In response to the story “Rose City Park advises conditional approval for ‘TacoTime’ project,” published in the March 2017 Star News, we received the following letter from John Nikkel, who is opposed to the six-story, 88-unit apartment building. Reporting on community sentiment can be a tricky business, but it remains a vital element of our mission at the Star News. Thank you, John, for your observations regarding the proposal, which has faced significant opposition from our neighbors. – Dana Busch, managing editor
To the editor: Here are some things to consider: This will be the only six-story building in the area – on Sandy, Fremont, Halsey, Glisan or Burnside. The building will have 88 apartments on what are three residential lots. This will be the most dense development of its kind in the area. All apartments will be smaller than standard size, but will have market rate rents. This project has not been designed to promote long term residency.
There will be first floor retail on Sandy Boulevard. There are supposedly 19 parking spaces – five for compact cars, three for car share, one for handicap van, eight spaces labeled tandem, or stacked parking where two cars park in front of two other cars. According to the developer, people living in these apartments don’t own cars. But according to a city study, more than 70 percent of people living in this type of development have cars. And what about the retail shop owners, employees, customers, and business servicers?
There is no parking provided for the retail shops. Is that reasonable? How will all of this additional parking impact the neighborhood? Currently, the employees at the tire shop park on the streets here, as do postal employees, and customers and employees from the Laurelwood, Cabezon, the pizza shop, the hair shop, as did Gustavs and the Rhinelander. I’m told there will be no parking on 51st Ave. Emergency vehicles already have a difficult time navigating the narrow street when responding to emergencies.
The developer will not be the owner/manager of the apartment complex. He cares not a lick about the neighborhood. The architect began his presentation of the project by saying that they would be looking at materials and colors to use on the building exterior to soften the visual impact of the building. Really! The only soft six-story building in the area. The design of this building has nothing to do with the character of this historic neighborhood. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall glass exterior. Maybe nice to have for a view of the ocean, or the mountains, but to look at traffic on Sandy Boulevard, or at the neighbors on 51st Ave. It is quick, easy and cheap to build the building that has been proposed.
There are many long-term residents in the neighborhood. They raised their families here, they care about the neighborhood. There are also many new younger people who have purchased older homes and have fixed them up. They care about the neighborhood. Your bright, sunny article on this proposed development in no way reflects the feeling of the people in this neighborhood. Shouldn’t the Star be reporting on the neighborhood’s reaction to this project?
John Nikkel, Rose City Park neighbor
The Star welcomes letters to the editor. Letters may be edited for clarity and length. Mail to 2000 N.E. 42nd Ave., PMB 142, Portland, OR 97213 or email to ofni.1505943888swen-1505943888rats@1505943888lairo1505943888tide1505943888.