I read with interest your article on Fluoridation. The National Academy of Sciences absolutely endorses fluoridation (www.cdc.gov/fluoridation/safety).
In addition there has never been a verifiable link between fluoride and cancer in humans as is well expressed by this statement by the American Cancer Society (www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/water-fluoridation-and-cancer-risk). I also feel it is important to point out that many insurances do not cover fluoride treatment in the Dentist’s office. For those individuals, payment must be out of pocket. Despite the above no one is saying that fluoride is a miracle mineral but I think that we need to keep a critical eye on what is being stated as true by supposed experts.
The Buckman Historic Association would like to respond to Mr. Harrison’s letter against the pending North Buckman Historic District nomination.
He is correct that a historic district creates a historic design review overlay for all properties in the district. Local preservation groups have been working with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability on reforming the historic design review process in Portland; initial reforms were recently approved by City Council and are effective May 1.
In addition to clearly exempting typical repair and maintenance projects from design review, the new code adds other exempt items such as accessibility ramps, non-street-facing windows and skylights, and accessory structures less than 200 SF. A new Type I process addresses small-scale changes (less than 150 SF), including things such as a new door or window, or a new porch roof. This new review process will take 14-21 days and is not appealable. Due to pressure from local preservation groups, city council approved a reduction in the new Type I fee from $475 to $250, making the minimum historic design review fee nearly a quarter of the $900 it was one year ago.
The primary motivation behind the historic district was, and always has been, to stop the tear-downs of historic properties by developers who are building high-density, studio and 1-bedroom apartment buildings which give nothing back to the neighborhood. If these buildings were well-designed and respectful of existing homes, properties and neighbors, provided neighborhood amenities and were family-friendly, there wouldn’t be an issue. Currently, developers are allowed to build whatever they want “by right”, and don’t have to get neighborhood feedback.
As we have seen with the development at 37th and Division, where the neighborhood invested significant financial resources, expertise and free time to take this development to the Land Use Board of Appeals and WIN, they still don’t get any say in what gets built. Now 37th and Division is going to get a building with even more residential units and no commercial space, which completely defeats the stated purpose of allowing such developments: creating dense, walkable neighborhoods.
A historic design review overlay is currently the only citizen-initiated process that levels the playing field between developers and neighborhoods. A historic district will maintain the qualities that we love about our neighborhood. Buckman’s irreplaceable character is why we chose to live here, stay here and put down roots. The historic district puts us – the neighborhood – in the driver’s seat. We can determine our neighborhood’s future, as well as preserve its past, rather than have the city and developers determine it for us.
The Buckman Historic Association