Morning Roundup

Photo credit: Portland Business Journal

Delays could impact solar program, cyclists divided on bike tax and Portland Mayor want to shutdown anti-Muslim rally.

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Developers concerned about solar program

Oregon is finishing up rules for its community solar program, but developers are worried the rules will deter investment in solar, the Portland Business Journal reports. Stakeholders say a delay in the market development will prevent the program from getting off the ground. Developers want certainty for future planning, but as it stands, the rules are lacking that certainty.

Cyclists mixed on proposed Oregon Bike Tax

The proposed $8 billion transportation package includes a tax on bicycle sales to help fund infrastructure projects. The proposal is getting a mixed reaction from those it would impact, OPB reports. Some are in favor of the tax because it would mean infrastructure improvements for bike commuters. But others say it would impact bike sales. The proposed tax is between 3% and 5% on adult bike sales more than $500.

Wheeler calls for shutdown of Anti-Muslim rally

In the wake of last week’s tragic stabbing on a MAX train, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is asking the federal government to revoke a permit for a “Trump Free Speech Rally” next week and deny a permit for an anti-Muslim march the following week, OPB reports. Wheeler says the events would exacerbate the situation. The permits come from the federal government because the events are planned at the Terry D. Shrunk Plaza, which is managed by the U.S. General Services Administration. The ACLU warns the request is a violation of the First Amendment and following through with the request would set a bad precedent.

Salem is experiencing a commercial real estate development boom

Building permits in Salem are up 5% from the year prior, the Statesman Journal reports. New construction is relieving a long-term commercial real estate crunch in the city and has increased valuation more than $100 million (from $249 million to $355 million).

Portland home prices slowing, but still among fastest in nation

It’s no surprise Portland’s home prices have risen steadily, but the recent slowdown isn’t enough to put the city near the national average, the Oregonian reports. Home prices increased 1% in March, and 9.2% compared to the year prior. Seattle still wins out though, with prices rising 12.3% in the last year.

Kaiser is expanding in Eugene

Kaiser Permanente is purchasing 20 acres in Eugene, the Register Guard reports. The land is currently owned by the paper’s publisher, Guard Publishing. The deal isn’t set to close until Jan. 6, 2019. Kaiser hasn’t announced its plans for the property but says the company often banks land for long-term planning.

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