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Friday, June 1, 2012

Lies and the lying real estate liars who tell them

Remmers said most tenants would likely reach destinations by walking, bicycling or taking transit, although he acknowledged that bus service to the area is spotty.

There is a bright spot here, however: When the falsehoods are this blatant at the outset, people are far less likely to believe all the little ones that are sure to follow as the legal process grinds on.

Comments (22)

How can you have "walkable", "livable" neighborhoods when the places people might consider walking to are being removed?

The folks on Fremont are in for an interesting ride with Everett Custom Homes,. BDS, and PBOT if our experience at 37th and Pomona with that cast of characters is any indicator.

Think of all the energy wasted heating and cooling all that little used retail space when we can order our Pixie Dust from Amazon and have it delivered by bike.

Ya know that the local media needs new blood when PR flacks dominate the issues in the news.

Wally Remmers and his former partner Dennis Sackhoff (West Hills Homes) build crap (personal experience) and won't cover homes after they are built. Our former house (one of the first Remmers/Sackhoff partnerships) had so many corners cut in obvious and unobvious places that we ended up nearly completely rebuilding the key structural parts of the home over 16 years of living in them. I wouldn't buy a house from either one of them. When either decides to rape a neighborhood, it is take no prisoners time for the existing residents and business. Nothing new here.

To be fair, the city loves it when you say this crap about no parking for cars. I'm sure he's playing the game to get the thing permitted.

Of course, when reality sets in and you have cars parked all over the neighborhood, then Novick can kick in Phase II of his economic program - higher parking rates (Phase I was more meters).

Of course, when reality sets in and you have cars parked all over the neighborhood, then Novick can kick in Phase II of his economic program - higher parking rates (Phase I was more meters).

Don't forget about Phase III, which is making residents who complain about the lack of parking buy on-street parking permits to park in front of their own house. I have no doubt this will be a reality in certain neighborhoods within 5 years.

Meeting: June 7 / 6:30 PM / Bethany Lutheran Church
IF enough people show up, like enough to fill the place, and they all register to speak against strongly the project at the allowed 3 minutes each, then at least it will be slowed down for a while.
Of course the people in the neighborhood will have to continually muster themselves to show up at ALL the meetings about this project to have any long term effect.
However, I will offer encouragement to do this. If the project becomes too difficult, too time consuming, and too expensive for the weasel developers to pursue, they may abandon it.
The Burnside Bridgehead blocks are still empty, thanks to the Herculean efforts of most of the SESID small businesses over 6 years ago.

Remember that when the city talks about the importance of "livability" they're talking about livability of the hypothetical new residents moving here over the next 20 years. They are not concerned with the livability of actual current residents - the ones who have been creating the community and paying the property taxes which allow those planners to have jobs.

I suspect that this current experiment in building thousands of apartment units with no parking might be so bad that it actually leads to zone changes in five to ten years. But not until the damage has been done across the city. They seem to think that the parking situation in Northwest Portland a good thing that should be recreated in other neighborhoods.

When unsophisticated stick builders from suburbia like Remmers and Sackhoff start wrecking Portland's close-in neighborhoods with their high density schlock, it's time to reexaming Portland's zoning code.

Oh, wait. The City of Portland grabs $14k per dwelling unit in SDC's and fees from guys like Remmers and Sackhoff. Do you think the folks at the City would want to ruin their own business model by addressing the diseconomies they bring to our neighborhoods and retail corridors? Nope. Probably not.

SE Division is the next "transit corridor" or whatever the term is for massive developments w/ no parking. There are huge new structures at 38th, 36th (forcoming), 33rd, 31st, and so on. I'm not sure any of them have enough parking for the residents. The city just accepts that "people will bike and use the bus!" explanation without ever checking to see if in fact this is true. So frustrating.

Falbo stayed away from Bella Flora Studio, the Beaumont-Wilshire neighborhood vintage shop that she has owned for 15 years, because she was upset after recently learning of plans to raze the buildings from 4419 to 4439 N.E. Fremont St. – including her shop – to make way for a new apartment complex.

The building that houses this and three other businesses will be taken. The character of the Main Street will be taken. I thought jobs were important, what will happen to these small businesses and others in the surrounding area? Again, it seems that whatever developers want in this city trumps all.

Codes? What do codes really mean anymore? We used to have good codes and a nice appearing city/neighborhoods.

In my opinion, when codes were in the way of dense development, they were changed, adjusted, and morphed into what we have to face today. Many negative changes happened during those years of Vera Katz, Charlie Hales and when Adams was Chief of Staff for Katz and I guess the stage was set for more to come. It used to be that projects had to fit in with the character of the area. I remember at one point when that was brought up to adhere to the code, the response from the city was that it was now to mean the character of the area as the city envisions it to be.

I took a look today at city codes and all the changes and quite frankly, it is enough to make one’s head spin. In just one document I saw:
The development standards generally assure that new development will be
compatible with the City’s character. At the same time, the standards allow for
flexibility for new development.

I feel sorry for the businesses and the entire neighborhood. I feel sorry for us all, who decides the city’s character when neighborhoods are marginalized? Which neighborhood next? Some areas of course think they are the protected ones and are fine as long as the “redo” doesn’t occur in their area. Take a look at the codes, all the changes and you can see the planners have been very very busy!


Snards, if you want to see the end result of the life you're describing, come out here to Dallas and take a look at the Lower Greenville area. The area went through a very expensive overhaul to prettify it, although the street itself is still a wreck. Because of its reputation over the last thirty years as a party destination, the parking was already obscene, and the residents in the vicinity finally had to fight to declare their streets "Resident Parking Only" zones just so their front yards and driveways weren't overrun every Saturday night. Because of its proximity to SMU, the area became overloaded with bars, and the owners made damn sure to emphasize a loophole stating that they didn't need to supply parking if they qualified as a restaurant, which meant that they served hamburgers or hot dogs for an hour right after opening. Now, the big fad is to build lots of apartment blocks in the vicinity, for an ethereal "creative class" boom that will arrive any day now. What it's really led to, though, is spaces overrun with SMU boozehounds who want to live close enough to walk to the bars, and when they invite all of their friends over, that's when things really get impossible for resident parking in the neighborhood. (The fact that most of those visitors get upset when residents complain about their urinating and defecating in the front yard just adds to the joy of living down there.)

I've been watching the same thing happen with other parts of Dallas and with Fort Worth, both of which are buying into the Portland myth more and more these days. It's a reverse NIMBY situation: everybody out here thinks that these giant no-parking apartment blocks are a great idea. They LOVE the idea of living a quick step away from restaurants and bars. They adore the idea of apartment buildings right next to the big train stations, so that people don't need cars to get around at all. Of course, you couldn't pay the supporters enough to live out there, as they'll tell you while they're commuting 40 miles each way in monster SUVs "for the convenience". But it's good enough for everyone else.

How to keep the Urban Renewal scam going:

Build crap apartments and row houses that will need to be completely redone in about 10-15 years


Heh, that line of hooey from Remmers reminds me of the "Suzanne researched this" tv ad by Century 21 at the height of the real estate bubble. An ad that perfectly encapsulates what is wrong with the real estate market scams and American society in multiple ways.

TTR, it all sounds so familiar.

"But it's good enough for everyone else" is the official Portland progressive hypocrite motto.

The idea that most of these folks will use public transport is a pipe dream. The simple fact of the matter is that as long as Portland remains an incredibly easy place to drive around, traffic is nowhere the levels of Seattle, LA, or SF, and parking is often not an issue (though the powers that be try hard to change that fact) anyone who has the means to do so will drive most everywhere. The fact that Trimet yearns to get rid of the transfer options only lessens the incentive to ride the bus or Max. If one only needs to go 5 miles or so and may need to pay each way, and the gas needed to travel the same remains cheaper than the bus fare, why would anyone, unless they can't/are unable to drive, take public transit---especially considering how inefficient it can be.

I take the 24 to work on the weekdays, despite the long wait times. But on the weekends, since the 24 doesn't run, I need to take two buses and it can take up to an hour and a half to get home. I can quickly walk the same route in the same time (if I had the luxury of time)---and driving takes 15-20 minutes at most.

And----since Sam Adams lives in Kenton and could easily jump on the Yellow Max line to get to work, I wonder how often he does. I'd bet never. Years ago when I lived in Boston I used to see Michael Dukakis on the bus going downtown on a regular basis. Can you imagine any Portland power player doing the same? Though, the situations aren't totally comparable---taking the T in Boston often far more convenient than driving, unlike Portland.

Tri-Met seems to believe that everybody wants or needs to go downtown. That's long been their problem, even before all the light rail idiocy. From where I live, it's a ten-minute drive to Sylvan. About 1.5 hours by bus, with transfers.

People may take the bus and ride their bikes, but they still own a car that will be abandoned for weeks on end in front of someone's house.

Transit in that area has declined greatly in the last few years. When the #33 ran down Fremont, it used to go to/from downtown AND run on weekends. The 24 does neither. Not very useful, and not likely any new apt dwellers will be using it as their primary mode of transportation.

Will parking for bikes then be required?
...or for the zip cars?

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