News Feb 3, 2016 at 4:00 pm

He Wants to Make It More Laborious for Builders to Raze Old Homes


This is not a "three-for-one trade." It is three for two, which is much less reason to rip apart a perfectly good building, piece of history, and contributing part of a strong community. If the new houses engage the street well that would be nice, but most new homes focus on life indoors and do not facilitate chance neighborly meetings like these old homes do.
How in God's name is this the city's solution? Why is there not a single elected official who gives a rip about preserving the character and integrity of our community? In what universe is it ethical to let Vic "Let me Rip out 100 Year-Old Sequoia Trees" Remmers continue his efforts to raze anything that represents history and quality in favor of his shoddily-built pieces of garbage? Why does this never-ending desecration keep happening??? Good Lord, I am really starting to hate this place.....
Thank you Alyse...that's exactly how I feel! The house might be deconstructed but its still a demolition. What's going on in this city is a terrible crime. I'm tired of City Council pretending that they're doing something by creating a "taskforce" or committee to study the demolition problem...and appointing mostly developers to the committee. Any wonder why the demolitions just keep on happening?! I didn't vote for Mayor Hales...but at one time or another I did vote for the other Council members...believe me, it won't ever happen again!
Tom although I agree with what you are saying, there has to be laws that protect and preserve the city. If your name is on the title you don't just get to do what you want, as you said. You still need building permits, etc, you can't put a 10 story apartment on it if you want. City council needs to start thinking about what's right for the city. Does the 3 shitty row houses you wanna put on that property go well with the community. What about developers coming in and wanting to take a whole part of old Belmont to put apartments on it. Is that fair? No something has to be done.
I did some research on the original owners of this home. You can find it here:…
There are about 148,000 single family homes in Portland. Suppose we had 1,000 demolitions per year (way more than we actually do). The average home would have to last 148 years. Is that plausible? Desirable? Defensible?

Now use a more realistic number for demolitions per year, say 500. If that's too many, it means the average home has to last more than 286 years. Is that plausible? Desirable? Defensible?

I don't think so. I have no objection to wanting to make demolitions safer or more environmentally friendly. But to say public policy should as its aim reduce the number of demolitions, doesn't make sense.
It's all temporary.
We focus on the demolition, but this is always an issue about so much more.

Some don't like:
tall houses
skinny houses
new houses
poorly constructed houses
tall apartments
people who live in apartments
the more affluent people who are going to buy the new property
the more white people who are going to buy the new property

But rather than discuss this honestly, we rail against the demolition itself. We enact rules that don't save the houses, don't save the trees, don't save the sunlight and in the end really just make everything that much more expensive for all of us.

Obviously we can't expect a developer to act with any kind of integrity or honesty, so I get the desire to mandate a behavioral standard. When done without any consistency though, it appears as little more than hypocrisy and favoritism - for the builder, street, or area of town.
They could rehab this house and make it into a four plex and solve the density issue and keep the integrity of the neighborhood.

Please wait...

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