|A single image shows all that's wrong with |
current Portland planning/permitting. Photo by Fred Lifton.
If a business model is predicated on the destruction of well-established neighborhoods full of open space, mature trees, and unique well-built homes, then perhaps Portland no longer is the fertile ground for profits that it once was.
Even the commissioner in charge of the Bureau of Development Services, Amanda Fritz, seems to be having misgivings about the homogenization and humongous-ization overtaking the city's built landscape. Not coincidentally, she's launching a reelection campaign, ironically trying to woo back the neighbor base that got her into office in the first place. With this latest move, she's fooled some people with her late plea on behalf of Portland neighborhoods, but not those long appalled at her years-long BDS-can-do-no-wrong stance and defense of nonconforming and noncontributing projects.
|Suddenly Commissioner Amanda Fritz (middle) says she cares |
about neighborhoods, per a recent Oregonian story. But at
City Hall on Feb. 12 she was adamantly opposed to
effective hazmat control during demolitions (start watching
at 75:28 here to hear/see for yourself).
By the way, when sifting through the DRAC minutes that are available, I was amused by the following explanation for how BDS deals with complaints, as explained by bureau director Paul Scarlett:
"Mr. Scarlett said that because BDS wasn't able to respond to a lot of complaints during and after the recession, people stopped calling to complain."Next time a BDS staffer talks about a "complaint-driven system" for construction-practices accountability, you'll know why they smile.
regulate lead and asbestos fallout from demolitions smacks of folly and lack of commitment to fixing the problem. Anyone who gardens, eats what they grow, or has children should care very much about the demolitions occurring within 400 feet (the width of about eight standard-size yards) of where they live—that's how far the asbestos and lead particles have been shown to travel.
If City Council was serious about public safety and environmental responsibility, then hazmat control and deconstruction deserve better scrutiny by a wider variety of stakeholders, and positive impartial action. Now.