Lot-splitting gets buck-passing at Portland City Hall

Mayor Hales spokesperson said Commissioner Amanda Fritz taking the lead

Neighbors for Responsible Growth want the city of Portland to stop the lot-splitting that they say is detracting from neighborhoods. Sept. 2, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Neighbors for Responsible Growth want the city of Portland to stop the lot-splitting that they say is detracting from neighborhoods. Sept. 2, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The lot-splitting in Portland seems to have some buck-passing going on in City Hall.

Neighbors are sick of long-time homes being bought by developers who raze it and build two (or more) homes on the same lot. No city commissioner is willing to take the lead on this issue.

A home in the Alameda neighborhood in Northeast Portland was torn down and will be replaced by two smaller homes on the same lot, March 12, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
A home in the Alameda neighborhood in Northeast Portland was torn down and will be replaced by two smaller homes on the same lot, March 12, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

Five months ago, Mayor Charlie Hales told KOIN 6 News the lot-splitting is a problem.

“I’m not sure we have it right yet and even if there is a truce in this case there are still the big questions we all need to work on,” he said on April 10.

In July, Hales told the Portland Tribune his staff was working on changes and would make a proposal in “weeks, not months” to preserve historic homes.

But the mayor’s spokesperson now said Commissioner Amanda Fritz is taking the lead and they’re waiting for recommendations from her.

Monday night, Fritz emailed KOIN 6 News and said Hales is leading the process of considering changes.

Regardless of who is, neighbors just want something done.

Al Ellis and dozens of his neighbors in the Wilshire neighborhood want City Hall’s attention.

“Our top issue, really, is the neighborhood,” Ellis said. “We think that we can’t wait much longer.”

Neighborhoods are meeting next week to come up with one common proposal on home demolitions they will bring to city commissioners.

Whoever that may be.

“The mayor,” Ellis said, “said he was interested in doing something about it.”

The meeting, open to the public, is set for 7 p.m. Sept. 9 at Grant Park Church, 2728 NE 34th, in Portland.

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