This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 5, 2012 9:48 AM. The previous post in this blog was The Swedish meatball of housing. The next post in this blog is Liberation, or glib oration?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Monday, March 5, 2012

OHSU-PSU "urban renewal" scheme revs up

Portland taxpayers, get ready for more "urban renewal" shenanigans. Your tax dollars will once again be stolen away from basic public services and handed to real estate developers for apartments, and once again, the med school will take a cut. This time, Portland State is in on the action as well -- Portland State, which at times appears to be more a haven for real estate scammers and a patronage dispenser for retired local government hacks than an institution of learning. They're all part of the mayor's new "education urban renewal district," which will also likely suck up the land under Lincoln High School and hand it over to greasy condo builders.

There are 301 days left for the current city administration -- and its members seem hellbent on doing as much damage as they possibly can during that time. The taxpayers have blown hundreds of millions on "urban renewal," and it's done nothing for the local economy but enrich developers and construction companies. The city's finances are a wreck, and yet the scoundrels keep on coming, with their politician puppets in front of them. It's sad.

Comments (10)

And that's the whole idea. The developer weasels know that their appointed and annointed choices for Mayor may not make it, and that the money will be gone soon enough in any case. That's why all of this gibberish has to be done now now NOW, before their projects turn back into pumpkins and mice. They'll skip town and run for Rio soon enough, but they can't do that until they convince their doting subjects to give them the cash.

It would be nice if we could delay until the elections. But wait--nothing is going change. Maybe the bankruptcy judge will force the city to focus on fire, safety, and transportation. But wait--the judge will be part of the Goldschmidt web.

Did anyone see some mayor's race polling numbers over the weekend? Eileen Brady and Charlie Hales had the highest numbers but the best part showed Jefferson Smith polling at 10 percent and Tre Arrow at 7 percent!

And where is the JOBS urban renewal district? It is nice that we are turning out educated young folks (although heavily indebted), but then what?

When was the last time our political class had any notion of how to help create good paying jobs?

We provide fancy trollies, big ugly bunkers, shining placards on schools, but where are the freak'n jobs?

Public schools would get $58 million less statewide, but Portland Public Schools would only take a small hit.

I'm surprised to see this even mentioned, but I'm glad. It's a point that's not stressed enough and one very valid reason why those of us who live outside the city limits have a stake in what happens there... and the right to put in our two cents worth.

Some don't realize that the PSU/OHSU cancer of urban renewal is already malignant beyond the proposed "education URA".

It is metastising in SoWhat. PSU/OSHU has plans to extend student housing/classrooms beyond just the inner parts of the SoWhat in the central district.

The area around Duniway Park, Terwilliger Plaza, SW Arthur, around the Naturopathic College, and even into the heart of residential Lair Hill is presently being planned to be rezoned, densified for their plans. Many don't realize that SoWhat's URA larger boundary extends up into these areas.

So we have two onslaughts of urban renewal invading this historical inner-city neighborhood by institutions that have become developers and not educators.

Property is being bought by different speculative developers as well as these institutions, all waiting for the zone changes and blessing of Council. And us taxpayers will be paying for a large part of it through the sucking of urban renewal.

Schools, fire, police, parks, streets-forget your funding.

I think we're missing the point. The "smart" city won't be needing any basic services .

Previous estimates projected the proposal would mean $53 million less for Multnomah County over the 25-year life of the district. Public schools would get $58 million less statewide, but Portland Public Schools would only take a small hit.

Enough already!!
Ted Wheeler was opposed to more URA's, what can we expect from Jeff Cogen?

I think Portland leaders should be ashamed of themselves if they go along with this. Portland URA's hurt the state schools as mentioned $58 million less statewide,
but the PPS schools would only take a small hit. How neighborly is that? Taking education money away from those who need it for more "pet projects" for some here?
I would think those other schools in the state would be furious with our many URA's that hurt state school funding. If I lived outside the area, I would pull every chain I could to stop any money coming into Portland until Portland straightens out their financial mess. It looks like that "sustainable" building may have been stopped by others outside our city. I hope that others around the state realize that not all those who live in Portland are for this.

The area around Duniway Park, Terwilliger Plaza, SW Arthur, around the Naturopathic College, and even into the heart of residential Lair Hill is presently being planned to be rezoned, densified for their plans.

Sorry to hear about that. Our neighborhoods, character and livability simply are not respected anymore. So sad, but it is profitable for some to continue redoing I guess until we don't recognize our Portland at all. They must have plans ahead for years, wonder which area has been targeted for the next "redo?"

Clinamen, another area that "has been targeted for the next 'redo'" is Johns Landing. As I've posted before the "suspended" streetcar to LO has a new report out called the "Johns Landing Development Assessment" prepared by CH2MHill and Leland Consulting Group. It's trying to keep the agenda going.

For the Johns Landing area it states:

"adjust the zoning surrounding Macadam Avenue to allow five and six story buildings" [presently 2 and 3 story max.]

"FARs should be increased to 4:1 and maximum building heights should be between 65 and 75 feet." [presently 2:1 FAR with 35 and 45 height limits]

"TOD.....considering mid-rise (five story or more) mixed use development, the type of development being encouraged by the City."

When did the City ever consult the citizens of the area on this major change? Or go through the rightful, normal process of changing a neighborhood's zoning policies?

Also the City is totally ignoring its own Planning Bureau Macadam Plan District document, accepted by Council, prepared with assistance of the neighborhood association. It requires the 35-45 ft heights and 2:1 FAR and many other requirements and design standards.

Where is the public participation required by both State and City planning documents for such a change in policy? LUBA will have a field day with this.

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