Vacant Land

A letter from the Land Use Chair…

Vacant Land at Williams and Russell
Vacant Land at Williams and Russell

Vacant land in Eliot has been one of my biggest annoyances since moving here in 2008.  I realize many of you have lived here longer than I have and some of you have even gotten permission to use the vacant land that you experience around you every day.  However some of the bigger pieces really leave holes in the urban fabric that surrounds us.  Some of the vacant land is used for parking, but at its worst some of our land is used for nothing at all.

The places strongest in my mind are the three empty lots on MLK between NE Cook Street and NE Fremont – 2 big pieces on the east side and a smaller one on the west.

Next I think of the two-and- a half large blocks on the southeast corner of Legacy Emanuel’s property that have been sitting vacant since the 1970s, occasionally used for parking but mostly for empty space.  A pair of soccer fields sitting there would get tons of use by the people I know, but sparing that, a few buildings that really anchor the Russell and Williams Avenue commercial corridors together would make a huge impact.

The block west of Vancouver on Russell could use a makeover as well.

Next I think to the vast parking lots around Broadway Toyota and the smaller scattered ones throughout southern Eliot.

What if all of this land were used for people to enjoy instead of just storing cars for future sale?  Perhaps one day the citizens of Eliot will reach out to the owners of this land and encourage them to put their assets to use.  Maybe there is a vacant lot that you would like to see something happen to.  You can find the details of who owns the lot, its zoning, and much more at http://www.portlandmaps.com

The Land Use and Transportation Committee meets the 2nd Monday of the month at 6:30 pm at St Philip the Deacon Church.

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3 thoughts on “Vacant Land

  1. One more thing. Why wasn’t it prerequisite that when this new wave of development began, the developers weren’t required to put money into a fund for enlarging Dishman Recreation Ctr. It’s my understanding that when Dishman was built, the structure for a large part of it was designed to accept another floor. And what about Boise-Elliot Elementary School? When all these apartment and condo addresses are occupied, they won’t allow children? We already know they think no one will own a car. So what is the most pressing question for the neighborhood school? Changing it’s name……..

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  2. Unless I’m mistaken, the primary property that you have pictured in your comment is a result of the Emanual Legacy disaster that condemned several blocks of residential neighborhood in Elliot. And yes, it then sat dormant and neglected for decades. This is one of the perennial postures you can expect from developers. Now, you can see it again. When there is money to be made, throw all caution to the wind. Parking? The hell with it! Affordable housing? We’ll see. Impact of increased traffic on the residential streets? Give them the illusion of concern with some rubber hoses across the asphalt. Data base be damned! The vacancy that concerns me more than the land you’re addressing is in the eyes of all these big shots who are getting rich at the expense of the under privileged!!!

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