The Portland City Council will hear an appeal to an approved affordable housing development in Northwest Portland on Thursday. A neighborhood organization is complaining that the new project will not fit in with the area’s aesthetics.
In September, the Portland's Historic Landmarks Commission approved a plan to transform the old Buck-Prager building on NW Hoyt into a 148-unit affordable housing complex.
Last month, the Northwest District Association (NWDA) filed an appeal to the city council claiming that the plan did not meet several planning guidelines put forth by the Historic Alphabet District. Buck-Prager is listed as on the National Register of Historic Places (it was built in 1918 and first used as a maternity ward), NWDA stated that the additions will not “retain historic materials” or be effective at “blending into the neighborhood.”
“Identity of the Historic Alphabet District [is] not reinforced when a unique and distinct urban character area is disrupted by placing incompatibly large new development in the middle of a nearly intact cluster of late 19th century houses,” the appeal reads.
NWDA’s complaint also points out that the commission did not include language requiring the development be affordable—though the plan did come from local nonprofit developer Northwest Housing Alternatives, which specializes in affordable housing.
The city council will consider NWDA’s appeal, as well as another appeal from Portland attorney Tony Schwartz that cites similar complaints, at 2 pm Thursday.