Declaration or Expectations for Hillside CC Lease
HILLSIDENEIGHBORHOOD ASSN August 29, 2019
2257 NW Raleigh StPortland, OR 97209
Declaration Regarding the Hillside Community Center
The undersigned residents of the Hillside Neighborhood Association are requesting Portland Parks and Recreation (PPR) consider our petition, more fully detailed below, to ensure the continuation of the Hillside Community Center as a public, community asset, accessible and affordable for the benefit of the City and the community. The Hillside Community Center is an essential part of our neighborhood and Northwest Portland, it has served the community for decades. In 1973 our fellow Hillside neighbors raised money and as individuals risked their personal financial well being to ensure that the buildings and property would become and remain a family and community focused resource and gathering place.
In the spring of 1974, the neighborhood entrusted the City of Portland with the responsibility to maintain the Hillside Community Center and transferred it to the City with explicit covenants that the property will only be used for a public park and recreation center. We, the residents of the Hillside Neighborhood Association, were deeply troubled that the City defunded Hillside Community Center in the FY19-20 PPR budget which would save PPR less than $75,000 per annum, contrary to a personal assurance by Mayor Wheeler a year ago.
We also wish to again express our disappointment at the expedited process employed by the Parks Bureau in scrambling to find a tenant to operate the Center. We feel there was inadequate time and notice to potential candidates able to run programs at the Center, resulting in very limited submissions. The process also created difficulty in notifying neighbors about the submissions and in obtaining public input and support for the City’s plans for this facility.
We, therefore, believe that it is the right and responsibility of the community to clearly state what we value and find acceptable for our Community Center. We urge the City to employ these principles as guidelines in it’s upcoming selection process.
- The Hillside Community Center and adjacent park property must never be subdivided or sold to property developers.
- The Community Center Lease Opportunity lease term should be short term (one year) for any successful bidder, with automatic renewals subject to Hillside Neighborhood Association consultation.
- The Hillside Neighborhood Association must have a perpetual right to review and comment upon any sublease arrangement for the Community Center.
- The Community Center must provide family and community focused programs including preschool, daycare, aftercare, camps, health and wellness, education and sports that are available and affordable for the entire community.
- The Community Center must operate programs that are inclusive, open to all community members, regardless of race, gender, sexuality, religion and financial means.
- The Community Center must not allow commercial enterprises that are clearly not community focused and also commercial spiritual and wellness based businesses masquerading as a school, daycare, community service or open space related activity to operate for any reason and the Hillside Neighborhood Association must be allowed to monitor the activities of all tenants and subtenants and request the City to remove them if not in conformity with these principles.
- The Community Center in its entirety must remain available to all members of the community whenever the Community Center is open. Public access cannot be restricted to using the Community Center only on weekends or at night.