SERA led an interdisciplinary team to complete the Park Avenue Community Project, a long-term vision for the half-mile area surrounding the Park Avenue MAX light rail station in unincorporated Clackamas County.
Efforts began in fall of 2019, with our team engaging members of the community to develop a set of Guiding Principles (PDF) that articulated a common vision and values, followed by a Framework Plan (PDF) to illustrate how that vision becomes a series of physical changes to the area. Highlights of the plan include new key connections that break down large superblocks, and provide new safe crossings at McLoughlin Boulevard, as well as new activity nodes to create gathering spaces and hubs of neighborhood activity. The final phase of the project was the development of code amendments which align with the Guiding Principles and Framework Plan vision. The County Board of Commissioners approved the project in December 2020.
Community engagement was essential to this project’s success. Working directly with a Community Advisory Committee (CAC), the team developed an Equitable Engagement Plan early on, which guided engagement efforts and targeted activities toward typically underrepresented groups in the community. Allowing existing businesses and residents to remain in place while also accommodating a diversity of new residential and employment opportunities was a key concern for the community. In partnership with Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon, the team interviewed local business owners to help provide immediate small business relief, and also develop anti-displacement strategies as part of a larger Community Investment Strategy for the area. The team also documented residential anti-displacement strategies to help inform policy and programs for the area moving forward.