9 Comments on “What You Need to Know from the Zoning Meeting”

  1. Judith Russo

    THANK YOU! I know how much work and how many hours you all have put in to the zoning of Woodstock. I did fill out the questionnaire and am going to paste into this post a few of my written comments. Long-winded, but here goes: END the option of allowing developments without parking. REQUIRE developers/builders/owners to build homes that are in character with their respective neighborhoods. END the option of letting developers build higher, bigger, more units etc. in exchange for, say, property setbacks. We should be able to count on a certain size and character without being blindsided by deep-pocket developers. END the rule that allows a developer to tear down all but a wall so they can bypass neighborhood notifications. ENSURE ALL NEIGHBORS RECEIVE NOTICE OF ANY TEAR-DOWNS AND ‘NEAR-TEAR-DOWNS’. END big-money politics that allows for far-too-cozy private meetings and agreements between elected officials and developers Without extensive public input and REAL citizen power. STOP allowing developers to get away with ignoring laws & agreements with only a finger wag from the city. Make it costly to ignore laws & agreements: current options protect bad developers. ENSURE REAL COMPLIANCE, including and up to full tear – down of structures not built to zoning requirements and neighborhood agreements. SPEND resources in neighborhoods commensurate with the lack of resources, infrastructure, clout, and neglect.

    city officials love to be seen as transparent and process-heavy but in fact from my many years of observation it’s truly all lip service. Ultimately the guy with the most money wins. Every single time. Portland could be different: Portland could be a model for other cities in thrall with wealth. There’s still time, but barely. It IS possible to zone with neighborhood esthetics in mind. Only wealthy developers prevent it. There can be infill that is not ugly, does not take more than its fair share of public resources (parking, traffic, etc.), and meets our needs. Do Portland officials have the chutzpah to make it happen? Or will they remain puppets to the monied classes?

  2. KT

    The About Traffic and Parking Section has incorrect info. R2.5 doesn’t contain a no off street parking regulation. There is an exemption for any household use under 30 units of the site is within 500 feet from a transit street with 20 minute peak hour service. You should correct that section.

    1. Bill Walters

      Thanks KT — but dang, this is complex. I’ve made a minor change for the time being — but what about item C (5) on page 110-10 of this PDF and item C(2)(f) on page 611-3 of this PDF? Thanks for any light you can shed.

      1. KT

        C5 is for lots created before 1979 and less than 1600 square feet. C2f applies to new narrow lot land divisions but it’s based on the frequent transit exemption that I referred to previously

      2. Bill Walters

        OK, thanks. Given that public transit is on Holgate, Chavez and Woodstock, it looks like nearly every Woodstock location in question (in purple on the map at the bottom of the original post) might be within 500 feet — and it seems unlikely that very many locations would grow to 30 units. Is it then fair to say that, within Woodstock, there wouldn’t be many R2.5-zoned dwellings that would be required to have off-street parking?

  3. jeff

    Thank you for putting this together. Clearly, there are a lot of moving parts in this process. It’s particularly helpful to see how the authority and responsibilities of different government entities overlap.

    Change is scary. I miss Country Bill’s.

    But we can all see that Portland is growing. We need to make room for more people, and we need to do it in a way that doesn’t destroy the city and the neighborhoods we love. The neighborhoods that are drawing people here from across the country.

    Building more houses on available land through zoning changes seems a good way to do that.

    Moving more people into already built houses would be an even better way to do that.

    Currently, the powers that be, city and county, make it expensive and onerous to put a separate living space in your house. Turning your house into a duplex is even more difficult and more expensive.

    Developers get 10 year tax breaks–looking at you Burnside Bridgehead—for promising to provide “affordable housing” that often never materializes. Homeowners who try to put an ADU up face tax increases.

    Instead of throwing up obstacles, we should be encouraging people to build their own personal infill projects.

    There are a host of advantages to this.

    1) Less impact on the existing community than new construction, especially the construction of large apartment complexes.

    2) Money from renting the spaces created goes to homeowners. A good chunk of that money will be spent right here in the community, benefitting local business and local workers.

    3) Residents will be on board. Since rents earned will benefit local homeowners, concerns about “changes to the neighborhood” will give way to appreciation for the way rental income helps with paying mortgage expenses and rising utility costs.

    4) Much easier to move aging parents, or friends and family displaced by the fiery rent market, into your home in a way that allows everyone to live in peace. relative peace.

    The list goes on. Basically, I’m calling for crowd sourcing the Portland housing crisis. Time to move the sharing economy indoors.

    The best part. It’s pretty easy to do. Let’s stop rewarding big developers who build housing and stop punishing local residents who try to build housing.

    Instead, we should streamline the process for converting homes to duplexes and putting apartments in existing houses. There are ways to do this: decrease or waive city fees; make zoning changes; protect homeowners from dramatic tax increases; maybe even extend low interest loans to residents who add housing. I have no doubt that creative and willing minds at the city and county level can come up with even more ways to make this happen

    So what do you all think?

    1. David Rosenfeld

      I share these sentiments and ideas and I bet there are more like them. Thank you for posting them.

    2. Shaun

      I agree with you as long as the homes are owner occupied. I’m tired of out of state and out of country rich people buying up the homes here and turning them into overpriced rentals or Air BnB. There should be a moratorium on non-owner occupied purchases of single family residential until the inventory of houses catches up some.