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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, April 24, 2013

Some words about windows aren't crystal-clear

After our recent post bemoaning the lack of windows on the east and west sides of building proposed for Northeast Fremont between 44th and 45th avenues, the developer's architect sent out a missive explaining that the city wanted them deleted.

To refresh your memory, this is what residents can expect to see when heading east on Fremont or even from the Umpqua Bank branch at Northeast 44th and Fremont: an unbroken wall of lap siding with a smattering of narrow windows at the front corner. The same goes for the east side of the building. The rectangular shapes at the bottom of the image are the existing buildings of longtime business Barrett Automotive, showing the scale of the proposed project.

Windows were eliminated on the east and west (above) sides of this 4-story building proposed for the heart of the Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood.  
Yes, if you are pushing the building to within inches of the neighboring properties' lot lines, you do have to take out the windows.

The architect explains: "We were required to eliminate those windows due to the City's concerns in regards to fire and life-safety protection." If the developer really wanted those windows, he'd pull in the sides of the building a few feet, per city code. It's good to see safety ruling the day, just too bad that the building had to be so big that the windows had to go, and so tenants and residents can't enjoy better views. In this case, effective finger-pointing requires a mirror.

The silver lining for developer Wally Remmers is that since windows cost a lot, he saved a pile of money.

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