Here's where BEE readers and residents of Inner Southeast Portland discuss their concerns

Lack of PP&R maintenance is a hazard for dogs

Editor, Many people walk their dogs around the Oaks Bottom south pasture (reclaimed land-fill dump) – I do it myself, but I didn't this summer. This summer [had the] worst infestation of unfriendly grasses there I've seen, the seeds of which are dangerous to dogs, if embedded in paws, sucked into noses, caught in ears or eyes – the seed awns are barbed; once embedded, [they are] hard to remove, tend to migrate deeper and do not disintegrate, [and they] become infected, painful, and deadly. Common names: Foxtail and Cheatgrass.

Certainly PPR biologists know about this, yet fail to eradicate these invasive grasses. Optional explanations: 1. don't care, 2. too costly, 3. hope it will keep dogs out. Please bring this to public attention. Whacking these grasses out in May and June before seeds are ripe would not be costly; if allowed, neighborhood dog owners could organize crews to do this for FREE, but PPR won't allow it.

As for dogs in Wild Life Refuges – we're told they will hunt wildlife and disrupt plant life. Really? More so than predatory wildlife? If anyone knows of a domesticated dog that can outhunt a coyote, please tell me – I would like to see that dog in action.

Jack Gabel

Via e-mail

"Residential Infill Project" not turning out well


Forget the legacy of regulation intended to stabilize and protect Portland's single family housing stock and to vitalize neighborhoods by concentrating density around walking scale commercial centers. The diffuse density Residential Infill Project craters [the previous] planned density around centers and main streets of the past 40 years. Round file the recently approved 2035 Comprehensive Plan.

The [city] zoning code is a declaration of planners' intent and owners' entitlement. These proposals make false the term "single dwelling zone", and muddy the purpose of multi-dwelling zones. Three or four units on a lot is, by any definition, a multi-family land use. Transparency and truth in zoning be damned. . .

At first, most of these multi-dwelling units will be built where house values are eclipsed by the underlying value of the land – smaller houses and in more affordable neighborhoods where displacement is already a problem. Where successful, expect whole blocks sent to the landfill as each house is sold. Forget worrying about the big one. Prepare the way for demolitions as we welcome our new neighbors to thecity.

Even if lot widths are held at 50 feet, yards will be "shared" by the owners, whether a duplex or a fourplex. Building and maintenance will be shared under condominium ownership, or increasingly by the property management company, on behalf of an absentee landlord. The ideal single family house on its own lot will be increasingly scarce and expensive. Many families will pack up for the suburbs, leaving our expensive new schools begging for students.

Right now Portland has a 20 year supply of land available for infill for a variety of housing types without any changes to the zoning! The deeply flawed economic analysis that the City used to justify its 2016 RIP proposal suggested that the RIP would produce less than 1,800 new units over the next 20 years. Are these worth introducing chaos into neighborhood zoning code? Are these worth hundreds of thousands of dollars of staff time and countless hours of volunteer time, and time for public comment and testimony over the past 3 years?

Rod Merrick, AIA NCARB

Merrick Architecture Planning

via e-mail

Thanks for "Sundae in the Park"


Sellwood and Westmoreland neighborhood enjoyed a great summer weekend, August 4 and 5, celebrating "Summerville" in the business districts on Saturday – and the 39th Annual "Sundae in the Park" at Sellwood Park (on Sunday, of course!). The weekend was capped off by a showing of last year's hit movie "Star Wars: The Last Jedi", presented by the Sellwood Moreland Business Alliance and Portland Parks' "Summer-Free-For-All" under the stars!

SMILE's Sundae in the Park Committee owes a big, grateful "THANK YOU" to all the event volunteers – especially Pam Orser (permits), Joel Leib, Pat Hainley, Tyler Janzen, Peter Dueber, Ed & Leslie Nunez (Set-up), the Southeast Portland Rotary Club and friends (ice cream scoopers extraordinaire), and Cathy Aune and her stellar grandkids for the hours they put in at the "drawing" table! Thanks also to the two church congregations who really helped us out with activities, game supervision, and manual labor – Christ Church Sellwood, and EastBridge Church! Next year's "Sundae in the Park" will be the last one for a couple of us on the committee. To keep the event going, at least two or three individuals will be needed to work with us, beginning in January, on the 40th annual Sundae in the Park. That group will take over the following year. If you can help, please join us at SMILE Station, S.E. 13th and Tenino in Sellwood, on Wednesday, January 9, 2019, at 7:30 p.m. If you are at all interested, join us then – there's no limit on helpers! Nancy Walsh and Gail Hoffnagle

SMILE Sundae in the Park Committee

All letters to the editor are subject to editing for clarity and available space, and all letters become property of THE BEE.

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