Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Is the American Dream dead?

The American Dream:
Myth vs Reality  

Lies the Central Planners tell us, even though they don't jive with the American Dream.

The Portland Tribune last week reported on three subjects that make mockery of Smart Growth planning.  It is generally unpopular and is being rejected as the reality of the policies hit home.

Myth:   Urbanists have been proclaiming for years that young and old alike want to live in the city, in neighborhoods that are more dense and buzzing with commercial activity 24-7.  This is a ruse to manipulate us into believing Smart Grown plans and increased urban density are desirable, advantageous, and inevitable.
Truth: The American Dream of owning your own home (single-family, detached on its own lot), is alive and well despitelie claims to the contrary.

Portland Tribune, August 23, 2016, By Jim Redden
Most millennials want to buy a home but can't afford one
Contrary to conventional wisdom, the vast majority of millennials in Portland and across the country want to eventually own their own home, according to a survey by Zumper, a startup that tracks issues facing renters. It found that 87.5 percent of millennials in Portland want to buy a home at some point in their lives, just slightly less than the 90 percent national average. 

Myth:  Every neighborhood in the city should be "walkable" with commercial services no more than 1/4 mi. away.  Every neighborhood will be affected to share the burden of increasing population.
Truth:  The American Dream of a single house on a single lot with a back yard includes a neighborhood of the same housing type - not multiplexes on every block. More appropriate locations for multi-family housing exist.
Myth:  Smaller units will yield more affordable housing.
Truth:  New housing costs more than existing housing; the price of housing in general is controlled by the increasing value of the land, high demand and low supply.  Smaller houses and apartments, new and old, will cost whatever the market will bear which may not be affordable at all.

Portland Tribune, August 23, 2016. By Jim Redden
Density fight goes public
Dozens of Southwest Portland neighborhood activists protested the City Council’s proposal to increase residential zoning in single-family neighborhoods during the annual Multnomah Days neighborhood festival Saturday.
In addition to accommodating newcomers, the council believes the smaller housing units will be more affordable than the large houses or tall apartment buildings that are being built throughout the city. 

Myth:  Preserving neighborhood and city character, and trees, is important.
Truth:  Density rules, and builders are kings. Residents are always on the defensive against the city, developers, planners and deep pockets.

Portland Tribune, August 23, 2016. By David Ashton
'Historical' plan divides Eastmorland
The Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association (ENA) Land Use Committee is proposing to have a large area of that neighborhood be designated an official “Historical District”.

“In a nutshell, the effort of creating a Historic District is to preserve trees, lawns, and historic buildings, and preserve the livability of the neighborhood,” McCullough said.

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