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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 22, 2013 12:20 PM. The previous post in this blog was Budget cuts? What budget cuts?. The next post in this blog is Have a great weekend. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Friday, February 22, 2013

Neighbors win a round against cr-apartments

Wonder how things are going to "pencil" now that the developer goons may have to rip out some work. Couldn't happen to a nicer group. But surely the real estate puppets at City Hall (the mayor being Exhibit A) will do what they can to help screw the nearby homeowners despite this rare victory.

Comments (20)

They didn't win at all, as BDS is refusing to get involved while the property owner appeals the LUBA decision. (From an email from BDS to the Richmond neighborhood folks):

This is a mixed use project proposed for the corner lot at SE Division and 37th Ave (3701 SE Division). The Building Permit was issued, and construction is underway. The Building Permit (12-136565 CO) was appealed to Oregon's Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) on a number of issues.

LUBA's decision was released yesterday, Feb. 21st, reversing the decision on the Building Permit based on one of the appeal issues related to the main entrance building requirements in the Zoning Code.

There is a 21-day appeal period for LUBA's decision. The Bureau of Development Services (BDS) is not issuing a Stop Work Order on the project at this time.

However, all the work that the developer did from the day that the neighbors filed the appeal onward is at the developer's own risk, meaning that if the developer doesn't get LUBA's decision reversed or get the city to change the code PDQ, he'll have to tear out at least part of the building, or get rid of all the commercial space in the building.

Isn't it also possible the city will simply bully LUBA into backing off?

Thanks for the additional info Dave J.

No one expresses contempt for their own citizens quite like the City of Portland does. You can see the sneer right through the text.

Mr. Grumpy, the city can't bully LUBA into backing off; now that LUBA has reversed the city's decision, if the case goes anywhere it goes to the Court of Appeals. LUBA doesn't have anything more to do with the case unless the Court of Appeals hears it and then sends it back to LUBA for a second look.

I hope the court of appeals judge is someone who's had trouble recently finding parking near their own house.

Now, if only the neighborhood groups surrounding 33rd and Broadway could find a way to halt Capstone's fugly human warehouses known as Grant Park Village before construction starts.

The city is always willing to help developers overlook pesky things like the LUBA. If it was an individual homeowner who didn't have the right permit, they'd be all over them. But since the city has approved it and the state has opposed it, they'll just let the developer proceed and drag this thing out for as long as possible. (While no doubt helping them behind the scenes along the way.)

http://www.wweek.com/portland/blog-29806-city_wont_stop_work_on_no_parking_apartment_complex_despite_board_ruling.html

The city of Portland won't issue a stop-work order on an 81-unit apartment complex on Southeast Division Street, even though the state Land Use Board of Appeals ruled this week it was illegally permitted.>i>

Aren't all the bureaus now under the Mayor's office? Good luck then with Charlie Hales! Isn't he responsible then for that the city won't issue a stop-work order, and also today responsible for allowing that 120 ft, 18 feet around Sequoia tree in Pier Park to be chopped?
Guess that name he got years ago still fits today.
Chainsaw Charlie!

From WW link posted:
"Not only is Sackhoff out of compliance with the law by building without a permit, the city is choosing to ignore the ruling," says Richard Melo, one of the neighbors who filed the petition with LUBA. "This is unbelievable."

Not at all unbelievable for those who have had to deal with them. Don't tell me the people believed Charlie Hales would help them. Unfortunately, what it often takes is for people to go through what I have termed "the tunnel of deception" before they believe that the treatment dished out by the city would be so horrendous. I am so sorry for the people in this battle, there are far too many battles the people in our city have had and are having, to carry such burden on shoulders. It is heartbreaking to know that often the regulations/codes are written that one can feel as if walking through a mine field in order to even access as to know what to do. I had first typed mindfield, perhaps just as appropriate. Yes there are land use attorneys, very costly.

The whole matter can come down to just some legal nitty gritty. As far as I know, one cannot for example use that the character of our neighborhood is being destroyed as stopping this. A land use attorney can provide a more succinct language of what is and what is not available for the people to take in on a legal land use case.

Thanks for the succinct sum-up, Isaac Laquedem.

What harm a wind too great in a neighborhood might do.
I should not see the sandy hour-glass run,
But I should think of shallow politicians and of flat-headed advisors
And see my wealthy crapartment dock'd in mud,
Vailing her high-top lower than her ribs
To kiss her burial.

"The Developer of Portland" (Act 1, scene 1).
To be continued....

We understand that the city issued a stop work order as of the end of the day today.

One would think that Commissioner Amanda Fritz would lead the call for equity and rights of neighborhoods. Same goes for the cutting of trees in Peninsula Park. We need another commissioner from the past like Margaret Strachan.

We need to warn prospective commercial tenants of this property that we will boycott their business. That way, the
small business people won't be hurt because they can find a less odious place to lease.

One successful campaign to discourage commercial tenants could do a lot of good.


Perhaps Beaumont neighbors could announce that they will boycott retail/bars in the ground floor of the new crapshacks.

The weakest link for crapshacks is lending.
Scare he bank, kill the project.

"Perhaps Beaumont neighbors could announce that they will boycott retail/bars in the ground floor of the new crapshacks."

They'll just put in businesses that appeal to the hipsters. Who cares if the local homeowners boycott a tattoo parlor? After all, the hipsters will be there forever, and the homeowners will eventually leave.

I still think that the issue of whether we should organized a boycott should be addressed.

A boycott would discourage some tenants, like coffee shops, that depend on the neighborhood for customers. And it would be fair to the prospective retail tenants. I don't want your stinkin' wine if it is sold on the site of the old Weird Bar.

I'll give my money to folks who don't assist
the developers.

Mamacita,
I can see the value of organized boycotts.
At some point, what do we the people have left?
These boycotts if really organized could also stop certain career politicians next time they want to be in place to do or go along with those who do damage to our livability.
In my opinion, we have waaaaay too many "go alongs" in our city. Compromise and mitigation, words the city likes.

It's hardly a seismic event that City Council stepped in and told Paul Scarlett to write a stop work order, but given the previous City Council and current BPS/BDS culture, it's somewhat refreshing to see City Council stand up to the status quo and actually do something FOR the neighborhoods. Maybe it's impossible, but until BDS stops making all of its money off of overpriced permits, they're going to continue to give virtually any weasel developer favored status, ensure that every permit application is granted, and ignore what their infill trash is doing to our neighborhoods.

The culture inside BPS is no better. They spend their time telling neighborhoods that there's simply nothing they can do, continually try to distance themselves from the crappy zoning code they've put in place, and tell everyone just to "wait" for the fricking Comprehensive Plan (now due out in 2035???). The best thing that could happen is for Hales to take a hard look at BPS' no can do culture and get rid of Joe and Susan...

BDS was instructed by the Mayor and/or City Council to be self-sufficient. They receive little or no general funds. Thus, they continue to raise permit fees to keep their doors open.

Good point umpire...

BDS may well have been directed by a previous City Council to be self-sufficient but it doesn't necessarily make for good policy. Still, it seems somewhat dubious for BDS, as a regulatory body, to be financed solely by permits. It leads to neighborhoods being shut out of the picture. If some of BDS' funding came from the general fund, do you think a department manager inside BDS would choose to ignore neighborhood outrage, ignore Richmond's LUBA decision and fail to issue a stop work order when no permit is in place?


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