Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.







Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!






E-mail us here.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 29, 2008 10:31 AM. The previous post in this blog was New Calvin Klein fragrance named. The next post in this blog is Janet Reno Dance Party version 2.0.1. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
TaxVox
Tax.com
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Conglomerate
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
myCorporateResource.com
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Portland City Hall's culture of backroom deals

This is a fascinating news story that deserves a full read. In it, the developer scoundrels who are bankrupting Portland brazenly explain how they get their crazy projects done: They make secret deals with the politicians and bureaucrats at City Hall, and don't let the public see what they're up to until it's too late to stop them.

Homer Williams, the developer who helped create the Pearl District and South Waterfront, says that with enough will and political capital, developers can put bold designs into place in Portland. But it’s hard, he says. And Con-way has taken a wrong first step, he believes.

By showing its preliminary master plan to groups with a stake in the development, including the neighborhood association, Con-way opened itself up for criticism before it was ready to deal with it, Williams says.

He says he learned from his experiences with the Pearl District and South Waterfront that he had to have agreements in place on specific pieces of developments before his plans went public.

With South Waterfront, he says, he secured commitments from Mayor Vera Katz and from Oregon Health & Science University on its investment in a campus that would be connected to its main campus by the tram. And those two weren’t the only ones with whom bargains were made.

"We got everybody around the table every Monday for months, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.," Williams says. "PDOT, OHSU, PDC (the Portland Development Commission), (the) planning (bureau). We said, 'OK, let’s make an agreement.'"

What a disgrace.

Then there's this person, who thinks that the real problem in Portland is that it has neighborhood associations who can occasionally stop greedy weasels like his clients from ruining the place. He ought to take his "bold visions" out to his hobby farm in the Gorge and stick them in a shady spot, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, before you do something foolish like vote for Adams, Middaugh, and Smith in the City Council races, read the linked article and think about to whom this city belongs. Sam the Tram and his partner wannabes will tell you it's you, but from 11 to 2 every Monday for months, they'll be selling it by the pound to Homer and the Boys. Later, when the fix is securely in, they'll let you know.

Comments (22)

Homer Williams says:

"We got everybody around the table every Monday for months, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.," Williams says. "PDOT, OHSU, PDC (the Portland Development Commission), (the) planning (bureau). We said, 'OK, let’s make an agreement.'"

... and that agreement was to single out the one property owner who was not at the table, take their land, and turn it into Poodle Poop Park.

Have you seen the picture of this project from the Front Porch O-Live blog post?

It's a street with a Canal on it. Portland will be the Venice of the NW.


http://blog.oregonlive.com/frontporch/2008/01/conways_big_plans.html

and a streetcar. how could they forget the streetcar

This was a hot topic on talk radio back in Vera's days. The meetings with Homer and the boys, dailey, and every Fridy lunch with Neil Goldschmidt grooming Vera for the big con of Portlanders. How Hoffman came into play I don't know other than US Bank being a player via Mrs. Hoffman. Big projects take big planning and conning.

In Fry’s estimation, the biggest obstacles to bold, visionary design such as Con-way has proposed are Portland’s neighborhood associations.

“We artificially empower mediocrity,”

OMG--who died and made this guy the Design King?

This Trib piece lays out the development process that took place in the Pearl and So. Waterfront with amazing clarity. The quotes in there are gems.

I'm joining my neighborhood association.

Ah yes...Mr. Fry, self proclaimed design king; who tells anyone who will listen, "never ask a question to which you do not already know the answer".
Of course the 'bad neighborhood associations'among others, put the lid on his plans for the Burnside Bridgehead/Home Depot development after he and another weasel had already bought the Templeton Building on the SE side of Burnside across from the proposed development hoping to cash in big time. They are still stuck with it for sale sign and all. Too bad, so sad...

Interesting perspective, Jack. I think you are badly misreading the politics of this. Sam Adams and the current council are completely attuned the interests of the neighborhood associations. And many of these associations *are* dominated by a few individuals who are averse to any sort of major changes.

But these are the same people who provide the political cover for all the sorts of things you don't like.

I'm honestly not sure what you oppose in this proposal. What you have objected to in the past--and I've agreed with you--is poorly planned density (such as the large structure on 15th street).

That's not at all what is being proposed here; here, a company is proposing a major, geographically contained, highly dense development precisely in an area of town that can handle it, one that is served by buses, streetcars, and nearby Max.

Wouldn't it be better to have density in the Pearl / NW, where demographics show that the sort of unattached and childless couples are already congregating, than to shoehorn it into communities like Irvington, Ladds, Mississippi, Foster/Powell, and others areas dominated by single family homes?

I thought your issue with Homer Williams was not his vision, but that he sucked on the public teat to implement his vision.

Sam Adams and the current council are completely attuned the interests of the neighborhood associations.

facts would seem to point convincingly (and repeatedly) to the opposite conclusion.

but, if you can point to a few (heck, even one) sizable development project on which the neighborhood association got its way, i'd be grateful to hear about it.

and no, i'm not talking about how many floors in a building, or the color of the paint, or the number of parking spaces.

Doesn't this subvert the public records law?

I'm sure Homer buys this stuff thru shell companies to make sure he can get deal when he buys since any notice would probably drive up the price.

Speaking of public records, ever wonder what Michael Powell's bi-weekly visits (look at his calendar) to Sam comprise?

Yes, NW can "precisely" handle this vastly increased density - as long as we assume that none of these thousands of people will ever drive a car in or out, up 23rd, down Lovejoy...

Isn't this the sort of thing that runs afoul of the Public Meetings statutes?

I'm honestly not sure what you oppose in this proposal.

That's because you didn't read the post before commenting. This post does not address the particular proposal to densify Northwest Portland with condo skyscrapers, although I suspect it's awful. This post is about how City Hall routinely puts the interests of Homer Williams, Joe Weston, Gerding Edlen, Hoffman Construction, Hank Ashforth, etc., etc. over the interests of the voters.

And they sneak around doing it.

the one property owner who was not at the table, take their land, and turn it into Poodle Poop Park

Don't cry too hard for them. They got $3.3 million an acre in the condemnation and are still laughing about it today.

"Sam Adams and the current council are completely attuned the interests of the neighborhood associations."

Unless they happen to live under the Tram or more than a mile away from downtown or don't ride a bike or streetcar.

Y'know, though, if PDC is going to be buying low-income housing, Fry is right there is a ton of inventory. Perhaps instead of him building more, PDC can buy some of what is already built and languishing?

... and after spending $2,000,000 on design, the 2-block Poodle Poop Park isn't built yet.

Help me understand something: Homer's style ignores the community until the deal's set. That's bad. Boretz shows his concepts to the various stakeholders at the front end before working the agencies. That's also bad.

Have I missed something in your reasoning?


I'm not sure why Adams' supporters refuse to acknowledge the facts. Adams was Vera's boy and he has never done anything to disassociate himself from that legacy. Vera took cronyism at City Hall to new levels and Portland has never been the same. That's not to say that in the beginning urban redevelopment wasn't needed in certain areas, but once the gravy train started rolling nobody was pulling back on the reigns, especially not Adams who has campaigned on his desire to see these "big visions" continue. What isn't mentioned is that those big visions make a few well-connected people very rich. The PDC and urban redevelopment is a bit like the federal govt and the military-industrial complex. It's an insider's game to keep feeding at the government trough.

Sadly we have SoWhat as a prime, real example of what could/will happen for NW Portland.

The final 325 ft height limit began in concept as 65 to 100 ft as presented to the public, media. Then Homer, OHSU, Goldie, Schnitzer, Zidell and others had their secret meetings with CoP and time passed and it was decided that 250 ft heights were needed with over six times FAR increases from 2:l to 12:1

Then as more projects became more defined, the secret meetings began again to increase the height to 325 ft with four standards to allow the height.

Then the John Ross developers/architects in their preliminary designs decided that they wanted to exceed the four standards. Again with secret meetings they convinced the PDC and CoP planners that they needed their support to meet the nasty public to "revise the standards" for larger footprints of the building,closer together to other buildings, etc. After the decisions had been made they have the "charade public meetings". Guess the outcome.

Homer and the like aren't the only conspirators to this typical scenario. You must have the cooperation of CoP planners, PDC, and the City Council. It is a fantastic game, makes big money for all involved-a lot of paper, and keeps Leonard's BES and Adam's PDOT very employed.

Anyone else notice the glowing article in the ZERO this morning about that condo weasel Joe Weston? I always find it interesting that they make such a big deal about high income charitable contributions of people like Weston. Are these writers even remotely aware that these donations can seriously reduce one's tax bill? They don't all donate out of the good of their heart.

No, Jack, I did read the post.

You don't like Homer Williams and the City doing as much homework as possible on a project before it's brought into public view.

I think that position is naive--the neighborhood associations ARE generally NIMBY and will stand in the way of major projects.

The question for you is whether you think doing your homework before you go public is a good thing or a bad thing, SEPARATE from whether you think these project unfairly benefit a particular developer.

I think you're having a hard time separating your dislike for Homer Williams from the hard facts of how you have to sell large public projects.

Paul g. - you left something out - the question of whether or not big developments such as the pearl district are desireable or undesireable. there is a difference of opinion on that. Everyone does not necessarily think that sucking tax revenues out of the general fund to build huge high-density residential neighborhoods is a good thing. Particularly when those new neighborhoods increase the demand for general fund services that - by the way - now are underfunded due to all the tax revenue give-aways to build the new neighborhoods.


Sponsors


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

In Vino Veritas

Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
Wildewood Pinot Gris 2012
Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
Louis Jadot, Pouilly-Fuissé 2011
Trader Joe's, Grower's Reserve Pinot Noir 2012
Zenato, Lugana San Benedetto 2012
Vintjs, Cabernet 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White 2012
Rainstorm, Oregon Pinot Gris 2012
Silver Palm, North Coast Cabernet 2011
Andrew Rich, Gewurtztraminer 2008
Rodney Strong, Charlotte's Home Sauvignon Blanc 2012
Canoe Ridge, Pinot Gris, Expedition 2012
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir Rose 2012
Dark Horse, Big Red Blend No. 01A
Elk Cove, Pinot Noir Rose 2012
Fletcher, Shiraz 2010
Picollo, Gavi 2011
Domaine Eugene Carrel, Jongieux 2012
Eyrie, Pinot Blanc 2010
Atticus, Pinot Noir 2010
Walter Scott, Pinot Noir, Holstein 2011
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
Coppola, Sofia Rose 2012
Joel Gott, 851 Cabernet 2010
Pol Roget Reserve Sparkling Wine
Mount Eden Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains 2009
Rombauer Chardonnay, Napa Valley 2011
Beringer, Chardonnay, Napa Reserve 2011
Kim Crawford, Sauvignon Blanc 2011
Schloss Vollrads, Spaetlese Rheingau 2010
Belle Glos, Pinot Noir, Clark & Telephone 2010
WillaKenzie, Pinot Noir, Estate Cuvee 2010
Blackbird Vineyards, Arise, Red 2010
Chauteau de Beaucastel, Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005
Northstar, Merlot 2008
Feather, Cabernet 2007
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Alexander Valley 2002
Silver Oak, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2002
Trader Joe's, Chardonnay, Grower's Reserve 2012
Silver Palm, Cabernet, North Coast 2010
Shingleback, Cabernet, Davey Estate 2010
E. Guigal, Cotes du Rhone 2009
Santa Margherita, Pinot Grigio 2011
Alamos, Cabernet 2011
Cousino Macul, Cabernet, Anitguas Reservas 2009
Dreaming Tree Cabernet 2010
1967, Toscana 2009
Charamba, Douro 2008
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Horse Heaven Hills, Cabernet 2010
Lorelle, Horse Heaven Hills Pinot Grigio 2011
Avignonesi, Montepulciano 2004
Lorelle, Willamette Valley Pinot Noir 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2007
Mercedes Eguren, Cabernet Sauvignon 2009
Lorelle, Columbia Valley Cabernet 2011
Purple Moon, Merlot 2011
Purple Moon, Chardonnnay 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend No. 12
Opula Red Blend 2010
Liberte, Pinot Noir 2010
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red Blend 2010
Woodbridge, Chardonnay 2011
King Estate, Pinot Noir 2011
Famille Perrin, Cotes du Rhone Villages 2010
Columbia Crest, Les Chevaux Red 2010
14 Hands, Hot to Trot White Blend

The Occasional Book

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 Dermoȗt - 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: 382
At this date last year: 241
Total run 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


Clicky Web Analytics