CPO 1 February: Recycling: Beyond the Bin?


CPO February Meeting

Tuesday, February 8, 7 pm via zoom

Our focus this month is on recycling. We had hoped to bring together some of the people involved in the controversy around allowing Ridwell to operate its private collection service for hard-to-recycle items, but everyone connected to Washington County (including GRAC members and haulers) has been told not to speak because Ridwell is suing the county.


So we’re going to have a brief recap of that situation, hear from the Ridwell spokesman, and learn about the recent state law that affects both the beginning and end of the plastic cycle from a DEQ rep. After that, we’ll get a review of what can and can’t be recycled curbside, what we can do to prevent waste, and more from several groups who provide information and services, including Master Recyclers, Waste-Free Advocates, and the Sunset Climate Club.

The folks who are opposing the proposed gas station at 185th and West Union, next to the wetland preserve, are asking for support to request Washington County to change their rules that would allow such a development. We’ll ask members to vote on an endorsement of their letter before we begin the evening’s main program. The public hearing on the development has once again been postponed, this time until June 2022.

Community Participation Organization 1 (CPO 1), covering Cedar Mill, Cedar Hills, and Bonny Slope, is a volunteer-run program to address land use, transportation, development, and many other quality-of-life issues. We help neighbors understand the land use process and provide a connection to people from around the county who provide services and information. Our meetings are open to anyone, although only members can vote. Sign up to get your mailed or emailed notices and you too will be a member!

Click the zoom link above to join the meeting live or watch it later on our Facebook page. We have been live-streaming our meetings since before COVID. This month we are transitioning from Facebook Live to YouTube, but you can watch previous meetings here.

Neighborhood Meetings

Neighborhood Meetings are the first public step in the land use development process for most residential development in Washington County. After a preliminary meeting with Land Use and Transportation (LUT) to learn about the basic requirements pertaining to the proposed location, the developer is given a mailing list of nearby neighbors so they can share the proposal and learn about facts such as drainage and discuss other issues with the neighbors. It’s a great time to bring up a variety of issues with the developer. CPO representatives are notified and invited to join the meetings.

Preliminary lot plan for Bonny Slope Estates
Preliminary lot plan for Bonny Slope Estates on McDaniel

McDaniel proposed development

A meeting was held on January 12 to discuss a proposed 35-lot development on a four-acre parcel that is zoned for R-9 (nine lots per acre). At least 27 neighbors attended, concerned about the loss of big trees at the upper end, the size of the lots and setbacks, and traffic. A sidewalk and half-street improvements will likely be required on McDaniel, and some neighbors wondered if the developer could be asked to continue the sidewalk to Bonny Slope Elementary. Some even contemplated pooling their funds to buy it. The developer failed to collect the names of the attendees, as required by the county, so another meeting may need to occur. We’ll keep you updated.

Lee Street proposed development

The original plan called for three lots including the middle lot with a house currently being remodeled. The developer may decide to eliminate one of the additional lots.

A meeting was held on February 2 to discuss a 3-parcel partition for this lot in the R-5 zone. Neighbors are concerned that smaller houses will affect the character of the older View Gardens neighborhood and violate the CC&Rs of the HOA. Hearing the neighbors’ concerns, the developer may reduce the requested partition to two lots.

Damascus Street three-lot development

damascus map
The initial four-lot proposal may be revised.
Friday, February 4, 6 pm via zoom

A meeting was held to continue a discussion on a proposed development at the east end of Damascus Street. This follows a previous meeting held in June 2021. The developer is planning to change the proposal to a three-lot subdivision, and needs community input to show that the lower density is warranted by conditions (slope, drainage, etc.) that will allow the county to approve it despite not meeting the full density required by the R-6 zoning. The new plan will allow many more trees to be saved.

An energized group of neighbors approved of the change, and shared comments about parking, concerns about construction traffic, and more. We encourage everyone who receives notice of a neighborhood meeting to attend them because community information is sometimes able to make positive changes! (We will add the revised plan image as soon as the developer sends it.)

Development applications

A “Review for Commencement of Development” was issued for the lot at the northwest corner of Vallevue and NW 119th. One new house will be added behind the existing house.

The application to build a new storage and office building at Cornell Farms Nursery was approved.

A “Special Use Review” is underway for the expansion of an existing school to include grades K-12 at Village Baptist Church, 330 SW Murray Bl.

Saltzman Retirement Housing Public Hearing

Thursday, February 17, 9 am, via zoom

A Washington County Hearings Officer will consider the application for the 57-unit multi-story affordable housing building proposed for the northwest corner of Dogwood and Saltzman. We had a presentation from the developers at the January CPO 1 meeting. You can view the meeting here. The plans should be available to view at the Cedar Mill Library. See below for meeting notes.

CPO 1 January Meeting Summary

Vicky Siah, CPO 1 Secretary

Virginia Bruce began the meeting by discussing recent development proposals in the area. “Neighborhood meetings are a good opportunity to take a look at proposed developments and provide feedback,” Bruce said. The hearing for the proposed gas station at West Union and  185th is now postponed until June 2022; the Thompson Crossing development application is available at the Cedar Mill Library reference desk.

Brian Yourstone (THPRD) and Kody Harris (WCSO) gave their respective updates.

Cascadia Planning principal Mike Boyer, Cedar Mill Methodist Pastor Rick Shewell, and Home First Development Project Manager Alex Reff presented on the Saltzman affordable housing development. This three-story building proposed for Saltzman across from the library is intended for senior individuals earning less than $40,000 a year. Most future residents will be on fixed incomes so 24 of the housing units will offer rent assistance vouchers. Beneficiaries of these vouchers will only pay a portion of rent (based on affordability), which is estimated to be as low as 30% of their income. LGBTQ seniors are being particularly targeted since they often have difficulty finding a welcoming community.

Architect rendering of the senior apartments looking across Dogwood.
Architect rendering of the senior apartments looking across Dogwood.

Washington County Health and Human Services Department (HHS) gave us an update and provided information on the current state of COVID-19. Dr. Marie Boman-Davis, Dr. Kimberly Repp, and HHS Interim Director Mjere Simental noted that case counts remain unprecedented in Oregon and Washington County. At this point, Washington County is still enforcing the indoor mask policy. Members had many questions and the team was very helpful in providing answers and resources.

Demand for testing (both in-lab and via at-home kits) are exceeding supply, making it increasingly difficult to obtain tests. Regardless, individuals who are exposed to COVID-19 should attempt to get tested on the fifth exposure day. Those who are sick and are unable to discern if they have COVID-19 or the flu should err on the side of caution—stay home and isolate. HHS wants the public to avoid visiting emergency rooms for COVID-19 treatment unless necessary.

Currently, the government has authorized vaccines for those age five and above; booster shots are available for individuals age 12+. Specific therapeutics, self-tests, and masks are tools to combat the pandemic, and vaccination is the best protection against severe disease, even for those who have had the disease. HHS advises everyone to continue with the practices known to help: wear a well-fitting mask, limit gatherings, and wash hands frequently.

For vaccine information and business recovery programs, visit the Washington County website. Additional questions can be asked through the Washington County COVID-19 helpline.