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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

SoWhat immigration jail hearing is January 19

An alert reader reports that the Portland City Council is going to hold a 2 p.m. hearing on Wednesday the 19th about the proposed federal immigration "processing facility" in Portland's failed SoWhat District. Part of the time will no doubt be spent on the question of the right thing to call a place where shackled felons sit behind bars, under the watch of Uzi-armed guards, awaiting legal hearings. To the city politicians, who are answering to the developer overlords here once again, "it's not a jail." Thank you, Humpty Dumpty.

The prospect of an immigration jail in what was sold to hapless condo tower residents as Portland's next new elite neighborhood is hilarious, but we do sympathize with one opponent who wrote: "It is vital to have as many people as possible that oppose the way the city tried to sneak this into our neighborhood, or may try the same thing in one of your readers' neighborhoods, attend this hearing." Not to mention the entertainment value: Fireman Randy, who's the pusher-in-charge on this one, will be mighty ornery that day.

Comments (10)

Why don't they build this out by the airport? On a trip to Cascade Station the other day I noticed immigration and customs has an office building between the airport and Cascade Station, with plenty of empty land around it. It's right near the intersection of NE Alderwood and NE Cascade Pkwy, has a fenced lot in the back with patrol cars and such.

Maybe I can help save time in the naming department. Keep Native American jargon off the table. "Wapato Jail", are you kidding me?

"When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all."
— Lewis Carroll (Through The Looking Glass)

The SoWhat ICE Jail City Council Hearing is boiling down to two major issues.

The first issue is really onerous. BDS staff with direction from Leonard's office through his Chief of Staff, Ty Kovach, determined that only a Design Review is needed for the project. The code required Conditional Use, Type III Hearing was preempted. Kovach told BDS staff who questioned not requiring a Conditional Hearing to "just shut up" and just have Design Review, and he did it over their protests.

A Conditional Use Hearing is required for two reasons;1) Change of Use-from offices to a jail/ holding center; and 2) any facility, no matter how many square ft of floor space, is used for a jail or holding center (33.815...). Any changes of alterations over 10% requires CU.

How is it that the National College of Natural Medicine in the same neigborhood is being required to go through a CU for adding some classrooms which they have always had?

Or that the proposed new charter school right across the street from this proposed ICE Jail has been required to have a CU Hearing for changing a building that has been Homer William's "Discovery Center" sales offices and showroom to a school?

Or that the Cedarwood School in the neighborhood is required to have a CU Hearing for some changes? But not a change in use and a jail?

The neighborhood association even requested a review and decision from the Planning Director of this CU Hearing avoidance as allowed by Title 33. No decision and grounds were ever given contrary to code.

Something smells, and leaves the City open to several legal challenges, besides LUBA. The City Council should follow it's own codes. I hope Amanda, Saltzman and Fish consider the legality issues as well as the appropriateness of the ICE Jail in the neighborhood. Leonard and Sam are probably a lost cause.

Even in just the criteria allowed in a Design hearing there are several issues that raises flags. There's the transportation-traffic issues. The large bus maneuvering code problems. The street frontage facade problems. And there is the ICE federal requirement that no schools be nearby.

I hope other neighborhoods join in voicing their concerns about our city not adhering to zoning regulations as well as the particulars.

I think it best located in Lake Oswego as they are obviously lacking the Diversity the rest of the NW embraces.

I bet they use the H+K USP, UZIs are far to inexpensive and efficient for FedGov accoutrement.

Thank you so much for the very good information.

The examples that you gave that required a CU and then not required in this case shows people who do not know these terms that something really is wrong here.

We cannot afford to not pay closer attention and know that codes have not been adhered to by our city. When there is no respect for the codes and regulations, that shows no respect for the public either. Public officials in city hall now should not be re elected if they go along with ignoring these codes.

Must be really hard when staff objects because they know the regulations, CU and Type III hearings used to mean something, and now they are told not only to ignore them but to shut up and sweep them under the rug!

I wish Portland’s MSM had a spine.

Lee's comments were another eye-opening example of why this city is being screwed over by our "Por-leadership". Unfortunately, only a relative few people in Portland understand the depth of debauchery existing in our city hall, and more importantly, it's ultimate negative impact to our citizens.

May I also point out the obvious... Portland is indebted for the SoWhat project which is near bankruptcy due to it's incredible cost. It's BAD DEBT.

Now, "Por-leadership" has persuaded, bribed, coerced? another tax dollar sucking government entity (ICE] to pay a part of the bill for SoWhat. And guess who pays the high price tag for this smart move. Yes, the taxpaying citizens pay.

NoPo Guy and many others could name any number of far more affordable locations for such a facility, but there's no money in it for Sam and Randy's friends if we go down that path.

Wake up people...

Carol: . . Unfortunately, only a relative few people in Portland understand the depth of debauchery existing in our city hall, and more importantly, it's ultimate negative impact to our citizens. .

Unfortunately, the "depth of debauchery existing in our city hall" is insidious in that many citizens cannot, will not, or prefer not, to believe the depth of it. It then makes those who do understand appear to be the ones unbelievable.

People do need to wake up.
Once matters come to their front door so to speak, they may no longer be able to ignore the ultimate negative impact.

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