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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 3, 2012 8:43 AM. The previous post in this blog was Down in the holiday weekend news hidey-hole. The next post in this blog is What does it take?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Another year, another feud

Out in the Lents neighborhood of Southeast Portland, there always seems to be trouble between the locals and the city government. A few years back, there was the nasty flap over whether the city was going to hand over Lents Park to Merritt Paulson for a new baseball stadium. Now there's a battle going on about the placement of one of the "sustainable" people's stinky food compost facilities way too close to where people live. The city literally just won't stop dumping on the residents in that part of town.

They're also going at it about what to build on some neighborhood ball fields. The neighbors -- at least the ones who show up for all the meetings -- say they want apartments and shops. But now the city's talking about placing social services on the site, which isn't to the neighbors' liking.

The whole condo controversy seems a little hinky to us. Speaking for the neighborhood is Nick Christensen, the guy who works as a "reporter" at Metro government, the pushers of all the things the developers want. And the story line of "The neighbors want condos!" is perfect for the O, which loves to repeat the bureaucrats' party line.

Maybe they ought to just fix the place up as nicer ball fields. That's what we would have done back when Portland was great.

Comments (12)

It's kind of sad how infuriating how often the city keeps kicking sand in Lents' face followed by spitballs and laughing from their propaganda organ the O.

All the "public involvement" systems have been captured by people who get paid to go to those meetings. It's all theater now.

The bOregonian sells lots of full page and 1/2 page ads for condo launches. Just like you will never see a bad story about Fred Meyer or Safeway, the condo mafia will always get kid glove treatment.

The PDC already paid for new ballfields - underdeveloped ballfields on the northeast corner of Lents Park were renovated into nice facilities for the Lents Little League, including offices and a concession stand.

The neighbors want businesses. The people who live closest to that site - not just the usual suspects who come to meetings, but the folks who have beers at Riley's or get coffee at Lents Commons or dinner at El Pato Feliz, want to see more retail in the town center area, and believe the best way to do that is to add more residences (and customers) to the 92H site.

Plus, if we're going to be sincere about using urban renewal for its intended purpose, we need to remain focused on creating more taxable value in the urban renewal district. Projects like the NAYA proposal are noble, and we should work as a community to ensure they happen. But it should be vetted for its potential for economic development before it's selected for urban renewal funds.

Yes, we should go back to when Portland was "great". Just when was that?

Nick, we need to remain focused on creating more taxable value in the urban renewal district

You don't seem to realize that that has never been done - so there's nothing to "remain focused" upon. Cascade Station is a raging success as a "mixed use urban village", isn't it? Just like Beaverton Round, and the million$ of public money tossed into that. And who could forget the iconic South Waterfront? Yes sir - tax dollars are being created like crazy over there.

Really - just go back to shilling for more trains. You can't serve two masters, so stick with the trains. The developers really don't need you.

...way too close to where people live.

The BEST part is the city is presently spending money rehabilitating a stretch of Johnson Creek upstream from the site of the proposed station, which is bordered on one side by the creek, on the other by the Springwater Corridor. Nice! It's not anyone actually ever uses it or anything. It's also not like the creek ever floods.

But it's east of I-205, and as they say, out of sight, out of mind.

Why aren't we sending this stuff south to the Metro station at Oregon City?

Nick brings up a good point-"creating more taxable value in an urban renewal district". Housing for foster kids is a non-profit generating no property taxes to pay off the UR debt. SoWhat and many other of Portland's URAs have this similar problem-less tax producing properties than the average demographics of the city.

"The neighbors want businesses... want to see more retail...."

Retail. That's a machine that pumps money out of a neighborhood, right? Of course it swirls it around locally a bit more than eBay, but it leaves nonetheless.

Nick Christensen,
What is the position of the Lents NH Association on that food compost facility?

Clinamen - The association voted in July to oppose the facility. Neighbors are presently trying to develop a draft good neighbor agreement with Recology (independent of the ongoing land use appeal).

Nick,
Thank you for your response.
In my view, these do not belong in neighborhoods. I have heard that North Plain's folks are already complaining and it isn't summer yet.
I do hope a good case can be made to LUBA to stop this.

The neighbors may want retail, but that location sits on 92nd Avenue, a two-lane street that's already heavily traveled. So it'll need to be low-volume retail. Plus, Eastport Plaza is a mere 10 blocks to the west.


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