Your King Neighborhood Association, July 27

Hello and welcome to YOUR King Neighborhood Association!

Being elected chair of KNA has given me access to information not readily accessible to most King neighbors and residents – and I see one of my primary responsibilities is to share this information with you. That’s why I post Land Use Notices on the King website as soon as I receive them – and it’s why I’m glad to have been appointed KNA’s representative to the Land Use Committee of the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods.

Some of the information I receive strikes me as being important enough to draw special attention to it.

For instance, the Bureau of Development Services recently approved a short-term rental facility on NE 14th Place. A five-bedroom home is essentially being converted into a small hotel, complete with a resident manager — right smack dab in the middle of a residential neighborhood.

Now this isn’t a case of a resident owner trying to help make ends meet renting out a room or two – this house is owned by a resident of another city, and the primary purpose of the structure will now exclude residents of our neighborhood. The out-of-town owner also wants to build an ADU to allow for additional short-term rental space.

This approval by BDS raises troubling questions. How much housing stock are we willing to sacrifice here in King so that tourists can displace residents? What is the purpose of increased density if – as in this case – it’s not going to be used to house Portland residents? And does the city undermine its claims to be addressing the housing crisis given that the city is permitting the loss of residential housing to profit out-of-town investors?

On a related matter…

At the most recent NECN Land Use Committee meeting, a representative of Multnomah County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services talked about a new 12-month, $100,000 program to facilitate using church parking lots for homeless people living in their cars. The target for the program is to get 3 to 5 churches to provide 3 parking spaces each for the homeless. That’s $100,000 for 9 to 15 parking spaces – or up to $11,000 per parking space.

I haven’t seen this new program covered in the local media, and I’d probably have never heard of it if I wasn’t at the NECN Land Use Committee meeting, so I figure you may not have heard of it, either.

Finally, it seems to me that in addition to passing along information provided to us from local government, King Neighborhood Association can facilitate dialogue about what those government entities are doing, and to provide a conduit for feedback from the neighborhood to those institutions. So come be a part of the dialogue and provide feedback. Our next membership meeting is Wednesday, August 8, at 4815 NE 7th Avenue. We’ll be deciding whether to endorse the 7th or 9th Avenue route for the Lloyd-to-Woodlawn Greenway Project – and we want your participation!

Margaret O’Hartigan, Chair, King Neighborhood Association