This is part one of a series looking at the Comprehensive Plan Update and how it effects the Foster neighborhoods in SE Portland. The plan takes a big-picture look at our city across a full spectrum of civic life: from parks, to buildtings, to transportation. Take a look for yourself at http://www.portlandmaps.com/bps/cpmapp2/
Today's focus: the buildings.
The most important land-use element of this compressive plan is the decision of where to put mixed use buildings.
If like most of us, you are living in a detached home or duplex tucked into your neighborhood, you probably don't want an oversized apartment building looming large over your backyard. The comprehensive plan recognizes this, and bends over backwards to preserve the low-density residential areas we have today. The comprehensive plan doesn't change anything about the residential core of our neighborhoods, with a few exceptions.
The vision for SE is pretty clear. Our main corridors like Foster Rd will see mixed use lining the street, and the Lents Town Center/82nd&Foster area is going to be the built-up urban district for our part of town.
The plan proposes a few types of mixed use areas. The most common for us are Mixed Use Civic Corridors, where development fronts a major main streets, Mixed Use Urban Centers, where a cluster of activity on multiple connected streets can create a "district" rather than a single street, and Mixed Use Neighborhood, where pockets of activity can bring unobtrusive commercial uses into the hearts of the neighborhood.
In general, the big difference between the different zones is the intensity of use. Urban Centers are planned to have dense, 5-7 story downtown-like urban form, build into a district of urban blocks. Corridors are 3-5 stories, build along a main street, an Neighborhood uses are smaller, tucked into an otherwise residential areas.
There are really only two things the City of Portland wants from you when it comes to the mixed use zoning of the comprehensive plan:
Did they identify the right parcels for mixed use? Did they reach too far into a residential neighborhood area, as someone has commented for the area of Foster near 72nd?
Or maybe they didn't make enough mixed use? This comment in Lents wonders if the "hole" between Woodstock and Foster would be better off with mixed use designation:
What do you think? If you have thoughts, concerns or comments about the extent and type of mixed use designations identified here, you have until September 19th to submit your comments. Go to http://www.portlandmaps.com/bps/cpmapp2/
Do you want to have your say in person? Come to the first of three open houses:
Wednesday, September 10 2014, 4 – 7 p.m.
David Douglas High School, South Cafeteria
1001 SE 135th Ave