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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on January 31, 2012 9:44 AM. The previous post in this blog was Bureaucratic Mystery of the Week. The next post in this blog is A blog from the IRS, and why it's worth reading. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Portland car haters' next target

Apparently now it's a sin to live in a detached single-family home. Here's the official word from City Hall.

Comments (51)

"Increase your sustainability." Yikes.
That's a pretty scary document. And I consider myself pretty "green."

These choices benefit everyone and attract tenants who are interested in “greener” and more sustainable living choices.

Of course, this is the next "control" step.
Funny thing, there isn't much greenery left in this "green" agenda. . . perhaps the little street trees, as the huge trees are chopped to make room for smart growth.
How energy efficient is that?
Huge trees provide shade and cool homes, thus less or no air conditioning needed.
How well does solar work with high density?
Garden space? Oh maybe room for a tomato plant if a patio space even exists.

This choice benefits developers who can build more units on land. That is why this "redo" agenda is bogus as is the way "blight" is designated any which way wanted these days.

We have kool aid followers on all this, while those pouring the kool aid wouldn't think of living like this!

Let's see, first you have to live with/put up with smelly food scraps and reduced garbage service. Now, jump the shark, go back to when you first moved out of your parents house and become a RENTER. Add to that mix a slew of candidates for mayor who are WORSE (and we didn't think THAT was possible) than the present occupant of that office (and believe me, no way would I want to see Sam in there for a second term). Portland? How low can you go? Seems you just keep setting the bar lower and lower and lower. Sad!

"...decide to try renting rather than paying a mortgage, multifamily housing can save you time, energy and money."

From what I've seen of most rents, they would cover the cost of a mortgage. I guess being a property owner is bad too.

Why not more shared housing units?

It seems wasteful to have only one family per unit when it would be more efficient to have 2 or 3 families sharing each attached unit.

Shared and delegated responsibilities along some reasonable bathroom and kitchen scheduling would also promote a sense of community within the home.

Perhaps with some tax incentives many people would be compelled to sacrifice a little space and privacy for sustainability and the greater good.

I have contended for a long time that the single family home we live in today simply serve as placeholders for the high density housing of the future. The big Single Family Homes in Irvington, Laurelhurst, Alameda, Beaumont, and Mount Tabor are not safe either, and soon that will be the desire of the PDC to remove the single family homes in the area. We will soon no longer be able to afford to live in them since jobs are leaving the central core in favor of locating outside Portland, and the UGB. As a side note I drove out HWY30 last weekend to the coast and the building boom in Columbia County, just across the Multnomah County Line is quite dramatic.

No one has ever answered this question with any specificity, but I'll pose it again:

Can you cite an urban area where the quality of life has been improved by increasing the population density?

To me, increased density seems to attract more crime, more trash, more hostility among residents, more government controls.

Portland seems an increasingly intractable case of government control run amok. I used to think this was mere right-wing paranoia. But either I'm succumbing to paranoia, or it's really going on.

City officials seem to want:
•No cars, except for themselves and their patrons
•No real property, except that owned by themselves and their patrons.
•To continue using the institutions of government and law enforcement for partisan political purposes.
•No dissent, except at irrelevant "neighborhood forums."

The role of the ordinary citizen is reduced to two simple functions:
•Pay up
•Shut up

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't "multifamily community" simply a fancy word for an Apartment Complex?

George Orwell was so right.

Maybe I can get 3 units on my 5,000 sq ft lot.

Portland's version of the American dream: Renting a crappy apartment, kids playing next to reeking compost bins, paying 2.50 each way for the privilege of riding a crime plagued train to a creative/ renewable energy job about to be lost to Chinese underbidding.
I'm so glad my 13 years in Portlandia were long ago. If this weren't so sad it would be funny. My sympathies to those of you having to witness the decline firsthand.

My retirement from the generators of the Cult of Green (TM) cannot come too soon!

"One mans ceiling is another mans floor."

What's really sad is that practically all (probably all) the bureaucrats pushing this agenda live in single-family homes in the suburbs and drive their cars to work. Saving the planet is for the little people.

Can you cite an urban area where the quality of life has been improved by increasing the population density?

That depends on how you evaluate a moving target like "quality of life." But I think you can put NYC at the top of your list.

What is also sad is that I am afraid the young ones are being propagandized to fit within this agenda of smart growth.

I rue the day when they look at those who live in single family homes with real disdain, some most likely already do.

Mr. Mayor has himself a yard, garden, chickens, etc. last I heard!!

How is it for children when they don't have handy and healthy open space to play in?

It basically sounds to me like they're trying to re-institute feudalism. "Eco-feudalism", to be specific. It seems they're hellbent on turning the residents of Portland into serfs at the mercy of Lord Homer Williams and ilk.

Ben,
More to a unit, the better, huh?
Unit is the word here!!
Isn't that what we are all being reduced down to, numbers and units? Units to work at what work is left, units to be "educated", units to live within the profile, units subsidized to live in tiny units.
....except for others who will partake of the greater good, will have the space and whatever they like, without the rest on their nice turf?

...Portland? How low can you go? Seems you just keep setting the bar lower and lower and lower. Sad!

Low enough to become Limbo Stars!!

Chubby Checker Limbo Rock
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jkowBtwnHM

A "sin?" "Scary?" "Orwellian?" Many comments here sound like knee-jerk reactions to a document that merely recommends "considering...alternatives." Alternatives, I might add, that are well worth considering for those who are able/interested.

When will the idiots at the city realize that transit DOES NOT SAVE energy compared to small cars.

Compared to BHO's 50+ mpg mandate, transit is a gross polluter and massive energy waster.

BTW, MAX is partly powered by nuke & coal.

But planners never were very smart.

thanks
JK

I am 63 years old and demonstrably not sustainable. The last thing I want at this point is to live cheek by jowl with a bunch of nose ringed creative types.

rwebbontheweb,

When has apartment living ever NOT been an option? Do you need this kind of propaganda to state the obvious to you?

And Ben,

respectfully, I really don't want you or any strangers anywhere near my "unit." Thank you very much.

Given Ben's many other comments on this blog, I think - hope - his comments were tongue-in-cheek!

Boy did I have my priorities screwed up--wasted all that hard work, time, and money to get away from the joys of common walls (and floors/ceilings)and shared laundry facilities.

What was I thinking?

"A "sin?" "Scary?" "Orwellian?" Many comments here sound like knee-jerk reactions to a document that merely recommends "considering...alternatives." Alternatives, I might add, that are well worth considering for those who are able/interested."

The web site in question is publicly funded. Suggesting that one kind of housing is better than another, etc., is presumptuous, arrogant and smacks of some kid of weird Orwellian brain washing program. As stated above by many others, people have the ability to figure this sort of thing out on their own. We don't need or want Big Brother's help, especially when the so-called "help" ultimately enriches the class of people who can afford to build 100+ "multi-family" housing projects as opposed to us little people who can only afford to finance a single family house. Home ownership used to be a sure pathway for a middle class person to gain financial security by building equity in their home over several years, and now they apparently want to take even that small morsel away from us by turning us all into renters.

Effective January 1, 2006, the Clark Regional Wastewater District instituted a flat fee of $34.00 for residential customers per month billed every two months ($68/month) for sewer service.

You can flush, shower, wash cars/dogs/dishes all you want. It's still $34/month: not a single rate increase in the past six years.

No fees, taxes, surcharges, or diversion to bike paths are added to my bill.

Just $34/month. Suck it, Portland.

Why do they call them apartments when they're all stuck together?

Thanks, but I'll stick with my house and yard.

Until I can move out of the UGB - whereupon I plan to purchase another house and yard.

$68 bi-monthly: every two months.

This whole "carbon" footprint is bogus. It is good to be respectful of our environment, but there is no verifiable link between CO2 and Dangerous Climate Change- that is the big lie. Yes, CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but a very, very, very little amount compared to the others, like water vapor (about 98%).

It has not significantly warmed for the last 10-12 years (we are talking tens of degrees) and temperatures have been warmer in the past. Plus CO2 levels have been much higher in the past (with no corresponding temperature increase).

And of all the CO2 in the atmosphere, the human contribution is much less than 1%

We care not about quality of life or conservation. These words are tools used with many others, to control the thoughts and behavior of the little people. You portlanders are very good sheeple. Now go protest wall street and think progressively .

...Many comments here sound like knee-jerk reactions to a document that merely recommends "considering...alternatives."...

Those that think that this is only at the recommended stage need to take a tour into those neighborhoods that were forced by rezoning for this type of housing and ask whether they think these projects were merely recommended for consideration?

Knee jerk or just weary of yet another agenda item not merely recommending consideration of alternatives here, but propagandizing, promoting, using "surveys" to suggest consensus, committees for acceptance and then forcing by a myriad of means.

While we are at it, why not a survey asking the people living in these projects if it is really their choice?

"Why not more shared housing units?

It seems wasteful to have only one family per unit when it would be more efficient to have 2 or 3 families sharing each attached unit."

Ben, fortunately for you and the Portland city planners, the Soviet Union has already came up with the ultimate in low-carbon footprint housing, the kommunalka (communal apartments)! Assign every family one or two rooms to live in, and have shared kitchen and bathroom facilities. You just can't get any more sustainable than that!

A recent Russian film had an uptempo musical number illustrating the joys of living in a 1950's kommunalka. The CoP can rework this into a commercial to indicate to lucky Portlanders what a happy housing future awaits them!

Warning: the video is mildly NSFW for about three seconds.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JBeyLUybBw

A recent Russian film had an uptempo musical number illustrating the joys of living in a 1950's kommunalka. The CoP can rework this into a commercial to indicate to lucky Portlanders what a happy housing future awaits them!

You know, that might actually have "retro" appeal with the young proletariats around here...

Those of you who are still burdened with bourgeois home ownership...

... you know that beautiful, vintage craftsman home in the old neighborhood you bought several years ago at the top of the market and wound up spending another $60K+ on upgrades and renovations? Get ready for rezoning.

Here in it's-all-about-consensus-town, the "consensus" that you are the bad guy is being sown like seeds by none other than your own local government! Isn't that grand?

Now I get it! Instead of working and going to school, getting a fairly decent job, working hard at it, getting promotions, saving my money, eventually buying a house, then saving for retirement, I should have just been a wastrel on the street. Why, I could have snagged a room at the Bud Clark Commons, which is probably not unlike these micro-livng units we all should be sharing. What was I thinking!!!

I was struck by this passage from the website Jack linked to:

Newer housing opportunities sited close to public transit centers are a win-win solution for developers and residents who want transportation without having to use a car daily, or who want an alternative to biking.

They tip their hand and admit it's a "win" for developers, but they don't say how. The how, of course, is that they don't require developers to build parking lots for residents' cars, and thus they can maximize the dollars/sq ft. Of course, they don't do anything to ensure that the people who buy in these places actually USE transit--they just hope they will. What they actually do, of course, is park on the street in front of detached single family homes. There are lots of mixed use developments in Portland that have been built with this "promise"--the building at 38th and Division, and the forthcoming one @ 20th/Morrison are two that come to mind. It would be interesting to follow up with the residents after they are built to see what % of the units actually own a car. Despite all the space devoted to extolling the virtues of car-less living, I would imagine it is close to 90%.

Given Ben's many other comments on this blog, I think - hope - his comments were tongue-in-cheek!

Was fairly sure of that when I responded to his comments, did not see Ben in favor of units.

Random,
Quite the film. Maybe should be shown to those who drink the kool aid, but as Mr. Grumpy said, it may be received as having "retro" appeal. Didn't see any bikes though.

"Of course, they don't do anything to ensure that the people who buy in these places actually USE transit--they just hope they will. What they actually do, of course, is park on the street in front of detached single family homes. There are lots of mixed use developments in Portland that have been built with this "promise"--the building at 38th and Division, and the forthcoming one @ 20th/Morrison are two that come to mind."

And, of course, neither of these developments are anywhere near a Max line. The hope is that residents of these places will ride the bus - even as TriMet keeps cutting back on bus service.

"and now they apparently want to take even that small morsel away from us by turning us all into renters."

Of course! The Goldschmidt Party wants renters, not homeowners - since a lot of renters don't think that they pay property tax, it's easier to get renters to vote for property tax increases.

I mean, it was economically stupid for Sam Adams to argue that unemployed hipsters should move to Portland, but it was very good for Sam politically.

Yippee! We (accidentally) comply with the Green Mandate! We communially dwell in our detached, single-family dwelling with an international college student. AND she rides MAX.

Wouldn't having many Multi-family communes be a fabulous way to become more sustainable while at the same time promoting the collective unity of one's community?

If urban garden plots are included the inhabitants could also be assigned tasks to grow and distribute their own food.

Bike and car sharing programs would be more easily utilized as well.

But there again some incentives may be required.

I'll agree that multi-family housing is great...when Sam Adams agrees to the same - and we become next door neighbors.

He's gay. I'm not. I'm married, with a wife and two kids.

Maybe after a week of screaming kids and the occasional activity that is normally used to generate more kids, he'll realize that most people like a little space between their neighbors.

I've done the college dorm thing. I've done the apartment and townhome thing. I enjoy having 30 feet of space between my neighbors and I. I enjoy being able to hear a train and an airplane, rather than neighbors and people who smoke pot to the point I can smell it in my apartment. I like not knowing when the neighbors are having sex, or that the kids are fighting over crap.

And as for my "carbon footprint"...my heating costs at one such apartment were $150 a month thanks to oversized single-pane picture windows with no insulation value...in the summer we could only cool one room with a window A/C unit. Today I have a 1400 square foot home with an efficient heat pump that costs under $100. I have a yard that doesn't require constant yard maintenance by oversized lawn mowers. I have grass, trees and other plants that take in carbon and spew oxygen...that kind of stuff is hard to come by downtown. Air quality is much better. The kids have places to play and can walk to school versus riding a school bus to school.

The Other Jimbo wrote:
The role of the ordinary citizen is reduced to two simple functions:
•Pay up
•Shut up

You said it! We are merely milchcows. I'm increasing my margins, and I'm not going to miss the density of single-family homes where I lived before. It's unlikely things will change much here, but thank Goodness I still have a choice.

Erik H. wrote:
I'll agree that multi-family housing is great...when Sam Adams agrees to the same - and we become next door neighbors.

After everyone is herded into retro-Soviet apartment blocks, Sam and his cronies will have their pick of newly-redesignated Water Houses to temporarily Occupy. The population of cronies will rise to fit the number of "free" demonstration dwellings.

It's all in the next Five Year Plan.

There are lots of good reasons to live in an apartment or condo complex (some bad reasons too).

But we don't need a government agency using our tax dollars to tell us about it.

One of the reasons I left Oregon after being born, raised and spending 40+ years there was because I got tired of everyone else suggesting how I should live my life. At some point, I became worried I'd be told I couldn't have brown sugar with my oatmeal. Maybe that could be a skit for Portlandia...The oatmeal police.

Organic agave only, pal.

We are entitled to "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness" as long as we do as the Governing body instructs.

All that yada yada yada about carbon footprints. The orators deliver their sermon across the country and at conferences in Europe and South America with plenty of amplification – and then fly back to their detached, often mcmansion style, single-family homes. All that globe trotting adding airline miles and increasing one’s own carbon footprint - much of it funded at taxpayer expense to control how others live. Anything come to mind?

Oh come on TR, you mean that a Boeing 747-200 aircraft built to military spec (a.k.a. a VC-25, a.k.a. "Air Force One") isn't carbon-neutral?

It's funny how these people preach about how cars are bad, how great Europe is...but I never see them set foot on Amtrak - or even Greyhound (which is actually more energy efficient than Amtrak per the Bureau of Transportation Statistics at the U.S. Department of Transportation.)

Someone more talented than me should work up some subtitles for that Russian video.

It would be hilarious, I'm sure.

I use birth control. This makes me one of the greenest mofos I know.


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Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
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
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 109
At this date last year: 151
Total run in 2016: 155
In 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


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