PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The push to move the Right 2 Dream Too camp from its current location in Old Town to a spot underneath the Broadway Bridge in the Pearl District is not getting a lot of support from the people who packed a city council hearing Thursday.
More than 200 people signed up to testify at the Portland City Council hearing on the Right 2 Dream Too camp move to the Broadway Bridge, Mayor Charlie Hales tweeted Thursday afternoon.
The move is planned as a temporary, one year move. But the people who live and work in the Pearl District are upset. One Pearl District resident said the rent-free homeless camp will affect parking and said the “city is hell bent to create a slum.”
Commissioner Amanda Fritz is backing the plan to move the camp to NW Lovejoy and Station about a mile from its current location at 4th and Burnside. That area is now filled with upscale development.
The city refers to this proposed Right 2 Dream Too location as a “rest area,” not a camp. But there would be electricity, toilets, water and waste disposal.
Supporters say it’s a good idea to provide a place that has cover, even if it’s only a bridge ramp.
“My goal in this hearing is not just to hear what you think about Right to Dream, but also the long range issues of homelessness,” Hales tweeted.
But if city commissioners approve it, there will be a legal fight.
Attorneys for the Pearl District neighborhood who also represent an under-construction hotel two blocks from the proposed camp say the city can’t do this. They claim there was a signed agreement between Pearl District developers and the city in 2002 that this spot would remain parking, not a place for the homeless to sleep.
KOIN 6 News learned a major developer in the Pearl District is asking for 30 days to come up with another idea. That could mean the commissioners will delay a decision for now.
– KOIN 6 News Reporter Lisa Balick contributed to this report. Follow her on Twitter @lisabKOIN.