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, October 28, 2013

We've looked at this building from all sides now ...

and it doesn't get any easier. The sheer scale and footprint dwarf the surrounding businesses and homes. Portland is famous for its urban planning, but where is evidence of that here? Even those who claim Wally Remmers's development is transit-oriented don't know or ignore the fact that the bus to this location doesn't run every day. Perhaps Remmers will become a transit activist who can use his considerable sway to restore daily service. While he's at it, maybe he can get the Fremont bus to cross the river again.

Cloaked in plywood, hopefully this is as bugly as it gets for Wally Remmers's 4-story 50-unit project. As footprints go, the mass is shoehorned into a landlocked site on a small block. Given that the only access is on Fremont and no parking is provided, congestion on the thoroughfare will increase.

Taxpapers funded a data quest by the city that found that 70-plus percent of households in similar apartment buildings own cars. Given that projection, Beaumont-Wilshire will see an influx of at least 36 more cars from the development—with zero on-site parking provided. Safety measures such as sidewalks in the vicinity, traffic controls, and more would help mitigate the impact, but we see none coming or promised.

If this is planning, it is just an example of the alternate reality being constructed by bureaus at the city of Portland, ones where this kind of project is called a remodel:

"Hey Neighbor, are you building a new house?" "Oh no, just a little reno work."

As long as you stick a few old floorboards in the air, what you build under, around, and above them isn't new construction. Blogger and keen city observer Bojack would have had a field day with this (he also sounded the alarm on the effects of Wally Remmers's building in Beaumont-Wilshire).

If, like us, what you really need after reading all this is a drink and a laugh, then come on out for a pre-LUBA rally 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 11, at Blackbird Wineshop, 4323 NE Fremont, with drinks and hors d'oeuvres. It's also a fundraiser for our legal fees; to reserve a spot, send a $50 check made out to BWNRG to WP Price, 4300 NE Fremont, #250, 97213; contribute via PayPal through the links on this page; or come support the cause at the door. Thank you to all our generous donors thus far; we couldn't have made it to LUBA without you, and we look forward—after eight months of trying—to our day in court.

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