For more than a decade, the regional government, Metro, has been quietly herding people into high-density neighborhoods. For those unaware of this policy, the recently announced plans for 80 acres of development near the light rail station at Sunset Transit Center should be a wake-up call: The developers plan to build 2,175 new housing units, and none of them will be single-family homes. In order to meet Metro-imposed density requirements, the project will be dominated by mid-rise apartment complexes, along with commercial and retail buildings.

Metro anticipates that virtually all future development projects will be similar. In draft documents for a planning exercise called “Climate Smart Communities,” Metro notes that the current number of Portland-area households in mixed-use neighborhoods is 26%. By 2035, that number likely will rise to at least 36%. No options for reducing density are being studied.

Metro’s vision of ubiquitous apartment bunkers means that the region will slowly become a childfree zone, because few parents wish to raise their children in vertical housing. Portland parents, and those who hope to become parents, should ask hard questions about why the Metro Council thinks this is a great leap forward for livability.

John A. Charles, Jr. is President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

 

8 Responses to “Metro’s War on Single-Family Housing Continues”

  1. Eric Squires November 6, 2013 at 9:47 pm #

    John,

    Great opinion, as always. No comment on Metro’s war on single occupant vehicles, like WES? smirk

    Eric

  2. Mark Taylor November 8, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    Who pays to build all these things Jack? Public/Private partnership? Big tax breaks for private developers? Who’s getting rich here? Thank Mark

  3. Brian Weaver November 8, 2013 at 12:24 pm #

    The same thing is happening in Eugene, OR. The City has given away huge tax exemptions to encourage out-of-state developers to build sardine-style housing projects. Then, to make-up for lost revenue, they propose to cut City provided services. They promote this increased density as “livability”. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  4. Sonny Yellott November 8, 2013 at 12:55 pm #

    John,

    I discussed this with Roxanne Ross some time ago. My position was, and still is, that this whole thing about “high density” and light rail, or, mass transit, is directed toward the gradual elimination of private property. A tenant cannot own his/her domicile. They literally cannot hang a picture with out driving a nail which requires permission from the powers that be. They must buy but they cannot sell with out that permisson. They probably cannot bequeath their investment without proper oversight.

    Any comment on my thinking?

    Sonny Yellott

  5. Mary Starrett November 8, 2013 at 2:21 pm #

    It’s happening all over the country. A top down edict from the Feds ( courtesy of our pals at the UN ( Agenda 21) doling out “incentives” to state, city and county governments to herd people away from the American Dream into teeny tiny quarters .Keep sounding the alarm John and CPI!

  6. Sandra Millius November 8, 2013 at 5:46 pm #

    It seems to me that the edict is one of our own making. We have created an entire class of folks whose professional business is known as “planning.” Planning is fine when it is corralled and used as neededn (rather like seasonal employment). However, we have legions of nice folks whose idea of “how things should be” directing their full attention to persuading policy makers that they are oh-so-right on. There is nothing wrong with density when it is applied smartly; however, I don’t see the smart part in much of what is going on currently. So, right on, Charles, keep at it!!!!

  7. Ellis Wyatt November 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Yes, this is an essential component of the “UN” organization’s fascist blueprint for the 21st century. It was unveiled at the 1992 Rio “green” conference and is called “Agenda 21.”

    What it seeks to do is essentially transform the human race into a herd of cattle:

    – warehouse them – by forced relocation – in Stalinist government cubicles (like that …thing …in downtown Beaverton,) within a string of “dense-packed” urban anthills;

    – forcibly (i.e., at gunpoint) depopulate all rural areas and confiscate all land from its owners;

    – declare all thusly-depopulated lands as perpetually and totally off-limits to ALL human contact (IOW, not even any hiking or camping by woodsy-beardsy eco-fascists or anybody else);

    – obliterate private property in all forms;

    – obliterate the personal automobile and the right to internal migration per se – with all travel subject to government permission (as in communist China);

    – eliminate basic day-to-day necessities like personal, on-demand heating and air conditioning (see: “Smart” meters,) clothes washers and dryers (see: the “Greywater” push,) electricity (which is to be strictly rationed);

    – obliteration of national sovereignty and unification of all countries under a single, global government – likely headed up by the International Tyrants’ Day Care Center Manhattan Campus itself – which government will be retro-communist;

    – establishment of a single “approved” religion – likely the “green” ideology, which is faith-based and essentially already a religion;

    – obliteration of the family unit and state “ownership” of children;

    – state-forced euthanasia and “population control,” a.k.a. death camps for the “unsustainable”;

    … and a whole lot more.

    If this all sounds like paranoid doctrinaire fantasy, I invite interested parties to navigate to the official website of the International Tyrants’ Day Care Center Manhattan Branch (a.k.a. “UN”) itself, and read the reams of documents they’ve posted under the Agenda 21 umbrella – though they’ve apparently ditched the moniker in favor of ambiguous references to “sustainable development” and the like. It’s right there in black and white, outlined by the perps themselves.

    If you don’t care to wade through that swamp…erm, wetland of misanthropic, neo-fascistic toxins, there are a number of overviews available at YouTube and various websites (“Agenda 21 in One Easy Lesson,” “Agenda 21 For Dummies,” etc.)

    If this sounds remote and of no concern, have a look around you – at such actions as this “Climate Smart” putsch; at the spread of “ICLEI” organizations to neighborhoods nationwide; at Obama’s – and Bush’s and Clinton’s – massive, unchecked land-grabs as “national monuments” and the like; at the human rights violation that is the Kelo decision and the rampant abuse of “eminent domain”; at the attempt, already underway in several states, to force “smart” meters into people’s homes – essentially Orwell’s telescreens morphed to appliance-controllers.

    The only rational solution to this 21st century fascist lurch is a Gordian knot: The full withdrawal of the United States – and its allies, via some reasonable pressure – from the “UN,” and the expulsion of the “UN” from American soil, followed by the repeal of all laws, “treaties” and regulations issued by, or under the auspices of, that organization.

    Let those tinhorn tyrants set up shop in some community center in Botswana or Hrvatska, where they can shout their vestigial, recidivistic communist slogans at each other across greasy plastic tablecloths while flies buzz around their stale coffee.

  8. Todd Last November 16, 2013 at 11:57 am #

    This is interesting. We had a presentation at our Neighborhood Association by Metro where they said that the city did not have to adopt any of Metro’s requirements. That they were just suggestions and the cities could do whatever they wanted. How do you respond to that claim?

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