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Friday, May 20, 2011

51 apartments, no parking

The apartment bunker boys have set their sights on the lot next door to the Hollywood Theater. The hardy businesses that are trying to make the area work aren't happy about what's being proposed.

Comments (24)

"Sowieja said proximity to mass transit leads designers to think not every apartment renter will have a car."

Assumptions are lovely things, aren't they? That reminds me of the absolute joys of living in SW in the Nineties. Most apartment buildings sold off their parking (in my building's case, presold for Lincoln High students to drive to school), and parking availability was bad enough during the week. When a baseball game was running at the stadium...ugh.

This will be the same sort of mess, especially if the "creative class" gits start throwing apt-warming parties. The braying of "Well, where am I supposed to park?", when businesses point out that their spaces aren't for apartment visitors, will echo through the hills.

Jack -

These are the same developers that built the 51-unit complex in Irvington (15th / Hancock), and the proposed and controversial 26 unit complex at NW 21st / Flanders. No parking on either property.

These "developers" are really suburban craker-box homebuilders who've had to reinvent themselves during the downturn by coming in and maximizing buildable area with cramped high-priced apartment bunkers.

More Soviet style stack em and pack em.

But this should work well. No one in Portland will be able to afford a car in the near future.

Simple solution: renters/owners sign an affidavit that you don't own and won't purchase a car, and a HOA/rental addendum that you will pay a monthly fine if you ever do purchase a car and attempt to park on site or in the neighborhood.

Mister Tee, I like your solution.

When will we ever be rid of the nanny-state of Portland? I live further out Sandy, and often come in on Saturday mornings. I can park the car, have breakfast, go to the Farmer's market, shop at Grocery Outlet/Trader Joe's/Dollar Tree/the antique malls, and if I ever win the lottery, Whole Foods. And, as I've commented before, trying to drive into town on a weekday morning and maintain a steady speed is impossible - often hitting every single light.

Plus, if all of those "car-less" wonders have bikes, it will be even worse on Sandy, which is not a bike route, yet many insist on taking their lives in their hands to ride inbound on Sandy.

That is in a station community, so everyone will take the toy train and be TriMet dependent, instead of car dependent. Besides Hollywood has lots of excess parking capacity because of all the closed businesses, driven out by previous planning blunders.

It should qualify for TOD property tax abatement and lots of other goodies: http://www.portlandfacts.com/developersubsidies.htm


Hollywood is a Portland planner's wet dream. It's the prototypical "20-minute neighborhood" in a "transportation corridor" ripe for "transit-oriented development." Honestly, the area needed some reinvigoration, so the new businesses moving in (even Whole Paycheck), is much appreciated. Unfortunately, it now is in the planner's sights, so the nascent renaissance is going to be strangled in the crib with a blanket of condos.

Here's a question:

If Metro and TriMet's World Headquarters are so insistent that we all be happy little 20 minute walk/bike/Streetcar neighborhood dwellers:

1. Why does the Metro Regional Center have a nice large parking garage attached to the back of its building?

2. Why does TriMet's Center Street Garage have a fairly substantial parking lot in front of it, plus several lots along 17th Avenue?

3. Why do TriMet's planners, Metro's planners, and even the City of Portland's sustainability and planning/development agencies have huge motor pools?

It seems that these folks suffer from a major case of "do as I say, not as I do"...if TriMet's own service planners can't get around by bus, why should I? If Metro's planners refuse to use the 6 bus that has a stop right at the Metro building's door, why should I use transit?

Don't worry. The architects (being uber) will propose angled facade walls, claiming that it is "iconic". Then they will say "to be 'iconic'-you know, it cost money, we will need no parking, a few variances to exceed maximum floor area, we'll need intrusions into required setbacks, height increases; but we will provide 6 bike parking spaces and 4 street trees instead of 3, oh, we'll also be Green".

The Design Commission will love it. The architects will pat themselves on their backs, and win an award, and Sam will say he did it all.

They've already said they want to close part of a street.

Is that so they can extend the building out over the street? Suppose that will be the next plan, to start eliminating streets?

I should add, not just lanes, but streets.

Ever since the Hollywood Arcade burned down about 15 years ago, the neighbors have been complaining about every idea that someone proposes there. The "nanny state" here is that the crappy landlords in Hollywood--who insist on seeking Hawthorne-level rents while neglecting their properties--think they deserve a role in what other people do with their property. There's a good reason why Hollywood--with its shockingly affluent demographics--has lagged so many other revitalized parts of town: the Stoll family, the Medaks, and the other crusty old school property owners in the district who think their stuff doesn't stink.

The zoning for the lot doesn't require parking--the owners could put it in if they wanted--but that's not where the money is. Why would they, if they're incentivized not to? While you can disagree with the design, nanny state would require them to put parking in or meet the hypocritical requirements of their crappy neighbors.

Another bunker of over priced studio apartments...oh goody!
Of course there is no parking, because we, the serfs, are all supposed to take the toy trains, ride our bikes or walk. Of course the uber planner class will still be able to drive, because they are more important and privileged than the rest of us mere peons.

The push for bike and walking may be because metro/city realizes their plans are coming to a grinding halt - gridlock.

So the way out of the mess they have created is to get the people "out" of autos!

"Sowieja said proximity to mass transit leads designers to think not every apartment renter will have a car."

So he's admitting that some will own cars. Where will they park? I believe the parking in the immediate area is limited to an hour or two.

Anyway, you can't win these arguments. Portland Planning is a religion, a faith. Rational or practical arguments bounce off of them, and they'll go to the grave believing they were right to impose "The Vision" on everyone else.

I should say that I continue to be amazed at the short-sightedness of the developers themselves.

They must realize that a total lack of parking for the residents, business employees, and customers in this building will seriously degrade its long-term value.

Portland Planning is a religion, a faith.

This is why I consider the close relationship between the city and PSU troubling.

These students seem to have tentacles out into neighborhoods, wanting to do survey's etc. The neighborhoods can do their own surveys and input, don't need those who don't live in these areas creating surveys and characterizing the area. I have seen too many surveys throughout the years setting up questions to get certain results.

I can only imagine that in some cases they might say this yard or that one is too big now and collect data for what purpose? ...or too many houses with yards kind of thing.

In sum, this planning religion is scary and in my opinion very control oriented.

Somehow, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans come to mind:

HabiTrails™ to you,
Until we meet again
HabiTrails™ to you
Keep smilin' until then....

Perhaps for the same reason Soviet bureaucrats drove around in nice ZiLs and Chaikas.

"Portland Planning is a religion, a faith"

It also a whole bunch of unethical people.

Now, after years of no cosequences, there are more of them, more severly unethical than ever, using more egregious methods to perpetrate bigger offenses while congradulating each other for passing it all off as best practices.

Other than that they're real and they're spectacular.

I guess I don't understand. I thought that new residential buildings had to provide a certain numbers of parking spaces which related to the number of units in the building. There can be a smaller number of spaces if the building is near to "mass transit" but I never heard of providing no parking at all.

In the case of the proposed condo building (that didn't happen) in our neighborhood, one of the complaints was that the architects had designed parking for only half of the prospective units and these -- being upscale and including a penthouse -- would almost surely have one or more cars attached.

Did this policy change?

Erik H -

Answer to ypur question # 2 is simple and Sad. The Paking lots along 17th are ffor TriMet drivers to park their POVs when they come tp work.

Sadly, TiMet has no service during the hours when the drivers need to get their to pick up buses for morning routes.

Nor does TiMet have services to get drivers home at night after the drivers park the buses for the day.

I think it is a very bad idea to have an apartment building with zero parking spots. What they will find is the renters are going to compete for the same parking with the retailers which will make it hard to lease that space. It seems like that neighborhood is generally hard to park in the way it is. But, I don't think they need 1:1 parking. I'd say enough parking for 50% of the units. They found in the Pearl District that while people didn't have to drive to get coffee or food, they often did to get to their high tech job in Beaverton. The MAX doesn't go everywhere.

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