Tonkon

In the Sharing Economy, is All Real Estate Still Local?

Real Estate and Land Use


8/18/2017 by David J. Petersen, Kimberlee A. Stafford

In the Sharing Economy, is All Real Estate Still Local?
The City of Portland has an Airbnb problem. Its citizens want to use Airbnb to earn income on real estate investments, but the City has valid concerns about safety, tax collection, non-discrimination, and Airbnb's impact on the availability of affordable housing. To address this, Portland followed San Francisco's lead and adopted an ordinance allowing for short-term rentals, but only if the rental unit is registered with the city and meets other regulatory requirements, such as the owner carrying liability insurance. Airbnb has taken some steps to encourage compliance but, also like San Francisco, Portland has struggled with enforcement.

Shining a Positive Light on the Willamette River with Portland's New Urban Plan

Environmental, Real Estate and Land Use, Water Law


8/11/2017 by Jeanette C. Schuster

Shining a Positive Light on the Willamette River with Portland's New Urban Plan
Growth and development in Portland's central city – comprised of 10 neighborhoods adjacent to or near the Willamette River, including South Waterfront, Lloyd and downtown – will soon be governed by a new urban development plan. A draft of the new plan (seven years in the making), dubbed the "Central City 2035" or "CC2035" plan, was released on June 22, 2017. Portland's city council is taking testimony on the draft through September 15, 2017. The basis of the plan is to prepare Portland's urban core to absorb 30 percent of the city's total expected growth rate, including the addition of more than 50,000 jobs.

The (Bull Run) Honeymoon is Over...

Water Law


8/3/2017 by Janet Neuman

The (Bull Run) Honeymoon is Over...
In 1895, Portlanders started drinking unfiltered water from the Bull Run watershed on Mt. Hood. Right away, public health officials noted a big drop in typhoid fever cases, and by 1905, the water was being credited for a record low death rate in Portland. It wasn't until 1929 that the Water Bureau started adding a little chlorine to the water for disinfection, and that—plus a little ammonia—is still pretty much the extent of treatment today. For more than a century, Portlanders—along with many other metro area residents whose water is provided through wholesale water contracts with Portland—have enjoyed wonderful, fresh, clean Bull Run water.

The Goat Blocks Show the Value of the Long Play

Real Estate and Land Use


7/27/2017 by David J. Petersen

The Goat Blocks Show the Value of the Long Play
The 347-unit Goat Blocks apartment project is due to open shortly in inner SE Portland. Killian Pacific's project features 347 market rate apartments, the fourth Market of Choice grocery store in the Portland area, an Orchard Supply Hardware and 98,000 additional square feet of retail. The story of the Goat Blocks reveals how the long play can pan out in commercial real estate. Starting in the 1920s, the two-block superblock served as a neighborhood bazaar and farmer's market. Unused by 1999, Killian Pacific acquired the site and talked to the neighborhood about what it needed.

Kickstarting New Brownfields Development in Portland

Environmental, Real Estate and Land Use


7/20/2017 by Jeanette C. Schuster

Kickstarting New Brownfields Development in Portland
For a city as deeply steeped in all things sustainable, organic, gluten-free, and vegan as Portland, Oregon, it is surprising that the city does not have more of a thriving Brownfields program. Brownfields are the contaminated properties (and eyesores) remaining after a commercial or an industrial use is abandoned—think former gas stations and dry cleaners. A Brownfields program provides incentives for cleanup and redevelopment of these properties. Portland has over 900 acres of designated Brownfields, many in choice locations or in underserved neighborhoods.

The Fair-Haired Dumbbell Regulation A+ Offering

Real Estate and Land Use


6/29/2017 by Rachel Kiyoko Atchison

The Fair-Haired Dumbbell Regulation A+ Offering
On the corner of NE MLK and Burnside in Portland, the new Fair-Haired Dumbbell building is nearly complete. The building has garnered attention for its unique architectural design and painting plans. But more important for developers is the way the building was funded: with crowdfunding pursuant to the recently revised Regulation A, popularly known as Regulation A+.

Vancouver Is Not Portland, and That's Just Right

Real Estate and Land Use


6/22/2017 by David J. Petersen

Vancouver Is Not Portland, and That's Just Right
Vancouver and Portland have a relationship that is, well, complicated. For some they are too close, and Vancouver seems bland and uninteresting, lost in the glare reflected from its more glamorous neighbor. For others, they are too far apart, separated by an iconic river, an aging bridge and an eternal traffic nightmare. But things change. Helping this trend considerably is the gradual makeover of Vancouver's dull image.

"Infrastructure Week" – In Case You Missed It

Environmental, Real Estate and Land Use, Water Law


6/16/2017 by Janet Neuman

For those of you who may have been distracted by other events in the news, let me recap the Trump Administration’s "Infrastructure Week" for you.

Monday, June 5: President Trump kicked off the week with a formal East Room signing ceremony, complete with a military band, souvenir pens, and a photo op. What did he sign? Was it his promised trillion dollar spending proposal to rebuild the nation's highways, bridges, dams, and water facilities? No—just a letter to Congress that advocated privatizing the air traffic control system. Even that did not represent a new proposal, but simply expressed support for a bill initially proposed several years ago by a Pennsylvania representative in Congress—a version of which died in the Senate last year. The LA Times called it "the latest example of a pattern of the administration claiming to have sent Congress fully constructed policies when it has provided only facades..."

Beware Environmental Regulations Lurking in City Codes

Environmental, Water Law


6/8/2017 by Jeanette C. Schuster

Beware Environmental Regulations Lurking in City Codes
When most people think of environmental regulations, they think of the federal government (United States Environmental Protection Agency or "EPA") and state agencies (Oregon Department of Environmental Quality or "DEQ"). However, environmental requirements also lurk in city ordinances. While such local requirements are often tied to the issuance of a building permit and cannot be avoided, operators of an existing facility may not be aware of them and therefore fail to implement them. This risks possible enforcement actions and fines.

Is All Renewable Energy by 2050 Realistic?

Energy


6/1/2017 by David J. Petersen

Is All Renewable Energy by 2050 Realistic?
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury recently pledged that the City and County will run exclusively on renewable energy by 2050. Is this for real? Can it be done? To answer that, this post focuses on science and economics. Policy and human nature are of course huge hurdles also, but I want to know – assuming there is the will, is there a way? Going 100% renewable basically requires electrifying everything. This mostly means transitioning the energy source for transportation and heating from carbon fuels to electricity. Of course, electrifying everything will cause a huge increase in demand for electricity. Electricity from wind and solar are the best carbon-free options, and they are limited only by the amount of the earth's surface dedicated to their generation. But they are not "dispatchable," meaning they are not always available when needed.

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