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Monday, February 11, 2013

Portland "solution" to no-parking apartments: another middle finger

The Portland planning cabal has announced its solution to the problem of neighborhood destruction via cr-apartment bunkers without off-street parking. And as usual, it's classic passive-aggressive. Oh, they're going to make the developer weasels build parking, all right -- but only if they're slapping up more than 40 units. And they'll have to build just one parking space per four units.

Are they kidding? They'll still be able to plop down 39 units in with no parking at all? And if they put in 80 units, they can get away with 20 spaces?

This is "sustainability" queen Susan Anderson and chief "planning" zealot Joe Zehnder at their worst. These two flip the existing neighborhoods the bird at every opportunity. But this time it's in the guise of helping the homeowners. If Mayor Char-Lie knew what he was doing, he'd show both of these people the door at his earliest convenience.

And then there's some sort of loopy tie-in with Zipcar. Why in heaven's name is the city so big on promoting Zipcar? It's a private car rental company -- one of many. The sweetheart treatment that outfit receives is mighty suspicious. It's almost as if Neil Goldschmidt owned it.

The official proposal is here. If the City Council knows what's good for Portland, it will pronounce it dead on arrival and send it back to the planning children for a complete overhaul.

Comments (27)

The deal with Zipcar is probably another "public-private partnership", working to build The City of Tomorrow. (Add timpani, strings, and theremin).

Zipcar is being bought out by Avis this year for 1/2 a BILLION ! dollars.
It is a publicly traded company, so if the planners invested they will make big bucks this spring.

These apartments are going to be the gift that keeps on giving. Kind of like WES and the bridge to nowhere.


100 years from now, people will look around and wonder where there are so many 39-unit apartment buildings blighting the Portland landscape.

Dave J., that implies that any of them will still be standing twenty years after they went up. Me, I'd expect most of those will be condemned for shady construction and dangerous wiring, if they don't all collapse the moment Portland gets that earthquake everyone's expecting.

Let's do the math on how Portland comes out on the short end of the deal with ZIP, while being conservative.

Zip pays Portland $1009 per year for each car to be able to park on Portland streets.

In the 12 hr day period that Portland charges $1.60 per hr. for a space, and for 365 days of the year the revenue would be $8008.00

Being generous, assuming a ZIP car would spend 1/2 of a day's 12 hour period parked, the revenue lost while the ZIP is parked is $4004.00, while ZIP pays only $1009 for the privilege.

Then there is the inconvenience of 12 to 24 hours (and longer) of contious parking by ZIP cars throughout the city and especially in the inner-city. All this for one quarter of the value potentially lost to the city. Plus it's exclusionary to one company.

Maybe CoP should allow the rest of us to pay them $1000 for an annual parking fee to park anywhere we want for any period of time.

LW, you are confusing Zipcar with Car2Go.

Car2Go (as I understand it) has an agreement with the City regarding the annual per-car payment. I believe they are collecting information about where the cars are parked (each car is equipped with a GPS) and will revise the annual payments if data indicates they are paying too much or too little. I don't have a link to cite to, but I do recall reading this about the time someone else was criticizing the Car2Go deal with the City here on bojack.

Don't forget that Zip has been receiving tax dollars from the state for several years. I can't seem to find the link at the moment however if memeory serves me the amount was like $2 million bucks. I can't remember if that was per year or biennium.

Bill Scott the retired GM for Zipcar was deeply connected to the Governors office at one time as well. Yes more friends of the usual cabalites fleecing tax payers.

Question why pay $8.00 /hr to $72./day when for $25/ day or less you can rent a car for 24hrs from Enterprise or Budget. Oh yeah that wouldn't be a green and sustainable hipster and one of you're bicycle (Nazi)friends might see you.

Ahem, OMSI makes Zipcar and Car2Go look like pikers. It somehow managed to wangle an entire streetcar line to locate in its favor and gets its name announced downtown on both the CS and NS cars whenever they reach the point of crossing the river (or advising people they need to switch to the other car to do so). Do you think OMSI paid anything for this service?

I guess I would have to rent 16 apartments to have parking for all four of my cars? Something tells me I'm not really welcome in Portland anymore.

This seems like a moderately reasonable compromise, though I'd agree with you that it "favors" the bikers/bussers (of which I'm one) a little too heavily.

I'm wondering however about Amendment 4, which seems super questionable to me. It is represented by this statement in the article, "The requisite parking spots could also be provided in existing parking lots within 300 feet of the building but not on-site."

In the full text: "A proposal to use an offsite parking lot for joint use must include an analysis of the hours of peak demand for both uses that will park there. In addition, an easement or deed restriction that guarantees access for all uses is required." In other words, sounds like if there's parking on the next block over, they just have to play with the usage numbers a bit in order to avoid building spaces at all.

If I remember correctly, Bill Scott was a one-time PPS school board rent seeker and good ole buddy of the Goldschmidt gang.

a moderately reasonable compromise, though I'd agree with you that it "favors" the bikers/bussers (of which I'm one) a little too heavily.

Ah, Portland Polite. You are a BIG part of the problem.

"A proposal to use an offsite parking lot for joint use must include an analysis of the hours of peak demand for both uses that will park there.

So the apartment dwellers will only be able to park in that lot within 300 feet after hours in the evening and make sure their car is out of there by 6:00am? Sounds like a real accommodation to developers as parking for the building is now too expensive?
Cynical I know, but I wouldn't put it past the city to get these apartments filled first and THEN put meters and hours all around them to extract more cash!
I can envision it now, living by an alarm clock to make sure one doesn't get ticketed. What a way to relax in one's abode!

Well the council has been hell bent on destroying traditional Portland neighborhoods and single family homes since Vera decided to tear up the streets to plant trees and Randy promoted skinny lots. It's a shame, really, because the original Portland "planners" had a beautiful vision and laid out beautiful neighborhoods.

And, as Jack has pointed out, the near zero population growth does not in anyway justify this type of ridiculous densification. So there must be another reason. Could it be money?

Could it be money, Dave? Oh- so cynical.

IMHO there is greed involved for one set of players (the developers). However, the bike activists support these rules, even though
the apartments are unaffordable for a
majority of 20 & 30-somethings.

So it's greed plus one small vocal minority's vision of utopia.

The anti-car sentiment is intense in this town, from the tire slashing anarchists in Buckman to Joe Z's office. It is more than

The 20-something biker types apparently want to spend the rest of their lives drinking Pabst in a cramped Wally Remmers cr-apartment and biking to their food service job. It's a shame that the people running the city enable that depressing set of life goals in what once was a place that supported a thriving middle class. It was wasted away quickly by Neil Goldschmidt, and especially by his grotesque puppet, Vera Katz.

"and biking to their food service job."

Not true! They hope that if they hang around long enough, they can score a job at Metro, the City of Portland, or the Portland Development Commission.

Jack, the sad thing is that the majority of Portland 20-somethings I know want a nice car and a single family home eventually. It is just one intense minority that lobbies for $1000.00 studios for someone else to live in.

We need to have a city-wide discussion about values and the right of one group to dictate lifestyle choices to others.

It was wasted away quickly by Neil Goldschmidt, and especially by his grotesque puppet, Vera Katz.

And continued on with the one who was mentored under Katz as her Chief of Staff, Sam Adams.

Why oh why did . . . .

"It is just one intense minority that lobbies for $1000.00 studios for someone else to live in."

I've been reading the Twitter feed of Aaron Brown, who had some notoriety here a while back for testifying at a hearing for cr-apartment bunkers on Belmont that he was never going to own a house and was never going to own a car, so why should new apartments have parking. It's been quite eye-opening.

There is a group of unemployed 20-something "planners" in Portland who have all the time in the world to testify at every last "public" and "stakeholder advisory" meeting, apparently in the hope that if they get a high enough public profile, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability or somebody will eventually hire them. (Note that the hearing on the new parking policy starts at 12:30 on a Tuesday afternoon - Aaron will attend, but you probably won't. Aaron and his buddies are already coordinating testimony for the meeting.)

I'm not sure how we communicate to them that Sam's gone, the Portland Development Commission is reducing headcount, and the party is probably over. Perhaps they would like to influence "public policy" somewhere else, rather than here.

What's equally sad, as Jack points out, is the economic expectations of our city's youth have been so drastically degraded. Forty years ago, when we had a thriving warehouse district and were a major distribution hub, I entered the workforce with a high school education and was able to support a non-working wife and daughter within a couple of years. And that was the rule, not the exception.

Actually, ftr, Jack, that was Portland mockery of your vitriol, not Portland Polite. I'm honored that you think I'm so important.

With all due respect, Thomas, Jack's remarks can sting, but they are not vitriolic.

That term should be reserved for the radical anti-car set, the kind that use the term "breeder" and lecture the rest of us on how we should adopt their carless lifestyle.

I don't know you and I don't put you in that set, btw. There are arguments to be made for transit and bike paths. It's just frustrating to see 'smart" growth leading to dumb results. I would love to see a city planner who appreciates bikes and cars.

I think vitriol exists on both sides, but I very heartily agree with your last three sentences, Mamacita!

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