More fun on Interstate

49561811_9c28d26d23_m.jpgAnother potential controversy is brewing over on Interstate Ave. The Tribune reports on a new rezoning plan that will allow for taller buildings up to ten (!) stories, as well as allowing more commercial activity and high-density housing. You know, so the Max will look like it is actually effective in “easing congestion”. There is a concern that many residents of the area are unaware of these developments. There is a final meeting for public reaction on Thursday. I live in Northeast, but not close enough to that area to really be affected. But, I know I would be bummed if someone erected a ten story building next to my bungalow. How do Interstate residents feel about this plan?

25 Comments so far

  1. craig (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 3:21 pm

    You live in a city, deal with it. You want low density suburban style development, take your pick, we are surrounded by it. Interstate is a perfect corridor for high density development. A class in basic urban planning would help many density complaining Portland bloggers. Or try a Jane Jacobs book.

  2. Pete Best (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 3:27 pm

    That’s weird – I was taking a class in basic urban assholes, and the subject was you!

  3. brewcaster (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 3:36 pm

    Are they putting Haterade in the water now?

  4. David Parsons (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 3:46 pm

    I don’t see what the post is complaining about. If people don’t want to live in dense housing near a trolley line, then high-density zoning wouldn’t matter, and if people do want to live there, then relaxing the zoning gives people an opportunity to vote with their feet.

    I think that allowing 10 story buildings is a sign that the Portland city council is still firmly lodged in the hip pocket of the big developers (who are hoping that they can increase their fortunes with another taxpayer-subsidized redevelopment project,) but zoning for apartment blocks along major thoroughfares is a pretty standard Portland thing.

  5. derrick (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

    Boy, the comments sure seem to be feisty today.

  6. Sadie (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 3:47 pm

    Well, I have lived in this city for 50 plus years and all of those years close to the Interstate corridor. So I think I am entitled to complain a little. If I remember correctly there was not a lot of community support for the MAX in the first place. And now we have to have high density housing! I think anyone who rides the eastside MAX to Gresham on a daily basis will tell you how much that improves a neighborhood. (That was sarcasm by the way).

  7. McAngryPants (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 3:55 pm

    I don’t know why I feel unclean saying this…but…I completely agree with craig.

    Interstate is a perfect candidate for high-density development. Its proximity to both downtown and mass transit is perfect. I live in the area (Piedmont) and I for one welcome as much well thought out development as we can get.

  8. Sadie (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 4:25 pm

    I think the key phrase is "well thought out development". I live in Piedmont as well and the one major redevelopment project we had was a success because the neighborhood association held the city and the developer accountable every step of the way.

  9. dieselboi (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 4:34 pm

    I live 2 blocks from Interstate and have been tracking this process. I went to the first discussion groups back in November (I think) and plan on attending the next one on Thursday. The point isn’t that all of Interstate will be 10 story buildings. The point I believe is that what is currently there will be redeveloped to suit a changing demographic.

    I for one am supportive.

  10. McAngryPants (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 6:19 pm

    @ Sadie Rosemont Commons?
    btw, lookie who has a blog now:
    crap, looks like they might be recognizing ‘puters. When I moved to Piedmont a couple of years ago their www site said that Vera was still mayor!

  11. Mike (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 6:19 pm

    I live 3 blocks from the Portland Blvd Max stop and also support the change. That corridor is perfect for high density and if I’m worried about people looking into my yard I’ll plant a tree.

  12. flowb33 (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 8:43 pm

    I live near the Killingsworth Max station, and I think just about anything would be better than buildings like the Super Value Inn. Its literally falling apart, and lists many complaints and violations over recent years. Those motels made sense in a pre-I-5 N. Portland, but now they’re just vectors for all kinds of no good. They’re perfect candidates for redevelopment and a new vision, and the zoning changes will make that possible.

  13. Matt in Overlook (unregistered) on February 19th, 2008 @ 11:47 pm

    I am sure you’d see things differently if the city was allowing tall buildings to rise that would over shadow that rock you must live under. This type of re-zoning affects all who live in the city of Portland.

    I myself live very close to Interstate, in fact the block I am on is shared with Interstate meaning my house could be abutted next to a building that is 10 times higher then it. I don’t see that as a good thing.
    Yes, I understand that I live "in the city" and that one should expect tall buildings, lots of people and more traffic. Should I also be forced to accept though being trapped within my neighborhood by congestion, lower home values due to "shadowing", no street parking? I hope not. The re-zoning that is about to occur needs to be given more consideration and thought to that this is first a residential community and not just a "transit corridor".

  14. george (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 8:13 am


    Have you checked to see if your lot is going to be rezoned too? Have you checked the height restrictions for you area/block?

    The rezoning is more extensive then just allowing 10 story buildings on Interstate.

    If you live adjacent to Interstate, your property might also be rezoned. If you are a home owner, that might mean that your property value will rise significantly.

  15. Daaaaave (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 8:47 am


    Bunch of hypocritical "Progressive" NIMBYs.

  16. Pete Best (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 9:32 am

    Must be one of the developers.

  17. Daaaaave (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 10:38 am

    You got me there. Daaaaave is code for "Homer Williams".

    All your zones are belong to us. Move zig for great redevelopment justice.

  18. Craig (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 10:50 am

    Its about choice. Right now single house lots are numerous in PDX and they are not going away. To dedicate one street to high density allows all that retail that makes urban living worthwhile. Density allows a retail shop to develop around the pedestrian. Without density shops have to cater to people outside the area to survive, thus increasing auto traffic and wastes land on auto infrastructure. Its basic urban development. Again if density makes you uncomfortable then seek out the abundant low density sprawl that surrounds the city. Oh yeah you’ll be happy parking is free out there. People uncomfortable with cities shouldn’t be designing our cities.

  19. gawd (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 11:30 am

    Let’s see, you buy a house a block or two off a major arterial and you’re surprised when the area is redeveloped in the future? What you did was gamble that things would not change. Not a good bet.

  20. dieselboi (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 12:19 pm

    Hey, let’s not attack Matt here. The zoning isn’t just on N. Interstate, it is up the Interstate corridor. Chunks and I mean huge chunks of real estate between N. Interstate and I5 will be rezoned from single family homes to high density highrises up to 5 stories. These people are in neighborhoods and are two blocks from both I5 and Interstate. They are going to be affected by the change.

    If I were them, I would take my voice to the meetings.

    I for one may end up with a more valuable property Granted, I didn’t buy it to sell it to a developer and it would be tragic to see an 1890’s head to the scrap heap, but it would be better to sell than to be trapped between to condo towers and be the odd man out. That is my opinion and mine only.

  21. McAngryPants (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

    DieselBoi’s last comment reminded me of Bug Bunny’s "Homeless Hare"

    oh how I love the internets

  22. Daaaaave (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 1:15 pm

    I liked Interstate better back in the early 90’s when street ball games were punctuated with gunfire and no one drove down the street after dark. That’s why I love reading comments in the Trib so much. It reminds me why Lars Larson is on the radio and how anything that leads to affordable housing within city limits is obviously terrible.

    And how could you possibly plan to redevelop the corner of Interstate and Lombard. Why, that’s the location where a woman high on what I assume was a most righteous combination of crack and crystal meth wandered into the street, was hit by a car, got up, walked it off, and wandered further down the street to be hit by another car. This is the intersection where I saw a man beaten by another man with one of those metal stakes they use to get saplings to grow upright. That area is HISTORIC.

    Having a bunch of whiny people complaining about line-of-sight and property values because they bought at the beginning of the gentrification of the neighborhood, but…you know, don’t want that gentrification to go *too* far is a completely rational reason to put a stop to increasing the population density of an underdeveloped neighborhood in one of the only cities who is still seeing property values increase.

  23. McAngryPants (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 2:55 pm

    *me hugs DAAAAAAVE*

  24. Matt in Overlook (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 3:56 pm

    My property will be re-zoned. It will be considered R2 meaning I could tear down my home and build two individual homes each two stories or I could add on to my existing home. Keep in mind the my lot is a 50 by 100 feet (like most in my area). Two houses would not be feasible and currently my home is worth more without any rezoning. The only way this re-zoning would make sense is if the lot was vacant.

  25. Matt in Overlook (unregistered) on February 20th, 2008 @ 3:59 pm

    My property will be re-zoned. It will be considered R2 meaning I could tear down my home and build two individual homes each two stories or I could add on to my existing home. Keep in mind the my lot is a 50 by 100 feet (like most in my area). Two houses would not be feasible and currently my home is worth more without any rezoning. The only way this re-zoning would make sense is if the lot was vacant.

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