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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on June 6, 2012 8:45 AM. The previous post in this blog was Tim Boyle didn't want Kroger at Reed. The next post in this blog is Is this guy somebody's nephew?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Apartment weasel to Fremont neighbors: Read my lips

“We’re not gonna have parking. The people who choose to rent here, if parking’s a problem, they won’t rent here,” said Remmers.

What a prince.

Comments (32)

Sigh. As usual, it's great, GREAT, that he wants to encourage people who don't have cars to park to rent his apartments. Right now, anyway. So...what's going to happen the moment Zach, Hummus, and Melvert decide to have their first party to celebrate their new digs and 95 percent of the attendees have to drive to get there?

Need to immediately repeal that relatively recent goofy city ordinance exemption that allows these development goons to overwhelm existing residential neighborhoods with newly fobbed-off parking problems. Must make this a campaign problem for the clowns running for city council & mayor.

One of the city's objectives is to use every means possible to persecute you for owning or using a motor vehicle and they've already stated some while back that you don't have a right to park on "their" streets.

In light of this attitude, permitting, encouraging, and even subsidizing projects like this helps to further that goal.

"what's going to happen the moment . . . and 95 percent of the attendees have to drive to get there"

Easy - They'll park on the street and give the neighborhood some semblance of popularity whilst pissing off the local merchants.

When you think about it that a pretty impressive accomplishment, even for a place as screwed up as Portland.

As the banks begin working through the backlog of foreclosed properties and putting them on the market, we'll see that there really isn't a shortage of residential rental space in PDX. Few people will want to rent parking-free units, and they'll be mostly vacant. My prediction is that eventually they'll be turned into Section 8 housing.

This guy's a card . . .

"We're going to overbuild and overpopulate this residential neighborhood. Parking is a hassle when you choose to live in the big city!

"Wait, what? You mean those families who chose to live in a nice quiet non-Pearl District neighborhood object? Didn't they know that NE Portland is just like any other European metro area?"

Most projects are made to look at least presentable in their initial renderings. Not this one. I can only imagine how much uglier it will be when it's actually built.

Perhaps this is the future envisioned for new Portland housing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qKf08vWTkKA&feature=player_embedded

The Fremont bus doesn't run on weekends and ends early on weekdays, so next they'll do a bike lane on the already cramped street.

All in the plan, all in the plan...

So when is this AAA-hole blow-hole going to give up his car?

Mike - it's not the envisioned future, it is the now.

Someone recently asked the developer of the proposed conversion of the old Nature's building (SE 30th & Division) at a Richmond Neighborhood Ass'n public meeting:

if you're claiming to appeal to non-car owners and only providing 11 parking spaces for 80 tenants, and the people living all around here in the neighborhood are very concerned and distressed about crushing already tight parking, and you claim to be marketing to non-car owners, why not require in your leases a provision about cars like a common "no pets" prohibition?

The developer's answer: That's "not viable" -- can't make it work. He then proceeded to ridicule an elderly neighborhood resident who followed-up with a good question. The Richmond NA Chairman then swiftly brought the Q&A session to a close and thanked the developer for his Show & Tell (Fib).


The bottom line: The developers are flim-flammers.

Hit the road, jacka$$es!

And the neighborhood bends over and says there is nothing they can do.

I say each and every neighborhood association in the city should be demanding an all-out moratorium on multi-family housing until such time that the degradation forced upon the neighborhoods by such building can be ameliorated through development charges to offset the degradation.

Once again we need to review the zoning for that property.
It is CSh, Commercial storefront with an aircraft landing overlay.

If this guy thinks he can legally build there I would suggest the fix is in and the payoff checks have already been cashed downtown.

I, too, wish this short-sighted rule that allows no - or insufficient - parking spaces for the tenants of new or converted buildings could be eliminated. At first developers provided spaces and now that they've realized they don't need to and can use the available space to increase the number of apartments/condos, of course they're going to take it. Parking spaces do not generate as much money and a garage is "wasted space." Who cares about the neighbors or neighboring businesses? The City sez it's OK.

Developers could never get away with blowing off disabled parking or accessibility issues but it's OK to take your neighbors' street parking - right in front of their business or home, if necessary.

Another concern is that a building's use doesn't necessarily remain static. What is student housing today may be retirement or singles condo living in the future. Maybe students can get by on bike or the "ten toe express" while more affluent singles or older folks will come to the building with a car or two and nowhere to put them.

I can't believe our City is so stupid.

It's all outlined in the Portland Climate Action Plan, aka, Developers's Dream Come True.

The neighbors should retaliate by insisting that the city charge for on-street parking near the building. All it will take is one good party hosted by one of the residents of the building, and the backlash will begin.

I am on lunch, so here are some quick thoughts on this issue as a neighbor and taxpayer.

I am a neighbor near this and several other limited parking projects in the Williams and Vancouver corridor. My wife and I testified to our neighborhood association on a separate massive project South of the 4400 Williams address, as well as on the New Seasons project. I have been a neighbor here for 15 plus years and moved here specifically for intelligent high density and a neighborhood that had the diversity that reminded me of Newark NJ . The lack of logic to have almost no parking in the Williams/ Vancouver corridor and the hulking masses slammed up against existing homes makes one sad that we really are not learning from bigger cities. The hubris is classic Portland planner thinking and doublespeak. It really only benefits the developers and has no long lasting balancing value for the existing community.

In our case, we were basically told to keep our mouths shut or we might scare off the developers doing these projects. One smarmy trust-funder activist kid made sure we knew he was a "New Urbanist" and that we must be anti-bike to not simply let these developers move forward. He has been in the neighborhood for a few years, mommy and daddy apparently brought him his home. And sadly he should avoid judgement as I was commuting on a bike to work back in Essex County New Jersey when he was in diapers. Interestingly, the neighbors near the massive projects are getting a very limited voice and the active neighbors off the dense street alignments are calling the shots. That is my experience South of the 4400 project. I hope folks North of us fare better.

The project almost completed just North of Fremont on Williams was the first big example of bad planning along the Fremont/ Williams Corridor. It was build so out of proportion that each time I have a visitor from bigger cities visit , they laugh at it's hulking mass compared to the single story and two story homes now hidden in its shadows. Sadly, one of our most effective neighbors and a successful local business woman became so frustrated by the loss of sun, privacy, and livability that she moved out. Other neighbors are following her direction.

I believe we can do better and will continue to be involved in the dialog along the corridor. It won't help me to just complain, since it is actually my own backyard.

Thanks,
Paul

I asked him these questions:
1) What is the average apartment size?
2) What is the size of the largest apartment?
3) What is your projected number of cars owned per apartment?
4) What is the average income our your target renter?
5) Are you targeting any of these units for low income subsidies?

And he answered:
Jim,
I understand where you are coming from, but it sounds like the neighborhood thinks we are further along on this project than we really are at this point. We haven't closed on the property and we are meeting with the neighborhood to get ideas and feedback on what they would like to see developed here. So, we really don't have the answers to your questions at this point. I am sure all of these questions will come up Thursday evening and I encourage you to stop by and partake in the discussion.

Thanks

Vic

It will take a while to watch the videos but this pretty much sums up the issue.

http://www.oregonmetro.gov/index.cfm/go/by.web/id=25093

To grow, the choice is "centers" vs. "corridors". Portland has chosen to develop density mostly in "corridors" like Fremont, Belmont, Mississippi, Hawthorne, etc. vs. "centers" like Lloyd or SOWA, etc.

The high cost of on-site parking keeps corridors from developing when parking is required. Most of those "corridor" developments are relatively small and don't have room or budget for parking so they can use parking that is already there, on street. This is how the city can get those buildings built. These smaller buildings are better for the transportation systems, are more affordable, etc.

Unfortunately, "corridors" tend to be where the interesting neighborhood business districts are which give a neighborhood the character that made people want to move there in the first place.

Sadly, like Portland's miles and miles of charming vintage homes, these corridors too are doomed to the early morning backhoe, courtesy of our locked-step, tight-lipped "urbanist" city council.

That's why I maintain that the PCAP is a developer's wet dream come true.

Great post, Paul. Developers don't care. They are like the medicine show shysters who hit a town, sell their dubious product to the gullible town and then split in the middle of the night with their loot. They don't care about the shortcomings or drawbacks of what they left behind; they don't have to live either in the building or near the neighbors they have inconvenienced, marginalized and offended.

JG

It's centers & corridors. Has been for years and will continue for years to come.

All of which may be viewed by some as uglifying neighborhoods throughout the region. However, the infill option is necessary to prevent sprawl and the destruction of the planet.

Livability is subjective and most planners view the infill approach as more desirable. At least their literature says so.

A hundred Portland residents against one out-of-town developer. Is there any question which side the City will choose?

Portlandia...
Land of neo-Stalist apartment blocks and faux_Stasi snitch laws...

I can't believe our City is so stupid.

Corrupt, or inept, either way, we are in for it. That ordinance needs to be changed before the entire city is taken over with these type of housing units.

http://cascadepolicy.org/news/2012/05/30/american-nightmare-how-government-undermines-the-dream-of-homeownership/

O’Toole says that Metro, the Portland area’s regional government, is aiming to reduce single-family home ownership from 65 percent down to 41 percent; which is nothing short of a war on homeownership.

A large apartment complex without parking in this location reduces the quality of life for everybody else living in the surrounding neighborhoods. If parking isn't part of the project, IT SHOULDN'T BE BUILT! This greedy socialist slum lord builder needs to be run out of Beaumont on a rail, then sent over to Kenton where he can propose something in king Sammyboy’s backyard.

When did this begin, that these apartments could be built
without providing needed parking spaces?

When did the good planning of Portland we were noted for
years ago morph into allowing this?

JG,

Are you arguing that there are people making a choice of where to live by deciding between a 400 sq ft apartment in inner Portland and living somewhere beyond the urban growth boundry- thereby contributing to sprawl?

People attracted to living in these complexes would never consider living in outer suburbs or rural areas.

However, I would tend to think that people who have their lives disrupted by the construction of one or many of these monstrosities would likely flee to the exurbs and rural areas to avoid having this happen to them again- when they most certainly would not have otherwise.

The Portland Neighborhood associations are NIMBYS.

If they supported each other they would flip the pyramid of power upside down.

Richmond and Brooklyn didn't back HAND opposing the annexation of Powell Park by Fred Meyer.

Who supports Lents anyway?

Who cares?

Most association members are not activist types, they are community volunteers just looking for some neighborly interactions and maybe having a hand in an information table with some t-shirts and cookies on it. Truly.

Then there's a few sociopaths involved who can easily take over a board, but I digress.

Go, Skeezicks! Right!

JG - a 50+ unit building is not small potatoes in this corridor, or whatever you want to call it. And, as others have noted, bus service is limited to non-existent.

Plus, this Remmers guy is a sheer aXXhole - saw an interview with him on the news. Let's hope the building's current owners have yet to sign the sales paperwork, and have second thoughts in selling to him.

I'm not defending developers, but most of the rightful wrath here is projected at developers. The wrath should also, and properly more so, be extended to CoP, Planners and City Council. Clinamen above alludes to this.

Developers are doing what Planning has allowed. Just the issue of deficient parking has been before Planners (word used as all-encompassing) for almost two decades when reduction of required parking was implemented.

Parking reduction was first implemented in the Central City Plan for downtown, to help meet DEQ/EPA requirements. Then the social/car hating aspect was interjected and it spread to all the different parts of Title 33, the zoning code.

There was little public outreach of these incremental increases of "no parking". It mostly occurred in the several "neighborhood plans", transit street plans, spot rezoning planning efforts, and finally throughout Title 33. And usually only a few neighborhood associations even knew of them, and maybe a subcommittee of 3 or 5 members might have participated. Now we are experiencing the negative outcome.

It is time for the umbrella neighborhood associations like SE Uplift and SWNI to better represent citizens. But since they are part of what got us in this mess, is it appropriate for them to get us out of it? But they are what CoP has dealt us to get through this hierarchy mess. Maybe there are some other means like respected groups of citizens going directly to each Commissioner's office. And then wait for 5 years at that.


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