Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.

For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.

Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!

E-mail us here.


This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on December 6, 2012 10:12 AM. The previous post in this blog was County bridge borrowing is larger than advertised. The next post in this blog is Nick Fish goes rogue on parking meters. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
Willamette Week
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Broadway bunkers becoming bigger

That monstrous cr-apartment complex slated to go in at the already fusterclucked corner of NE 33rd and Broadway goes before the Portland Design Commission again this afternoon. And it looks as though the project isn't getting any prettier as the "planning" rolls on. Our neighborhood spies tell us that the owners of the long-abandoned site are asking for permission to bend some rules to make the bunkers "pencil out," as they say:

1. Projecting Sign Size – To allow signs projecting into the right-of-way to be larger than 30 SF each. Two projecting signs at 100 SF each are proposed.

2. Ground Floor Windows – To reduce the amount of ground floor windows to below the required standards for non-residential development walls facing public and private rights-of-way around the site.

3. Building Height – To increase portions of the building height in the CS zone from 45 feet to as tall as 60'-8" above grade.

4. Loading – To allow trucks to enter the loading area off of NE Weidler with rearward motion rather than forward motion.

Rules are rules, Portlanders -- just ask the bureaucrats. Except when somebody's wrecking a neighborhood by packing in too many people and too many cars. Then we're very "flexible." Giant buildings, giant signs, truck backup beepers day and night -- it's all fine. Go by streetcar!

Comments (13)

Rules are rules, but when the CoP earns $16,000 per dwelling unit in fees...the rules will be broken. On this project, the CoP will see a windfall of $3.4million for these 211 units - do you think they'll let pesky zoning regulations stand in the way of that? Not a chance. $3.4million will pay for quite a few PBOT planners to solve the traffic nightmare on 33rd and Broadway.

What many overlook is that the CoP has a financial incentive to wreck our livability. When permit fees were $3k to $4k per unit (it wasn't but a few years ago), the city had little incentive to create these vertical slums, but now these fees are a major source of revenue and the sky is the limit (literally).

The reality is that Portland is rapidly becoming overbuilt with thse bunkers - over the coming two years there are no less than 5,000 units planned for the close-in neighborhoods -- it's a gold rush for developers as the CoP alike -- all at the expense of livability.

...the last real estate gold rush didn't end well and neither will this one.

So what's the problem? It's not like residents there are going to stay for more than a year or two before growing up and moving back home. I mean, when the planet floods and Portland is one of the last inhabitable places on Earth, the refugees are going to be GLAD they have something this nice, aren't they?

Is "enter the loading area with a rearward motion" code for "put in a strip club?"

Dang it Dave you beat me to it!

What many overlook is that the CoP has a financial incentive to wreck our livability. When permit fees were $3k to $4k per unit (it wasn't but a few years ago), the city had little incentive to create these vertical slums, but now these fees are a major source of revenue and the sky is the limit (literally).

This is no doubt the primary reason why, and I've said this several times before... CoP behaves like a privately owned corporation complete with its own board of directors that masquerades as a municipality. Ignore for a moment everything you thought you knew, close your eyes, and imagine listenting to someone describe the behaviors of City Hall... it's a privately run business that partners with big banks and real estate development corporations.

CoP behaves like a privately owned corporation complete with its own board of directors that masquerades as a municipality.

You mean, there's more transparency to be found in the Reedy Creek Improvement District than in the City of Portland?

From a bikeportland post quoting from the Lancaster engineering folks doing the traffic study for the new light:

"They've identified the need for a new traffic signal at Broadway and 32nd.[...]However, in order to get approval of the signal, Lancaster would have to show the City that it meets performance standards for the next 20 years. "So for us to do that," Todd explained, "We're better off showing that there aren't any pedestrians or bikes because to the extent they are there, they impede auto traffic and that's the sole metric the performance standard is based on.""

So if they need a special application does that mean traffic doesn't meet the city's current standards even with the inevitable pedestrians and cyclists removed from the picture? Seems somewhat suspicious to me.


Fill'em up is what you used to tell the gas station attendant, now the developers
and CoP are telling that to the neighborhoods!

Note item #3 concerning height at 60'-8" measured from GRADE.

"Grade" is anything you want to make it in Portland. Grade is NOT from existing grade like all other cities and counties require. The measured grade point can be any height of a retaining wall with fill around the base of a building. Then you measure from that point. So any developer can make a 10 ft (or higher) high planter box around a building, put in mechanical/storage/so called underground parking on the ground/street level then measure the 60'-8", really making for a 70'-8" tall building.

Neighborhoods Beware! Many neighborhoods are slowly finding out this mischievous zone change that CoP Planning instituted a few years back. Developers, builders can build to any height they want with enough money, retaining walls and fill.

"To reduce the amount of ground floor windows to below the required standards for non-residential development...."
Sounds as if someone has Dotty's (tm) casinos signed up as the anchor tennant already.

Don't forget the bonus points created as ways of going around the code,
and then there are adjustments.
I don't have the examples handy now, others on here may.

And have you seen the huge bunker at NW 23rd and Raleigh?
It takes up nearly the entire block! 4 or 5 stories of soulless squareness with little bay type windows hanging forlornly over the streets.
It just occupies that space in a way that seems to dwarf everything else around it.

Both Capstone Partners (Grant Park Village apartments on Broadway, D Street Village at 31st and Division, and The Residences at Cannery Row in Old Town Sherwood 101 units)) and Mill Creek Residential Trust (Savier St. Flats 179 units in NW PDX and Bridgport Village, 368 units in Tualatin) are off-shoots of Trammel Crow; Execs. Who left TC and formed their own development firms to get in on the retrofitting of our cities and subburbs into a series of compact Transit Oriented Developments. They are masters of design (not the aesthetic kind) and make every last inch count in order to get projects to be profitable. It was only a matter of time that these national (and sometimes with international development partners) would set their eyes on the NW. In fact, Vera and others most likely lured them here, and now we can't get rid of them.

In one very big way, it is not the developers' fault that this stuff is going on all over the US and the developed world, with Portland just one strand of the tightening noose. The affliction known as Smart Growth is embedded into our planning depts., schools of urban planning, and government culture that cares little for its citizens or livability or individual freedoms but cares more for the sense of power and righteousness that they feel when creating their plans for the rest of us.

Before you convince yourself that income is the main reason that CoP likes the bunkers, it is also likely that the building fees are to backfill for the money light rail and other Smart Growth planning has robbed from city coffers. Urban planners care little for the economics of what they promote, believing that whatever the cost to the public, the result is for "the greater good". No price is too high to save humanity from itself.

It's all hogwash of course, but it makes it hard for smarter and wiser folks to support earth-friendly practices when we see how the concept of sustainability and sustainable development are being abused. That developers and their consultant, architect, contractor cohort's are responding to a demand for product is understandable. What is so wrong is that the product is demanded by the government, not by the public. Even if the apartments "sell", that is no proof that they are desirable living units, only that they are the best or only option available. At this time developers have to load the complexes with lots of amenities in order to get people to want to stay in the tiny, stacked units. And though some customers may really like this lifestyle, how much better would it be if 2/3 of the systems development charges were cut from the cost of constructing each unit?

Government is not on our side and hasn't been for a long time. The problem then is how to fix it. My personal solution is to cut planning staffs in half - everywhere. Next, get our towns out of the multitude of organizations that promote Smart Growth. (Don't worry, we can still be environmentally conscious without them. ). Then get rid of Metro. As long as Ecotopia reigns as the utopian goal of Cascadia, we're doomed.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Lange, Pinot Gris 2015
Kiona, Lemberger 2014
Willamette Valley, Pinot Gris 2015
Aix, Rosé de Provence 2016
Marchigüe, Cabernet 2013
Inazío Irruzola, Getariako Txakolina Rosé 2015
Maso Canali, Pinot Grigio 2015
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Kirkland, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2016
Cantele, Salice Salentino Reserva 2013
Whispering Angel, Côtes de Provence Rosé 2013
Avissi, Prosecco
Cleto Charli, Lambrusco di Sorbara Secco, Vecchia Modena
Pique Poul, Rosé 2016
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Rosé 2016
Stoller, Pinot Noir Rosé 2016
Chehalem, Inox Chardonnay 2015
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Gascón, Colosal Red 2013
Cardwell Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
L'Ecole No. 41, Merlot 2013
Della Terra, Anonymus
Willamette Valley, Dijon Clone Chardonnay 2013
Wraith, Cabernet, Eidolon Estate 2012
Januik, Red 2015
Tomassi, Valpolicella, Rafaél, 2014
Sharecropper's Pinot Noir 2013
Helix, Pomatia Red Blend 2013
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
Campo Viejo, Rioja Reserva 2011
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2013
Locations, Spanish Red Wine
Locations, Argentinian Red Wine
La Antigua Clásico, Rioja 2011
Shatter, Grenache, Maury 2012
Argyle, Vintage Brut 2011
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16 Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2014
Benton Hill, Pinot Gris 2015
Primarius, Pinot Gris 2015
Januik, Merlot 2013
Napa Cellars, Cabernet 2013
J. Bookwalter, Protagonist 2012
LAN, Rioja Edicion Limitada 2011
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Rutherford 2009
Denada Cellars, Cabernet, Maipo Valley 2014
Marchigüe, Cabernet, Colchagua Valley 2013
Oberon, Cabernet 2014
Hedges, Red Mountain 2012
Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012

The Occasional Book

Marc Maron - Waiting for the Punch
Phil Stanford - Rose City Vice
Kenneth R. Feinberg - What is Life Worth?
Kent Haruf - Our Souls at Night
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Suzanne Collins - The Hunger Games
Amy Stewart - Girl Waits With Gun
Philip Roth - The Plot Against America
Norm Macdonald - Based on a True Story
Christopher Buckley - Boomsday
Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
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: 5
At this date last year: 3
Total run in 2017: 113
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

Clicky Web Analytics