Thursday, September 22, 2005

Please people, Oregon IS NOT a role model

Planners betting on light-rail boom
The light-rail line along Interstate 25 is spurring a development frenzy around the rail stations that will open next year, marking what could be a back-to-the-future change in the way the metro area grows.

Greenwood Village is creating a 45-acre downtown around the Arapahoe station, which it calls Village Center. The plan, which is now being finalized, calls for a high-rise district on both sides of I-25 that would allow residents to do without their vehicles.

Our state trasportation and growth management department is lauding this story as wonderful news. I'm guess that the folks in Denver didn't attend this conference:

Main subject:
What Conditions led to the Failure of the Round in Beaverton?

I feel sorry for the "planners" who look to Oregon's "livability" as an example. Scratch that, I don't feel sorry for planners at all. They get what they deserve. Unfortunately that means that the citizenry get screwed first.

And is anyone else tired of hearing about Portlands "famed livability?" The only people who talk like that are the liberal elites who are blind to the crime, agressive panhandling, trash, violence, and lack of families.

The problem is that the media has been allowed to define "livable" as "anything that makes car use difficult" and "high density housing, preferably a taxpayer subsidized project."

The rest of us realize that livable neighborhoods are ones where you don't need to lock up your car at night. Where neighborhood kids can throw a football in the street in front of their house or ride bikes back and forth. Houses that have a nice backyard where you can bar-b-que.

Where you can drive to the store without seeing a homeless person peeing on the sidewalk. Stores in a "livable" neighborhood don't need bars on the doors and windows and neither do the houses. Storefronts don't sit empty and become canvasses for graffiti.

Sherwood, my home, is livable. I would never subject my kids to life in Portland.


Ric said...

Check out this report from Cascade Policy Institute.

The location described is just blocks from my home. The area surounding it is being developed in a simularly poor way ( IMHO )

Besure to read the conclusion (page 7)

In December 2002 TriMet published a new edition of the Community Building Sourcebook. Although Transit-Oriented development is still heavily promoted, the Steele Park profile has been deleted.

Over on Jack Bog's Blog there is this post Be sure to read the comments for a laugh. I like the picture part best :-)

Daniel said...

The windmills on the roofs are a nice touch...

I will read the report when I get home from work.

I am Coyote said...

What is missing is the story about all the tax abatements that developers are given to develop around such sites.

No developer in his right mind would build in these kinds of schemes if they had to use their own money. Instead they are subisdized by "you" the single family homeowner so that they can densify your neighborhood.

One of the biggest prognostacators of such taxpayer giveaways is Washington County Commissioner Tom Brian.

Take a look at when those businesses and houses will actually start paying taxes into the general fund Daniel. I'll bet most of them won't start until 2015. Any bets?

Anonymous said...

I'm a member of the Milwaukie Masonic lodge, and a similar project is scheduled to go up a few feet from our building in the next few months in downtown Milwaukie.

I attended the council meeting where the city forced the developer to build a portion of the development as low-income rentals. The result is the same - 50-some units crammed into space only big enough for a dozen townhomes. And the parking? 1:1 for all the units (rentals+townhomes), which was justified by the commission in the same way - encouraging a pedestrian community (which alternately reads: punish the realists).

I'm not aware of any tax breaks, but the city sold the property to the devloper with this unreasonable manadate about the rentals. And they did it with our lodge's land, since the building pre-dates any real property records with the city, they chopped our property off at the sidewalks and claimed it for their own (then sold it).

The building of entirely pedestrian cities is one that's being done right under our noses, all around us. I'm not looking forward to stepping over a peeing bum to get to our lodge meetings. Thank you, city of Milwauike! This is why every time I move I get a little further away from Portland ...

I am Coyote said...

Anon in Milwaukie, I bet if you took a look, made a call you'd find tax breaks in there.

Portland did it at all of their "TOD's." read: Transit Oriented Developments.