Editor’s Update 11/30/2020: The first hearing was a hotly attended affair and the City Council will pick up the topic again tomorrow night. We hope more of you will attend and provide input- Here is the latest:
The December 1 City Council agenda packet has been updated to include additional written testimony. I’m expecting more between now and tomorrow morning, so I will upload the rest tomorrow morning. Hope you all had a nice holiday weekend!
December 1 Agenda Packet
Written Testimony 113020
To Attend tomorrow nights council meeting go here:
Phone: 1-253-215-8782 or 1-301-715-8592
Meeting ID: 891 9659 7810
Aubrey Minear, CMC | Deputy City Recorder
Would you like to see alleyways you have access to or live on have names like Purplelilly Lane? How about Searchgate Lane or Lapworth Lane? Limerock Lane? Flamingo or Cucumber Lanes? Well, soon enough they will be named just that as the City of Hillsboro is moving quickly ahead with a plan to name all of the alleys in the incorporated area. Here is the notice that most folks in Hillsboro received in their mailboxes on October 30th:
The City of Hillsboro Planning Division is requesting that the City Council, through an Official Street Name Change application, name currently unnamed public and private alleys that are located within the City limits of Hillsboro. The purpose of the request is to reduce confusion in the street grid for emergency responders as well as an important step in the broader effort in meeting the Hillsboro 2020 Vision Action Plan goal of establishing a common Hillsboro address for the entirety of the city.
The City of Hillsboro does not have a Staff Report (legal document breaking down the request) and will not release one until November 10th at 4 PM. After that, the citizens in Hillsboro will have just a few days to provide written comments to the City before the City Council has a vote to approve it.
Our phones are already ringing – People living in Historic sections of Hillsboro might want the alleys named with historic names. Others may want to know who came up with the names. All good comments and questions.
Will your alley or Neighborhood be affected? Here are a few of the Neighborhoods who have Alley names being assigned:
- Arbor Roses
- Orenco Station – Rosebay etc
- Orenco Gardens
- Historic Old Orenco
- Historic Business District
- West Baseline Old Town
- Shute Park to Dairy Creek Park
- NE Historic District in Old Town
- Magnolia Estates
- Brookwood Crossing
- Lone Oak
- Summer Falls
- Autumn Creek
- Tanasbourne Place – Magnolia Park
- Hidden Creek
The Hillsboro 2020 and 2035 Community Plans speak to the way we should go about things like naming streets and alleyways. Inclusion, Equity, Citizen involvement are all top priorities of both plans. The move to name alleys has been talked about for some time as recent incidents have proven that emergency responders can not find people who live off of alleys; they simply have no specific mappable address.
At issue right now is the question of Citizen involvement. With only a few days to respond (5 or 6) after the planning staff reports come out the process does not seem equitable nor inclusive. It in fact seems to fail the people in the way of meeting the goals of the 2020 and 2035 Community Plans. The timing is horrible too because to be involved one has to attend an online Zoom conference or send in an email. Many citizens can do neither.
Mayor Steve Callaway said it best in his August 2020 letter to the people in this sentence; “It is now more important than ever to build an inclusive, engaged, and prosperous community … together.” See his letter here.
Hillsboro does not have Street Committees who in many cities head up issues like this. It appears the engineering staff came up with these names and had to get really creative with some of them. The alley behind our home in historic Orenco is to be named Husk Lane. Historic Orenco has about as much to do with a corn husk as Hillsboro does to gold mining; exactly Zero. Nothing. The Oregon Nursery Company (ORENCO) was known for growing more fruit trees and ornamentals than anyone else in the world at one time. So a better name would have been Plum Lane, Apple Lane, or Lilac Lane. Better yet we could name it Bessie Brown Lane or McDonald Lane after two of the town’s most outstanding characters. You get the point. Naming is a tricky thing and deserves some time for folks to weigh in. That is all people expect.
In 3 days 11 people have reached out to discuss this with myself and others here. So this issue is one for the Citizens who care, young and old, to get involved. It is not clear what changes if any can be made, but an attempt will be made.
The Hillsboro Historic Society will send a letter asking to be of help and consulted on the areas that are identified as “Historic” parts of town. Others will be weighing in. But these issues require people to show they care. Involvement is the key to an outcome that people can be happy with. There will be no room to complain after the fact if no one raises their hands.
Your chance is as follows:
Written Testimony: Email aubrey.minear@hillsboro‐oregon.gov before 8 am on Tuesday, November 10th to
provide written testimony. The agenda packet will be updated after 8 am with the testimony received via
Teleconference Testimony: Pre‐register to speak during the public hearing by providing your name and
phone number, or Zoom name, to the City Recorder’s Office before 8 am on Tuesday, November 17th. During
the public hearing, the Mayor will read down the list of those who pre‐registered. When the Mayor calls out
your name, you will have three minutes to speak. Members of the public using Zoom will not be able to share
their screen during the meeting; presentation materials should be submitted as written testimony. You can
pre‐register by emailing aubrey.minear@hillsboro‐oregon.gov or calling 503‐681‐6269. Testimony should
avoid repetition of issues, and should be based on the application or on the approval criteria listed above.
ORS 197.763 provides that under certain circumstances, the record may remain open or a continuance may
be granted upon the request of a participant. Telephone conversations cannot be accepted as testimony.
Please reference the Case File No. on all written testimony.
General comments, requests and inquiries, not related to the public hearing, can be emailed to
For more information contact: Danielle Comer, Planning Database Coordinator, at (503) 681–6151 or by
email at danielle.comer@hillsboro‐oregon.gov.
Make sure to share this article with all of your neighbors and friends around Hillsboro who may wish to be involved in the process- something that the City officials greatly appreciate.
what are the Consequences of naming the alleys? Does that change residence present address? Your article leaves much to be desired and you want US to Give Written Testimony when you have NOT provided any details of consequences of this>
If you follow the link I provided this is all pretty clear. No, addresses on homes are not changing at all. Homes with alleyways will not have their addresses changed. I will clarify that. Again the links indicate that the City is going to name the alleys as proposed. Any testimony given by citizens will be considered and may alter the outcome. No reason to worry if 1) you do not care about the alleyway names, or 2) do not live on an alley.
We provided the information for folks to read the City proposal and to consider if they care about the alley names and participating. We appreciate your comments.
Thank you for reading the story.
I live in Orenco Station on 63rd. The larger houses here that have carriage houses (ADUs) over the garages have entrances to those on the alleys. Now, the carriage house has an address of XXXX-A XXth street. Would those change to XXX Alley Name Street?
Have a look at the links in the article. I am guessing the Alleys numbering will be very similar to the homes on either side with the direction (NE,SE,NW,SW) staying the same. If you have a # now I can only speculate you are correct. We will be finding out soon enough! And thank you for the question!
Our front door is on Cherry Drive. Our garage door is on an alley. So will our address stay the same?
While I am only reporting on this matter I am sure that is the case. They are naming alleys so that all alleys have mapping available for emergency services. I see nothing here in the proposals that indicates that new addresses will be needed.
When we get more information we will post an update!
Thanks for your question and for reading the Herald- hopefully we are providing good news and stories and you will check in regularly!
This is from a message from our HOA.
“1. Owners whose front door faces a courtyard (me):
Your street name would change to the name of the alley and your street number may or may not be changed. Therefore all your packages, deliveries, etc would now be basically delivered to your alley since that now be your official address.”
Is this true? Changing addresses on bills/accounts/etc. would not be fun.
If an HOA is issuing such a statement I imagine they have reason to believe that. The City still has not issued what is known as the Staff Report. That is the report in which the City planning staff outlines the criteria for naming and the process and rationale. Having been around Washington County and Hillsboro land use and planning issues for over 40 years I am going to speculate that the HOA is correct. The front door will dictate the addressing. If that is the case please know that you will have your handsful. We went through an address change here in Old Orenco and it was a nightmare from day one, Years later we still have had issues. We lost our Medical policy over that mess. So speak up at the hearing or send in your comments to the resources listed on the City webpage. I of course am more than willing to assist you!
Best wishes- thank you for reading the Herald!
Dirk. I emailed them. Thank you for your help.