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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, January 9, 2014

Santa was so good to Wally "Oops, I Built My Building Too Big" Remmers

For developer Wally Remmers, the biggest Christmas present came a day late but oh was it grand: on Dec. 26 his appeal for the non-code conforming location of the drywell was quietly approved by city staff. This, after the state Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) said to find another place for it in its remand of the project's permit.

What's the point of LUBA if all city staff have to do is hold a private hearing among themselves and agree that even if the drywell isn't located correctly, in the end it just doesn't matter. And wouldn't that appeal have to have been made when the original application was filed, not this many months later? Luckily for city staff it was a "closed to the public" hearing, so they didn't have to share with interested neighbors—who have spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours to pursue LUBA's evaluation—why they thought the drywell could stand as is. It paid for developer Wally Remmers to build as soon as possible (meanwhile doing everything in his power to delay the LUBA process), then appeal later. Especially if those appeals are so handily approved. (It looks, too, that the city staff were so fired up to give Remmers the go-ahead that they privately tried to approve his appeal twice.)

Why is the location of the drywell a concern? Simply, Remmers built a building 2 feet too big, and we taxpayers are paying to support, even defend, that mistake. 

Stay tuned for the next episode of As Wally World Turns.

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