Portland is considering letting Home Depot move in to the east base of the Burnside Bridge. Today they held a public meeting asking for input on the pros and cons.
I never meant to go there as a reporter, I just wanted to see what was going on. I was curious to see how such a well-planned city acted when it set policy and asked for input. I also wanted to see if they were serious about the proposed Home Depot placement so close in to downtown, and why.
The city was asking the community if we thought a big box store was appropriate there, and if so, if Home Depot was a good fit for the area. They booked a large meeting room (actually three small rooms with the dividers removed) at the Goodwill building on SE 6th and Harrison, and the place was packed standing room only. Representatives from more neighborhood associations than I knew existed were there, as well as people who worked in local hardware stores, people who lived there and even a representative of the local skateboard community (who sensably pointed out that they had been very good neighbors for the last 14 years, and thus they really should be included in any discussions about Burnside Bridge developement, since their park is under the bridge).
The public was given the chance to speak, and the adgenda had to be extended quite a long time to give everyone a chance to give info on why this is an abysmally stupid plan (I suppose people could have spoken in favor of the plan as well, but nobody seemed to be so inclined).