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.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Activists activate on the streets, online, and in City Hall

Born online, now on the street: Read on for action
by concerned Portlanders.
Neighbors are learning the ropes of the new demolition-delay rules that took effect, and succeeding in attempts to save affordable well-built housing. Appeals won by Eastmoreland, Brentwood-Darlington, and most recently Beaumont-Wilshire show that despite a cumbersome, ill-understood process Portlanders will go to bat for their neighborhoods. With the demolition delay as the only tool we have to counter rampant trash-and-build, neighbors don't seem to be afraid to use it.

Despite the 60-day delay, we likely still will lose homes, and that's why United Neighborhoods for Reform continues to monitor the formation and scope of the Residential Infill Project, which promises to establish new-construction guidelines related to footprint, setbacks, and so on. In particular, those working in the architecture, design, and construction industries who are sympathetic to renovation, reuse, preservation, and additions and ADU modifications of old-growth construction should apply to serve on the Stakeholder Advisory Committee (same link as above).

Activists rally against demolitions on July 10 in Southeast Portland.
Photo by Larry Clark.
While we keep fighting for hazmat control during demolitions, we're planning a safety education campaign for affected neighbors and tracking how the city will enforce the new state law requiring an asbestos survey before demolition. We're also keeping tabs on the Bureau of Development Services transition to oversight by Commissioner Dan Saltzman.

After all the consciousness raising, and as the Great House Harvest of 2013-2015 marches on, more Portlanders are joining in. Stop Demolishing Portland activists plan regular protests following last week's successful action at Southeast 50th and Division.

Other activists are tackling one of the biggest problems of all—and an ongoing incentive to demolition—at fixportlandzoning.com. One battle cry: "Truth in zoning."