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.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Eastmoreland finds a way out

While United Neighborhoods for Reform continues to gather support for the demolition/development resolution, and prepares for its presentation to City Council on Dec. 17, others have creatively worked to combat the trash-and-build style of development practiced citywide. Eastmoreland, in particular, seems to have aced it.

This building isn't in Eastmoreland, but it's a winner, too.
The owners of the site at Northeast Alameda and Fremont
turned the wilting Wilshire Market into a restaurant in a
nice case of building reuse and rejuvenation
that we don't see often enough.
The leafy Southeast neighborhood has managed to propose rezoning itself R7 from R5, which makes lot-splitting and shoehorning of new homes into the established neighborhood a real difficulty, maybe even an impossibility, for developers. After some high-profile cases (one in which neighbors paid a developer's ransom to save a house from demolition), neighborhood leaders there found a solution that protects hundreds of properties from speculative razing and dividing.

Perhaps this "Eastmoreland advantage" can be applied elsewhere? It sure would be a lot easier to apply a blanket protection to an entire neighborhood than to play Whac-A-Mole at the ground level.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Division Street's the new canyon land

Local band White Glove's "Division Street"—probably NSFW, and maybe -H—takes note of the transformation of "Avenue D," as the kids call it now. Old-timers, however, might prefer to call Division the "Death Star Trench." When you turn on to it, be sure to yell to R2-D2 in the back seat, "We're going in!" (And then, upon finding no parking, you can scram outta there quick as Luke Skywalker in an X-wing starfighter.)

Stacking towers along a narrow street works well for the mostly out-of-town developers plying Portland's real estate riches, but not for the creative types who put Portland on the map—and who are now being priced out of it. "What happened to Division Street," White Glove wonders. "Landlord raised the rent on me."