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Old 08-13-2015, 01:23 PM
 
336 posts, read 296,403 times
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Still a week or two before I arrive from SF Bay Area (East Bay) to check these places out more in person which will help - but in meantime would love opinions/info on which neighborhoods in Portland or its burbs would be best for me to start a family in within the next 7 years (I'm 32).

Seeking:
* Really great K-12 public schools with plenty of parent involvement. This is optional but Running Start on first impression sounds great!
* Kids would go to school in their home's district so their friends live nearby. Not sent off to another district.
* I know in Portland area I need to settle for less racial/ethnic diversity than I'd like, but the more diverse the better.
* Prefer bike-friendly, walkable and with good public transportation over somewhere people overwhelmingly rely on their cars (though I do have a car).
* Not interested in places into luxury cars or status snobbery or "keeping up with the Joneses." No offense meant, just really not my scene. (Lake Oswego and West Linn maybe sound that way?)
* Like not so urban or population dense to feel too hectic, concrete, unsafe or loud.
* Within 10-minute walk of great, kid-friendly, dog-friendly green space(s), more space the better. Playground nice. So much green space and dog parks there figure that won't be too hard!
* As for work commute of me and my partner, work can be in either SW Portland, suburbs just south of Portland, or up in Vancouver/Clamas.
* Want to spend time in Portland most or all days (shopping, eatong, socializing, taking classes, etc.) so not too frustratingly far away (can avoid driving in rush hour).
* Enjoy local and green and quirky and artsy businesses/events/groups a lot...though if lived by more mainstream chains could I guess still get my fix by visiting Portland often.
* I'm extremely outdoorsy so other than enjoying nature in the PDX area itself, the easier access to roadtrips the better to swimming holes, kayaking, waterfalls, coast, Hood River, hikes, Bend, occasionally California, etc.
* Plenty of other young families around and a neighborly feel.
* GLBT-friendly and earth-friendly both very important.
* I'm crunchy, spiritual, into creativity, liberal on some issues and undecided on others, into improving community and civil, mature dialogues considering all sides of argument, vegan, etc. Don't need or want to be just surrounded by people exactly like me but do want to be accepted and have plenty of like-minded neighbors.

Based on all that am thinking maybe a quiet area of SW Portland, flat enough to bike in, in Riverdale High School District?

Or East Vancouver, Camas or (these get a bit far maybe though) Washougal or Battleground. These seem maybe bit easier than SW Portland to escape on weekends to Hood River (and East of it) for sun breaks and fun? And are closer (especially East Vancouver) to Sandy Delta which is great. But further from frequent Portland trips.

(Wondering if Beaverton would feel too car-centric?)

Sellwood, Mooreland and Milwaukie in SE sound cool but how are the schools?

Last edited by NatureYogi; 08-13-2015 at 01:33 PM..
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:33 PM
 
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Your wants list sounds really schizophrenic. Bike-friendly and walkable but not urban or population dense. Close to downtown for socializing and quirky businesses but easy access to out of town. You may need to whittle your wish list down to what's really important and go from there.

Standard line: If you work in Washington, live in Washington. If you work in Oregon, live in Oregon. There are real tax and commuter impacts to not doing that.
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Old 08-13-2015, 01:37 PM
 
336 posts, read 296,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SETabor View Post
Your wants list sounds really schizophrenic. Bike-friendly and walkable but not urban or population dense. Close to downtown for socializing and quirky businesses but easy access to out of town. You may need to whittle your wish list down to what's really important and go from there.

Standard line: If you work in Washington, live in Washington. If you work in Oregon, live in Oregon. There are real tax and commuter impacts to not doing that.
Hmm, really? Thought I'd whittled it down to something reasonable especially since due to all the green space and descriptions of "small town feel" Portland sounds more suburban feeling than other urban cities I've lived in do (DC, Chicago, SF). I heard SW Portland (not downtown of course) described as fairly quiet and safe.

Maybe I can whittle it down more?

I have the equal option to work in either Washington or Oregon. If I worked in WA I'd live in WA. If I lived in Oregon I'd work in Oregon.
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:04 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
23,797 posts, read 41,447,473 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatureYogi View Post
Still a week or two before I arrive from SF Bay Area (East Bay) to check these places out more in person which will help - ...
Seeking:
* Really great K-12 public schools with plenty of parent involvement. This is optional but Running Start on first impression sounds great!
...
* As for work commute of me and my partner, work can be in either SW Portland, suburbs just south of Portland, or up in Vancouver/Clamas.
...
Or East Vancouver, Camas or (these get a bit far maybe though) Washougal or Battleground. These seem maybe bit easier than SW Portland to escape on weekends to Hood River (and East of it) for sun breaks and fun? And are closer (especially East Vancouver) to Sandy Delta which is great. But further from frequent Portland trips.

(Wondering if Beaverton would feel too car-centric?)...
You need to be aware that it is illegal to comment on the state north of Oregon on the Oregon forum (it is the only forum that has this 'unspoken rule'). Many excellent posters have been permanently banned from C-D by Oregon mods.

Tread CAREFULLY, and post your WA questions in WA forum if you seek objectivity.

BE careful on places you seek in Oregon. School funding / government / economy and taxes are quire unique to Oregon. +/-

basically... get a home near your work (more time with family).

If you work in Oregon, live in Oregon. If you live in other states, you will pay OR taxes on any income generated in Oregon.

If you work in WA, Definitely LIVE in WA! (tax benefit)

Running Start (free college) is not an option in Oregon (but it is an option in Hawaii!, your kids might LUV that!)
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Old 08-13-2015, 02:59 PM
 
Location: Portland Metro
2,289 posts, read 3,939,278 times
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You listed the educational requirements first, so I figure this is the most important thing to you.

Here's the 2014 school performance metrics for the entire state: 2014 Oregon school performance ratings :: Your Schools - The Oregonian

In SW, your school district choices will be Portland Public Schools, Riverdale SD, Lake Oswego SD, West Linn-Wilsonville SD, Tigard-Tualatin SD, and Beaverton SD.

Based on where your place of employment will be in SW, look at the performance of the schools in that area and within a 5-mile radius of your work so that you minimize the distance from work to the school (because, life). Make a list of those schools, then look up the individual school attendance boundary maps. For example, here's a map for attendance boundaries for all Beaverton elementary schools: https://www.beaverton.k12.or.us/dept...Elementary.pdf

Once you find the schools that you like, start investigating the neighborhoods for all the other things on your list. Generally, being gay or crunchy will pretty much be no problem in any neighborhood in the Metro area. If you find an area that you have kindred spirits, then that will be great. But at a minimum you'll be surrounded by people who don't give a hoot about your being vegan, artsy, or outdoorsy.

Good luck!
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Old 08-13-2015, 05:15 PM
 
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I would assume coming from the Bay area that your budget for housing is fairly substantial?
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Old 08-13-2015, 07:33 PM
 
336 posts, read 296,403 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
You need to be aware that it is illegal to comment on the state north of Oregon on the Oregon forum (it is the only forum that has this 'unspoken rule'). Many excellent posters have been permanently banned from C-D by Oregon mods.

Tread CAREFULLY, and post your WA questions in WA forum if you seek objectivity.
Oh! Should I repost this on general forum? Definitely don't want to be banned. Hope a forum moderator replies. Didn't see that rule anywhere. If it's unspoken, how could I?

Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Running Start (free college) is not an option in Oregon (but it is an option in Hawaii!, your kids might LUV that!)
Thanks for that info! (I'd heard Hawaii public schools are pretty awful.)
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Old 08-13-2015, 09:19 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
23,797 posts, read 41,447,473 times
Reputation: 25650
Quote:
Originally Posted by NatureYogi View Post
Oh! Should I repost this on general forum? Definitely don't want to be banned. Hope a forum moderator replies. Didn't see that rule anywhere. If it's unspoken, how could I?



Thanks for that info! (I'd heard Hawaii public schools are pretty awful.)
post your WA questions on WA forum

Hawaii public schools are pretty bad, thus... Running Start (not using public schools)
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Old 08-13-2015, 10:47 PM
 
3,939 posts, read 3,992,756 times
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So I have been in a mood lately so I apologize in advance if I word something incorrectly or sound rude to the OP. I read your post and from a native San Franciscan, I laughed at most of your criteria. I laughed because I wanted about half of what you listed when I moved from NYC almost six years a go. First off, you will not get what you want. My kid attended one of the "best schools" on the East side in PPS and I can tell you that the "best schools" in PPS are NOT diverse. Not even for Portland, let alone East Bay. I thought most of what you listed was important to me too, until I lived in Portland for almost six years... then I realized half of my criteria was not important to me or my family. We are moving to Beaverton this week. The rule here is that people of color especially American born or multi generational POC and Asians live out in Washington county. Portland is more segregated which is very noticeable at Portland schools. PPS is working on an equity plan with boundary changes as we speak. You can check out FB pages devoted to the subject. The groups are active and knowledgable. I didn't like any neighborhood in SE six years a go and still don't. Not my cup of tea. You need to come and see for yourself. There is a vibe, look and feel of SE that makes me uncomfortable. I enjoyed the community of inner NE and it is sad to say goodbye to an area that was good to me and my family for the most part. I don't like North Portland much because the gentrification bothers me and so do hipsters in the majority. Just me, I guess. NW is very nice but I wouldn't live there. I do love the SW and that's part of the reason i am moving to Beaverton. It took me a long time here in Portland to find my area. I researched this move carefully and networked with peeps in the area and I travel there regularly to know it's the right place for my diverse family with special needs. We are still so close to SW Prtland, where Downtown is located, yet Beaverton feels just right for what I want NOW, not what I wanted six years a go. I suggest that you rent first and then buy and try out different quadrants of Portland. There are plenty of parks in Portland and there are farmers' markets, a ton of high quality grocery stores, bakeries, independent shops. The NE has a Berkeley feel to it. The people will be familiar to you but without a lot of real diversity. The schools with the most " community" are going to cost you. Also, I thought my neighborhood school was going to be wonderful since both my kids would go there. Well, NO, I found out my son is autistic before kinder and he went to a different school for Spec Ed. That's a long story but I learned an important lesson. You can plan with your criteria and think you will stay somewhere for decades... then a glitch in your plan arises. That's life. That's parenthood. You haven't started a family yet and you have plenty of time to worry about schools. There are no guarantees no matter how much you plan. Good luck to you.
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Old 08-13-2015, 11:13 PM
 
148 posts, read 148,327 times
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you can't get from anywhere in WA to downtown Portland in a reasonable amount of time without a car
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