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Plus, Portland and Metro oppose Courtney density bill, and only one weather forecaster predicted three winter snow storms.

CITY OF PORTLAND - A map of the single-family neighborhoods that would be rezoned for missing middle housing under the current Residential Infill Project recommendations.Commissioner Amanda Fritz has come out strongly against the residential density increases proposed in the most recent Residential Infill Project, or RIP, recommendations.

In an interview in the March issue of the Southwest Community Connection — a sister publication of the Tribune — Fritz said the concept of rezoning single-family neighborhoods to allow a fourplex on nearly every lot is "absolutely appalling."

Fritz said, "We don't have a shortage of multifamily units, what we have is a shortage of single-family homes. So if they're looking at making it easier to build more multiple units, that's the opposite of what we need,"

The Planning and Sustainability Commission — on which Fritz served for six years in the 1990s — is expected to vote to send the current RIP recommendations to the City Council on Tuesday, March 12. The council is expected to vote on them this summer.

You can read the Southwest Connection story here.

Courtney's density bill hits opposition

Although the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Metro support increasing residential density to accommodate population increases, they both oppose a bill introduced by state Senate President Peter Courtney, D-Salem, that would result in massive housing increases along transit lines and around MAX stations.

Senate Bill 10 would require metro-area cities to allow up to 45 housing units per acre within a half-mile of a transit line; up to 75 units per acre within a quarter-mile of a transit line; and up to 140 units per acre within a quarter-mile of a light-rail station.

Only between eight and 18 units per acre currently are allowed in most such areas in Portland.

The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the elected regional government have submitted written testimony against the bill, which had its first hearing before the Senate Committee on Housing on Monday. Both said it was unneccesary and conflicted with existing land-use plans that already are working.

And the weather winner is ...

Although relatively little snow fell in the Portland region on Sunday and Monday, it made Kyle Dittmer the most accurate of the meteorologists who offered predictions at the 26th annual Winter Weather Forecast Conference, which was held at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Dittmer is a hydrologist-meteorologist for the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, who also teaches at Portland Community College.

He was the only forecaster who predicted a "neutral" winter that would produce three storms that would dump around 5 inches of snow on the valley floors. The other forecasters predicted warmer and drier conditions this year — thanks to the weather phenomenon known as "El Nino" in the Pacific Ocean.

Dittmer wins nothing but bragging rights, however. The annual forecasts are a good-natured affair hosted by the local chapter of the American Meteorological Society and regularly covered by the Portland Tribune. The only prizes distributed are those won at the raffles that raise money to support the group.


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