Thursday, April 27, 2017
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Check out this episode!
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Half a block East of the 5-way intersection of SE Ankeny, Sandy, and 11th, an empty and unused plot of land could become something unique.
The developer, Landon Crowell, has worked with YGH Architecture to design a unique 6 story structure with photovoltaic panels, triple pane passive house windows, and highly insulated walls and roof - the kind of forward-thinking structure Portland should be proud of. And yet, the plot of land still sits empty, despite the fact that discussions with the city started 16 months ago -- in January 2016.
The project went before the design commission five times between October 2016 and February 2017. During the hearings, Crowell agreed to reduce the size of the building by 8%, from 26 units to 18. At the third hearing on January 5, 2017, a staff report and recommendation to the Design Commission recommended that the project be approved. However the Design Commission felt it did not meet "subjective" criteria, despite meeting the standards required by the Portland Zoning Code.
The decision was appealed to the City Council, with a hearing scheduled for April 5th. The council delayed the hearing until April 12th, with no publicly stated reason given for the further delay of a badly needed housing project in a centrally located, transit-heavy neighborhood.
At the meeting on April 12, it became clear that nearby neighbors are the biggest roadblock. One neighbor, William Phillips, is quoted as saying the project is a "monstrosity." Priscilla Sturges, a resident who has lived in her house for over 40 years claims the project amounts to "elder abuse" because, in her opinion, the development will only serve "wealthy short-termers." In response to complaints from residents, Bob Zimmerman of YGH pointed out that the parcel is zoned EXd, and there is barely any residential housing in the neighborhood. After three hours of testimony on a 17-unit project, it was determined that a final decision will be delayed until May 11, 2017.
According to the Portland Tribune, Amanda Fritz was prepared to vote against the project, while Commissioners Fish and Eudaly were undecided (Commissioner Saltzman was absent). These are the same commissioners who have:
- been complaining that we are having a housing crisis;
- increased renter protections, and;
- declared a housing emergency because of underbuilding.
Developers have continuously pointed out that needless delays and extended timelines for the design review process adds significant expense, preventing delivery of units at the lowest cost possible (and hence the lowest rents possible). In this case, the developer has had to pay $160,000 in additional city fees -- $9,411 per unit -- through the end of March.
Project Development/Roadblock Timeline:
- The initial request for a pre-application conference for this project was in January of 2016.
- The first design review request was in June, but the project did not go before the Design Commission until October, 2016.
- The Design Commission reviewed the project five times between October 2016 and February 2017, when it was ultimately denied.
- The project was appealed to the City Council April 5th, and postponed to April 12th.
- Now, a final decision is scheduled for May 11th.
In the End -- More Delay May Mean More Units, Even Unhappier Neighbors
Ironically, Landon Crowell has the option of holding off until next year in order to apply to build a significantly larger structure in the exact same spot when new comprehensive plan takes effect and raises the parcel's height limit from 75 to 125 feet.
NextPortland - Ankeny Apartments Denied by Design Commission
Portland Tribune - Ankeny Apartments: Part 2 of 2 Redlined and Denied
Daily Journal of Commerce - Multifamily Project Hearing Rescheduled
Portland Tribune - Update: Council Kicks Ankeny Apartments Back to Developer, PDC
Daily Journal of Commerce - Ankeny Apartments Project Appeal Extended
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
In this episode: the release of Multifamily Northwest's apartment report for greater Portland; a surge in the number of homes for sale in Portland, and the Portland Tribune weights in on pending rent control legislation.
Monday, April 17, 2017
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Tuesday, April 11, 2017
In this episode: status of Oregon House Bill 2004-A allowing rent control, Portland's new committee oversight on affordable housing, and a new 220-unit apartment building slated for the South side of the Burnside Bridgehead.
The final meeting of the URM Building Policy Committee is Wednesday, April 19th, from 3-5 PM at CH2M Hill, 2020 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201.
- The requirements are intended to protect brick buildings from collapse in the event of an earthquake.
- The policy will go before the City Council for a vote this summer.
- Roughly 1,500 properties in Portland will face mandatory reinforcement over the next 10-25 years. You can see whether your building is on the list by clicking here.
- Seismic upgrades are expensive. Costs are estimated at $50+ per square foot. This plan may pass without any subsidies to help owners pay for these improvements.
Friday, April 7, 2017
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Tuesday, April 4, 2017
In the headlines this week: Oregon House Bill 2004-A allowing rent control and ending no-cause evictions moves out of committee; Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler plans a new city department to license and monitor landlords; news outlets reporting that some recent market data shows rents starting to flatten in Portland.