At least 40 neighbors from both the Laurelhurst and North Tabor neighborhoods gathered at Providence Portland Medical Center’s main hospital to listen to an update on the plans for expansion within the Providence’s Growth Boundary. The update included information about the construction of the Guest House (later in 2012 if funding is obtained) and the Physician’s Plaza expansion to the east along Glisan.
Apparently, the construction of a Medical Office Building on the Northwest corner of NE 47th & Glisan will be delayed until after the expansion of the Physician’s Plaza. Neighbors should pay particular attention to this property for the requested height, the set back from the street and a myriad of parking and entrance/exit issues. Also, proposed is a skybridge from the Medical Office Building and the Main Hospital. Apparently, the skybridge has to undergo a separate application process.
The primary issues of concern among neighbors seemed to be . . .
- Traffic and congestion. Many neighbors reported creative solutions other hospitals in metropolitan areas were currently using to decrease Single Occupancy Vehicle trips among employees.
- Communication. Too many of the neighbors had no idea there was a meeting scheduled for last night until a grassroots email effort among a few neighbors cropped up. Suggestions were made for Providence to establish a blog or online news bulletin board where neighbors could manage their own sign-up and relieve Providence of the burden.
- Conditional Use Master Plan application process. According to Gary Naylor, Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association representative to the Good Neighbor Agreement Standing Committee, the application Providence submitted to the City of Portland Land Use Services Division is now complete. That means this is the time for the public to comment. (monitor this blog for more information about how to submit a letter)
- Transportation Safety Subcommittee. In the past, there was a Transportation Safety Subcommittee to the Standing Committee of the Good Neighbor Agreement that Providence Portland Medical Center has with the neighborhood associations of Laurelhurst and North Tabor. There is now discussion of re-forming that committee to deal with the multiple issues that arose during the meeting. It is unclear who takes the initiative to begin that process, whether it’s the neighborhood associations or the hospital.
We will keep very close watch on the process and begin updating this blog as regularly as necessary so neighbors who’d like to get involved can do so. If your comfort level is with reading and staying informed, we really appreciate you taking that time also. It will be better for all of us if we know what is going on across the street, and for many of us, that is exactly what this is . . . across the street.