Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Historic Landmarks Commissioner Argues against Development across the Street from Her Condo

Northwest Housing Alternatives has proposed a new affordable development serving seniors and low-income residents on NW Hoyt Street in the Historic Alphabet District, but the developer continues to face push-back from the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission. The development would preserve the historic Buck-Prager building, and include 149 units in a 5-story structure. Now the Oregonian reports that Commissioner Wendy Chung, who owns a condo across the street from the proposed development, has chosen not to recuse herself from discussions regarding the project. Her husband, Tony Schwartz, has even testified against the project while Chung was sitting as a commissioner. Despite the fact that Northwest Housing Alternatives has already reduced the height and number of units in the building on the advice of the HLC, Chung still believes that the 5-story building is incompatible with the neighborhood. Portland attorney Alan Kessler, who filed a complaint against Chung's involvement, claims that the HLC has demonstrated a pattern of NIMBY and protectionist policies that negatively impact development in the city. Read more.