Letters to the Editor May 2016

Editors note: Our neighbor has raised awareness of the most recent demolition/rebuild in our neighborhood. The following letter to Commissioner Dan Saltzman states her case and her concerns. 

No Rights in Portland

Written to Dan Saltzman’s office April 11, 2016

“33.825.055  Popular Approval Criteria – A design review application will be approved if the review body finds the applicant to have shown that the proposal complies with the design guidelines for the area”.

The Montavilla neighborhood agrees that 12 condos on a street that contains single family homes and eight 100 year old homes, does not comply with the street design.

The proposed condos are to be three stories high – there is no building on the street that high. The alley is no more than six feet across and any traffic trying to leave or arrive would cause major chaos for those already using the alley and for the extra cars that will be parked behind the condos.  Please deny this design.

My husband and I are semi-retired and live next door to 7707 SE Alder, the property in question.  When we met with Montavilla Neighborhood Association (MNA) and Vic Remmers of Everett Homes last week, it became clear that the City Council and codes are on the developer’s side and that we have no rights.

The R1 Zoning which allows these condos to be built, was never mentioned when we bought our house.  Don’t we have the right to know?

The “desired character” and promise by City Council to “preserve the character of the neighborhood and quality of life” is a lie if the 12 condos are built

The house was on the Historic Registry Inventory list which means nothing because the developer just took it off (he can).

Some trees by law were to be left on the property but the developer paid into the tree fund and the all the trees including two large cedars are going (he can do that).  Four trees on my property, against the common fence, have roots that will be destroyed (he can do that too).

The house has great bones and needs some remodeling but the developer says that’s not so (he has people that will swear to it).

I  have talked to every official I could reach – Dan Saltzman, BDS, Permitting, Amanda Fritz’s office, the Mayor’s office, and asked for help – only to be met with “There is nothing you can do about it.”  In other words you have no rights.

I have a question for City Council: is this what you intended for me and my neighborhood and so many other in Portland? If so, I think the citizens of this city would agree it is an apparent and total disregard for neighborhood impact.

On a bright note,  the property is currently being held hostage for $700,000. For more info, see the SAVE 7707 SE ALDER Facebook page.

I feel like David and Goliath, except someone took my slingshot away from me.


Barbara M. Kite

Dear Editor:

I am of the belief that while the new Neighborhood Greenway diversions (aka “Phase I Test”) may pencil out as a “green improvement”,  in reality it is a total waste of labor and material money.

In addition, creating these diversions at SE 17th and 29th streets is only fueling the mess on Division St. that our city ignored when inviting more housing and business with little planning.

Clinton has been a bike path for the 20 plus years I’ve lived here and well-used. These diversions are not suddenly going to encourage more bike commuters; either you commute by bike or you don’t.

This is an abject waste of money from our city. Try giving some sidewalks to lower income neighborhoods east of 82nd instead.

Chris Funk


Letters to the Editor May 2016

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