Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stay tuned for a meeting very soon

I'm finding out from a few folks about having a meeting this week ASAP.

Heads up. We need to be considering people for roles to do the following tasks in a hurry before the next meeting with the land owner, developer, and 7-11 rep. These are what I believe the tasks will be, but we need to flesh this out at a meeting ASAP.

  • Make posters inviting people to the next public meeting (1 person)
  • Distribute posters (3-5+ people - all over Sellwood, East Moreland, Reed, Mt. Scott and Brentwood... AND Woodstock)
  • Someone writes our official statement of the standing of Woodstock Cares and our opposition to 7-11's intended presence.
  • Someone call AND(not or) emails the big TV outlets about the meeting. Ask them to send a reporter and preferably a camera. Tell them a big turnout is expected (fingers crossed) (1 people)
  • Someone to post meeting to free e-calendars and announces on social media sites as invitations, ads and other ongoing information (1-2 people)
  • Someone contacts the 4-5 neighborhood associations and asks them to send at least one representative each, if not a posse (1 person)
  • Someone calls AND(not or) emails KBOO, OPB and other radio outlets to request a reporter AND offer a live interview by a representative of Woodstock Cares. (1-2 people)
  • Someone calls AND(not or) emails Willamette Week, Portland Mercury, and other publications in Portland about this meeting an issue.
  • Someone to call local businesses and request they send a representative to the meeting to voice their opinion. (1 informed person)
  • Someone to call/email other citizen action groups that may be interested in backing this effort. (1 informed person)
  • Optional: Someone contacts local universities to inform civic participation and request advice, support and that they let their students know to come to the meeting as well (1 informed person)
Thoughts? Feedback? Ideas?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

For Those of You Just Finding out...

On Tuesday, October 20th, 2010 at 6:30pm, a meeting was held at the SE Uplift building on 3534 SE Main Street (two blocks north or Hawthorne) to discuss the want for 7-Eleven to lease and build at 52nd & Woodstock.  The meeting was poorly advertised and many people who showed up only had a day or a few hours notice.  The land owner, contractor and a representative from 7-Eleven were present to discuss the project. 

Plans and a building design were presented by 7-Eleven.  Needless to say,  the neighborhood residents of Woodstock were opposed to the site being occupied by 7-Eleven.   After many hours of discussion no real decisions were made other than finding out these facts:

  • 7-Eleven has already signed a lease with the landholder and while they say they may be willing to break that lease, penalties for such were not discussed.
  • The developer is not interested in building for anyone other than 7-Eleven due to the fact that 7-Eleven has great credit (considering it is the largest chain store in the world, surpassing McDonald's by 1,000 stores).  He is also the exclusive developer for 24-Hour Fitness. 
  • The water and sewer have already been disconnected at the Arby's site and demolition is planned for the next three weeks with a new building construction planned in as little as 30 days. 
  • This meeting was the first time anyone from the community has seen the artist renderings of the site plan or the schematics for that plan.
  • 7-Eleven has NOT followed and completed all of the Title 33 zoning codes for convenience stores by the City of Portland. [Click here to download Title 33]
  • Title 33 states that the land owner and future tenant and were supposed to contact the neighborhood association to inform them of this meeting and then to discuss a mandatory Good Neighbor Plan. They made no effort to do this. 
  • Title 33 also states that the and owner and future tenant were supposed to send notice to the adjacent properties within 15 days of this meeting informing them of this meeting. They did not. 
  • A representative of the neighborhood association made it clear that this will be discussed at the next meeting and a date set for a meeting with the landowner to discuss this situation. 
  • The landowner could possibly be interested in selling the property for an approximate sum of $950,000, and claims that the property has been for sale (although only for lease signs have ever been present on the building). 
  • Burgerville made an offer on the property but the site was deemed cost prohibitive to develop there. 

Other Information to Keep in Mind: 
  • A survey of Woodstock residents has surfaced that a local or regional brewery, bakery or bookstore would be best received by the residents and frequented often.
  • McMinneman's and Solstice Brewing have both been looking for a way to "get into" the Woodstock neighborhood, as both see the area as a good market.
  • 7-Eleven, far from a local company, is not even a U.S. company. It is operating under Seven-Eleven Japan Co. Ltd, which in turn is owned by Seven & I Holdings Co. of Japan.

The take-home is this: Click "Follow" at the right of this blog to keep up on this issue. We will be having a rally soon and inviting media outlets.  It is important that as many people as possible attend and we get the attention of the City of Portland.  We need to fight this!  Even if we can't stop them from moving in, we have to consider ways to make them not become a crime magnet. Many suggestions have been made, such as
  • Find a way to require the site be a multiple store site where a local bakery, brewery or other tenant can coexist.
  • Find a way to require the store to close between the hours of 12pm and 5am to promote safety in the area.
  • Find a way to require the store not sell alcohol or only sell it within certain hours.
  • Make the adjacent street one-way or local traffic only streets with speed bumps.