82nd Ave Big Box Store Permit Off Hold; Rally Scheduled Aug 7th - Land Use Hearing on Oct
The application for the proposed 'big box store' on NE 82nd & Siskiyou has come off of hold; Massive Rally planned Aug 7th - hearing date scheduled Oct 1 & 3
NE Neighborhoods Plan Massive Rally to Celebrate Neighborhood Livability at National Night Out Event
Save Madison South/Save Roseway Groups Plan Rally to Announce Hearing for Proposed Big Box Store
(Portland, OR) - Leaders of the Save Madison South and Save Roseway coalitions in NE Portland are now calling upon their 900+ member-strong support base to turn out for one of Portland's biggest National Night Out celebrations ever.
The National Night Out event, sponsored by both the Madison South and Roseway Neighborhood Associations, is taking place Tuesday, August 7, 2007 from 6:30-8:30pm at Glenhaven Park (NE 82nd and Siskiyou) as a celebration of neighborhood livability.
However, with the permit application coming off hold for a proposed "big box store" development in the neighborhood, many residents are planning on attending the neighborhood event as a rally of support. The rally will be the official kick-off the fight against what could likely be Portland's newest Wal-Mart Supercenter.
The application for this proposed project came off hold this week on July 31st, and the land-use hearing date has been scheduled for 9am on October 1 and 3, 2007 at the City of Portland's Bureau of Development Services Room 2500-A [second floor], located at 1900 SW Fourth Avenue. Hundreds of residents are expected to pack the room to testify at the hearing.
The site in question is located on the now-vacant land (former golf driving range) across from Madison High School on NE 82nd. The developer so far has refused to publicly identify their tenant; however Canadian-based SmartCentre's website (www.smartcentres.com) proudly touts their strong relationship with Wal-Mart, with approximately 120 out of their 180 projects ending up being a Wal-Mart.
"This project's proposed rezoning and the development of 240,000 square feet of retail space, combined with a traffic impact of 9,000-11,000 additional car trips a day is making an already dangerous thoroughfare even more treacherous," said Save Madison South committee co-chair Frank Walsh. "The residents around here recognize that - they know exactly what this proposal means to their home, their street, their business district and the neighborhood livability in general. This proposal is taking an existing problem and then compounding it to a breaking point."
The City of Portland and the Oregon Department of Transportation have already designated 82nd Avenue of Roses a high crash corridor. "While our supporters are pro-development and pro-business, the entire idea of this particular project proposal is just the wrong fit for this area for many reasons - and would be destructive to 82nd Avenue of Roses, our business districts and our neighborhoods," Walsh added.
The proposed development is slated for a hotly contested piece of land, which happens to be one of the last remaining large parcels of undeveloped land in the city limits of Portland. Neighbors have grown increasingly frustrated with this site, citing its long, lurid litany of "bad neighbor" relations.
The land was a former gravel pit that was later abandoned, and in the first chapter of the site's history, neighbors were horrified to learn an 8-year old child wandered onto the land, fell into the defunct water-filled basin and drowned.
Later, the pit was converted into a garbage dump that was permitted to accept only dry trimmings and dry trash. The land owner at the time disregarded the city zoning regulations and raw garbage was regularly dumped at the site. The resulting stench, flies and garbage blew across the entire area, raising the ire of residents frustrated with the unresponsive owner and lack of enforcement by the city.
The landfill was closed in 1973, and then developed into a golf driving range. Nearby neighbors complained about the owner's disregard about installing nets to protect against errant balls, and were the frequent victims of broken car and house windows. The operator of the range disregarded residents' protests and did nothing to try and fix the situation.
Now, with the prospect of a giant 'big box store' being sited in their neighborhood, residents have decided that they are tired of getting 'dumped on' and are now taking a stand for the neighborhood with renewed vigor and vitality.
Hundreds of neighbors are expected to turn out to show their support for keeping Madison South and Roseway's parks, clean streets, quiet neighborhoods and nearby small business districts part of the area's character and livability.
The Save Madison South and Save Roseway coalitions, made up of residents who are volunteering their time became active in early November 2006. The result has been a blazing door-to-door campaign that has been alerting neighbors about the possible development and the timelines. Yards signs have been snapped up so quickly by residents eager to show their support for a livable neighborhood, that hundreds more were ordered. To date, close to over 900+ households have signed an action list roster committing to oppose the development.
For more information and related documents, please visit www.savemadisonsouth.org, which has background materials loaded on the site for review.
Together, we ARE making a difference!
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