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.

Monday, July 29, 2013

On Fremont, developer sees room to loom

Beaumont-Wilshire residents who work downtown could have this to look forward to on their journey home: a building that stretches three stories higher than its adjacent neighbors, without any "stepping back" that would reduce its mass and increase its appeal. The rendering shows how the building would look as an expansive backdrop for existing buildings at Northeast 44th and Fremont in the Beaumont Village corridor. If the developer has his way, it's what you would see looking east from the lobby of the local Umpqua Bank branch.

After a long delay, Wally Remmers now has a revised permit. We haven't seen updated plans, but we hope for real fixes.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Dear readers, where do you live?

An illustration from portlandmaps.com shows the boundaries of Wally Remmers's 50-unit project proposed for Northeast Fremont. If you live within 100 feet and support the BWNRG cause, let us know.

Pardon the intrusion, but we seek property owners within 100 feet of Wally Remmers's building site at 4419-4429 NE Fremont to sign on as petitioners in our planned appeal to the state Land Use Board of Appeals, or LUBA. LUBA requires that at least one of the named petitioners own property within 100 feet of the controversial development.

One of our previous petitioners, who owns property adjacent to the site, bowed out for health reasons. In addition, Bill and Jere Barrett of Barrett Automotive are out as well, apparently to make a deal with Wally Remmers. Without any formal communication from them as to the reasons for their withdrawal, we are working to meet the LUBA requirements and continue the cause for a significantly modified building that is an asset to all.

With more than 3,000 hits over its relatively short life, this blog may be one of the best ways to spread the word; it also shows the public's interest in the shape and future of our neighborhood. Beaumont-Wilshire Neighbors for Responsible Growth never imagined having to spend a year bringing about changes in a project that more than triples the number of households on the block without offering any mitigation of its impacts or improved infrastructure that supports a building of its size. We also object to the scale of the project amid a village-like commercial strip and modestly sized homes.

Two times we have begun the appeal process; both times the city and developer withdrew the permit before any paperwork associated with the permit had to be submitted to LUBA. Right now the developer's working with the city on revisions to that contested permit. Once the permit is reissued, we will be looking for changes that alleviate neighbor concerns and fix code nonconformance. Otherwise, we can restart the appeal process. The third time could be the charm.