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Old 03-04-2008, 10:45 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
3,653 posts, read 6,720,675 times
Reputation: 3147
Default A sense of community? - Hillsboro, Beaverton, Sherwood, or???

We will be flying out to Portland soon to vacation and check out some neighborhoods where we might like to live. I have been reading these forums for a while now and have a general sense of the different Portland neighborhoods. But one of the things my wife and I wonder is where we can find a place with a sense of community?

We have three young children and live in one of the nicer burbs of Colorado Springs. But sometimes I feel like we live on an island! Our area is very transient. People come and go a lot because of the military. Homes are always up for sale. And people just seem to go to work, come home, park in their garages and hide out in their homes! We never see our neighbors. And there is very little sense of community. Now I am sure this is not the case for all of Colorado. But in our immediate neighborhood it really is. Even living in our apt. in Cal. there was more of a sense of community than in our larger home in our shiny clean neighborhood here.

With regards to Portland we really don't want to live in the city/downtown area. I also like that Hillsboro is a little closer to the coast. But do you think there are any neighborhoods there which are 'not' like the one I just described? In other words where kids actually play together outside. Families get to know each other. People come out of hiding and aren't affraid to be friendly even if a little scary, etc... Now I know no place is perfect. And we definately don't expect to find Shangri La. Just wondering if anyone has experienced this sense of community to which I speak?
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Old 03-05-2008, 09:01 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
847 posts, read 1,461,960 times
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I think Sherwood would offer the best sense of community. Of any surrounding town that would be my choice for a move. You might also consider Multnomah Village in Portland itself. While in the city, it has one of the most distinct neighborhood/community feels to it in the Portland area. They even have their own little parade every summer!
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Old 03-05-2008, 10:22 PM
 
Location: Oregon
97 posts, read 297,430 times
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Default Hillsboro

The north and east part of Hillsboro is pretty good. You might want to consider it. The other part of Hillsboro has an exploding Hispanic population; most are illegal aliens. Street gangs all with affiliation to gangs out of California are spreading throughout. It is getting worse. According to the local news here in Portland last Satuday in downtown Hillsboro there was a group of 18th street bangers that caused a huge melee. The violence began in the street and splled into a Sports bar. Fortunately, the police caught a few of them. This is not the sense of community I would seek. Good luck with your move.
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Old 03-06-2008, 07:25 AM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
3,653 posts, read 6,720,675 times
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I have heard so much mixed info about Hillsboro from a great little town to a gang banger's haven, it is hard to get a real take on it. But I do think most folks will agree that the NE section is one of the better parts - around Orenco and closer to the 26. Maybe Rock Creek or Oak Hills? I guess I will focus on exploring that side of town more. Although some say the gang problem is overblown, I don't like that it may be growing. That can drive values down in a neighborhood. I have already experienced that while living in LA CA. And if people are scared they are even more inclined to 'hibernate' in their homes vs. come out and actually meet their neighbors.

With regards to Sherwood, I have heard generally good things about a 'sense of community' there. Many families seem to like it for their kids. The one downside is potentially longer commutes since it is not close to any FWY. Some mentioned the 99 gets pretty bad during rush hour.

Beaverton, Aloha, Tigard etc... are closer in toward Portland. I haven't heard much beyond they seem ok. So I don't know that if means basically typical middle vanilla American burbs without much personality or a sense community.

Any additional experiences or feedback appreciated.

- Derek
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Old 03-06-2008, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Hillsboro, Oregon
13 posts, read 1,614 times
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Hillsboro is big city with its share of crime and problems but to the typical family living in a medium priced neighborhood it is not an issue. The reason that bar brawl made the nightly news is because its not a common occurence. You dont seem the type to hang out in seedy bars anyway. The criminal element is quite small compared to the middle and upper class. There are alot of high end employers so you've got millionaires living on one side of town and poverty on the other. You cant judge the whole city by a few bad areas. I dont think there is a threat of it spreading either, in fact it is diminishing due to rising property values and an improving job market. If you check the crime index it has gone down greatly in the last years and it much lower than the national average.

I most definitely feel a sense of community and enjoy those amentites and perks that a bigger city can offer. Our park and rec system is considered one of the best in the state not just for the offerings for kids but adults too. The city hosts a variety of festivities year round which range from Valentine's Day father/daughter dance, tree lighting & Santa & sleigh rides at Christmas, free summer concerts and outdoor movies in the summer, coming up there will be an "Amazing Race" style team competition around the city - just to name a very few. In many ways its still like the small town it once was.

If you want info on schools I can help. If you look specifically at the neighborhoods around the popular schools you will find what you are looking for - social, active families and kids playing out all day.

It is nice being near Hwy 26 its a quick straight shot to the beach and the commute into Ptld has gotten better since they added lanes.

It might help to know we have some neighbors that moved here last year from Colorado Springs (Intel folks) and they really love it. Also, a few years back some friends of ours got transferred out out to C.S. and they missed it here but atleast they were able to buy a much bigger house for the same money there, now he is loosing his job though.
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Old 03-06-2008, 11:21 AM
 
143 posts, read 540,367 times
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Sherwood is exactly what you say you are looking for. We love it here! The sense of community is amazing. DH is retired military, so we have lived all over. We came back here after retirement and it was a good decision. Our kids play on the street with other kids, go to the parks, etc. It truly is Mayberry, lol! Commutes are not bad if you avoid 99 and Tualatin Sherwood Rd. Into downtown it takes my DH about 35 minutes.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
3,653 posts, read 6,720,675 times
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Thanks Taketime and Lifes2short,

Both of your experiences are definately encouraging! I will check both areas out. Its nice to know there are still some places close to Portland which maintain a sense of community.

lifes2short, I know what you mean about home prices. Colorado Springs definately has more affordable housing. But a bigger home isn't everything. I really miss being closer to the coast. Althought the mtns. are really nice out here.

I am just wondering what other roads one could take from Sherwood into PDX besides the 99?

Thanks again for the help!

- Derek
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:49 PM
 
2,158 posts, read 3,753,243 times
Reputation: 863
Quote:
Originally Posted by roneb View Post
I think Sherwood would offer the best sense of community. Of any surrounding town that would be my choice for a move. You might also consider Multnomah Village in Portland itself. While in the city, it has one of the most distinct neighborhood/community feels to it in the Portland area. They even have their own little parade every summer!
Or if IN the city same for Sellwood--parade and all. It is one of the biggest kid neighborhoods I've ever seen in a city, plus there's a pool, community center, library, two huge parks, etc. all within walking distance. Great community programs, kids have lemonaid stands, etc. There are many great community parts of Portland, and in the case of both Multnomah Village and Sellwood, it's very suburban, though very much in the city.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:08 PM
 
Location: West Linn, OR
216 posts, read 627,214 times
Reputation: 72
Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
We will be flying out to Portland soon to vacation and check out some neighborhoods where we might like to live. I have been reading these forums for a while now and have a general sense of the different Portland neighborhoods. But one of the things my wife and I wonder is where we can find a place with a sense of community?

We have three young children and live in one of the nicer burbs of Colorado Springs. But sometimes I feel like we live on an island! Our area is very transient. People come and go a lot because of the military. Homes are always up for sale. And people just seem to go to work, come home, park in their garages and hide out in their homes! We never see our neighbors. And there is very little sense of community. Now I am sure this is not the case for all of Colorado. But in our immediate neighborhood it really is. Even living in our apt. in Cal. there was more of a sense of community than in our larger home in our shiny clean neighborhood here.

With regards to Portland we really don't want to live in the city/downtown area. I also like that Hillsboro is a little closer to the coast. But do you think there are any neighborhoods there which are 'not' like the one I just described? In other words where kids actually play together outside. Families get to know each other. People come out of hiding and aren't affraid to be friendly even if a little scary, etc... Now I know no place is perfect. And we definately don't expect to find Shangri La. Just wondering if anyone has experienced this sense of community to which I speak?
From what you have stated, and looking to be closer to the coast, you may want to look into McMinnville. Good luck!
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:20 AM
 
Location: Oregon
97 posts, read 297,430 times
Reputation: 62
Default I hate to bust your bubble, but

Quote:
Originally Posted by taketime View Post
Hillsboro is big city with its share of crime and problems but to the typical family living in a medium priced neighborhood it is not an issue. The reason that bar brawl made the nightly news is because its not a common occurence. You dont seem the type to hang out in seedy bars anyway. The criminal element is quite small compared to the middle and upper class. There are alot of high end employers so you've got millionaires living on one side of town and poverty on the other. You cant judge the whole city by a few bad areas. I dont think there is a threat of it spreading either, in fact it is diminishing due to rising property values and an improving job market. If you check the crime index it has gone down greatly in the last years and it much lower than the national average.

I most definitely feel a sense of community and enjoy those amentites and perks that a bigger city can offer. Our park and rec system is considered one of the best in the state not just for the offerings for kids but adults too. The city hosts a variety of festivities year round which range from Valentine's Day father/daughter dance, tree lighting & Santa & sleigh rides at Christmas, free summer concerts and outdoor movies in the summer, coming up there will be an "Amazing Race" style team competition around the city - just to name a very few. In many ways its still like the small town it once was.

If you want info on schools I can help. If you look specifically at the neighborhoods around the popular schools you will find what you are looking for - social, active families and kids playing out all day.

It is nice being near Hwy 26 its a quick straight shot to the beach and the commute into Ptld has gotten better since they added lanes.

It might help to know we have some neighbors that moved here last year from Colorado Springs (Intel folks) and they really love it. Also, a few years back some friends of ours got transferred out out to C.S. and they missed it here but atleast they were able to buy a much bigger house for the same money there, now he is loosing his job though.
Obviously do not get out of your part of HIllsboro very often. Go to the WAshington County Sheriffs Office Gang Enforcement webpage. Seeing is believing. The gang problem from California has gotten progressively worse every year. No, the gangbangers melee in Downtown Hillsboro last weekend was not normal in the sense that the level of violence escalated to where innocent people near the gangfight got assaulted, had rocks and bottles thrown at their cars, and it spilled inside. But go walk around some of the areas surrounding downtown and you are guaranteed to see some gang tagging. There are some rally nice areas of Hillsboro, I'm a former resident myself. So i understand defensiveness of Hillsboro residents who choose to put their blinderrs on. There are some violent Street Gangs from California in parts of Hillsboro. Much of Hillsboro is still really nice to live. I have friends who live there.
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