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Monday, May 7, 2012

Another nice little corner of Portland, trashed

They're about to get three new skinny houses on the corner of SE 52nd and Stark, where a little park used to be. No doubt the acolytes in the planning bureau are delighted:

One of the neighbors sums it up well:

Comments (25)

Pity - those were some nice-looking, older trees. Oh well, that's why we have the UGB - it preserves our precious farmland so that little street trees can be grown for the developers.

Another photo here.

Anybody know what was there originally? That staircase looks like it belonged to something more substantial than a bungalow. The age of the trees suggest that whatever it was it was torn down awhile ago.

Anywhere these houses negatively affect the light and privacy of neighboring properties, they are inappropriate; and that's just about everywhere. This looks like yet another instance of those negative effects.

I recently had a conversation with a young couple with preschool children who are leaving their home (and Portland) in the very near future because the skinny house next door has blocked their light and, they said, made them feel like they are living in a goldfish bowl, in as much as their backyard privacy is gone.

And I know for myself that when the lot to my south gets redeveloped with skinny houses, blocking my light & obliterating my backyard privacy, I'm out of Portland like a shot.

But hey, it's all for the million descending on us any day now. The hell with those currently paying property taxes.

That photo's incredible. I can't imagine living with something like that. The bizarre thing is: that house is green, and sustainable. Heck, it has windows that open!

Portland, still the rough and tumble logging town of "stump town" days! Yippee!

The house in the rear of the photo is the parsonage house, which goes with the church on the right. It looks as though it has always been set back, with a nice little park ground in front of it. Goodbye to that, hello to schlock. Thank you, Portland.

Another big change to the character of the neighborhood!
Naturally the city likes three houses in place of one so they get three property taxpayers, this has zero to do with livability in this city.
There is no respect for adjacent property owners. I expect the rate they are going, soon there will flag lots allowed where ever they damn well want. Large yards will be looked at in the same way cars are being viewed, not necessary.

Children won't have yards to play in, either sent them to a community center where they will have to pay to play and there in organized and controlled settings, or down to a little "parklet" at the end of the block. Wow, what fun! Children need nature and open space. . .
so do adults in my opinion.

"Junior, go out and play in the bioswale." This has been a great place to raise kids. Past tense, I'm afraid.

Clinamen, don't you see how great city controlled play will be for the children? Instead of games with labels like "winners" and "losers" and the awful horror of contact sports, the kids can play sustainability role playing and compost things. Isn't progress wonderful!

Gee imagine if that church had decided to maintain the property as a park for the neighborhood rather then sell it for cash. That would be like so, what's the word I am looking for? Charitable? Give and you shall receive? I wonder what Jesus would do?

From what I hear church membership is down, so I can only imagine roving eyes will be on more church property in the future.

They also put the wood from the chopped down trees up for sale as fire wood. Went pretty fast, Elm and Birch.

One word: karma.

It does look like it would have been a nice park.
However, it just doesn't have that new urban park look, does it?
The new look doesn't seem to contain huge trees,
the street trees are "in" now!

And just to add to the misery of the skinny houses; expect parking in the area to diminish as well. Don't be surprised if the "homes" have one garage or parking space; with any extra vehicles to more or less permanently occupy spaces on the street.

The neighbors are definitely worried about pedestrian safety. Apparently it's a tricky spot for kids, of which there are many in the vicinity.

I don't know about that specific church but in general I hear membership is down.
Does anyone here know the latest status of the Fulton Community Center?
That is another lovely spot in our city that I am afraid may be ripe for row-houses/condos. What is the history of that center and land/park?

They don't build parks like they used to. The best places were always the old ones with big trees to climb, slightly overgrown grass to lie in to gaze up at clouds and ponder the mysterious shapes the clouds made, a place for a picnic or pretending or just getting away from a little brother or a chore or two. You can't make an old park, any more than you can build an old building or design the soul of a city. But you can sure destroy them easily enough. Poor Portland. Poor Lake Oswego and Damascas. Poor Metro area. How will the next generation ever know what made you special?

The new parks are NOT for children (or adults) in this city! They are for poodles to poop in, or made entirely from concrete, like the Director Park, or just to look at from afar, like that horrible Tanner Springs thing in the Pearl.
But they are "planned and sustainable parklets or iconic" or what ever the B/S word of the moment happens to be.
This whole business of parks makes me sick!

I go by that spot almost every day and grew up in the area. At first I thought they were just trimming the trees, but then when I saw the heavy equipment, I thought holy crap batman!

What a shame to see a little slice of Earth all carved up for more cheap and crammed-in housing. I will wager the construction will last less than half as long as those trees did. And the birds thank everyone involved in this massacre.

portland native and Nolo,
Yes parks now are "urban" that means as you said concrete, and urban landscape "designs."
Apparently, nature as Nolo described and many of us still appreciate in parks is the old fashioned concept no longer promoted by planners.

We suffer when we withdraw from nature. Australian professor Glenn Albrecht, director of the Institute of Sustainability and Technology Policy at Murdoch University, has coined the term solastalgia. He combined the Latin word solacium (comfort β€” as in solace) and the Greek root – algia (pain) to form solastalgia, which he defines as β€œthe pain experienced when there is recognition that the place where one resides and that one loves is under immediate assault.”

Solastalgia is a word that resonates with me concerning not only parks but our city.

The new parks are NOT for children (or adults) in this city! They are for poodles to poop in,

Hey now! We happen to have a poodle, and he's never been anywhere near one of those parks. We have been to Woods Park on occasion, though more often just around the neighborhood. And since our nearest stores happen to be in Washington County, we even get plastic bags!

Did any of the current crop of candidates for Portland mayor or commissioner make "preserving the character of city neighborhoods" by restricting infil an issue in their campaign?

I bet that could be part of a winning campaign.

You know, preserving the character and quality of the neighborhood where, for most people, their largest investment is situated and the majority of their "quality of life" time is spent.

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