What UNR does, and why

Portland grassroots group United Neighborhoods for Reform seeks to stem the demolition of viable, affordable housing and its replacement with expensive and inefficient large single-family homes. Our demolition/development resolution, developed through significant neighbor outreach, gathered endorsements from 43 neighborhood associations citywide. We also regularly take our message to City Hall, starting in December 2014, continuing in 2015 on Feb. 12, June 3 (UNR presenters start at 51:20), Oct. 14 (UNR at 1:07:35), and Nov. 25 (UNR at 1:05); in 2016 on Feb. 17, Nov. 9 and 16, and Dec. 7; and in 2017 on May 17.

Next UNR sighting: The Joint Subcommittee on Natural Resources gives the devastating House Bill 2007 a much-needed public hearing (with two days' notice!) at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 22, in Salem, 900 Court St. NE, Room H-174. Have you sent your emails yet?

"The time is always right to do what is right."
—Martin Luther King Jr.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Again, you are invited

Can a "green" city dedicated to thoughtful planning put a damper
on demolitions? Come see for yourself on Thursday, Feb. 12.
As United Neighborhoods for Reform prepares for another presentation at City Hall this week, we extend a second invitation to anyone concerned about the loss of affordable housing in Portland neighborhoods and the new construction taking its place.

The Details
What: United Neighborhoods for Reform responds to recommendations proposed by the Development Review Advisory Committee, or DRAC, and presents its ideas for a more responsible path forward
When: 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12
Where: Portland City Hall, 1221 S.W. Fourth, Council Chambers

This time around, we expect the mayor to announce the task force (item No. 2 of the UNR demolition/development resolution) that will provide guidelines for new construction as well as hazmat control during demolitions (item No. 3). This is encouraging news, but we need as many eyes and ears as possible on the proceedings to ensure the measures happen and to show the rest of City Council the overwhelming neighborhood support for them.

For those still wondering if UNR is some renegade group with far-fetched ideas, it's worth excerpting here UNR member Jim Heuer's testimony from Dec. 17, the first time UNR went to City Council, to present the demolition/development resolution. Heuer showed that the resolution's proposals dovetailed with policies of the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan, and in fact would actualize them. He reported:

"Policy 5.33 of the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan calls for 'preservation of small resourceefficient and affordable single family homes.' Similarly, Policy 4.13 calls for infill construction that is consistent with the 'general scale, character, and natural landscape features of neighborhoods. Consider building forms, scale, street frontage relationships, setbacks, open space patterns, and landscaping.' We agree!
 "Policy 3.79 on Inner Neighborhoods Infill says, 'Integrate new development into these districts’ historic development patterns.' Again, we agree.
"Other policies include promotion and retention of privacy and solar access at the time of infill construction. Once more, we agree."

If Comprehensive Plan policies translate into action,
homes like this Alameda bungalow could remain standing.
These city policies show support for UNR's effort all along, and perhaps the city will come to appreciate that the hard work of outreach, fine-tuning, and brainstorming has already been done by UNR. All we need now to make the policies a reality and put an end to the Irresponsible Era of trash-and-build is a green light from the five in charge.

We hope you'll join us Thursday.

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