A proposal to build 40 affordable apartments in Sellwood is at risk because of minimum parking requirements. Currently, to qualify for a parking waiver, a development must be within certain distances of “20 minute” transit during the rush hours. How that level of service is defined is open to some interpretation, but it also ignores the holistic context of some of Portland’s neighborhoods.
Take a minute and email Commissioner Eudaly at email@example.com. Ask her to look into this situation in Sellwood. Ask her to work to remove barriers to more housing and let her know you think we need to build affordable housing, not more parking, in Portland. If you can, cc or bcc firstname.lastname@example.org so we know our campaign is working.
Portland needs affordable housing much more than it needs required parking. The solution to Portland’s parking problems is not to build garages that will be a drag on our environment and economy, but parking management that ensures the equitable and efficient use of our on-street parking.
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly holds the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) in her portfolio and she was elected on a platform promising to address Portland’s housing crisis. Commissioner Eudaly can ask BDS to look into this issue and determine if there is a way to interpret the code to allow this project to go forward. If not, she may need to instigate changes to the inclusionary housing package to provide for greater flexibility. Almost 3 months have passed since affordable housing became mandatory and there has been very little utilization of the program. This project would be a big win, for housing advocates and for lower income people wanting to live in a complete neighborhood like Sellwood.
unfortunately when Council passed the inclusionary zoning requirement they did not also amend the zoning code to eliminate the parking requirement for affordable housing outside transit corridors. Since the rule is in the zoning code, it would take months to amend it, although the project sponsor could apply for an adjustment to the rule.
I think the concern about the adjustment is that it introduces so much uncertainty (appeals, hearings, council votes). UDG has the permits ready to go and I think the moment of truth is rapidly approaching whether they go with those or not.
Hopefully they can find a way to get this project moving. Maybe TriMet can be convinced to add some service to that line? Then when council revisits the inclusionary zoning they can remove that transit requirement.
Rollie Lobsinger says
I support exceptions to the Parking minimums in cases where this exception can build more affordable housing. I would encourage the developers to provide bike storge and encourage as much acess to public transportation as possible to ease the impact on the surrounding neighborhood. If there are opportunites to share parking with a church during the week or another facility these should also be explored. In an case we have a despirate need for affordable housing and we should waive the parking minimums in these cases.
Perhaps in a midyear update, one of those trips arrives 4 minutes earlier?
Donna Sweeney says
The apartments going up in Sellwood are not affordable. At least everyone I talk to in this neighborhood feels that way. The neighborhood has cars parked up to corners and making it very hard to see when walking, driving and biking. It’s a mess. It’s not good for the businesses when their customers can’t find a place to park so they can shop or dine. When you buy a home in a neighborhood and all of a sudden there is an apartment building put up with no parking across the street, the street in front of the homes become the parking lot. Trimet, doesn’t have the lines they used to. If you live in Sellwood, you have to walk to Milwaukie and Bybee to take a bus downtown without transferring. It costs more, a lot more than it used to and we don’t even have fareless square any more. We need someone with some good sensible ideas who really knows Portland. Just because parking is taken away doesn’t mean people are going to stop driving. Thank you,