The Portland City Council was set in mid-February to finalize its review and rewrite of regulations governing developer applications to demolish residential structures. The neighborhood group calling itself United Neighborhoods for Reform (UNR) and the City’s Development Review Advisory Committee’s Demolition Subcommittee arrived at a consensus on most points presented to the Council in mid-February. UNR spokesman Al Ellis told The Hollywood Star News he was expecting, “after the three and one-half hour [February 12] Council session…almost certain unanimous approval.”
Ellis has shepherded neighborhood concerns into a resolution approved by more than half of the neighborhood associations responding over the past year. He admitted, “As with all compromises, the negotiated agreement between the city and UNR was not totally acceptable to both sides, but it was probably the only one that could have resulted in consensus.” He said shortening of an extended demolition delay period from the proposed 120 days to 60 days “was a hard pill to swallow,” but better than the 35-day delay in standing regulations.
Looking ahead, Ellis said Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Nick Fish appeared to be strong supporters of more extensive reforms, such as a task force to consider height limits for replacement homes, deconstruction mandates/incentives, authenticated on-site hazardous materials inspection (already mandatory in many other Oregon cities) and other reforms in the UNR Resolution. He said UNR hopes to work closely with Hales, Fish and others on the Council to formulate a new policy in coming weeks.
The United Neighborhoods for Reform group plans to work closely with Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Nick Fish to reform regulations governing developer applications to demolish residential structures. (Jane Perkins)