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.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Is new neighborhood landmark a bully's pulpit?

Wally's World on Northeast Fremont: Three stories high and rising.

While we prepare the brief for neighbors' appeal to the state Land Use Board of Appeals, the walls continue to go up for Wally Remmers's controversial project on Northeast Fremont between 44th and 45th avenues. He's at three stories now, eclipsing all other development on the street and the vicinity, but aims to get even higher.

The contested project begins to loom over Northeast Fremont on its way to 45 feet. If the building proceeds as designed and leases up, an additional 36 cars—as forecast by city data—will further drive up congestion along the thoroughfare.
Beaumont-Wilshire Neighbors for Responsible Growth, through the LUBA process, have tried to call attention to the project's issues since April. Numerous developer-led delays have stalled the appeal—but not construction—until now. 
As we delve deep into the issues behind the building, always wondering how the project was permitted from the get-go, the Bureau of Development Services grapples with a city audit that shows room for improvement.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The stumble toward Salem continues

A little light reading for LUBA, if it arrives.
When it seemed like the appeal to the state Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) was finally proceeding as normal, and that the permit would not be withdrawn by the city and developer a third time, it actually looked like we would sooner rather than later achieve our day in court.

After our third filed notice of intent to appeal, the next step in the process had been for the city to produce the record of its permit decision—the paperwork generated in issuing the building permit for the contested project, a four-story 50-unit building set for Northeast Fremont between 44th and 45th avenues. Twice before, as the deadline neared to deliver the record to LUBA, the permit was yanked, and Beaumont-Wilshire Neighbors for Responsible Growth had to restart the process from Square One.

It is unprecedented to experience so many roadblocks of this kind, and while the hammers ring at Wally's World on Fremont, we bemoan the delay in the chance to be heard at the state level, to ask that all developers follow the same code. Otherwise, why have one?

To make the long story longer, the good news is that we received the record. The bad news: LUBA didn't. Whether it's oversight by the courier or the city, the missed deadline brings another anomaly to an already interesting case.