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Old 03-28-2017, 02:40 PM
 
Location: bend oregon
937 posts, read 873,237 times
Reputation: 358

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ya that sucks when the forest gets cut down. there was a forest behind my house in oregon city (or a field with trees) it was a cool place then it get cut down and they only put one house on that property. people would walk there dogs, ride dirt bikes ect.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:54 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 22,810,330 times
Reputation: 8974
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnalogMan View Post
Many people have commented about the recent changes in Portland, which are dramatic and coming fast. Many talk about the ‘housing crisis’ in the city.

I agree that there is a 'housing crisis' in Portland in that costs, both for rental and ownership, are escalating dramatically, which is making prices unaffordable for many people. This is tragic, and there are things that can and must be done about it. I am not an urban planner and have no professional expertise in this area, and these are only my own personal thoughts. But, unfortunately, I believe the current “Residential Infill Project”, the RIP approved by the Portland City Council last October and the inexorable march to 'high density' and 'infill' will do nothing to address affordable housing. 



One only has to look at cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, New York, Tokyo, London, and others to see the effects of 'high density infill': they have become very dense, not very attractive (some would say ugly) with progressively smaller places to live - and remain very expensive. 

While the idea that 'the market' will reduce prices if the supply of housing is increased sounds intuitive, this is a hopelessly naive view. Left to 'the market', what will happen will always be to maximize profits for those who control supply.

The only way that increasing supply lowers prices is if 1) demand is local, and 2) there is a vast excess of supply over demand because of rampant over-building, as happened in Phoenix, Las Vegas, and parts of Florida. 

Those circumstances will not likely apply in Portland. For one, the demand for housing here is primarily external - people moving here from other, higher cost (more expensive) areas (such as California) to whom Portland still seems 'affordable'. They can afford, and will continue, to pay more than local residents are accustomed to. 

Second, I think developers are unlikely to build a vast excess of supply, because to do so would decrease their profits. Profits are always maximized by keeping supply short of demand. Private enterprise does not build out of the kindness of their hearts or to achieve some social good - it is done to make as much money as possible. It is very naive to think that 'the market' will ever accomplish anything except what is in someone's own financial interests, which is to maximize profits. That is the essence of the 'free market'.



There are studies that support this. The RIP was driven in part by the hypothesis that increasing housing density will lead to more affordable housing. While such a link between density and affordability seems intuitively obvious, there is disagreement about whether this cause and effect really exists. 

Below are a few different views on this. 

The "Illusion of Local: Why Zoning for Greater Density Will Fail to Make Housing More Affordable" points out that local market forces of supply and demand are irrelevant in driving down market prices, because influx of folks with established wealth moving in from more expensive real estate markets (e.g. California, Asia) and foreign investment, lead to "a decoupling of housing from local labor market participation."



See:

https://psmag.com/illusion-of-local-...a03#.s89bay5r6

"Urban containment" (i.e. relatively inflexible urban growth boundary) is primarily responsible for the rising land/housing prices in Portland, and the reduction in its diversity as a result. 



See:

The Evolving Urban Form: Portland | Newgeography.com

Gerard Mildner (Director, PSU, Center for Real Estate) in "Density at Any Cost" argues that reversing the housing mix to (much) more multifamily dwellings would substantially increase housing costs in Portland over the next 20 years, making it the 4th most expensive metropolitan area in the country. He also points out that use of cars has not appreciably changed over the past 20 years despite development of light rail and extensive bus routes, and warns "we shouldn't base our land use planning decisions on commuting assumptions that won't happen". He also advocates for a more liberal --though thoughtful -- approach to the Urban Growth Boundary.



See:

https://www.pdx.edu/realestate/sites..._article_3.pdf


The proponents of the RIP seem to have found supporters among those who are having difficulty finding and affording housing in Portland. Unfortunately, I believe all RIP will accomplish is to further increase prices in Portland. By making single-family homes eligible to be made into duplexes and triplexes, the underlying land will increase in value for development and become more expensive. There is no profit incentive to build cheap housing on expensive land - profit is maximized by building housing that is as expensive as possible.

I believe all that will be achieved will be to decimate our stunningly beautiful and architecturally significant historic areas, destroy the character of what makes Portland 'Portland', and devastate the quality of life which is why most of us to live here in the first place. 

Even the RIP city employees themselves seem to recognize this. At an infill meeting, when questioned about whether RIPSAC will provide more 'affordable' housing, I heard the city planners say that 'affordable housing is not their mandate' - they are only looking for 'alternative' housing to accommodate the 123,000 households (and appx. 260,000 people) they want to fit into Portland. 


While this may be a heretical view, I also question the wisdom of trying to squeeze that many more people into Portland. There is simply no way to cram 10 pounds of sugar into a 5 pound sack. If another 260,000 people move to Portland, the city will be unrecognizable from what it is today. I believe what will happen is traffic and parking congestion will increase, tree canopy will be lost, schools and parks will become over-crowded, food cart pods will vanish, water sewer, electricity, and other infrastructure may be stressed, irreplaceable historic areas will be demolished and replaced with profit-maximizing ugly housing. The very reasons Portland is such a desirable place to live will disappear. The very soul of Portland will be erased. The laws of physics are very strict, and there are simply limits to growth and capacity of any system.



Once again, the saying 'the cheapest housing is existing housing' seems to ring true. If people really want to make housing more affordable in Portland, I believe the only way to do this is the same way it was successfully done in other cities: rent control. Instead of pursuing the false promises of 'high density infill', I think housing advocates should focus their energies on changing Oregon laws to allow rent controls. The 'free market' will never support rent controls, because rent control also means profit control. If people truly want affordable housing, then pressure our elected officials to allow rent control, and subsidized housing. Without these, I believe housing prices in Portland will only continue to go one way - up.

It's time to make 'affordable housing' their mandate. NO accommodation of newcomers at the expense of affordability for existing residents.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:57 PM
 
33,031 posts, read 22,810,330 times
Reputation: 8974
Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesblazen View Post
Blah Blah Blah. Earn more money and everything becomes more affordable.

??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???

How do seniors and disabled people earn more money?

??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ??? ???
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Old 03-28-2017, 06:48 PM
 
723 posts, read 417,515 times
Reputation: 501
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Ok, let's try this again... to wit: NYC, my alma mater. State income tax 10.2% as of 2009 when I left, AND (simultaneously) a sales tax of 8.45%, again as of 2009 when I departed. I doubt those numbers are lower in 2017. Likely they are somewhat higher. And there is that minimum wage of $7.25/hr. to consider. A minimum wage worker in PDX will likely not pay ANY Federal Income Tax, and the State Income Tax will NOT be the 10% top rate, it will be a few percentage points lower.

I won't argue about the Art Tax. It is also ironic that the vast majority of people paying it won't be able to afford to visit the very Art and Music venues in Portland that the tax supports. It should be made more progressive. Portland schools do NOT, overall, have poor performance. Some Portland schools have very poor performance, most are much better, and a few are rather satisfactory. Do you imagine NYC is any different? The 800lb. gorilla of ethnicity and school segregation disproportionately concentrating low achievement students into a particular school district(s)... ... hello... is this thing on? Am I getting through?

I like paying the listed price for my 'Skull Candy' earbuds at Best Buy because there is no sales tax to be applied at the cash register. I like Trimet being on the honor system (sort of) because I will have my proof of fare if asked for it, and thus Trimet hasn't had to pay $2 Billion dollars building a bulletproof fare enforcement infrastructure. I like not having to pump my gas because when you look like me, self service pumps do not work! I will have to go into the office and pay directly because they disable the credit card reader the moment I step out of the car and direct me to come inside through the PA system and that sucks. I am sorry you are having a problem with some of Portland's intrinsics. To be expected I suppose. It even says so in the Bible: "no [entity] can be all things, to all people, all of the time". Not saying your opinions/feelings aren't valid.... but... let's just say that it works for me.

Very interesting response. There are alot of "I" and "me" listed in your post.

I am not going to argue about taxes, facts on the dismal Multnomah County School results, and the social engineering of having a person pump your gas. But using NYC for any kind of comparison...Really?
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Old 03-29-2017, 02:02 AM
 
Location: WA Desert, Seattle native
6,437 posts, read 4,265,988 times
Reputation: 4905
Portland will always be the premiere city in Oregon. No question about that, but will it continue to be a desirable place to live? I offer this question in sincerity, not in a negative way. I actually love the setting, a river valley confluence with terrific views, no doubt. I love the idea of transforming the eastern Willamette district to a high-tech area similar to South Lake Union in Seattle, but don't really know who the drivers would be.

I have no problem with downtown Portland continueing to be an "anti-Seattle" type of downtown, more walkable and more residential. But I do have questions as how strong this can become with other issues that are attacking Portland, such as homelessness and drug abuse. These items are hard to contain, unless Portland takes a totally different approach, which is not in their DNA. Portland has no desire to become a major business center, and it probably won't with current attitudes. And that is OK.

So the question becomes what does Portland want to be? I think this is the major unanswered question here in 2017. Seattle and San Francisco want and will fight for greater commerce, Portland doesn't seem to be on the same wavelength. Again, if that is what the city wants, (as in what the people want), then that is where it will end up. But any business rivalry will be over for the most part. And again, that is OK if that is what is popular.
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Old 03-29-2017, 02:47 AM
 
Location: Left coast
2,320 posts, read 1,289,632 times
Reputation: 3231
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
Portland will always be the premiere city in Oregon. No question about that, but will it continue to be a desirable place to live? I offer this question in sincerity, not in a negative way. I actually love the setting, a river valley confluence with terrific views, no doubt. I love the idea of transforming the eastern Willamette district to a high-tech area similar to South Lake Union in Seattle, but don't really know who the drivers would be.

I have no problem with downtown Portland continueing to be an "anti-Seattle" type of downtown, more walkable and more residential. But I do have questions as how strong this can become with other issues that are attacking Portland, such as homelessness and drug abuse. These items are hard to contain, unless Portland takes a totally different approach, which is not in their DNA. Portland has no desire to become a major business center, and it probably won't with current attitudes. And that is OK.

So the question becomes what does Portland want to be? I think this is the major unanswered question here in 2017. Seattle and San Francisco want and will fight for greater commerce, Portland doesn't seem to be on the same wavelength. Again, if that is what the city wants, (as in what the people want), then that is where it will end up. But any business rivalry will be over for the most part. And again, that is OK if that is what is popular.
Really good question pnwguy-
I think the huge elephant in the room is the underground cash economy that surely effects the dynamics in ways I can't even fathom-- I hadn't even seen a $100 bill in years before I moved here (paypal and debit cards rule), and there I was, behind people buying their weekly groceries at Fred Meyers with stacks of $50s and $100s in their wallets....
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Old 03-29-2017, 07:11 AM
 
33,031 posts, read 22,810,330 times
Reputation: 8974
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leisesturm View Post
Ok, let's try this again... to wit: NYC, my alma mater. State income tax 10.2% as of 2009 when I left, AND (simultaneously) a sales tax of 8.45%, again as of 2009 when I departed. I doubt those numbers are lower in 2017. Likely they are somewhat higher. And there is that minimum wage of $7.25/hr. to consider. A minimum wage worker in PDX will likely not pay ANY Federal Income Tax, and the State Income Tax will NOT be the 10% top rate, it will be a few percentage points lower.

I won't argue about the Art Tax. It is also ironic that the vast majority of people paying it won't be able to afford to visit the very Art and Music venues in Portland that the tax supports. It should be made more progressive. Portland schools do NOT, overall, have poor performance. Some Portland schools have very poor performance, most are much better, and a few are rather satisfactory. Do you imagine NYC is any different? The 800lb. gorilla of ethnicity and school segregation disproportionately concentrating low achievement students into a particular school district(s)... ... hello... is this thing on? Am I getting through?

I like paying the listed price for my 'Skull Candy' earbuds at Best Buy because there is no sales tax to be applied at the cash register. I like Trimet being on the honor system (sort of) because I will have my proof of fare if asked for it, and thus Trimet hasn't had to pay $2 Billion dollars building a bulletproof fare enforcement infrastructure. I like not having to pump my gas because when you look like me, self service pumps do not work! I will have to go into the office and pay directly because they disable the credit card reader the moment I step out of the car and direct me to come inside through the PA system and that sucks. I am sorry you are having a problem with some of Portland's intrinsics. To be expected I suppose. It even says so in the Bible: "no [entity] can be all things, to all people, all of the time". Not saying your opinions/feelings aren't valid.... but... let's just say that it works for me.

I've had this idea of putting a charter initiative on the ballot to prevent the city from levying a regressive income tax - which the Arts Tax clearly is - but that would be very difficult, because (a) it would have to be written technically to define a regressive tax, which in turn (b) would make it difficult to explain to voters just to get it on the ballot!

My theory is that while Portland likes to think of itself as progressive, the voters would defeat actually making taxes (like the Arts Tax) progressive. I'd like to prove it just so that I can say I Told You So.
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Old 03-29-2017, 01:26 PM
 
Location: bend oregon
937 posts, read 873,237 times
Reputation: 358
i think some day there will be a thing where we will stop having houses being built in oregon. you can have trailers/ tiny houses. the west coast isnt like the east coast where you build a lot of rail and skyscrapers. plus theres earthquakes and if the weather is getting hotter people will need shade. no more cutting down trees too
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Old 03-30-2017, 03:05 PM
 
3,939 posts, read 3,997,220 times
Reputation: 3049
Quote:
Originally Posted by pnwguy2 View Post
The major west coast cities are all on the same trajectory, with some exceptions.

San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose, San Francisco, Portland, Seattle. Let's use them as examples for this argument.

What do all these cities have in common, and what do they not have in common?

First, all are now expensive, with San Jose, Portland, and Seattle all increasing in COL in recent decades. All cities are desirable to some extent or another, and all are growing.

However, there are differences. San Diego is stable. It just continues to be one of the best places to live in the US. Climate, a stable job force, and development that doesn't overwhelm. San Jose is a huge satellite to San Francisco, and certainly anchors the South Bay, but tends to also be a somewhat overshadowed city. San Francisco is what it is and we all understand how expensive it is, but also how important it is. Seattle is growing like a 13 year old kid...increased density that is slowly becoming the #2 behind SF.

Portland is in the mix somewhere between all of the above. I will say Portland IS changing, but I don't think for the better. It has a vibrant downtown, but it also has a lot problems. Industry is hanging on, but for the most part this city is for the haves and not have nots. They don't want to be big like San Francisco or Seattle, but they don't want to be small like Eugene or Spokane. They are kind of caught in the middle of this west coast situation, and IMO they are the most complicated in trying to identify.
Great post and I have to agree. We moved to Beaverton from NE Portland and it feels like there is a middle class whereas Portland has a striking difference in neighborhoods just a few miles from each other.
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Old 03-30-2017, 06:35 PM
 
184 posts, read 128,848 times
Reputation: 322
We need UGB so that Oregon stays as beautiful as it is. I'm glad that we have UGB. If this causes some people not being able to afford Oregon, too bad for them. They can pick one of the 49 beautiful states to call their home. Living in Oregon is not an entitlement.
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