Concordia NA’s proposal re: home demolitions.

This also strikes us (like yesterday’s NPLUG statement) as a call for action from nearby neighbors re: development that holds strong notions about how development should proceed in our part of town, this time with an eye towards affordability:

 

Letter from the Concordia Neighborhood Association Board of Directors

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

 

To Whom It May Concern,

The recent wave of home demolitions in the City of Portland has left many residents scratching their heads and looking for solutions. One concern often expressed is that many of the demolitions are simply to replace a smaller, older, more affordable home with a new, larger, more expensive home. For adjacent neighbors, it is difficult to understand what benefit is being received by anybody but the developer: no additional housing units are being created, so pressure on the Urban Growth Boundary is not reduced. The price of the unit in question is actually sharply increased, so the shortage of affordable housing units is actually made worse. In short, it’s hard to see how this trend actually helps the city or the region achieve any of our broader planning goals, aside from raising revenue.

 

Based on a series of recent discussions, and acknowledging that the wave of home demolitions will not be stopped, it is the position of the Concordia Neighborhood Association’s Board that the following solution should be implemented as a part of the Comprehensive Plan update process to ensure that at least some of the demolitions will be followed by projects that do actually contribute towards meeting some of our broader community planning goals:

 

Within walking distance of Frequent Service transit routes (however the City chooses to define this — 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 or 1-mile crow-fly or network buffer of frequent service transit routes or stops), there should be a new overlay zone created that allows for a residential property containing up to 5 separate residential housing units in a structure that otherwise conforms to the building envelope and setback provisions of its zoning designation (i.e. in an R5 zone, one main dwelling structure per each 5,000 sq ft lot, with required front, side and rear setbacks). The intended purpose of this overlay would be to allow for new residential structures to be constructed containing a number of “flats,” i.e. 2-4 story residential structures that look like houses where each floor is a separate housing unit (or a variation where each floor has two units, one on the right and one on the left). This type of structure is the workhorse backbone residential product of places like San Francisco’s Mission District, certain areas of Boston, London, and other successful world cities; indeed, Portland has examples of this type of structure in inner SE and the NW Alphabet District that were built in the late 19th and early 20th century.

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NPLUG’s vision statement for development and regulation in the future.

The North Portland Land Use Group  (NPLUG) recently adopted the statement below as official policy, to submit to the Bureau of Planning & Sustainability. It’s worth taking a look at, as each neighborhood including King works to understanding how to manage growth, planning, and construction.

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Introduction

North Portland is a vibrant, diverse community of single and multi-family homes, commercial centers, and industrial preserves situated at the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette rivers. Our eleven neighborhoods face increasing growth and density in the coming years. The City of Portland Comprehensive Plan identifies inner neighborhood areas such as North Portland as ideal for increased density. The plan recognizes, however, that increased density carries with it the challenge of maintaining a healthy, connected city where residents have access to clean air, accessible green space, and vibrant employment centers.

 

In order to meet the coming growth in our community without compromising the health and well being of our residents, North Portland’s neighborhood representatives recommend a health overlay zone. This zone applies specific land use, design, and monitoring requirements on new development in North Portland to mitigate negative health and safety impacts. The health overlay zone supports a vision along with goals and strategies outlined below that together preserve and enhance our way of life while accommodating new development in our community.

 

Our community draws inspiration for our recommendations from two key sources. Portland’s comprehensive plan update, Policy 4.28.d, encourages design and land use patterns that mitigate negative air quality and noise impacts in Portland neighborhoods, especially near high vehicle traffic areas, and other sources of air pollution. Similarly, Portland’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) goals 1-4 aim to reduce the environmental impacts of new development through more sustainable land use and design principles.

 

Vision

A North Portland community that preserves and enhances the health and well being of its residents while accommodating growth and density needs.

 

Goals

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Tips for Staying Cozy this Winter.

Tips for Staying Cozy this Winter

From Clean Energy Works

After a hot summer, temperatures are finally dropping—and winter is just around the corner. Grab a coffee or a hot apple cider, put on your favorite flannel, and cuddle up to your sweetie because we’ve got you covered when it comes to the best tips for keeping toasty indoors.

Take advantage of winter sun. Yes, there is sun, even in Oregon winter! When it’s shining, be sure to open south-facing window curtains, drapes, and blinds during the day, so the sunlight can naturally heat your home. Close window coverings at night to keep the heat in.

Cover drafty windows. Tape a do-it-yourself, clear, plastic film to the inside of your window frames. Make sure the plastic is sealed tightly to the frame. Installing window treatments, such as blinds, drapes, or shades, can also help reduce heat loss.

Adjust the temperature. Set the thermostat 10 to 15 degrees cooler when you’re not home to use less energy and lower utility bills. Lowering the temperature slightly at night and adding an extra blanket to the bed keeps the whole family extra cozy.

Give your home a free check up from Clean Energy Works. Your home does a lot for you—everyone needs a check up every once in a while. We’ll give you a complete look at all the ways you can improve your home: becoming more efficient, creating comfort, providing better air quality, and even being safe during an earthquake. Take an online eValuation, and use HomeScope to see what your neighbors are doing for their homes—with all kinds of information on rebates and financing available when you’re ready for a home upgrade. It’s all available at: www.cleanenergyworksoregon.org