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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 19, 2009 10:12 AM. The previous post in this blog was Tomorrow's the big day. The next post in this blog is Piling on. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, March 19, 2009

The condo developers' best friends

Our fearless regional planning drones (at Metro) are once again screaming that OMG, a jillion more people are going to move to Portland, like, in the next two weeks! "Where will we put them all?" they breathlessly ask.

This enables the builders of apartment bunkers to wreck the city's nice neighborhoods as quickly as possible, all with government blessing and subsidies.

The truth, of course, is that within the city limits of Portland, population growth is running at a fairly steady rate of around 1.3 percent a year, if that. That's around 7500 new people a year, according to the population experts at PSU. All the king's condos haven't sped the growth rate up at all, and there have been some annexations in the not-too-distant past that make the growth rate for the city seem even higher than it really is.

Meanwhile, over the past 10 years, the Portland metropolitan area has grown by a rate of about 1.7 percent a year. The Metro folks have goosed that up to 1.9 percent, based on who knows what, and done the math to warn us that 21 years from now, the current area population of 2.1 million will grow to 3.2 million. Wow! Big numbers!

Why stop there? At that rate, 100 years from now the area's population will be 12.8 million. In 2259, the population will be 227.5 million! Yikes! Better bring in Homer Williams for another tower right away.

Comments (23)

Maybe we can move all those folks into the Memorial Coliseum.
Soilent Green anyone?

Sorry, Memorial Coliseum will not be available as it is going to be torn down by this time next year.

Metro better check with the Census data that came out today and with our neighbor to the north.

20-25 percent of that growth will occur outside of Metro's jurisdiction.

Ive always wondered why they don't count Salem in our MSA population anymore? I know LOTS of people who commute from Salem to somewhere in Multnomah or Clackamas county.

So much is outside the UGB; like all of Columbia county. Which judging from the commuter traffic I drive in every day is most definitely a suburb of Portland these days.

Metro's real goal is to cram all of Oregon's population into a few high density cities that will resemble NYC or LA (the densest urban area in the country) The motive for this is to save farmland for all those farms that produce pre made lawns, potted plants and street trees.

Metro also believes that we all waste too much and living in Homer's rat cages will reduce our carbon foot-print, save energy and save land.

That fact that we will all be miserable does not matter to their God.

BTW, Someone needs to tell Metro that our population growth, like the rest of the developed world HAS leveled out and we would have a stable (soon to be declining) population except for immigration. Where is all this growth going to come from?

To see how deluded Metro’s planners are, see

To see why Metro is so out of touch, have a look at their founding documents at - especially note the list of publications thay based Metros’ philosophy on. Including a couple of thoroughly discredited apolalyptic views of the future.

To see how slimy Metro is, look at the lie they sold the voters at

To see how smart growth is killing Portland see this blog and

If you believe you carbon foot-print matters, see


If we refuse to change the UGB, the growth will just happen further away and they'll commute into the city, thus having a larger carbon footprint.

Earth to Metro: much of the demographic spectrum, including those with kids, don't want to live in condos.

I love Metro, we give them $400M a year to take of the zoo and garbage and we get this.

So instead of addressing today issues, like schools, jobs/employment unchanged from the mid-70s, potholes, high water rates let's gin up a crisis.

While we're at why not make it a worse case scenario to justify this sort of BS to voters to distract them from the real issues. Are you sure Bush has left politics?

Steve, we're paying them $400 a year to make hypothetical future people happy. Our needs are secondary to the all important ONE MILLION. What will they want? What will there preferences be?

Why should we care about the actual residents here paying taxes now when the future ONE MILLION must be assuaged? Let us all sacrifice ourselves on their alter.

Just out of curiosity--does anyone know how we might go about disbanding Metro? Or at least taking away their planning capabilities?

I've been wondering that for awhile now.

I know the city of Portland is not growing at a rapid rate. However, I wonder how much of that is because families are moving out to the suburbs, and the families that remain tend to have less kids. Anyone know if there has been a huge increase in the need for housing/apartments? Just wondering if the population numbers really reflect the demand for housing in Portland metro.

But how many people a year are moving out? I suspect that, in the next year or so, that will also be a number to watch as people leave to seek economic opportunity elsewhere.

I actually don't mind some increased density -- what I call urban village, as opposed to condo canyons. And I certainly enjoy the fact that Portland isn't sprawled all over NW Oregon.

But the key fact to any population growth is working-wage jobs. And we don't have them.

Jonathan: As a resident here for the past twenty years I'm amazed at the number of crackerbox apartments they are building in the outer east side and in Gresham also. What makes me question this building are all the "vacancy" and "for rent" signs I see on existing properties. There are even a number of projects developed as condos and with no sales, they are strugling to even find renters. It would be really great if one of the suburban cities simply told Metro to take their density plans and stick them where the sun doesn't shine. What could Metro do?

Once the new water/sewer rate increases are piled on top of the new (voter approved) property tax increases, many senior citizens will be forced to sell their houses.

Most of my wealthier friends have already moved to Washington, Nevada, even Hawaii to reduce their income tax burden.

There has been a flight of the middle and lower income earners to the suburbs (especially those who were self employed and could easily move their business outside Multnomah County), and it will only accelerate as the cost of living in Portland becomes intolerable even for the upper middle class.

A new Oregon slogan will solve this potential crisis: "It looks the same here, get lost and never come back."

Or we could donate enough to the Beaverton city council to spur a new Nike annexation conspiracy attempt. When Nike relocates to Idaho in disgust the Nike World Campus can be converted to a "creative class" live/ work yuppy Disneyland with towering green sustainable skyscrapers. A real "toon town urbanism" utopia.

I am planning on moving from Portland city. It's gotten too overcrowded. Four lane main streets have been reduced to two lane streets. Multi story condo bunkers added along busy streets like central eastside division, and now folks have to take side streets to bypass overly congested main streets. City hall is so indebted to this building model it realizes it can only postpone debt repayment unless it keeps growing the debt cycle. Not too unlike AIG and the likes. If the urban growth boundary ever losens, Portland city proper would be in a word of hurt. Metro would no longer be able to restrict development so as to steer gorwth towards Portland city.

The actual population growth is minimal. Lots and lots of vacant, crummy apartments, but they'll keep building more. This goes back to Vera Katz, and it has returned with a vengeance with Mayor Creepy. It's not looking too good for Portland.

Unwarranted growth in cities could be halted with proper scrutiny(or changes in the laws that allow their secretive record keeping) of the shady foundations and some related non profits who launder money back and forth between candidates, architects, and building firms. The non profits and P.A.C.s involved usually have some perky name like "coalition for a vibrant livable" blah blah blah. I expext you may be familiar with this "sustainable" racket they have going. A citizens initiative effort against pie in the sky growth projection studies could also help. Finally, PBS should be privatized as long as they can only put out sprawl boogeyman propaganda.

Metro is not the villain, just the messenger. The real culprit is the state law mandating a 20-year supply of housing within the Portland UGB. We need to repeal that law, because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

Half right Gill.

The UGB mandates a 20 yeart land supply inside the UGB. But Metro makes sure there are other constraints that last many years with each expansion.
That forces development in the central cities just as they want.

Failure of their plans means absolutely nothing.

The real problem is,
AND I'm really sorry to have to say this BUT, most folks have no idea how truly dense the Metro council and their bureaucrats are.
The central planning regimeies around here are simply not very bright, leaving them highly vulnerable and impressionable without a shred of objectivity or common sense. Their ridiculous theories and boogieman sprawl has them producing chaos while they imagine a good job they do.

But how many people a year are moving out? I suspect that, in the next year or so, that will also be a number to watch as people leave to seek economic opportunity elsewhere.

Metro's quality-of-life destroying policy of forced density and the deliberate strangulation of the local economy are two of the main reasons I'm making my own escape plans from this place, but you know what ?

Some of the biggest reasons I plan on leaving here for Texas are cultural. Portlanders talk, talk, talk about diversity, but they know nothing whatsoever of it. My hometown of Austin is less than half White these days. This, and other factors, I believe are responsible for that city's much more relaxed attitude, and it's total lack of the Stepfordesque PC brainwash that is soooo stereotypically Portland.

It's a shame. This place has a lot of potential, and you can tell it used to be really cool 30 years ago.

It's been a good 8 years. Time to save my money and escape while I still can.

Did I mention Austin's March 2009 unemployment rate is 6.5 percent ? My computer engineer brother-in-law complains about this, and I just laugh. I tell him some of the horror stories my customers tell me, like over 250 people applying for a single part-time cocktail waitress gig at a comedy club downtown, or the one about 90 people applying for a part-time graveyard shift cake decorating job at a donut shop.

If I'm not mistaken, that's not much higher than about what the unemployment rate was here during the good years.

Bet it hits 15 percent here before I'm gone.

Ha, beat you to it Cabbie and Ben - I already moved.

Oregon was a great place to grow up when my dad grew up. It was a good place to grow up when I grew up. It was an okay place to grow up when my kids grew up. Now ... it basically sucks.

So now I'm in a state where gas is $1.63 a gallon, you can legally drive 75 on the freeways. The freeways are in fantastic shape and their idea of a traffic jam is what we saw every day at 10AM on TV Hwy.

I'll always be a Native Oregonian, but the state is more memories than a good place to live.

Good luck you guys.


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to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
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Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
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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
Gascón, 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
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Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
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Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
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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
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Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
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David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
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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
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