By Midge Pierce
Nervous jitters continue to spread through the Richmond community over the fate of two remaining large Doug Firs at the corner of SE 41st and Clinton St. The site was the scene of protests when Vic Remmers of Everett Homes demolished the existing home and removed grand trees.
“Those (remaining) trees would be toilet paper if we hadn’t stood up,” says activist Albert Kaufman. “Thanks to that effort we have some amazing trees still standing for the rest of our lives.”
With the lot, listed now as 4106 SE Clinton, under review for further landuse division, neighbors worry that the remaining trees might still be at risk. A landuse consultant has issued assurances to the contrary.
Sarah Radelet of Strata Land Use Planning says the developer intends to preserve both, even though a tree code option requires saving only 50% of trees over 20 inches in diameter.
“Before people get too upset, they should know we’re only showing one of the preserved trees for purposes of the land division. Call it a gentleman’s agreement but it would be very challenging to cut one and leave the other unharmed.”
Onsite tree protection currently encompasses both trees. The tree listed for preservation is 38 inches in diameter. The other is 36 inches in diameter. Theoretically, the smaller of the two is at risk.
On the original 10,000 square foot lot, one house has been built on the eastern portion. Another house is under construction on the 5800 square foot western portion under review for further division into two 2900 square foot lots. The expectation is that a third house, and possibly an ADU, would be built on the split lot.
The property owner is currently listed as developer Vlad Rudnitsky under the name 41st and Clinton LLC.
Radelet says she advises clients to include minimum requirements in their applications. “It’s tricky. People don’t want to see development in their neighborhoods, but they don’t want to lose farmland either.”
A city landuse planner confirms citizens have an opportunity to weigh in on the landuse review. Objections should address why the land division request does not meet existing criteria. Comments must be received by the Bureau of Development Services by July 18.
For information about trees that may be at risk in your neighborhood: see tinyurl.com/oldtreespdx