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Monday, January 30, 2012

Homer's not through with Lake O. yet

Opponents of public spending on a streetcar and other handouts to the Portland developers seeking to slap up some housing bunkers on the east side of Lake Oswego scored a big victory when they tipped the current City Council away from the proposed streetcar line. But some of the opponents are convinced that the development, known as Foothills, isn't dead, despite the fact that the insane rail plan has been "suspended." One writes: "Williams Dame and White are still working on changes to City of LO codes for their project in Foothills even though the streetcar project is stalled."

The developers have said repeatedly that without a streetcar, there will be no apartments. (They have also suggested that the City of Portland sewage treatment plant down there would have to be moved or rebuilt.) And so the fact that they're still hanging around is a good indication that they're not ready to bury the streetcar just yet.

The Lake O. rebels are also taking note of this story in last week's Trib -- about how the Sellwood Bridge is going to be rebuilt with a streetcar in mind. If the sheep of Portland can be led into running the streetcar down as far south as the bridge -- and from past history, it seems clear that the developers will run streetcars in Portland wherever they darn well please -- it would be easier, some think, to extend it down into Lake O.

Besides, the plug that's been pulled down south could easily be plugged back in again. Although the mayor and a big streetcar pusher are leaving the council, they could be replaced with more developer cheerleaders. For example, Greg Macpherson, who's pondering a run for the mayor's office, testified on behalf of the streetcar when the push was on to ram it home despite majority sentiment against it.

That's part of living in the Portland area -- bad ideas don't die, they just take a nap and come back refreshed. Ask the taxpayers who don't want to pay for the convention center hotel, or the water users who don't want to pay for unnecessary, counterproductive water treatment and underground storage. You don't just have to give a year or two of your life to opposing projects like these. The people who will profit from them keep showing up at city hall year after year, seemingly for the rest of your days. It's exhausting.

Comments (14)

You don't just have to give a year or two of your life to opposing projects like these.

So your lives end up being run by people who don't have a life and do have the time to join every committee, serve on every advisory board and attend every meeting. It's a wicked process.

If you can't beat 'em, cheat 'em. Put a mockingbird on it! Go by cheatcar!

Despite what we'd like to believe, local government is the big real estate developer now, and that's not going to change until there's no one left who can afford to keep feeding it. And given how aggressively the place is marketed as The Promised Land of One Thing or Another, that's not likely to happen soon.

So the developers have suggested that the City of Portland
sewage treatment plant down there would have to be moved or rebuilt?
Why should we pay higher rates yet for something so the developers can build more?

Homer's not through with Lake O. yet

I will add that it doesn't look like Homer's through with Portland either yet.
...if suggesting that WE pay for this treatment plant mentioned.

Greg Macpherson may actually be a strong proponent of light rail and streetcars.

Three months ago he gave $250 to the campaign for the Clackamas Commissioners phony competing measure on urban renewal (3-388).


Mojo "If you can't beat 'em, cheat 'em. Put a mockingbird on it! Go by cheatcar!" you are in rare form today.... this one is a winner.

Remember folks, when all this crap goes down that we kept getting told we don't have money for schools or potholes.

Vote NO on every/any bond measure until they get their minds in the right place.

How do those of us on the east bank of the Willamette withdraw from the city of Portland and form (resurrect) the city of East Portland ?

Several gems in this thread, actually. I think this one is superior:

"bad ideas don't die, they just take a nap and come back refreshed."

Well observed.

PanchoPDX -- yes, there is no doubt about Greg MacPherson and rail projects. He also testified at the public hearing last April in favor of the Lake Oswego to Portland streetcar.

There are too many give-sways that nothing has changed regarding WDW plans for LO.
1. After Dike's outburst last year, only Christie White comes to LO council and public meetings representing the firm's partners. She is/was a lawyer and knows a thing or two about what to say and what to leave out. For her, it's all about what she doesn't say. Christie has never said they will not build without a streetcar -- though the threat was implied, only that the project would look "very different". The assumption being that different would be bad, but they never came up with an alternative to show anyone.
2. The Foothills Development Plan was approved prior to the streetcar plan which was waiting for an advisory vote of the citizens. Now that 2 councilors have pulled support for the streetcar, the vote is off. This was the desired outcome since a city survey determined the vote would not go their way. The streetcar and development folks are loathe to leave ANY decision in the hands of the public.
3. After approving the Foothills Plan, WDW was told to re-write any city codes that would need to be changed to accommodate their project, thus handing the keys to the chicken coop to the fox. That process is going on as I type, and WDW's most recent communication with LO is that they are working on an alternate plan that does not include a streetcar. We'll see about that. 8-story buildings maybe, just to get the project to "pencil out"? That was probably their plan all along because construction costs are very high even with a streetcar as an amenity. The streetcar can help with occupancy, not much with price. With their self-written codes, height will not be an issue, but the anti-streetcar people will be blamed for the horrible buildings, even if they would have happened anyway.
4. The streetcar is not dead. At any time in the future a city council can approve it, and this can be as soon as next Jan. depending on the election in the fall. It will be a tough election fight, but WDW and all the hangers on do not care what is happening to this formerly peaceful, livable community. Once Judie opened the door, the rats rushed in.

Expect more attempts at a streetcar to LO. Expect a SoWhat development in Foothills. Substations will be moved, land in the floodplain will be fiddled with, and the waste water treatment plant will be either moved or "enhanced". Unless the citizens of LO mount a petition drive to change the city charter to require votes on URDs and such, and get control of our city codes again. At least that's my opinion. We still have time to shut this down.

We still have time to shut this down.

I do hope the citizens of LO succeed in doing so.
Keep an eye on those code "improvements!"
Code Language Improvements were documents done in Portland under Katz/Hales, plus rezoning and whatever else they used to ruin neighborhoods. Title 34 in my opinion stood in the way of density development, so that too had to be changed. Title 34 was all about land division and in the Purpose statement, the reason it existed was to prevent overcrowding of the land.

I understand LO has a good tree policy. Are they planning to change that too? After all huge trees do stand in the way of development...and new urban planners like or prefer the street trees.

What is the policy of Friends of Trees to advocate saving huge trees?

Charlie Hales while Parks Commissioner had 75 red X's painted on firs and cedars ready to be chopped down in Pier Park at St. Johns. Fortunately his plan was stopped.
Hales is on the Board of Friends of Trees.
It begs the question, how he can be considered a Friend of Trees?

Beside Greg Macpherson's strong support for the LO Streetcar, in his past state legislator campaigns and legislative history and his run for State Attorney, he advocated for upzoning, increased density in the Johns Landing area.

His positions seemed to run counter to his father's legacy on the State's Greenway regulations that prescribed less density/heights along the Willamette River. Greg advocated for the SoWhat heights and density.

Screw the river and our existing neighborhoods. Screw Johns Landing and Lake Oswego.

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