While we're talking about the shape of urban renewal districts, check out the new plan from the mayor's office to create six mini-urban renewal areas (URAs) around centered on certain unsavory intersections.
The six mini-districts would be at 122nd Avenue and Division, 122nd Avenue at Burnside and Stark, NE 82nd Avenue between Sandy and I-84, NE 42nd Avenue and Killingsworth, and Sandy Blvd near the airport. They would all be christened "neighborhood opportunity districts." A confusing map is below the cut!
The point of the mini-URAs is to fix up what are essentially the main streets of neighborhoods. But the drawbacks are the same as all other urban renewal plans—it would put money into certain neighborhoods at the cost of sucking it out of city coffers. I think it's a good sign that they're all in east and outer east Portland, though.
I talked to county chair spokesman Dave Austin earlier this week about the mini-renewal plans and he said it was too soon for the county to have a real position on the districts... they found out about the idea one day before Mayor Sam Adams announced it in his State of the City speech. "Any time you have an urban renewal district, it affects local governments and school districts," said Austin. "We need to have a discussion about those impacts in a committee setting."