As we went to press, the city council was expected to adopt a resolution on Wednesday, August 13, reaffirming their support for the street-renaming process outlined in city hall (in other words: they're pro following the law), following last year's botched effort to rename a street for César E. Chávez.
Meanwhile, the folks behind an effort to rename 42nd Avenue for sci-fi author Douglas Adams got some good news from Commissioner Sam Adams, who oversees the department responsible for rename applications. Though city staffers had initially told the Rename 42nd group that they'd have to sit tight while the city dealt with the new Chávez bid, Adams told them their application wouldn't be held up.
Indeed, late last week the Rename 42nd group got the green light to start collecting 2,500 signatures citywide—and $1,000—in support of their idea. AJR
For years, the traffic-clogged NW 23rd neighborhood has fought the construction of a parking garage on a historic residential street. The city council vetoed the garage last year, but the developer is back with a design whittled down to 87 parking spaces in a two-story building. On Monday, the Historical Landmarks Commission gave the garage a somewhat reluctant thumbs-up, voting 3-2 in favor.
"It's less oppressive than the first design," said Commissioner Harris Matarazzo, who voted against the project after noting that the project's proposed demolition of a historic home upset him. Art DeMuro, chair of the commission, disagreed with neighbors who showed up to speak against the project, saying he believed the garage was "appropriate and sensitive" and necessary for the viability of the newly posh neighborhood. SM
Two of the 14 people who showed up at the city council's August 6 review of the Portland Plan—a plan the city is developing to guide its priorities for the next 30 years—weren't there to lobby for council attention to their neighborhoods or pet projects, but to suggest that the city overhaul its entire process of public involvement.
"The Planning Bureau has held lots of meetings, but they haven't done the principles that were talked out in those processes," said Paul Leistner of Southeast Uplift, who thinks the city's planning is too top-down, without early inclusion of neighbors.
Mark Butler, a Mount Tabor resident, called for a culture change in the city. "I'd like the see the citizens actually have a more meaningful say rather than just commenting on the recommendations of the bureau." SM