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Monday, April 13, 2009

Save your screen -- swallow beverage fully before reading

Portland's mayor, Sam the Tram, suddenly says that he's fed up with all the "cheap, ugly housing" that's being built in town. It appears he's more partial to the expensive, ugly housing that his developer masters tend to favor. There's a problem, though, that the mayor apparently isn't noticing -- the expensive stuff isn't selling any more. And so if you want the almighty "density" and "infill," cheap and ugly is pretty much all that's left.

For a Portland official to use the word "ugly" when referring to the Soviet-style human warehouses that the city planning army demands is refreshing. Alas, it's accompanied by the ever-present lie:

Metro estimates that around 300,000 new housing units must be built in the metropolitan area in coming decades to accommodate the new people projected to move here. Portland has historically taken a disproportionately large percent of the new residents, and Adams does not expect that to change even if SB 907 does not pass.
As has been noted on this blog time and again, the City of Portland's population has grown in recent years at an annual rate of approximately 1.3 percent. The metropolitan area's population has grown at an annual rate of about 1.7 percent. Portland has not been taking more than a proportionate share of the population growth.

But thanks to our fearless local politicians, it has built more than its fair share of ugly housing. Nothing can stop those Hoffman Construction cranes when they're hungry. Go by streetcar!

Comments (14)

So they:
1)want to encourage developers to tear down the single-family homes in my neighborhood and put in triplexes. (That's what my zoning is designed to do.)

2) And they cry no end about the lack of affordable housing.

But they don't want "cheap, ugly housing."

Then how about an emergency "down-zone" of my formerly single family neighborhood? That would encourage more quality housing.

If you want affordable housing, expand the UGB and allow more traditional suburban housing to be built. It's an inconvenient truth....

Housing is kept artificially expensive by our revered land use system. Then we have to subsidize new affordable projects to the tune of tens of thousands per unit.

"For a Portland official to use the word "ugly" when referring to the Soviet-style human warehouses that the city planning army demands is refreshing"

Thank you so much for this comment. Amen. Thank you.


Did you create the graphic above? And if so, what is the name of the font you used for the headline. Thanks.


"... accommodate the new people projected to move here."


Change the projection. The projection's basis is detached from empirical changes in reality.

I think that the 'main' of the baseline was established in 40-year forecasts extended from 1985 trend numbers -- but,
1) some 'minor' parts and some forecasts have been updated, inconsequentially however, in such respects as the 1990 and/or 2000 censusses (censi?) yet with new skewed margins added in those data, and
2) my facile figures (offhand) as "40-year" and "1985" can actually be 'fudged' plus-or-minus as a '30-' or '50-year' range extended from '1980' or '2000' or in-between, or more or less, without altering the essence of my point that the multi-year process of stakeholder committees choosing and normalizing their base data matrix, finally, means that any forecasts by it are necessarily behind the curve (or obsolete) the instant they are issued formally.
In short: The literal future is NOT the figurative forecast.

* National (and world) population growth has slowed since 1990.
* Economic activity has shifted importantly since 1990, (most simplistically said: from manufacturing to service 'industry;' or said: from veritable bricks-and-mortar locations -to- virtual cyberspace anywhere and everywhere, and nowhere).
* Personal opportunity and quality of life is, since 1990, made more by age and attitude and less by longitude and latitude.
* People these days (and foreseen) don't physically re-locate as much as we psychologically re-orientate.
* There is less leverage advantage by regional disparity of real estate prices, so no more 'selling high' in inflated California, then 'buying in low' in deflated Oregon. Indeed, homes aren't selling anywhere and hardly anyone can afford (if they can find) financing to buy 'somewhere else.' (A prime example of recent reality we know and live in, being 5 or 10 years ahead of the most recent out-of-date 'projections.')
* Adult children are moving back in (or never left) living with their parents (now approaching retirement, or in it).

And surely each of us can add personal experience and knowledge to the list of how things have changed in reality, since the projections' baselines were adopted, (whether 1985 or 1995 or 2005). CHANGE the PROJECTION of Portland's housing demand, and supply, for 2010 (or 2020 or 2030 ....)

In fact, today (post-Bush) we can discard or at least discount every socio-demographic 'projection' derived from pre-Bushbutchery. The normalized sociology now is over the top, beneath contempt, and off the chart. Perverse is the new normal. There's no centerline 'middle class' human values between the polarized population extremes.

On the other hand, the latest 10- or 20-year digitized base data, and trend projections, are an order of magnitude, (or two or three, i.e., 10 to 1000) times veritably more accurate concerning inanimate physical phenomena and developments, such as the planet's remaining petroleum, atmosphere (and therefor climate) dynamics, sea level, polar ice amounts, (rain) forest extents, fresh water measures, food farming capacity, and the dollar denomination of China's ownership of America.

I gotta point out: The proposed development at 33rd and Broadway is significantly better looking then the Albina wasteland that exists today. You can argue about how much better, but you can't honestly claim it's worse.

That last sentence hurt.

Just ditch the UGB...it is whats keeping housing prices artificially high. The City of Portland and METRO must be stopped!

Just ditch the UGB...METRO must be stopped!

Now, you can't have both. Which is it you are advocating?

Mike: The font is Creepy Regular:


I know what Mayor Pedo is thinking: Little pink houses for you and me. (Sincere apologies to John Mellencamp.)

Creepy Regular? Could there be a better-named font for any Sam Adams-related communication? Maybe Creepy Extra Bold.


Thx for the link


Looks more like extra-bold creepy dingbat sans (morals) to me.

"Portland's mayor, Sam the Tram, suddenly says that he's fed up with all the cheap, ugly housing that's being built in town".

I'd like a second opinion on the matter. How about Randy Gragg...

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