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Portland City Council Tentatively Shuts Down Macadam Ridge Proposal

Members of the South Burlingame Neighborhood Association were able to breathe a small sigh of relief February 7th, as the Portland City Council tentatively voted 5-0 to uphold the SBNA’s appeal regarding the Riverview Abbey Mausoleum’s proposed development.

Consisting of twenty-one homes (allegedly cut down from 60), Macadam Ridge would have been developed on about five acres of land located near Taylor’s Ferry Road, adjacent to Southwest Canby Street and Southwest Hume Street.

Macadam Ridge initially had the stamp of approval from a city hearings officer, but it was quickly appealed by the SNBA who had concerns that the proposal didn’t address or limit important impacts to the environment. In addition to believing that the proposal did not preserve enough trees, the SNBA asserted that the Macadam Ridge Proposal failed to properly account for impacts on nearby neighborhoods, traffic, and transit. It was also mentioned in the appeal that any submitted evidence was not given adequate time for review by the neighbors.

At Wednesday’s hearing, about forty appeal supporters stood to testify, while six supporters of the Macadam Ridge Proposal testified in opposition of the appeal. This lead to three and a half hours of testimonies, including that of one of the land owners, Stephen Griffith. In his testimony, Griffith claimed that with the planned proposal the Griffith family would have made some important repairs to a sanitary sewer and stormwater outfall on the land, as well as donate ten of the fourteen acres to the City of Portland for park use.

Despite Griffith’s assertions, the commissioners sided with the SNBA’s appeal, noting that city bureaus had voiced concern regarding the hearing officer’s approval and there being too many unanswered questions from that initial hearing. While this is in favor of the SNBA and their appeal, the vote on the 7th was solely tentative, as the final vote will be cast next week on Valentine’s Day (Wednesday, February 14th).

Do you believe that the tentative vote is an accurate representation of what to expect for the final vote? Should this area be developed at a later date, what do you believe the impact will be to the environment, traffic, and surrounding businesses?