This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on February 12, 2013 8:47 AM. The previous post in this blog was Update on Fremont and 57th: it's a cluster, all right. The next post in this blog is Is there a Portland arts tax for 2012, or not?. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Say goodbye to Beaumont

Well, the wrecking of the Beaumont shopping district in northeast Portland has officially begun. The developer weasels have put the chain link fence up around several lots on the north side of Fremont Street near 45th Avenue. The humble, low-rise retail space there will now be destroyed for a 50-unit multi-story cr-apartment complex:

The soul of the district is about to be ripped out. The places where for decades real small businesses could start out and grow will be demolished to make way for some soulless human warehouses. They say it will have retail on the street level, but it will probably turn out to be some corporate garbage like a Subway shop or a cell phone store -- maybe not even that. In Irvington they promised people a Zupan's -- instead, after years of vacant storefronts, they got a real estate office and an ATM.

The bunker on Fremont will bring in a new revolving cast of dozens of apartment dwellers, most with cars, and no off-street parking for any of them. There aren't even any pay-to-park lots around. And so the businesses on adjoining blocks will suffer greatly, as will nearby homeowners who suddenly won't have anywhere for themselves or their guests to park. Then the city will put in parking meters along Fremont and wrap them around the corners. Finally, they'll charge the locals $60 or more a year for a hunting license to try to find a space within a couple of blocks of their houses.

This is Portland "planning." This is "smart growth." Sucking the life out of what was a nice, easy place to live. We're all for zoning and sound land use, but you know what? We're against rape, which this most definitely is.

So many in local government are responsible for the destruction. Here is only a brief partial list:

Vera Katz
Charlie Hales
Earl Blumenauer
Randy Leonard
Sam Adams
Erik Sten
Rex Burkholder
Susan Anderson
Joe Zehnder
Gil Kelley

And of course, the real estate mob that controls Portland and uses these politicians and bureaucrats as their marionettes.

Ironically, the developers now trashing this neighborhood are out-of-town guys who for years have been slapping up junk housing in the suburbs. The idea of Portland "planning" was to help insure that people like that didn't wreck the countryside. So now they have moved in and are wrecking the inner city. If they must ruin a place, Lord forgive us, but we'd rather it be Newberg.

It's sad to see the qualities we once valued so highly in the city disappear in less than a decade. It's even sadder to realize that they're never coming back. Scout around for a new place, kids. And when you get there, wise up before you vote for "smart growth" again.

Comments (31)

And don't forget about the use and abuse of the FAR rights.
The overwhelming greed of some people continues to amaze me.
I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

Never been in Portland except to pass through on the Interstate, but I've seen this phenomenon elsewhere. Amen.

"Greed, for lack of a better word, is good."

Gordon Gekko, Wall Street, 1987.

Except in Portland, "green" means the same thing as "greed". By the time the politically "empowered" kids get it, it'll be way too late. It probably already is.

As I've mentioned here in the past, it is a strange mindset that favors hypothetical future Portlanders over actual Portlanders who have lived here for years or decades, paying taxes and building the community.

They've spent decades now propagandizing Portland that we must sacrifice it all in order to save it, and an amazing number of people have bought into that idea.

When people demand central planning, they should not be surprised when they get it.

That's a typical mindset when the goal is to build a colony in an uncooperative territory.

Its all part of the plan folks... Agenda 21, look it up. Or read Hunger Games and skip over the fight to death arena part.

That photo makes me sick to my stomach, Jack. I knew and liked that area for precisely the reasons you listed. Meanwhile, based on what I repeatedly see with similar spaces elsewhere, the new retail space will be far too expensive for anyone but the usual generic chains to afford to set up. Congratulations, Portland: you'll look just like the Uptown area of Dallas before you know it.

Years ago when Metro first proposed sacrificing the historic neighborhoods in favor of density, they said it was to save farmland and stop suburban sprawl. When that didn't work and the suburbs grew faster than ever before, they found another reason, "it'll be sustainable!" and Portland politicians jumped on the gravy train, i.e, government enabled real-estate development and marketing. If climate change turns out to be very real, very serious, and very unstoppable (which it's looking more and more), they'll come up with some other rationale to sell to the public.

Beaumont has been an absolute pleasure for us over the years. Raising our son here and working on my practice here have been some of the best years of my life. It is depressing to see this Beaverton apartment cancer take hold in the center of the district and to be welcomed by Portland civic leaders.

But that is the way it goes when your way of life is not part of the 'plan'. While you are busy working and raising a family in your single family home, there is a group of people that are actively seeking the end of your lifestyle. They are literally on salary with benefits to plan you out of the picture.

Thank you for chronicling this Jack. It makes you feel better to know that someone noticed what is being taken away from you.

They've got to destroy the neighborhood to save the neighborhood!

Throw Beaumont under the bus!

I just don't understand why there are not more mobs with torches and pitchforks.

"They are literally on salary with benefits to plan you out of the picture."

And you're paying it!

The project's not permitted yet, and a similar Overlook building was recently put on hold. Two LUBA appeals at the state level were allowed to proceed against Rammers et al. So the tide is turning. The Beaumont building could go down, too.

Keep on top of the news and get involved at http://bwnrg.blogspot.com. Beaumont Wishire Neighbors for Responsible Growth appreciates all the support it can get.

I live "under the tram", and before that disaster was foisted on us, we were working on the "Southwest Neighborhood Plan" which was at least geared toward local businesses and storefronts.

It quietly dissapeared when Katz/Francesconi/Sten did the Homer and gave us "South on the Waterfront" scuttling anything and everything neighborhood centric in the process

I managed a "coffee" meeting with Sten after the city temporarily balked on the Tabor reservoirs, and brought up our neighborhood. I brought up the old plan, and mentioned that if the city had managed to keep some benefits for the neighborhood (like not killing our views, and bringing some small business venues into a neighborhood devoid of local amenities (restaurants and such), we wouldn't be quite so upset with the tram flying over our heads.

The response was classic... "Interesting, I hadn't thought of that!"

The irony is that while they advertise Portland as a great planning city, those very plans are causing chaos, instability, alarming reduction of quality of life here, and for many an exodus and making arrangements to have to do so as things get more unwieldy.
Using the laurels of past good planners to hold our city up as an example of the "city of good planning" while behind the curtain destroying the good codes we had and eroding our once fine neighborhoods. . . now seems to have morphed into selling the ever so "green" city. There again destroying real green as the PWB recently did the insidious clear cut up at Kelly Butte.

The increased water rates alone will make any businesses think twice about coming in here, Siltronic took jobs out of our area and an executive was at a council hearing pleading with them to stop the spending on unnecessary projects. The entire chambers were filled that day with businesses and citizens telling the council to stop the debt, etc. I will state again so people can be very clear who facilitated one of the most critical votes ever that day on the dismantling path of our current sustainable water system, that was Nick Fish who gave the third vote needed for that $80 million.

So now we are faced with the very one who was instrumental in promoting these "smart growth" plans and he is in our Mayoral seat, Charlie Hales. If he has matured since the time his policies/codes created such change in our city, who better to put those good codes back than the one who facilitated changing them? Throughout our city in areas it will be too late, but the "bleeding" of our livability needs to stop.
Why oh why did it ever come to this?

"When people demand central planning, they should not be surprised when they get it." by ltjd

"Why oh why did it ever come to this?
6C." Asked and answered by clinamen

"I just don't understand why there are not more mobs with torches and pitchforks." by godfry

Maybe, godfry, the answer is because they are getting exactly what they want (and deserve).

The rubes rule Portland, and by extension, Oregon.

...meanwhile, some developer is planning 140 cr-apartments on NE 26th between Burnside and Couch adjacent to the Da Vinci school with like only 40 parking spaces.

So now, all of parking spots around Da Vinci are going to be soaked up by "car-less" hipsters?

The Kerns neighborhood association needs to look into this one too, but the developer probably bought that site knowing there was no design review requirement (and little chance of scrutiny). That's how these guys work - by CS-zoned sites that don't require design review, build crap, repeat.

"I just don't understand why there are not more mobs with torches and pitchforks." by godfry

The rebellion has begun:

Lake Oswego
Clark county
Clark County

Hopefully sweeping out the vermin from Portland's city hall is next. Probably all it will take is some credible candidates instead of liars, nuts & used street car salesmen.


An irony for the sustainability crowd to chew on is that it was probably the density development that caused the need for the big pipe. When you convert single family homes with yards to apartment bunkers and asphalt the whole town becomes an impermeable surface and there's no soil filtering of stormwater.

I've often wondered if you could challenge the urban growth boundary on environmental grounds. That'd be interesting.

Another good sign - it appears that the Clark county commission just passed an anti CRC measure that includes the following:


The Clark County Commission hereby directs the County Administrator to notify all of those concerned with the CRC, including OOOT, WOOT, TriMet, RTC, C-Tran, Metro, the City of Portland, the City of Vancouver, the Washington and Oregon Governors' offices, both State Legislatures, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and Congressional delegates that:

The Clark County Commission strongly objects to the efforts to commit any funding to the Columbia River Crossing Light Rail Tolling project as currently planned; And

That Clark County urges all other Oregon and Washington cities and counties to stand up and be counted on this very important matter.

INTRODUCED AND ADOPTED this 12th day of February, 2013.
David Madore, Clark County Commissioner Tom Mielke, Clark County Commissioner

from: http://www.co.clark.wa.us/bocc/calendar/documents/CRCResolution.pdf


Since Dave mentioned the UGB, lets be perfectly clear:

1. The UGB raises the cost of housing. By about double, maybe triple compared to areas without UGB or similar.

2. The higher cost of land makes high density cheaper than low density, so we get apartment bunkers destroying our neighborhoods.

3. High density causes traffic congestion, increases costs and pollution.

4. BTW, the housing bubble would not have been possible if there were no restrictions on housing supply. The UGB and other land use restrictions restricted the supply and made the bubble possible. In other words, crackpot land use laws like in Oregon and California, almost brought down the world economic system, (enabled by deeply flawed lending practices.)

That local politicians cannot (or will not) see this is further indication that we need to "sweep out the barn" of local government.


The Big Lie. Repeat it often. "We're better."
Jack will recall that, despite some really rotted-out cities, New Jersey is pretty decent. Dare I say, better than GreenOregon? Mercer county has urban sprawl -- hamlets, villages, towns each surrounded by green wilderness. And farms. And wilderness. Roads and rails connect them. Kids have neighborhood "woods" to play in. Metro's urban infill has made an urban ghetto of our region.
And they're still at it with no signs of slowing down.

These new bunkers denote the destruction of sustainable Portland neighborhoods. They are the tenement slums of the future being built for the children and young adults of today that have had everything handed to them as if it was a free lunch. Their future as greenie weenie mouthpieces is one of part time minimal wage employment with the expectation that other taxpayers will continue to subsidize there freeloading lifestyles - including for housing and transportation. When these cr-tennement bunkers start to fall apart, expect the government to take them over as subsidized low income housing for these same free lunch slackers who will then be on the approach to seniorhood with nothing in the bank

I had a friend characterize that within the UGB, these negative changes are OK by some as they consider inside the UGB a sacrifice zone for the UGB.

It does seem to be the case by certain diehards on the smart growth and UGB plan.

Various examples:

When parks were in trouble under Katz/Hales years ago, there seemed to be no objection to this from the "UGB devotees" such as when Johnswood Park was sold for housing or firs were chopped out of our parks, and other cases too many to list here.

When South Waterfront development came in and there was a step up building code in place from the waterfront in height, in other words a height restriction, the codes were not adhered to and huge heights were allowed. I believe this was also a designated greenway. Again, no objection that I know of from the "UGB devotees."

When huge groves of trees, firs and cedars were destroyed for the extreme infill density in our city, or chopped to make room for light rail, again no objections from the "UGB devotees."

I am sure there are other examples, my point being that with all of the above and now more neighborhood livability being degraded, and maybe the word ruined is more like it, these "UGB devotees" seem silent, is this all because they consider Portland the sacrifice zone and necessary to fulfill the UGB goals?

In my opinion, this mantra has turned into developing a cult, stay on that UGB path we must, even if not so livable anymore where we all live. This destruction in our community has been allowed/promoted to save from sprawl??
I have stated this before:
Extreme sprawl - is a negative horizontal.
Extreme infill - is a negative vertical.
This community is long past needing to open up a conversation to other options!

Re. Clinamen's comment on water rates: Just came home this evening to find a notice in our door from the property management company announcing that our water fee was going up, beginning next month. This is the first apartment rental I've lived in that has started going fee crazy (because they can and because it works as well as a rent increase on those who have leases).

How on earth can we be living at the confluence of two major rivers at the base of a glacial mountain with a treasure like the Bull Run and still pay more than many places without those amenities? Sure, we've got to invest in major infrastructure enhancement of our old and ailing sewer system, but that still doesn't account for the outrageously high water rates.

Oh, and our fees are based on the size of the apartment, not on how many people live there or use water. And they had the nerve to suggest that we try to conserve water. I can tell you that the response so far has been to consider using more since we now have to pay a premium for it under ridiculous standards.

Dave Lister,
Good point about the big pipe.
How much do you think this push for growth has cost the people who have lived here?

Has it really been for the millions supposedly coming in or for the millions "some" have made on this growth business at the expense of the community financially and in terms of livability?

Say goodbye to Beaumont
Jack, Your column got to me.
Portland Native, Newleaf, Mr. Grumpy, Snards, ltjd, Anthony, Texas Triffid Ranch,
Will, Godfry, Margaret Davis, jms, Harry, PD, jim karlock, Dave Lister, Old Zeb,
TR, and NW Portlander,
I sit here with emotion this evening reading the comments by caring citizens.
The burden is great when citizens have to shoulder these problems that come right into our very homes and thus hearts. . I am thinking each name up there must represent hundreds more in our city.

Jack----Ironically, the developers now trashing this neighborhood
JK------Actually, according to Metro, they are not trashing the neighborhood, since Fremont is not part of the neighborhood, it is a Main Street (or something).

Here is how Rex Burkholder described it:
“ By definition, corridors and main streets, as well as town centers, industrial lands and regional centers, are not inner or outer neighborhoods.”

See: http://www.stopmetro.com/Burkholder1.htm


Rex Burkholder also said many years ago that this type of density housing will not only be for low income, but for your children and grandchildren!
I guess this is the plan then.
Planner's dreams, but people's nightmares!

In my opinion, we have a cult of redoing not only our city but our behavioral changes as well. I don't know what is happening in our schools, I can only suspect that indoctrination in the education system is to accept living in "the plan."

BPS is all about social engineering. Have you considered how childless and white the
pro-density anti-car types are? They think that "god is on their side" and that they have the right to force me out of my car and
to change my neighborhood from town to city.

The bike blogs have interminable discussions about how bad cars are and how morally superior bike commuters are.

Ironically, the two loudest activists are unemployed. They pay little in taxes, but think that they, as morally superior bike-only vote, have the right to direct tax money to their pet projects.

I am in the strange position of loving bikes, but getting sick of the biking community.

So many in local government are responsible for the destruction. Here is only a brief partial list:

In my view, we also need to hold accountable those who have supported these people and the agenda. That would include various organizations.

For example, I have wondered about the Coalition for a Livable Future and what their position has been regarding the livable future in our city. I also would question the various neighborhood associations as it seems to me that they would be protective of their neighborhoods. I believe some of them are, but how many are challenging the metro/city agenda?

Some people told me that when changes came into their area, that the city assured them that the neighborhoods would remain and that the density would only be on the main corridors, etc. This might have sounded fine in words and illustrations to "sell" the public, but now we see the reality. One cannot put this kind of density on a main avenue without impact to the surrounding areas. In those years I am sure that the buildings without parking were not even in the picture. . . . yet!!
Unfortunately, people can be talked into giving in and then are taken advantage of as the planners push full board! They have gone too far.

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