Neighborhood group may split in two

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Harney Heights — The Harney Heights Neighborhood Association is considering breaking in two.

Since its formation in 1981, Harney Heights has extended from Fourth Plain in the north to Mill Plain in the south and from Grand in the west over to the BPA power lines (except for one missing chunk) on the east.

That area combines what seems like two different constituencies with different concerns, according to Harney Heights chairwoman Joni Whipple. Whipple said she and longtime neighborhood activist Cynthia Powers are advancing a proposal to divide the neighborhood association along the natural bluff topped by East 16th Street.

Atop the bluff and south of 16th, the neighborhood feels connected to Mill Plain and the Heights area; north of 16th is concerned with crime and the redevelopment of Fourth Plain. Both women believe splitting the neighborhood in two would be appropriate, Whipple said. The northern section would also absorb a small slice of the Central Park Neighborhood Association.

Bylaws require three association meetings to make a such a change. Harney Heights only meets every other month, so Whipple expects the process to be slow, with meetings focused on the proposal in September and November; a formal proposal would be drawn up in January and final action would not be taken until March.

The Harney Heights Neighborhood Association will focus on the proposal at its meeting at 7 p.m. Sept. 7 at King Elementary School, 4801 Idaho St.