Note: For many of us it is hard to think of much else these days than the recent election results. Many people are afraid, confused, depressed, and discouraged. Local issues like the Residential Infill Project or parking minimums might seem inconsequential to many of us, but they aren’t. City Council is still meeting, they are hearing from residents, deliberating, and making decisions that will affect you, your neighbors, and your family for many years. If you feel hopeless right now about our national situation, we encourage you to work to make positive change where you definitely can, locally.
Next Thursday, November 17th, Portland City Council will hear from citizens about the proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan Early Implementation Project. As we found out last week, Mayor Charlie Hales heard from nearly 80 Shoupistas and has proposed to eliminate minimum parking requirements for new developments in Mixed-Use Zones near frequent service transit.
There are many reasons this is a good idea. Parking is expensive and makes housing less affordable. Parking takes up space and leaves less room for housing. Parking brings more cars to our neighborhoods and makes our air dirtier and our streets more dangerous. Parking requirements aren’t even effective at reducing on-street parking congestion; you can force a developer to build a garage, but you can’t force a tenant to rent a stall in it when on-street parking is free!
City council needs to hear from you! Opponents to this amendment are organizing and will be sending in letters of their own. We need to make sure council understands that affordable housing outranks parking for cars.
Email City Council By November 18 @ 5PM!
Everyone can do this, do it now!
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line “Comprehensive Plan Implementation” Please cc: or bcc: email@example.com.
Tell them in your own words that housing is more important than car parking and they should pass Amendments 34 to the Comprehensive plan to eliminate minimum parking requirements in mixed use zones.
We have talking points if you need them!
Write to the Commissioners
Send an email to the members of City Council. We suggest you do this by November 18th.
Write to Commissioner Steve Novick, Mayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Nick Fish, Commissioner Dan Saltzman, and Commissioner Amanda Fritz. Let them know that you value housing for people over shelter for cars. Let’s plan for the future we want for Portland and not a smog-choked-and-gridlocked playground for the wealthy.