Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Upzoning Portland

I keep hearing our Mayor, City Councilors and planners say that they want to protect the low-density of the neighborhoods.  Or, they have avoided up-zoning neighborhoods.  I wonder if this is supposed to be an achievement, or is it a warning about what might come?

Some people wish Portland was less popular with the young people who flock here.  Upzoning ought to keep people away.  Especially the majority who see a single family home on their own lot as their preferred lifestyle.

To read the entire article, find it on
The Antiplanner: Dedicated to the sunset of government planning

Portland, Thy Name Is Density
The Antiplanner

Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is following the White House’s advice by proposing to increase the densities of nearly two-thirds of the city’s single-family neighborhoods. Under the proposal, duplexes, triplexes, and accessory dwelling units would be allowed in single-family areas. 
The plan also proposes to limit the size of a home to about half the square footage of the lot it is on, while at the same time allowing buildings to cover a larger area of the lot. That’s supposedly to prevent McMansions, but it also just happens to encourage people to build two separate homes on one lot (one of which would be called an “accessory” unit).
Portland’s previous mayor, Sam Adams, had proposed that only areas within a quarter-mile of light-rail and streetcar stops be densified, thus leaving most existing single-family neighborhoods alone. This new plan overturns that idea. Portland’s current mayor elect, Ted Wheeler, said during his campaign that he supported legalizing duplexes and garden apartments in single-family neighborhoods, which is even more radical than the proposed plan. I wonder if he supports them in his own neighborhood.
Nothing about this plan is going to make housing more affordable. In fact, it will increase the scarcity of single-family detached homes, the kind most homebuyers prefer. The fact that it is being imposed mainly on working-class and moderate-income neighborhoods just makes it that much less equitable.

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