Author Archives: Robert McCullough

State of the City Preservation Report, which is scheduled to be presented to the council at 2 p.m. on July 31.


Home demolition controversy headed to City Council

The City Council is expected to get an earful about the issue of existing homes being demolished for infill projects on Thursday.

The Portland Historic Landmarks Commission calls the increasing number of demolitions “something of an epidemic” in its annual State of the City Preservation Report, which is scheduled to be presented to the council at 2 p.m. on July 31.

Preservations and neighborhood activists are expected to jam the council meeting to demand action.

“This epidemic of single-family home demolitions erodes the character and culture of our neighborhoods, promotes and accelerates gentrification, creates a negative environmental impact, and disincentives historic preservation,” reads the report.

Home demolitions and infill projects are increasing as the economy improves. Approximately 200 demolition applications were received last year and the number is expected to be higher this year. Neighbors throughout the city are already complaining about single-family homes on large lots being torn down and replaced with one or two much larger homes.

The report call on the council to respond to the growing public concern over the demolitions. It asks the council to support the commission exploring ways to mitigate the impacts on neighborhoods, including:

• A public process that allows for the review and delay of the demolition of any structure older than 75 years until the city’s existing inventory of historic buildings in updated.

• Adjusting local zoning codes to reduce the speculative increase in land values that are making such infill projects feasible.

• Incentives to encourage the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of existing buildings instead of demolition as part of the city’s sustainability strategy.

• Residential design guidelines that promote the use of high quality designs and building materials when replacing landmarks or structures that contribute to the historic character of the city.

• Updating the current Historic Resource Inventory that was compiled in 1984 throughout the city.

News of the presentation has been posted on local historic preservation websites and blogs. Emails encouraging attendance are being circulated within groups and neighborhood association concerned about the growing number of demolitions, including the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association, which is fighting several infill projects.

The Historic Landmarks Commission is part of the city’s Bureau of Development Services. It consists of eight volunteer members who have demonstrated interest, competence, or knowledge of historic preservation.

According to the city’s website, the commission “provides leadership and expertise on maintaining and enhancing Portland’s historic and architectural heritage. The Commission identifies and protects buildings and other properties that have historic or cultural significance or special architectural merit. The Commission provides advice on historic preservation matters, and coordinates historic preservation programs in the City. The Commission is also actively involved in the development of design guidelines for historic design districts.”

To read the report,

Car prowlers hit Eastmoreland neighborhood

Posted: Jun 25, 2014 4:54 PM PDTUpdated: Jul 23, 2014 5:05 PM PDT

By Andrew Padula – email



A couple of thieves were caught on camera after stealing items from cars and homes in a southeast Portland neighborhood on Wednesday.

It happened early Wednesday morning in the Eastmoreland neighborhood near Southeast 36th and Southeast Henry.

Many people in that area woke up to find their cars had been broke into, while others discovered some of their bikes had been stolen.

Portland police say an alert neighbor snapped several pictures of two suspects in action.

One of those pictures shows the men trying to ride off with more than just one bike.

The neighbor who snapped the pictures told Fox 12 they knew the men were up to something when they saw the men hiding things in the brush. They then watched as the two suspects tried to ride off with three bikes.

“It was very bold. The neighbors said ‘Check your car, check your garage’ and so we did and we had a couple of bikes gone,” said Patty Cole, who was one of the victims.

Cole said the thieves even came through a side gate and into her mud room where they took her kid’s backpacks and a sweatshirt.

She says the suspects then walked into her garage and took the bikes.

“It’s crazy how many people were affected on this street. It’s been weird, but it’s stuff and everyone is OK and that’s what’s important,” added Cole.

Other neighbors said they woke up to find items from inside their cars tossed into their yard.

Around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Portland police were back in the neighborhood after they found what appeared to be one of the stolen bikes at Woodstock School.

“It’s really scary to think that someone is on your personal property when they shouldn’t be,” said Nikki Metcalf, who lives in the area.

Those who live in the neighborhood don’t like knowing that their neighbors have been targeted.

“We are a very, very tight neighborhood, everybody knows everybody in a one to three block radius. So when something like this happens everybody hears about it,” added Metcalf.

People who live in the area say they plan to be extra vigilant looking out for anything suspicious.

Police are hoping the pictures will help track the suspects down.

Anyone with any information about this incident or if you recognize the men you’re asked to contact Detective Chris Brace by email at or by phone at 503-823-0541.

Copyright 2014 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.


Eastmoreland’s Most Prominent Winemaker


When not spinning hot, new club mixes at Portland-area benefit galas, former Mayor “DJ Sam” Adams brewed his own beer. There’s perhaps some symbolism in the fact that currentMayor Charlie Hales, a University of Virginia alum who enjoys tooling down the Pacific coastline on his sailboat, makes his own wine. In his Eastmoreland basement.

The city’s most prominent home vintner has been winemaking since 2009—mostly pinot noir, with the occasional pinot gris. Hales and 15 pals, mostly veterans of the regional planning agency Metro, travel to Banks each year to pick grapes and turn them into mash. Hales makes about 200 bottles a year, which he labels “Amuse.” “They do the first fermentation in one guy’s garage,” says mayoral spokesman Dana Haynes, “and the second in the Hales’ basement.” Then they drink it.

How’s the product? The red’s a bit fruit-forward, but the mayor succeeds very well in making a half-sweet white. Hales says the 2012 vintage is solid, “but I’m not giving up my day job.” AARON MESH.

Courtesy of Willamette Week this morning.

Emergency ENA Board Meeting at 6:00 P.M., July 23, 2014, at 6123 S.E. Reed College Place

Rod Merrick, on behalf of the land use committee, has requested an emergency board meeting to consider the filing of a LUBA action to block subdivision at 3620 SE Rural.

This will be the only item on the agenda at this meeting.

A copy of the meeting agenda is available here.