA

82nd Ave Mural Guidance Meeting

A new mural is coming to the corner of 82nd Ave and NE Glisan as part of the Jacksons’ gas station redevelopment. Hector H. Hernandez will create the public artwork in the ceramic-tile mosaic style. However, community participation in guiding the mural project is needed.

Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) will host an online meeting to solicit public input regarding the art installation. The discussion is held via Zoom this Monday evening, November 30th, at 6:30 PM. Those unable to attend or who want to contribute in multiple ways can call 503-660-8659 or fill out an online form to provide written feedback. Callers leaving a voicemail should limit calls to 3 minutes.

Regardless of how community members choose to contribute to the project, MNA asks people first to visit the Land Use and Transportation page and read about the project and its chosen theme. As this project will be a visible marker of the neighborhood, it must reflect the diverse nature of Montavilla. Participation in this project will help all residents make a lasting mark on the local culture and its public perception.

Zoom Meeting signup link: https://forms.gle/iK9c6EokzMCs9rBv6


Main image is a recent painted mural by artist Hector H. Hernandez

Disclosure: The Author of this article serves on the Montavilla Neighborhood Association Board.

MNA Board Elections

UPDATE: Both candidates received sufficient votes to win their respective race. They now join the existing board members. Taylor Wells received 43 votes and Jacob Loeb received 42 votes.


Original post from November 9th, 2020

Tonight at 6:30 PM, the Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) will hold its 2020 board member election. The ballot link will become available this evening on the MNA website and remain available for 24 hours. Two candidates are running unopposed for open positions.

Only MNA members are eligible to vote in the election. However, membership is simple to obtain and free to all residents and business people in Montavilla. To become a member, you must attend a general meeting and affirm your wish to become a member. Membership is for a three-year term, and there is no limit to the number of terms a member can retain membership.

If you are not a member, you can join tonight. The Meeting is held online via Zoom. People interested in becoming a MNA member can find the meeting signup link on the MNA calendar webpage.


Montavilla News does not endorse individual candidates or ballot measures

Disclosure: The author of this article is one of the candidates.

MNA Board Candidate Information

2020 Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) elections have two candidates running for open positions on the Board. As both positions are currently unfilled, each candidate is running unopposed. Taylor Wells seeks the position of Public Safety Chair. Jacob Loeb seeks the position of Corresponding Secretary. Elections will be held online starting at 6:30 PM on November 9th, and ending 24 hours later. Those who have attended a general meeting in the past year are eligible to vote. You can attend the November 9th meeting (via zoom) and vote after the meeting.


TAYLOR WELLS – Candidate for Public Safety Chair:

There are many safety-related items to address in our neighborhood – from the rise in crime recently to earthquake/emergency preparation to safer roads for our children to play in. I believe I can make the most impact by immediately addressing the three issues below and start connecting with other Public Safety Board Members in SE and greater Portland to see what initiates are working and what changes we could bring to our neighborhood. I’d also like to bring in thought-leaders around these Public Safety issues to help educate our residents on how to address them. I’d also love to hear from members of the Association to see what safety-related concerns I can help potentially address. 

Ultimately, I cannot achieve these goals on my own so I’d like to foster more participation in MNA to help get more ideas and resources to improve the safety of our neighborhood. 

Top 3 issues:

  • Earthquake / Emergency Preparation 
  • Protecting ourselves against theft / how to look out for each other
  • Reducing high-speed reckless drivers 

About me: I’m an Oregon native and lived in Montavilla for 2 years now with my wife. I go on almost daily walks or bike rides around the neighborhood, Pre-COVID working remotely from many of the coffee shops or tea shops (RIP Townshends), and play futsal soccer in the Montavilla Park during the summer. My sister and her husband & daughter live in the neighborhood and I’ve met some amazing friends on my street and in the area. 

Looking forward to potentially serving our neighborhood! 


JACOB LOEB – Candidate for Corresponding Secretary:

Montavilla is a robust community with engaged residents and businesses. The Montavilla Neighborhood Association has an opportunity and an obligation to serve the community by providing a collective voice. As Corresponding Secretary, I intend to expand MNA communication and solicit the broadest possible involvement from our community.

Beyond communication, I will identify resources that can improve the neighborhood. The city, county, and Metro have programs designed to enhance public life. MNA’s involvement with those organizations will help direct resources where the community needs them.

Neighborhood trash and litter is a challenge we all need to address. It may not be our fault, but it is our problem to solve. MNA can work with the City of Portland to bring in more public trash cans. However, that alone will not solve the problem. We will need to organize community cleanups targeting problem public spaces. To facilitate those cleanups, MNA needs to consider providing dumpsters to the community. Not only will dumpsters house trash collected from the street cleanups, but it also provides a space for our community’s unhoused to dispose of their trash responsibly.

About me: I moved to the Montavilla neighborhood 15 years ago to provide a safe and comfortable home for my family. I work in the IT industry and prefer bike commuting when I travel to an office.


Montavilla News does not endorse individual candidates or ballot measures

Disclosure: The author of this article is one of the candidates.

Design Evolution

Six years ago, the apartments at 7706 & 7718 SE Washington Street went before the Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) for design review. The building designer described the process as challenging and laments some of the changes made to address neighborhood concerns.

There were very few multi-story apartments proposed for Montavilla in 2014. The designer of the project, Kym Nguyen of Concept Design and Associates LLC, recalled a great deal of opposition from the community. “They were strongly against it as I think this was the only [project with] multiple units proposed in that area. They said it would ruin the neighborhood.”

In preparation for the apartment’s design review, the Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) posted the project’s images and descriptions on their Facebook page. Lew Scholl was the Land Use and Transportation Chair for MNA in 2014. In correspondence with Nguyen, Scholl shared some community criticism the project received on Facebook. Comments centered around the roofline and lack of on-site parking.

Much of Facebook criticism echoed through public commentary at the October 2014 MNA meeting. “It was a very interesting meeting process, some very rude [people] and some being cautious [with] what they were saying,” described Nguyen. Lew Scholl did not recall the MNA meeting as being highly critical of the project. “There were no highly controversial issues about what was proposed… Some comments were posted on the MNA Facebook Group about parking that she brought up with the owners, but she was not able (nor required) to provide on-site parking. The development met the city’s zoning code, and no variances were requested.”

The commentary offered at the meeting advanced the project towards a publicly acceptable design. However, not all changes desired by neighboring residents were possible. “The zoning at this site back then is R1, which limited the height, along with the setback and building plan. It was challenging on the design to have parking on-site, so I recommended to have two levels and only two parking [spaces] available at the rear of the site.” Explained Nguyen.

Criticism of the roofline and zoning height restrictions forced Nguyen to choose a more conventional hip roof for the final design. She felt it was an unfortunate compromise. The high peak created by a modern one side shed roof allowed for a vaulted ceiling on the second floor. Taller walls could bring more light into the living space by accommodating larger windows. Nguyen imagined those elements would have enhanced the perceived beauty felt by the occupants. There were also practical advantages to the original roof design. Rainwater management would run along just one side of the roof instead of the entire parameter, creating a cleaner aesthetic and providing easier maintenance.

Ultimately the builder made more compromises towards conventional design. Standard vinyl windows replace unequal split sash windows. The building’s color pallet changed from dark to light, and cladding highlights became muted by material and paint.

Examining past projects like this can be helpful as we enter a new era of density in Montavilla. Changes in zoning during the last six years encourage more multi-story projects in neighborhoods. Now is a good time for the community to consider how multi-family buildings will fit into the area. Apartments by their nature will not look like a classic single-family home. Residents will need to come to terms with that and start to think about what features of large buildings will comfortably fit in the community.

Original design. Concept Design and Associates LLC

Updated design after MNA meeting. Concept Design and Associates LLC

Design update addressing roofline concerns. Concept Design and Associates LLC

Apartments as built

MNA’s 2020 Online Election

UPDATE – 2020 Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) elections have two candidates running for open positions on the Board. As both positions are currently unfilled, each candidate is running unopposed. Taylor Wells seeks the position of Public Safety Chair. Jacob Loeb seeks the position of Corresponding Secretary. Elections will be held online starting at 6:30 PM on November 9th, and ending 24 hours later. Those who have attended a general meeting in the past year are eligible to vote. You can attend the November 9th meeting (via zoom) and vote after the meeting.


Original post from September 26th, 2020.

It is election season all over the country with many important positions up for a vote. That includes the often overlooked election for Montavilla’s neighborhood association. Unlike national and other Oregon elected positions, association board members do not appear on the standard mail-in ballot. Historically they are elected through in-person votes at board meetings.

As with neighborhood association meetings throughout Portland, COVID-19 forced most association’s board elections online this year. “All our neighborhoods have done online elections, so [Montavilla is] not the only neighborhood that has or will conduct elections in this manner.” Explained Mireaya Medina, SE Uplift‘s Communications & Small Grants Manager. Many elections have already taken place. “Nearly all 20 [SE] neighborhoods have already completed their 2020-21 Neighborhood Association Elections.”

The Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) can have eleven board member seats. The MNA website lists only eight active members. Montavilla community members wishing to join MNA do not have to run against any current board members. Candidates only need to be willing to participate in meetings and committees. SE Uplift offers resources for new board members. Reading through that information can further define what is required by serving on the board. 

Becoming a candidate for the board is relatively straight forward. It starts at the next MNA meeting, scheduled for October 12th. Candidates will self-nominate and speak about their areas of interest for community development. This weekend Louise Hoff, MNA Chair, will post notices around Montavilla encouraging participation in the October meeting. Even if you are not interested in assisting in the MNA, attend this meeting to support issues you care about in the community. It will be held on zoom, and people can signup to receive a link at the MNA website. Chairperson Hoff explained that after people speak at the October meeting, “the Board will vote on a roster and SE Uplift will create a ballot which will be available online” at the website montavillapdx.org.

Voting will open at the beginning of November, with the results announced at the November 9th MNA meeting. Outside the historically large turnout in 2017, participation in the MNA elections does not see large turnouts. However, with meetings and the election now held online, this is an easy year to participate. 

Our Not so Fresh Fresh-air

The smoke has mostly cleared out of the air in Montavilla, but it is not entirely safe to breathe. Greg Bourget, with Portland Clean Air, attended the September 14th Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) meeting to deliver that message. Portland Clean Air is seeking MNA participation with the organization.

Bourget attended the meeting to inform the MNA board of hazardous air quality issues in the area and ask that an MNA representative be made available to coordinate with Portland Clean Air. Thirty-nine other Portland Neighborhood Associations have appointed a liaison to work with the project, according to Bourget. The primary purpose of this formal communication channel is to keep Montavilla residents informed.

“Currently Multnomah is ranked by the EPA in the worst 1.3% of counties in the US for diesel particulate, the worst airborne carcinogen according to State of California risk assessments.” Explained Bourget. He went on by referencing The State of California’s report on diesel particulate. It says that “Diesel engine emissions are believed to be responsible for about 70% of California’s estimated known cancer risk attributable to toxic air contaminants.” 

Montavilla residents should take particular concern, according to Bourget. “Montavilla is unusually affected by diesel particulate, even by Portland standards, due to proximity to I-84 and I-205.”

Beyond sharing information, Bourget hopes Montavilla will help apply pressure to the leading polluters in the area. “Four Associations have written five negotiation letters to some of the most dangerous industrial air polluters in Portland. Montavilla’s endorsement of these letters is requested. Montavilla might consider participating in the negotiation with unfiltered diesel fleets, considering your [neighborhood’s] exposure.”

The MNA agreed to give this matter further consideration and find a willing representative to work with Portland Clean Air. Board members expressed a desire to have Greg Bourget back at a future date to further present information.

Portland Clean Air will release two reports in the coming days to help the community take proactive steps towards cleaner air. One will focus on effective home air filtration. The other report will address air quality monitoring. By educating the public and assisting residents in measuring their environment, Bourget wants people to become more involved. “We invite residents to learn more and consider helping with a campaign focused on the largest Portland area [polluter,] unfiltered diesel fleets.”

Air quality has been on everyone’s mind these last few weeks due to the dangerous wildfire smoke. Portland Clean Air hopes now is an excellent time to have you think about the unseen dangers in the air that exist year-round. Additional research into Portland Clean Air’s information is needed. However, the project hopes to get Portlanders investigating the issues and ultimately supporting some pollution reform.

Mosaic’s Artist Considered

Board members reviewed the works of artist Hector H Hernandez at the September 14th Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) meeting. Hernandez is the preferred candidate to create Montavilla’s newest piece of public art. MNA is working with Jacksons Food Stores to create a tile-mosaic as part of the new gas station and store at 515 NE 82nd Ave.

The mosaic will be part of a new Pedestrian Plaza at the southeast corner of the property. It will face the intersection of NE Glisan Street and 82nd Ave and create a barrier between the gas station and the plaza area. The task of finding an artist from the community, and working with Jacksons Food Stores to commission the project, is the responsibility of board member Adam Wilson. Wilson sought community input at previous MNA meetings and searched within the Portland art community. Hernandez became the preferred candidate, based on the project requirements and his portfolio. 

The initial specification for the project calls for a four-foot by forty-foot mosaic. Jacksons Food Stores is willing to commit $10,000 towards the artwork. However, that may be insufficient for the size of the project. The artist estimates the costs closer to $20,000. MNA board members reviewed Hernandez’s work at the meeting and expressed a desire to find a solution to the funding gap.

Hector H Hernandez’s work includes many public murals in Oregon. Consequently, Hernandez has experience in creating artwork with direction from neighborhood associations and private businesses. In an email interview with Montavilla News, Hernandez described his approach to this type of project. Through a process of investigation and communication, Hernandez seeks to “creating an emblematic piece of artwork that will enhance the neighborhood aspirations and dreams.”

This piece of public art will last many years on a marquee corner, and its selection will comment on the neighborhood. As the selection process moves forward, there should be more public opportunities to view the design options. Follow the MNA Facebook for updates on this project and to share your opinions.


Cover Image courtesy of Hector H Hernandez

Store and Gas Station at NE 82nd and Glisan

A replacement convenience store and gas station’s site plan reveals an attractive property with many new public spaces. At a Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) meeting earlier in the year, the architect for this project presented his designs. The presentation included a Site Plan and Implementation Plan for the new Jacksons convenience store and gas station located at 515 NE 82nd Ave. As part of the development, MNA will help select a mosaic-tile art installation facing the intersection of NE 82nd Ave and NE Glisan Street.

The mosaic will be part of a new Pedestrian Plaza at the southeast corner of the property. This area will include a 100 square foot covered area, 8′ long benches, and trash receptacles. In addition to trees and other plantings, concrete pavers and low-level yard lighting will further cultivate a mini parklike feeling at the plaza. It will provide ample space for those using the 72 bus stop or waiting to cross the busy intersection.

This new gas station and store will occupy the current Shell Gas station site and a former Pizza Hut property. Earlier this year, both lots combined into a single property. The City of Portland is currently reviewing demolition permits for the existing gas station, convenience store, and Pizza Hut building. Their removal is necessary to make way for this new development.

Pedestrian access in this area will significantly improve as a result of this project. Sidewalks around the site will increase to meet the new width specified in the 2019 82nd Avenue Plan. Curb cuts for vehicle access will move away from the intersection, giving pedestrians defined areas where cars will travel through the sidewalk. Currently, a vehicle could cross the sidewalk at practically any point along the properties edge.

The new 4,452 square-foot connivance store is being constructed in the northern half property but close to the center. A new raised concrete walkway protects customers walking from Glisan Street to the store. It will run along the west side of the property and curve around to connect with NE 82nd Ave. Additionally, the walkway could help the walking public avoid all gas station traffic when traveling between Glisan and 82nd by safely cutting across the property.

Nine onsite spaces provide parking for the store, with one dedicated for accessible parking. Four parking spaces are positions on the south side of the building, and the remaining five are on the north side. The replacement fueling canopy and pumps are comparable in size to the existing station. Pumps will shift to the west by a few feet.

The site plan includes a significant number of trees around the parameter of the property. An esthetically pleasing change from the massive concrete lot that exists there today. This location will remain a car-centric establishment, but its many human-scale amenities help it blend into the area successfully. If built as proposed, this will be a positive example of the changing nature of 82nd Ave.