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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.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A little googling turns up the irony

All's ducky down on Wally Remmers's farm, where you could park 31 of these things.
Fools' Day aside, here's something actually funny. About this same time last year that activists from all over Portland were packing City Hall and meeting rooms to argue for rules that require some parking in large apartment buildings—and while developer Wally Remmers was telling us it was a different world and no one owned cars anymore—he was simultaneously singing the opposite tune at his property on Sauvie Island.

A year ago Multnomah County was entertaining Remmers's (thru his attorney Michael Robinson) pleas to allow him to build a beauty of a parking lot—31 spaces, all paved—at his island acreage. For a "farm worker break room." Sweet! All of the Remmers/Sackhoff apartment dwellers and their neighbors tired of looking for parking around their homes, here it is! We just need a shuttle bus.

County staff questioned why such a fine parking facility was necessary for a farm, especially because no one was supposed to actually live on-site or, gosh forbid, hunt ducks thereabouts. That won't happen because Remmers signed a voluntary compliance agreement saying so, which is hilarious because we see from the record how well he does with mandatory compliance (for that, keep reading, and enjoy the fact that he sometimes forgets to obtain permits, say, for a sizable addition to the aforementioned break room).

Build first, protest later. Sound familiar? If all this doesn't quack you up (sorry), you should see the response Remmers and the city recently submitted to neighbors' second petition to the state Land Use Board of Appeals. In it, the developer and city describe the state body's first ruling in neighbors' favor as a mere "suggestion" for fixing the poorly designed project. So that's why they ignored it.

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