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There are two things Oregonians hate--density and sprawl. I say this with tongue planted firmly in cheek, but I think you will get my meaning. Densifying historic neighborhoods can and must happen. But perhaps we ought to think less about NIMBY-ism, and more about the right to self-determination. What is most problematic about these developments is that the people who will be most immediately impacted by them have little or no say in the matter. And when they do mobilize, buildings that are already under construction get their permits revoked. I think this is indicative of a larger issue--namely, that the residents are not being heard. Who is to say what is "good" density and what is "bad" density? How are we measuring the improved quality of a streetscape before and after developement? These are the sorts of questions we need to be asking, and not AFTER the buidlings are already going up.
My hunch is that neigborhood responses to these new developments are a bit more complex than simply a reaction to the number of stories or lack of parking. And equally complex is the relationship between land use and transportation. If we are agreed that new multi-housing developments need not account for parking on a one-to-one basis, so be it--but Metro, Trimet, and the City all need to develop a transporation stategy to meet the growing demands that come with densifying older close-in neighborhoods. And that strategy ought to consist of more than just "not including parking" in a new buildng. Division Street is already a very narrow artery that is often clogged with traffic. By limiting the parking available to these new apartment-renters, we favor the needs of current residents over future ones. Hardly seems like a cohesive plan for city development.
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Mar 5, 2013