Your City Hall: Input sought on East Portland redevelopment
WHAT IS HAPPENING? The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is seeking public comment on a newly released report on how redevelopment should take place along Southeast Division Street between 76th Avenue and the Gresham city limits near 174th.
The report is titled "Building Healthy Connected Communities Along the Division Transit Corridor." It envisions additional transportation options, higher residential densities, new open spaces and more for many blocks on both sides of Division.
WHERE WILL THE REDEVELOPMENT TAKE PLACE? The report envisions the most planned redevelopment in three following areas:
• The Jade District, which is concentrated along 82nd Avenue.
• Division Midway, which stretches from 117th to 148th avenues, but is concentrated along 122nd Avenue
• 162nd and Rosewood, which extends along 162nd Avenue to the Rosewood neighborhood, which is being studied separately for redevelopment in the Rosewood Initiative.
The report calls for similar upgrades in all three areas, including improved streets and sidewalks, more bike and pedestrian connections, new parks and other spaces, and new apartment buildings on underdeveloped properties. But the report also proposes specific transformational projects in each area, such as a multi-use public plaza in Division Midway.
WHY IS THE REPORT BEING RELEASED NOW? The City Council has long promised to focus more resources on East Portland, where the infrastructure has historically been unfunded. The area also has a higher portion of lower-income households dependent on transit than much of the rest of the city.
The council also is supporting TriMet's $175 million Division Transit Project, which is scheduled to overhaul and expand bus service along a 15-mile stretch of Division between Portland and Gresham in coming years. A related bureau project, Better Housing by Design, seeks to revise development and design standards in the city's multidwelling zones outside of downtown, including East Portland.
IS THERE ANY OPPOSITION? Some local officials and people who live in the area are concerned the improvements will increase housing costs and force many existing households to move. The council is working on anti-displacement policies to minimize the effects of gentrification, which it admits has happened along other transit lines.
WHAT CAN I DO? You can read and respond to the report at the bureau's website at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/739966. Comment is being sought through December, when it is expected to be presented to the council.
You also can watch an upcoming council work session on some of these projects. The Housing Opportunities work session is scheduled from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, in the Council Chambers at City Hall. It will include a discussion of the anti-displacement strategies and the Better Housing by Design project. If you can't attend in person, the session will be livestreamed on the city's website and aired on community television.
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