What's happening now

Formerly the home of Beaumont-Wilshire Neighbors for Responsible Growth, the Portland Land Matters blog explores citywide land-use concerns, such as home demolitions, with the belief that development should create an improvement.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Neighbors tell it like it is

                                                                  Courtesy of Teresa Lillian McGrath

Friday, January 11, 2019

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

It finally happened

I'm sure it's not the first time, but it was for me, seeing a sign in a yard where a home used to stand that housed people of color.

How to spread the word about these new builds, and what came before them, so people can align their values with their consumer choices?

The years-long demolition epidemic continues unabated, and with it the economic redlining of Portland's neighborhoods, but there is change in the air, more important on City Council, where at least teardown builders can no longer pollute and endanger people's health and kids' IQs with impunity. That's according to rules taking effect July 1 (or earlier), with great faith placed in enforcement.

Black lives matter; so does affordable housing.
Early last month City Council overwhelmingly voted in favor of methods to reduce the spread of hazardous materials during mechanical demolition.

Even though federal studies show demolition dust travels up to 400 feet, under the new rules people living within 300 feet of the plume will be given notice and hopefully can take precautions, even though the particulates that settle on the land around them may yet pose a problem for residents, and future generations. If you know of a demolition, and get notice, do your neighbors a favor who might be a little farther out, and warn them too. You never know which way the wind will blow, and demolitions are allowed to occur as long as the wind registers under 25 mph.

As Mayor Wheeler noted at the February 1 session, "That's a pretty stiff wind."

Teardowns RIP this city

Meanwhile, the Residential Infill Project heads to the Portland Planning Commission.

Attention and enthusiasm for the teardown side seem to be flagging, perhaps because Portlanders are used to following the money trail. As time goes on, and developers' properties languish on the market, there may be fewer contributions to garner needed grassroots support for a teardown blitz mostly brought on by out-of-town interests. Hopefully those developers find that no matter how many former environmental groups are bought along in this process, or no matter the pretty, eager faces hired to drive the drumbeat, Portland people tend to look and think deeper.

As we've lost diversity in our neighborhoods, trees, and community (buyers of the new homes tend to move on soon), the truth emerges at ground level.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The bamboozling goes big-time

Much is happening on the land-use front, with developers going for gold at the local level in Portland, Oregon. You can read much more about it here.

The good news is that there are even more chances to see a fine movie sharing important Portland history lessons. Hopefully masters of the plan mentioned above will watch Priced Out and scrap the city's proposal that would entail yet more Urban Removals.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Farewell, old friend

Every demolition hurts, considering the history that vaporizes with walls that could have sheltered more lives and witnessed more stories. The Ancient Order of United Workmen Temple, which fell to airborne jackhammers and other heavy machinery last month, had ruled the intersection of Southwest Second Avenue and Taylor Street downtown since 1892. What an incredible building it would have been to reuse! What a wasted opportunity.

In this photo essay, Portland photographer Scott Tice documents the building as it left our landscape.

A fantastic reuse opportunity, wasted.