Council votes against controversial SW Portland subdivision
The City Council tentatively voted to stop a controversial 12-home subdivision in Southwest Portland on Wednesday. It sided with neighborhoods wanting to block the current version of the proposed Macadam Ridge development on a wooded 14-acre parcel.
The final vote is scheduled for next Wednesday.
After more than three hours of testimony for and against the proposal, the council unanimously agreed there were too many unanswered questions about its impact on an environmentally parcel above Southwest Macadam Avenue and north of Southwest Taylors Ferry Road
The land is owned by the Riverview Abbey Mausoleum Company, which has proposed building the homes on four acres and donating the remaining 10 acres to the city. The project is opposed by the South Burlingame Neighborhood Association, which raised concerns ranging from the potential loss of more than 470 matures trees to the property's location in a known landslide zone.
Commissioner Dan Saltzman was the most supportive member of the council, saying there is a pressing need for new homes in Portland.
"We want people to live and work in the city," Saltzman said.
Commissioner Amanda Fritz was the most opposed, saying the current proposal did not maximize the preservation of the most significant resources on the property, as required by City Code.
Owner Stephen Griffith testified the proposed development was environmentally responsible.
"Macadam Ridge is actually a showcase for environmentally sound development," Griffith said.
Griffith also said the development team held numerous meetings with neighbors to work out a proposal that satisfied their concerns. He said they rejected 12 different versions, including one that included multi-family housing. He also said a majority of the neighborhood association's board of directors live on a street near the property.
"It really is a case of not in my back yard," Griffith said.
Despite that, Commissioner Nick Fish urged the two sides to meet again and find a compromise.
"This property is eventually going to be developed," Fish said.
The proposal had been approved by a city hearings officer. The neighborhood association appealed the decision to the council, which tentatively voted to uphold the appeal. Under state land use laws, the owners can challenge the council's final decision before the state Land Use Board of Appeals.
You can read the hearings officer's decision at tinyurl.com/y86rkqwx