City Hall Watch: Police shooting interview rule still in flux
The City Council unanimously agreed on Wednesday that police who use deadly force should speak to internal affairs investigators within 48 hours. It will consider a revised police directive with that requirement later this month or in early September.
The Portland Police Bureau recently had adopted a directive that did not include the deadline after Multnomah County District Attorney Ron Underhill warned that compelling such statements could jeopardize criminal prosecutions of officers who break the law. But the council rejected that argument and requested the directive be revised to reinstate the requirement that a statement be made within 48 hours.
The requirement was key to the council approving a new contract with the police union last year.
Strip club to be replaced with affordable housing
The Safari Showclub at 3000 S.E. Powell Blvd. will be torn down and replaced with up to 300 affordable housing units under a plan approved by the City Council on Wednesday. The building that currently houses a strip club could be used as a homeless shelter until construction begins.
The council approved buying the property for $3.7 million, with the money coming from lodging taxes collected from short-term rentals. The affordable housing units could be financed with bond funds approved by Portland voters last November. Some other lower-cost housing also could be built there.
The property is owned by Bob Rice, who also owns the Virginia Cafe and serves on the Oregon Liquor Control Commission. The strip club must vacate before the deal closes on Sept. 30.
Southwest Portland subdivision approved
The City Council tentatively approved a controversial 11-home subdivision in Southwest Portland on Wednesday. Neighbors oppose the Everett Heights Subdivision in part because it will create a new through street they fear will increase traffic near Hayhurst Elementary School.
By a 4-1 vote, the council rejected an agreement between opponents and Everett Custom Homes to limit access on the street to pedestrians, bicyclists and emergency vehicles. Commissioner Amanda Fritz argued city policies require through streets in such situations. Only Commissioner Dan Saltzman voted for the compromise and then against the subdivision.
The final vote is scheduled for Sept. 11. If approved, opponents are considering challenging the subdivision at the state Land use Board of Appeals.