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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.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

BWNRG's Salem diary: Happy to be here, happy to be heard

The long road to LUBA ends here.

It's just now sinking in, today's big day in court! We filed our appeal of Wally Remmers's 4-story, 50-unit building on Northeast Fremont at the state Land Use Board of Appeals in April. But the developer put so many obstacles and delays in our path—we just fended off another last week—that it took eight months to reach Salem and a higher level of scrutiny. All the while, Remmers continued to build at his own risk. You would think a developer would want to know the problems with his building so he could solve them without the expense, time, and effort of visiting LUBA.

We came, we presented, we look forward to the Dec. 4 decision.
Clearly it will take many neighborhood Davids—and their hard-earned dollars—to go up against the Goliath. As our recent fundraiser at Blackbird Wineshop illustrated, we may be a small neighborhood but, with growing support from within and outside our boundaries, we are strong. When faced with ill-conceived, poorly planned, and non-code-conforming development, Beaumont-Wilshire doesn't back down.

Residents from Beaumont-Wilshire and other east-side neighborhoods learn more about Wally Remmers's troubled development on Northeast Fremont at the Blackbird Wineshop event Nov. 11.
BWNRG's John Golden recounts the appeal process, from the SRO crowd gathered in June 2012 to the Nov. 14 LUBA date.
The LUBA hearing itself consisted of an hour of argument in the sober confines of the Land Board Room at the State Lands headquarters in Salem. In the staid surroundings, the board members listened carefully, consulted the plans, and asked great questions. We feel good about presenting a solid case.

Now we wait for the board's decision, due Dec. 4, and continue to raise money for our legal bills. We raised a good chunk at the fundraiser, but have one more big bill to cover. To donate online, click the links above or at right, or send a check made out to BWNRG c/o our pro bono accountant WP Price, 4300 NE Fremont #250, Portland 97213. Thank you to everyone who helped us make it this far, and thank you to the generous donors to our raffle prize:

A spirited Q&A brings attendees up to speed on the project.

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