Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood Association

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Upcoming demolition/development reform meetings

An invitation from Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood Association (BWNA)
and Central Northeast Neighbors (CNN) to attend

Open to whom

To the public, but with priority given to
representatives from neighborhood associations


Mon., Sept. 29, 7:00-9:00 p.m. = Scrutinizing & Prioritizing
Tues., Oct. 7, 7:00-9:00 p.m. = Summit III: Reaching Consensus


Grant Park Church, 2728 NE 34th Ave, Portland, OR 97212
* Please park in lot across the street from Grant Park

Contact Person?

Chair Al Ellis =




On the evening of September 9th, residents from two dozen neighborhoods—80 attendees in all, most of them neighborhood association leaders—gathered together in the sanctuary at Grant Park Church in Northeast Portland, united in addressing one pressing issue: residents’ concerns over problems associated with residential demolition/development practices. A sequel to last spring’s “Summit I” meeting, “Summit II” was designed to get the ball rolling on suggestions for a reform proposal that could garner support from a wide range of neighborhoods, thus paving the way for approval from city officials. Initially conceived in response to residents’ dismay over the increasing number of demolitions (what the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission characterized in their annual report to City Council last July 31st as “something of an epidemic”) and the resultant loss of affordable quality homes replaced by more expensive, incompatible (relative to the other homes on the block) new ones, the “summit” approach was initiated by former Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood Association (BWNA) president Al Ellis (now Beaumont-Wilshire Newsletter Editor) in an effort to bring the issue to the attention of city leaders and jumpstart reform. While Mayor Hales has acknowledged the need for action on these concerns, he recently deferred to Commissioner Fritz (who oversees the Bureau of Development Services—BDS) to carry the ball. In turn, Commissioner Fritz has repeatedly advised neighborhood associations that it is the Mayor and City Council, not BDS, that decides building code policy and that reform in this area is appropriately pursued though the Comprehensive Plan Update process (months away from completion, maybe longer) and BDS’s Development Review Advisory Committee—DRAC (whose members are predominately developers). Meanwhile, random demolitions and indiscriminate building practices continue unabated. THAT IS THE REASON FOR THE SUMMITS. THAT IS THE REASON FOR FORMING UNFR. AND THAT IS WHY YOUR PARTICIPATION IS VITAL.


BW Volunteer Group

Do you know a neighbor that could use a helping hand?

The Beaumont Wilshire Neighborhood Volunteer Group stands ready to pitch-in.

—- cleaning chores, yard work, window washing, garage/storage organization, simple fresh up painting.


Contact John Sandie



New BW mail list

A new BWNA mailing list has been created with Dada Mail. It is a public email discussion list. Anyone may join or leave at any time. Subscribers from the old mail list (which will be deactivated soon) have been transferred to this one.

The subscribe link is located below the Contact on the navigation menu ‘Subscribe to BWNA Mail List’ and the right sidebar. Or you may do it  right here.


BWNA Demolition/Development Resolution

BWNA Demolition/Development Resolution
(Approved at Special Board Meeting on July 7, 2014)

Whereas, the preservation of a neighborhood’s historical heritage and architectural character are of prime concern to residents; and

Whereas, access to affordable housing is a citywide objective; and

Whereas, city building code regulations as currently stated do not address the preservation of architectural character or protection of existing affordable homes;

Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Beaumont-Wilshire Neighborhood Association supports the following action plan:

1.) revision of the building code to limit the size, lot coverage,setbacks, height, and floor area ratio of house construction to that of the average of existing homes within 200 feet.

2.) revision of building code to incorporate the requirement that local residents be notified of proposed demolitions 45 days in advance of applying for a building permit

3.) imposing of a moratorium on home demolitions or major remodels prior to code revision implementation

4.) encouraging the signing of a (non-binding) “Neighbor Pledge by homeowners to not allow their home to be sold to developers for demolition   

5.) collaborating with other neighborhood associations in the drafting and presentation of a joint action plan to the Mayor and City Commissioners to address demolition/development concerns

6.) collaboration between neighborhood associations and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability in recommending specific changes to the zoning code with respect to demolition/development concerns as part of a Comprehensive Plan update.

(Posted originally by Al Ellis on Blogspot)


Neighbor Pledge

One of Portland’s greatest treasures is the distinct character of its neighborhoods. Few cities offer such diversity of homes for all tastes.

However, older affordable homes in neighborhoods well-served by established city infrastructure such as schools and transportation increasingly are demolished and replaced, often with houses many times the size of the original and sold for twice the value. New construction should not tower above existing homes, impinge on neighbors’ privacy, or limit others’ access to light or solar power.

City planners and city government have failed to protect the character and range of affordability of homes in the city’s neighborhoods. A city that prides itself on its commitment to sustainable practices and the environment has done little to stem the tide of demolitions. Homes are torn down with little regard to quality of materials and craftsmanship. As local preservationist Cathy Galbraith says, We try to recycle everything in Portland, yet throw whole houses away.

The stakes are high, and neighborhoods are at risk. Homeowners have the power to change this destructive trend. Even if homes are in need of maintenance or a remodel, many potential buyers would embrace the chance to buy into the neighborhood and restore a piece of Portland’s “first-growth architecture.” Demolition, on the other hand, removes a more affordable home, usually built of higher-quality materials, from the neighborhood forever.

With this pledge, homeowners show support for the history and value of such character architecture by envisioning a future for their homes, and providing criteria for potential buyers. If the number of sales to builders can be slowed, so can the wave of demolitions, and developers will be motivated to take advantage of vacant lots within the urban growth boundary instead of tearing down unique housing that’s stood for generations.

Even though the homeowner may be selling his or her home, no one else has more power in the face of that transaction to protect that home—and the neighborhood—for generations to come.



If I sell my home, I will seek buyers committed to preservation. In addition:

• I will notify neighbors of my intent to sell before looking for a seller or listing my home.

• If I sign with a real estate agent, the agent also will be asked to honor this pledge.

• I will ask prospective buyers about plans to remodel or add to the home.

• I will not sell to a buyer who plans to increase the height or footprint of the home if I feel it adversely affects the character or livability of the neighborhood.

• I will sign and attach this pledge to my will if I have one, as a statement to my heirs of my preferences for the disposition of my home.


Signed:       _____________________________________

Date:           _______________________

Address:     ________________________________

(Posted originally by Al Ellis on Blogspot)