Portland commissioners to address home demolition regulation

Portland city politics roundup: Demolitions on council’s docket; auditors slam budget strategies; Hales reiterates commitment to neighborhoods.

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The Portland City Council will address proposed home demolition regulations.

OregonLive.com Mike Francis reported on the commissioners’ plan to tweak prior proposals:

Commissioners are scheduled Wednesday to consider a building code amendment that would extend an initial 35-day delay to add 60 more days for residents seeking an alternative to a planned demolition. That represents a reduction from an earlier proposal to impose up to a 120-day waiting period before demolition.

The amendments, drawn up following discussions with stakeholders over the last two months, also clarify other points of the code, such as requirements to notify neighbors when a homeowner applies to tear down a house.

An audit blasted the Portland budget process, the Portland Business Journal reported.

As a result, the city should consider such steps as establishing a biennial budget that’s set every two years, according to the audit, which is the first released under the watch of new Portland Auditor Mary Hull Caballero. Caballero’s office examined the budget-making steps in hopes of ascertaining whether the strategies are effective. The audit uncovered three main concerns:

That the budget process is “time and resource intensive” and requires significant resources, and that much activity takes place without key guidance. That “unclear roles” within the process can affect the final budget.

Charlie Hales looks to implement State of City promise regulating neighborhood development.

The Portland Tribune reports:

But Hales’ promise has puzzled some home builders who say city officials are planning on density increases in residential neighborhoods to help accommodate projected growth during the next 25 years. The city is predicting 123,000 additional households by 2035. The draft Comprehensive Plan update currently being considered calls for 20 percent of them to be built in residential neighborhoods — a total of 24,600 additional households in residential neighborhoods over the next 20 years.

“The city is being disingenuous if it suggests there won’t be growth in existing residential neighborhoods,” says Jeff Fish, owner of Fish Construction, which has built many infill houses in Portland over the years.