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Monday, February 13, 2006

Another one bites the dust

A sad story is circulating today about how the great little town of McMinnville is being overrun by McMansions and their yuppie owners. Middle-class folks are being pushed out of town by people who live in "Mac" but don't work there -- they're either retired or commuting to the Portland area.

Wait 'til they build the toll road around Dundee and Newberg. The wrecking of Yamhill County will then be complete. The whole place will be just another Tualatin, with maybe some grapevines and cows sprinkled in for faux atmosphere.

I haven't spent any serious time in Mac in decades, but I have a soft spot for the place, having been married there once. The old timers down that way have more character than all the greasy developers in the state put together. To those who will fight tooth and nail to keep what they've got, my hat's off.

Comments (32)

And so it goes. Everyone is for preserving farm land, but no one want's to farm. When property taxes get to the point that it's no longer possible to farm the land, or you can't make enough from farming to live on, it gets turned into a develompent. A couple of the places we used to ride at regularly when I was a kid, one of which was Medowland Dairy - actually my friends used to take their horses up there, I never made it to that particular venue - are now houseing tracts. Even Powel Butte is becoming yuppified. A couple of years ago they tried to kick the horsemen out - don't ya know that mountain bikers and hikers don't like horsey poo - and wanted to take over the bridle trails, but they wanted the horsemen to continue to maintain the trails....
As we in this state continue to move farther away from an agricultural base more and more farmland will be taken up for houses, and as long as Oregon continues to welcome out of staters who are fairly well off, as well as people within the state making good money, we'll see more and more large homes. Although, having set stone and tile in some of these new large homes, I wouldn't have one if you paid me for it. I'd much prefer an older existing home to remodel, they're built way better. My dad used to call them - new houses - shacks and bananna stands for a reason.

We have 6.67 acres in Mulino that we raise emus and horses on. We've been here for 15 years. I see land being rezoned commercial and other property being developed all around us, especially in Molalla. Eventually it'll get to us too, and we'll probably sell to a developer, that's the only way we'll be able to upgrade to a larger acreage. I'd be nice to cut and bale my own hay for a change. We got into this place for $120K - the place was a real fixer upper. We've been looking for a larger place, or at least a rental to buy, $150K for a small house on a half acre is unheard of now.

This reminds me of a touching commentary from America's Finest News Source:

Please Stop Trying To Save Our Family Farm: "Every day, I see bumper stickers on cars expressing support for the plight of our nation's farmers. But just as soon as I peel one off, they put another one right back on again the next day. Won't you please turn your back on us? ... As for myself, I would have felt just fine if Dad would've sold the farm to that developer who wanted to put up a Target Greatland out here."

Full story @

Suppose that Oregon adopted anti-deficiency judgment legislation whereby Greenspan and his Bubble Buddy Banks assume all the risk of uncollectibility of loan amounts in excess of rent-justified valuations at the time of purchase? This might not stop the borrowers from borrowing but the lenders might think twice and it is more equitable between these two classes. It might also place a lid on the property tax assessments, which might displease folks in Oregon who are preoccupied with the focus on replacement revenues.

The principal determinant of the price-level of homes has transitioned to the price of money rather than income. Income has become just factor in borrowing capacity. And yet we look at price-level as if it were indicators of wealth, rather than indicators of unsustainable levels of debt. I'll stick to my characterization of home owners, via debt, as glorified renters.

Sustainable farming? Absurd.

I commute to Mac 10-12 times a year for work. Its entirely possible that some middle class has been driven out. But I'm not seeing it.

I work with the schools and see the parents and children. There doesn't seem to be a profound drop in the number of middle class families. Perhaps because the town is anchored by Linfield, which seems to have grown by leaps and bounds in the last 10 years.

If you don't like the toll road between Newberg and Dundee, you can always take the 47 from Forest Grove through Yamhill and Carlton. It's a prettier drive through the vineyards and nurseries, anyway.

Is your glass always "half-empty", Jack? LOL

I always thought the "saving farmland" line was a scam anyway. They keep doing everything they can to kill the American farmer... like the water theft in the Klamath Basin.
And how many veggies can you find in a store any more that come from Oregon, let alone the US? Its not easy unless you go to a yuppie (read: expensive) store like Wild Oats or Zupans.

I grew up in Yamhill County and read the story about Mac's housing situation with interest both because I used to live there and because I currently live in another Willamette Valley town (Stayton) that so far has escaped development pressure. Now it turns that we have been targeted by the building industry because developable land prices out here are still fairly low.

We're hoping that our efforts to require voter approval for future annexations might help forestall some of these problems but we also plan simultaneously to press for so called smart growth ordinance changes that would create neighborhoods with mixed housing types, some of which would be in prices ranges that most would find affordable. I also would love to put in place ordinance requiring that at a portion of all new develpment be moderately price and affordable as has been done in some communities.

I hope this works...John

The Urban Growth Boundary forces the overcrowding of our cities and inflates the surrounding land value to where only the wealthy can afford to have piece of it.
The McMansions surrounding Portland and other cities is stunning. The search for a small chunk by middle class families has them moving further and further away from where they work.
Another backwards outcome from the horrific planning.
Any genuine study of the outcomes of our planning approach shows an across the board deficiency on all fronts but one. While there is success in setting aside vast tracks of wetlands and other habitat every other interest in accommodating growth has failed miserably. And it's about to worsen substantially.
Preserving habitat, watersheds, farm, forest and open spaces is a worthy endeavor but abundant land which is none of the above is needlessly swept up into our fanatic preservation approach.

We are recklessly creating overcrowded, expensive, immobile, unaffordable communities in exchange for preservation which could be attained with far less extreme measures.

Attempting to correct the chaos by writing "ordinances for new development to be moderately priced and affordable" is nothing but more dumb growth requiring tax subsidized housing.

Of course people want to live in Mac (or any Yamhill County town...) Why not? Rural traffic (two cars at the light, if your town has a light!!) You can see the stars at night (okay, when and if the clouds part), kids can ride horses or dirt bikes and hike right out their back door. And yes, people who move there probably want the house size that they are used to, and won't live in the double-wides that used to be there.

"I haven't spent any serious time in Mac in decades, but I have a soft spot for the place, having been married there once." Well, then.... just don't go there any more...find another place to get married. If you don't like it, no problem, since you haven't been there in decades!!!

That's exactly the attitude that's ruining the place.

I find the attitude expressed in the article that buyers are demanding the perfect home right now distressing. And it seems Oregon has been attracting too many of those upwardly mobile types who aren't really interested in building community, but only in getting more for themselves and their children. Sherwood is full of this kind of thing: I volunteer sometimes for a pet rescue group, transporting cats to foster homes. Once I picked one up at a vet's office there where a customer was telling the receptionist how the lobby should be decorated with motif's of her preffered dog breed and obsessing on how she tastefully had appointed her McMansion:Me, Me Me....It put me in a bad mood, so I forced myself to think of another transplant in the Sherwood area who is investing his talents and passions in doing something useful for the community: Evan Kalik the founder of Cat Adoption Team no-kill shelter. Planners and regulators should be looking more at the big picture imho. If we could just get some of the sleeze out of development, that would be a start. Get rid of non-judicial foreclosure. Find a way to force investigation of abuse allegations. Get our news media to show outrage over good old boy action, like when Washington Count DA Scott Upham got run out of office after he tried to launch a criminal investigation of the land use and transportation department there. Some people may want to sell to developers, but there are "holdouts" who face intimidation. Developer abuses and regualtory acquiescence need daylighting imho.

Steve - How do you figure??

You state a long list of negatives that, ironically, undo the the intention of our planning laws. Actually, these problems would be much worse if it weren't for our current system. Why? BECAUSE PRODUCTION BUILDERS WOULD BUILD WHEREEVER THEY PLEASE, WHEREEVER CONVENIENT, WITH A PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE. Simple. Developers would scoop up any property with a view, paving over some of the richest farmland soil in the country. We'd have McMansions all along the I-5 corridor, further out Hwy 26 past Hillsboro, and even more between Newberg and McMinnville.

The urban growth boundary doesn't have nearly as much impact on property values as you think... you've swollowed a line from the Homebuilders Association. Topography, bio-diversity, culture, livability, location, and character all influence property values and the ability to expand. Sure, if you like that sort of thing, I'm sure you can find a characterless tract home outside of Houston for less than you could in Portland, but that's because no one gives a sh*t about that land. The major west coast cities have higher average prices than Portland without (ta-daa!) urban growth boundaries. They're also plagued with more sprawl than we have here, worse traffic, etc. Get some perspective, man. We have it SO much better here.

So which is it? You rail against McMansions, but you also bemoan home prices in Portland. You say "The McMansions surrounding Portland and other cities is stunning. The search for a small chunk by middle class families has them moving further and further away from where they work." Well, from past posts you certainly don't seem to be in favor of condo towers (building up rather than out), so where do you think the growth should be? You're a funny cat, Steve. Because you then say we're plagued with overcrowding. Well, you said people should be near their work, which would explain the idea of reining in sprawl.

Sheesh. I can't keep up.

It is sad and unfortunately this is the real story of Oregon since the 1970's. Jack, my experience in Ashland sounds very similar to yours of McMinnville - just hope my ex shares the good memories. Now, despite buying "right" in PDX twenty years ago I'm priced out of the Ashland market (for retirement) which seems to be 5-10 years ahead, cost-wise, of the rest of the state.

So now we're confronted with the effects of several trends starting with the Westward Ho! movement of the 1960's and '70's; Oregon's land use planning efforts (with urban growth boundaries); the demographic bulge of financially secure retirees; the internet and consequent remote work capability and, of course, the proximity of California and its huge population looking to either cash out or find something affordable - by their measure. You couldn't dream a better scenario for housing inflation.

But, unless I'm missing something that isn't evidenced by our neighbors to the north and south, the alternative to preserving open space, for whatever purpose, is urban sprawl and inhibiting sprawl means less housing space per capita along with higher housing cost. It's just a question of how much those factors can be mitigated by the free market working within the land use guidelines and what the consequent product will look like. Given the trends and alternatives facing this state I tend to favor the current process even if it means that where a person lives continues to be dependent upon their individual efforts to make the best use of their opportunities.

Also, it's going to be interesting to see what happens when the boomers start trying to sell these exurban monstrosities in 10-20 years. Better hope for one damned good economy or the term "money pit" will get real personal.

The Portland area is growing. Trying to control it by command only makes houses more expensive. There will always be tension, but I will say this: when you buy a home you also invest in a neighborhood, its character, its schools, the size of the lots and the hight and size of the houses. People that live in that neighborhood should be able to control what go on. Local control through local zoning, not distant city burocrats, who have an objective to increase density at all costs so they can say it helps lightrail.


TK brings up a very good point. You cringe at the Condo's in downtown (in all honesty I live in one and I wouldn't live anywhere else, I sustain my lifestyle in a 5 block radius downtown and drive once a week at most), but now you rail on the Urban Growth Boundry and the McMansions going up in every suburban area in Porltland. Which is it? I'd at least like to hear your ideal development situation, I agree that the Tram (rim shot) and certain developments are geting uneeded benefits from the city. I even agree that some of the developments are downright ugly, but infill is the only way to go.

but now you rail on the Urban Growth Boundry

I never said a word about that. You're mistaking someone else's comments for mine.

Fair enough, maybe you 'like' the Urban Growth boundry, but you didn't answer my initial question?

TK at February 13, 2006: Actually, these problems would be much worse if it weren't for our current system. Why? BECAUSE PRODUCTION BUILDERS WOULD BUILD WHEREEVER THEY PLEASE, WHEREEVER CONVENIENT, WITH A PATH OF LEAST RESISTANCE. Simple. \
JK: Your lack of business savvy is showing - builders only build what they can sell. ie: what the customer wants bad enough to pay for. Customer complaints are one reason builders oppose our land use laws - they know first hand that people don’t like what they are FORCED TO FOSTER OFF ON PEOPLE. They would prefer to build what people want.

TK at February 13, 2006: We'd have McMansions all along the I-5 corridor, further out Hwy 26 past Hillsboro, and even more between Newberg and McMinnville.
JK: And we wouldn’t have McMansions taking over our older established cities. In Portland we wouldn’t have overpriced, oversized skinny houses crammed into every vacant piece of land.

TK at February 13, 2006: The urban growth boundary doesn't have nearly as much impact on property values as you think.
JK: Slept through Econ 101 did we? Tight supply=high prices. Look at land price inside the UGB vs. outside - the premium we pay is over $50,000 per little lot.

TK at February 13, 2006: .. you've swallowed a line from the Homebuilders Association. Topography, bio-diversity, culture, livability, location, and character all influence property values and the ability to expand.
JK: You swallowed a line from ignorant environmental zealots.

TK at February 13, 2006: The major west coast cities have higher average prices than Portland without (ta-daa!) urban growth boundaries.
JK: They all have the EQUAL of UGBs. Green belts, lots of regulation, green spaces etc. Try reading something on the subject that DID NOT come from the green money grubber network (Sierra club etc.). Start with something from the
Federal Reserve bank:
Harvord U:
A guy at HUD:

TK at February 13, 2006: We have it SO much better here.
JK: We are rapidly losing it due to forced high density.

TK at February 13, 2006: Well, you said people should be near their work, which would explain the idea of reining in sprawl.
JK: People in the burbs have shorter commute times. That qualifies as near your work.



Your anti density arguments make no sense. You say that having everyone sprawled out in Suburbs woudl result in lower commute times than density? Huh? You want this area to become another silicon valley, Southern California, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, etc? Or on a smaller scale lets just compare Clark County with the PDX metro area. If you love strip malls and Stop lights then East Vancouver is all yours.

Show me a single exmaple of a city where less density and sprawl works.

""""Show me a single exmaple of a city where less density and sprawl works. """"""""

Here, 25 years ago before the "model for the nation" dysfunction took over.


For my lifestyle, East Vancouver works just fine. most of the shopping that we use is close by and convenient. Access to work is about the same time because the inner Portland area where we used to live is choked by traffic.

We can get to shopping in less time than we lived in Portland because, while the distances are slightly greater, the access roads have much lower use. And the quality of the grocery stores and other retail is superior.

because the area is so much more family friendly, the schools are better, the parks are better maintained, and there are a lot more families.

If we want urban amenities we can just drive 20 minutes into downtown Portland, or on a smaller basis get what we want in the 'Couv.

it's not for everyone, but don't peddle me the line that sprawl does not work. It works for the vast majority fo American's population. You may not personally like it, but don't project toeveryone.

"it's not for everyone"
Amen! Who wants to live in a car?


If you like sittign in stoplights then fine, live there. But ask yourself ehat it is goign to look like in 5 - 10 years with that kind of continued development?

The I got mine so no one else can move here plan doesn't work to well.

"Here, 25 years ago before the "model for the nation" dysfunction took over. "

Ok so if we froze the US population at what it was 25 years ago then everything could have stayed that way.

Have a serious proposal for how to deal with growth besides nimbyism?

Do you seriously think all the problems would be solved if there was no density? If everyone who lives in a Condo in the city was moved into a single family home how bad would the traffic be? Plus what farmland/greenspace would be left?

TK said
""""these problems would be much worse if it weren't for our current system.""""""

You keep beating that Metro drum while the whole region and cities worsen.

What an absolute fraud. What system?
The UGB has proven to be a blind dysfunctional approach which fails miserable to accommodate growth and spawns enormous government spending on efforts masquerading as alternatives.

Builders would be still building lower density neighborhoods and communities if it were not for the retarded land supply, costs and excessive regulation our dysfunctional planning system has built.
The worst, overcrowded and ugliest development has occurred since our "model for the nation planning" took over. Drive around and look at. The older pre-Metro neighborhoods, in most cases, are far more preferable and livable.

You're playing the same misery card as you do with transportation.
Control developers and development by making land too expensive.
Control traffic by making it painfully congested.

The problem is all we get is more misery and not the utopia.

""""""" We'd have McMansions all along the I-5 corridor"""""

How more misguided and in denial can you be. Along a freeway?
The McMansions are here every where.
Spawned by planners retarding the region with overcrowded cities and high costs of larger lots and parcels.
Your blather is typical empty conjecture.

""""""The urban growth boundary doesn't have nearly as much impact on property values as you think""""""

It's not a matter of thinking it.
It's economics. Supply and demand.

You have swallowed the cockamamie gibberish spewed by the "smart growth-high density" kooks who have been proven to lie about just about everything including the Tram, SoWa, the Beaverton Round, light rail, Cascade Station, Urban Renewal, Transit and more.

""""" bio-diversity, culture, livability, location, and character all influence property values and the ability to expand""""""""""

Really dude? Cool.

The """characterless tract homes""" have come with Metro planning and mandates for high density neighborhoods. Subdivisions with no parking, crammed together houses with inadequate access, in fill, row houses stuffed in single family neighborhoods.

You are too ignorant of the development occurring and the adverse characteristics our planning has brought.

For you to get on here, or anywhere, and echo the planners bullshat which contradicts what people have been witnessing for years is unethical.

Get lost, and take your UGB, 2040 plan Urban Renewal high density fraud with you.

I'm not "railing against McMansions". I was criticizing the fact that middle class folks cannot afford any large lots or small acreage anywhere
near town because of the fraud your embrace.
Young families looking or a starter home must look further and further out and drive farther to work because your fraud.
Blind, mindless and excessive zoning and inadequate supplies of industrial land prohibits new employment centers from being located by new affordable housing because of your fraud.

I don't mind if condo towers are built.
Don't be so confused.
My beef, like many others, is about the public having to subsidize them with free infrastructure and/or tax and fee exemptions which take money from basic services.
Try and focus.
We are plagued with forced overcrowding and are being forced to pay for it as well. On top of that our road dollars are being spent disproportionately in huge sums on modes which are used the least.
That is insanity just like tearing up all of downtown for a new light rail transit mall. Which will not increase transit use or reduce congestion while hindering shoppers, traffic, business and again basic services budgets.

Your fantasy that reigning in sprawl is resulting people living closer to
where they work is nothing but a theoretical world with the opposite
happening because people can't afford to live near their work.

Look at the biggest subsidized boondoggle development in CoP history SoWa.
You think anyone with moderate to low income will be able to afford to live their? No way.

But the jerks pushing the fraud have a remedy.
Spend more basic services fund to build affordable housing.

It's all a circle misappropriation of tax money chasing one created dysfunction with another.

How in the heck do you think any of our older neighborhoods and cites were ever built without all this planning and Urban Renewal?
Now we can't do anything without it ???????

You can't keep up because your imagination can't work fast enough in your theoretical world.

eric said,"""""Ok so if we froze the US population at what it was 25 years ago then everything could have stayed that way.""""'

Hey I got a news flash for you.
There was growth and sprawl 25 years ago and 50 years ago.
The region and State was handling it fine until those running the failed experiment retarded what was once reasonable protections and preservation into the forced high density, light rail-UGB mess we have now and stopped building roads and freeways.

To get back on topic, we're here to talk about McMinnville, aren't we?

I've lived in this wonderful town for 30 years. The Oregonian got it wrong. They just re-wrote a (McMinnville) News-Register story complaining about new, bigger and more expensive houses going up on the edge of town.

Our city manager says the average home value in McMinnville is $133,000. And, trust me, he would know. Home sales are NOT moving as fast as The Oregonian said they are. The home just behind me has been on the market for three months at $145,000.

Downtown is still beautiful and healthy, even though we have several shopping centers out on the edge of town. Why? Because town leaders developed voluntary guidelines for what they wanted downtown McMinnville to look like in the decades to come. The town leaders, different for each generation, have been doing that for more than 100 years.

We have many, great city parks; an Olympic-size, but unobtrusive swimming pool, a nice (though architecturally a disaster) library; tons of private businesses - large and small; great industrial plants like Cascade Steel, we even have a Wal-Mart and a Lowe's on the edge of town... I could go on and on.

The only slightly not-wonderful thing is our school district, but what's new about that? Public schools are busted and nobody can fix them. No use whining about it.

Back to McMinnville - we have been a source of jobs for the surrounding communities for decades. This is not new. It has kept Yamhill County self-sufficient - not dependent on out-of-county jobs for our prosperity. I think fewer than 20% of McMinnville residents leave town to go to work. Maybe half go to Portland, and half to Salem.

The earlier poster who said we are mainly middle-class is exactly right. That's just what we are. We are also very sophisticated, and would be even without Linfield. We have Evergreen International and had Hewlett-Packard, many of whose employees stayed here when the local H-P closed. Many of our residents are world travelers. There are many retired people living here, too - also world travelers. We have a 30+ year old community theatre, Nick's Italian Cafe, and McMenamin's Hotel Oregon, and 12 screens of movie theatres, two of which are downtown and at one of those you can eat pizza and watch the first-run movie. Everything for the perfect life.

And, finally, farming. We're not losing farming, farmers, farms or farmland - in Oregon or in Yamhill County. We have major ag-related retail businesses and coops here in town.

Agriculture in Oregon, with $3.8 billion farmgate income last year, is the third largest industry in the state. The Oregon Agricultural Information Network estimated acreage harvested increased in 2002, to 3 million acres, compared to 2.9 million in 2001.

Total "land in farms," according to ODA measurements, is a much larger figure at 17.2 million acres, down only 5 percent from 20 years ago, when 18.2 million acres were listed as land in farms. There were about 41,000 farms in Oregon in 2002, compared to 35,000 farms in 1980.

Yamhill County was the fourth-largest ag producing county in the state, with income of $207 million, producing wheat, grass seed, dairy and beef cattle, hazelnuts, nursery products, Christmas trees, wine grapes, and a number of row crops.

So, don't weep for McMinnville. We love it here. Our parking is free, and we don't have business licenses, sign ordinances or room taxes. What's not to like???

"Hey I got a news flash for you.
There was growth and sprawl 25 years ago and 50 years ago."

with what 1/3rd the population we have now?

Where would you build more freeways, I-205 is already 8 lanes, what would you do make it 16? Where you build another east-west freeway to augment I-84?

Where would you put all the housing developments? further west past Hillsboro?

If you want to live with sprawl and ugly subdivisons you have plenty of places to choose from (pretty much most of the country), move to Vancouver if you want to stay in the area.

I have a few acres in Dundee and spend about half my time there, the other half in Portland. There's a funky old farmhouse that is by now means a McMansion and never will be, a few outbuildings and a barn that my partner turned into a very rustic sometimes antique store. We raise a lot of chickens and have an orchard and some berries, and a pasture which is now taken over by a couple of goats, but we someday hope to fence it off properly and rent it out for a couple of horses. We're down near the river and it's not good for grapes, and besides, you need at least 50 acres for that.

I go into Mac all the time and love the little town. There are some very affordable homes there still. I'm sure the McMansions are being built on the outskirts and in the hills, just like they are around Dundee. The beknighted Yamhill County commissioners rolled over on every Measure 37 claim to come through and this may lead to quite a few McMansions.

Mac is a schizophrenic little berg. You enter it on Highway 99 through a long series of strip centers with every chain you can think of, and then suddenly you are in this charming little town that is the capital of the wine industry, something akin to a provincial town in Bordeaux. Three of the best restaurants in Oregon are on Third Ave. There also are about a dozen really good Mexican restaurants in the town. The atmosphere is more a mix of college town and kind of low key, not ostentatious wine and food people. I don't see a lot of Humvees around there, and the vibe isn't obnoxiously Yuppie. It's more like Napa or Calistoga in the early 60s.

Yamhill County needs to keep its agricultural land in agriculture--specifically in vinyards. Oregon's wine industry contriutes $1.4 billion to the Oregon gross domestic product and it is one of the few growth industries the state has left.

The earlier poster who said we are mainly middle-class is exactly right. That's just what we are.

I'm glad that's still true. It's a big part of what makes it a great place.

Watch out for that toll road, though -- it is not your friend, Mac.

That toll road--aka the Dundee Bypass--may not get built. If it does, it will slice right across our little piece of heaven (which means ODOT will buy us out) or worse, just miss us. There was a story in the local paper about a larger landowner filing a lawsuit over the buyout because ODOT--or the toll-road contractor--loballed him.

By the time the road gets built, there will be a casino in the Gorge and probably one in Portland, gas will be $3.79 a gallon and the need for it will be long gone. Del Smith (owner of Evergreen Aviation) will be able to take the Spruce Goose out of its hangar and taxi it up and down the new highway.

Of course, right now the sign at the entrance of my fair city says, "Welcome to Dundee--the bottleneck in the middle of nowhere."

Eric, Feb 13, 2006 05:03 PM: You say that having everyone sprawled out in Suburbs woudl result in lower commute times than density? Huh?
JK: That is correct. Most jobs are in the burbs, so if you live in the burbs you may be closer to your job. Read the post about most Mac residents work in Mac. (If you live in Hong Kong you are even closer to your job, but the commute time is longer as is typical of high density.)

Eric, Feb 13, 2006 05:03 PM: You want this area to become another silicon valley, Southern California, Phoenix, Dallas, Houston, etc?
JK: If you mean Los Angeles, that is what Metro choose to “replicate” right here in Portland. It is the highest density urban area in the country and has lower than average freeway miles per capita. It is pretty obvious that Portland is headed in that direction: No new freeways as the population (the capita part) increases, more density everywhere. Soon we will be just like LA.

Eric, Feb 13, 2006 05:03 PM: If you love strip malls and Stop lights then East Vancouver is all yours.
JK: What is wrong with strip malls - they are popular because the work very well. If they offend your eyes, too bad. As for stop lights, no I prefer freeways, but Metro/PDOT/ODOT won’t let us have any more.

Eric, Feb 13, 2006 05:03 PM: Show me a single example of a city where less density and sprawl works.
JK: Define works. If you mean decent sized lots with good jobs and low cost of living, Portland is the poster child for FAILURE.

eric at February 13, 2006 10:41 PM(Quoting Schopp)"Hey I got a news flash for you. There was growth and sprawl 25 years ago and 50 years ago."
Eric: with what 1/3rd the population we have now?
JK: Yes, sprawl started with the second building in town and continued as we built inner Southeast, Ladds, Northeast, St.Johns. Those were all sprawl. What is your problem with these?

eric at February 13, 2006 10:41 PM Where would you put all the housing developments? further west past Hillsboro?
JK: In your neighborhood, not mine! Mine is full.

eric at February 13, 2006 10:41 PM If you want to live with sprawl and ugly subdivisons you have plenty of places to choose from (pretty much most of the country), move to Vancouver if you want to stay in the area.
JK: I have really had my fill of people advocating that we turn Portland into a high density hell hole. Then telling me if I don’t like it, I can leave my birth town. NO WAY - YOU CAN LEAVE TOWN if you don’t like Portland the way is/was.


Reflecting on McMinnville and McMansions yesterday, I thought back to a case I had about 10 years ago that illustrates my earlier point that we can improve how we grow by cutting down on the sleaze in the development land use arena-where too many people are poised to make a too-easy buck. I had hired local (Yamhill County) trial counsel. Before the case went to trial, a big downtown(Portland)firm tired to hire him on the cdondition that we turned the case over to it. The idea was presented as a great advantage to the clients, but I didn't think so and trial counsel said they wanted to "get their fingers into it", so we told them no.

On the day of trial-Lo and Behold-we had a new judge! One who would not allow a document limiting development on prime McMansion acreage to be admitted into evidence while a signatory was on the witness stand. The trial counsel sat like a bump on a log instead of making an offer of proof for appeal until I insisited he do so. The judge became very confused and it became obvious he was taking direction from two yup and coming local law firm associates sitting in the back of the courtroom-just like a courtroom scene from "Miracle on 34th Street".
Development would become more ordered if we could stop the legal racketeering that is part of Oregon's history , and in my experience, was fairly routine into the 1990s. Yes, there is a price to pay for confronting these problems, but if everyone who recognizes them would do that, we wouldn't have them.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
MarchigĂĽe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
GascĂłn, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
MarchigĂĽe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria DermoČ—t - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
In 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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