Score one for the neighbors opposed to the Mississippi Avenue Lofts: At the urging of over a dozen neighbors who testified against the proposed Lofts' size and scale (it's a four-story mixed-used building), the Portland Historical Landmarks Commission dealt a major setback to the developers on May 22.
"The developers were offered a choice," wrote the Boise Neighborhood Association Land Use co-chair, who goes by the name "bht." "They could walk away, denied by the commission, and have to start from square one, or they could plea for a continuance." A continuance means the developers have to meet with the neighborhood—again—and address their concerns, before June 12. "Ultimately they have the task of taking a four-story building with a huge mass and nothing similar around it and making it blend," bht explained. AMY JENNIGES
The Great Reformation
It's not the most exciting reform to ever come pouring out of city hall, but city council has moved another step closer to reshaping the troubled Fire and Police Disability and Retirement Fund.
On Tuesday, May 23, commissioners and staffers met with representatives from the fire and police unions to hammer out an arrangement on the reform, which is expected to go up for voter approval this November. So far, the unions and City Commissioner Dan Saltzman have agreed on a few key principles—the next step is convincing the unions to help draft the language of the ballot initiative and changes to city code. The union heads remained hesitant, saying they didn't want to commit until they had talked to their members.
Mayor Tom Potter, though, was blunt about the consequence of not going along.
"The other side of the coin here," Potter said, "is that we proceed without you."
Currently, the disability fund is under fire for perceived inefficiency and inability to catch cheats, and the retirement fund is a gaping unfunded liability. SCOTT MOORE