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Sustainable Business Spotlight: Viking Motel

BPS E-News Issue 12 - June

North Interstate motel goes green with help from BEST Business Center and Portland Development Commission

When Hari Karia bought the Viking Motel on North Interstate in 1978, the mid-century motel provided lodging for nearby shipyard employees. Today, the MAX train takes guests from the motel’s front door straight to downtown, past growing neighborhoods and businesses on North Interstate Avenue.  

While Hari greets guests and checks them into Viking Motel, his wife and three children have worked alongside him to support the family business. Because the whole family recognizes the immediate cost savings and environmental benefits of sustainability, the father and son long ago implemented simple practices such as energy-efficient lighting, recycling and low-flow shower heads.

This year, Hari turned to BEST Business Center for free evaluation of their operations and recommendations for sustainable improvements. Because substantial changes require significant up-front investment for small-business owners, the Karia family was pleased to discover their eligibility for Portland Development Commission’s Green Features Grants program, which provides grants for small businesses to achieve greener operations in designated urban renewal areas such as the Interstate Corridor.

“Working with BEST took a lot of confusion out of creating a sustainability plan for the Viking Motel,” said Hari Karia. “When you’re caught up thinking about business, you miss glaring opportunities for sustainable improvements and you don’t know where to start. BEST business consultants looked at our parking lot and saw immediate potential for stormwater reduction – something we never would have thought of on our own.”   

While BEST consultants helped Hari create a sustainability plan, the Green Features Grants program makes implementation possible by allowing the motel to invest in new sustainable technologies and make big changes.

“The BEST Business Center promotes sustainability across all industries, not just in businesses we typically associate with green practices,” says BEST Business Consultant Genevieve Joplin. “By making the Viking Motel a leader in sustainable practices, the Karias can impact other small businesses while gaining community recognition and reaching new clients.”  

Are you a Portland businesses seeking similar assistance? Get started with a visit to

From our director, Susan Anderson: Trees! Trees! Trees!

BPS E-News Issue 12 - June

In April, the Portland City Council unanimously adopted the Citywide Tree Project, milestone legislation to protect and enhance the city's urban forest. Portland's new tree rules will help preserve large healthy trees, while ensuring that new trees are planted as development takes place and old trees are replaced when they are removed.

Trees beautify our neighborhoods, enhance property values and support our local business districts. A large and robust tree canopy is essential to clean our air and water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as called for in Portland’s Climate Action Plan.

Collaboration and Innovation

The Citywide Tree Project represents some of the most extensive collaborative work the City and this bureau have undertaken to date. The project began as a response to residents in Southwest and East Portland neighborhoods who were concerned about the loss of trees to development. Builders and developers were also frustrated with sometimes inconsistent or rigid codes related to trees.

To address these concerns, City Council launched the Citywide Tree Project, assigning the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to lead the project. The Bureaus of Parks and Recreation, Development Services, Environmental Services, Transportation and Water were active partners in developing a new response to tree regulation and improving customer service. The bureaus worked closely with the community to design a reasonable and equitable system to clarify the rules and enhance Portland’s urban forest. Portland’s Urban Forestry Commission, Planning and Sustainability Commission, and City Council worked closely with staff and community stakeholders to hone the proposal into one that works for both Portland residents and developers alike.

What’s New?

The project resulted in several key actions:

  • Create a new single point of contact for tree questions and publish a tree manual to make it easier for Portland residents and businesses to get the information and answers they need.
  • Establish new standards to improve tree preservation and planting on development sites, and create a streamlined, standardized permit system for tree removal.
  • Replace the City’s existing street tree pruning permit with a free “self-issued” permit that property owners can obtain online.
  • Consolidate the tree rules into a single new code title – Title 11, Trees.
  • The City will phase the project over a 3-year period to provide additional public information, education and assistance.

The Tree Project demonstrates the value of collaboration – City government, developers, residents, businesses and environmentalists all coming together to improve the system and ensure Portland has a healthy and dynamic tree canopy far into the future.

The Tree Project is just one of many efforts that City bureaus are making to enhance our community. See related story here.

All the best,


Susan Anderson
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Updates from our Solid Waste and Recycling Program

BPS E-News Issue 12 - June

2011-2012 Curbside Collection Rates

Every year, the City sets residential garbage, recycling and yard debris collection rates based on a thorough evaluation of what it costs to provide these services to residents. Starting on July 1, 2011, rates for all Portland residential customers, including food scrap pilot households, will increase due to higher costs for landfill disposal and increased fuel and equipment costs, including lower-emission trucks.

Most residents will see an increase about of about 60 cents (2 percent) on their monthly bill. If you have questions about your rate or service level, please contact your garbage and recycling company.

Curbside Collection E-Schedule

The City of Portland is proud to announce that your recycling, yard debris and garbage schedules are now available online through Portland Maps!

This new web tool allows you to check your collection schedule online and even download a calendar reminder to your computer or mobile device.

To access the Curbside Collection E-Schedule, visit


Compost bins: Discover new bin sizes, styles for home composting

Location: MetroPaint Store on Swan Island
4825 N Basin Avenue, Portland
Hours: Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Learn more about Metro’s composting resources at




Events: Join BPS staff and volunteers at community events this summer

Good in the Neighborhood
Saturday, June 25, 12 - 9:30 p.m.
King School Park, NE 6th Ave. & Humboldt St.

Sunday Parkways North
Sunday, June 26, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Route connecting Peninsula, Arbor Lodge, Kenton, and McCoy Parks, plus the Willamette Bluff.

Sundown at Ecotrust Summer Concert Series
Thursdays, June 30–July 28, 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. 721 NW 9th Ave.

Mississippi Street Fair
Saturday, July 9, 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.
North Mississippi Ave. from Fremont St. to Skidmore St.

Sunday Parkways NW/ Downtown
Sunday, July 24, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Route connecting downtown, Old Town/Chinatown, Pearl District and Northwest neighborhoods.

East Portland Expo
Saturday, July 23 and Sunday, July 24, 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Ed Benedict Community Park, SE 100th Ave. & Powell Blvd.

Build It Green! Home Tour’s Info Fair
Saturday, September 24, 2011, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
EcoHaus, 819 SE Taylor Street

CC2035 Symposium Series Completion, N/NE Quadrant Open House

BPS E-News Issue 12 - June

Central City 2035 (CC2035) will complete its twelve-part symposium series with Historic Resources as the final integrated theme under discussion on June 17. The symposiums have featured a wide spectrum of participants sharing valuable ideas and perspectives on themes such as mobility, housing and community development and economic vitality. CC2035 is an update to 1988 Central City Plan, and will guide the future of the Central City for the next 25 years. The results of the discussions provide direction for CC2035 in developing draft goals and an overall Draft Concept Plan, which is expected to be completed in late summer or early fall. Next steps are gathering all of the results of the past few months and setting goals and a direction for CC2035.

N/NE Quadrant Open House on June 29

Meanwhile, the N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Plans have been gathering ideas from numerous public events and meetings, and project staff have now developed land use and transportation concepts to illustrate how the area could develop over time. These will be featured at an open house on June 29.

The intent of the open house is to share the current work being done and allow for any public input or general feedback. The open house will be held on June 29, from 4:30pm-6:30pm, at the Metro Council Chambers. This project is a joint effort between BPS, PBOT and ODOT.

Some of these concepts involve proposals for open spaces, green systems, options that emphasize the growth of different uses (residential, employment and entertainment, or a residential/employment blend), and transportation system improvements for the quadrant, as well as specific options for the I-5 Broadway/Weidler Interchange area.

This project seeks to realize the potential of the N/NE Quadrant area, which includes Lower Albina and the Lloyd District. There is tremendous capacity for dynamic and vibrant growth within these areas, and a number of options are on the table for guiding the future development of the N/NE Quadrant of the Central City.

For more information about the June 29 Open House event, contact Stephanie Beckman, City Planner, 503-823-6042 or; or Todd Juhasz, ODOT, 503-731-4753 or

Tour exciting changes in Cully neighborhood on June 25

BPS E-News Issue 12 - June

With summer on its way, it’s a great time to head out to the Cully neighborhood to check out the exciting changes taking place. In celebration of these recently completed and ongoing projects, BPS and Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) are hosting a Cully Main Street “Roll and Stroll” and Community Celebration on June 25 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The festivities take place at the Grace Presbyterian Church parking lot, 6025 NE Prescott Street, located at the “5 Corners” intersection where NE Cully Blvd meets Prescott and 60th. Visitors can take an informational walking tour about the future of Cully main street or a bicycle tour highlighting transportation issues in the surrounding areas. City staff will be asking community members to share their visions for Cully.

Cully’s vibrant, active community is the most diverse in the city, with 45 percent of the population non-white, but the neighborhood is in need of planning and transportation improvements. With the recently completed Cully Green Street and the launch of the Cully Main Street and Local Street Plans, the neighborhood is undergoing significant improvements.

A community celebration co-organized with the Cully Association of Neighbors, featuring art, music and food, offers a chance to socialize with neighbors and chat about Cully’s future. In addition to the “Roll and Stroll,” Mayor Sam Adams recently hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on June 10 to officially unveil the newly improved Cully Green Street.

“Cully Boulevard is now one of the most advanced street designs in the United States,” Mayor Sam Adams said at the celebration. “The progress that has been made in one year is jaw-dropping.”

The Cully Main Street and Local Street Plans project is a collaborative project between the BPS, PBOT and community members to update current zoning to activate neighborhood-focused retail and services within the designated main street area. The transportation component of the project will identify potential street connections to improve safety and access within the heart of Cully. These efforts aim to create a healthy connected neighborhood and economic prosperity for the Cully community.

For more information about the “Roll and Stroll” event contact Debbie Bischoff, Senior Planner, at 503-823-6946 or For information about the bike rides or to sign up to use a bicycle, contact Denver Igarta (503-823-1088 or