The Southwest Portland Post. (Portland, Oregon) 2007-current, October 01, 2008, Page 4, Image 4

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    4 • The Southwest Portland Post
October 2008
OHSU’s planned 20-acre campus in South Waterfront still has some issues
By Lee Perlman
The Southwest Portland Post
Oregon Health and Sciences Uni-
versity is proceeding with plans
for their South Waterfront campus,
and in so doing encountering some
issues. The Schnitzer family has do-
nated 20 acres of land in the previ-
ously industrial area to the school to
create a new, or satellite, campus to
their existing one on Marquam Hill.
OHSU’s Mark Williams gave the
South Portland Neighborhood As-
sociation a progress report on the
project last month, with emphasis
on what is likely to be the most
sensitive aspect of the development
– views.
Buildings on the campus will en-
compass about two million square
feet of floor space, he said, and
they will be housed in a series of
structures that will approach, and
in some cases possibly exceed, 250
feet in height, as the code for this
part of town calls for.
View corridors will consist of
the rights of way of newly-created
streets, and even these will have
their limitations as far as residents of
the older neighborhood to the west
are concerned. At the insistence of
city planners, east-west streets will
align with the river bank rather than
with their counterpart streets to
the west; thus residents to the west
may not be able to use them to see
through to the river.
OHSU probably will not go
through a master planning process
for the new campus, and will be
subject to little public process or
regulation other than design review
for individual buildings “that I’m
aware of,” Williams said. “If you’re
asking, will we try to place our
buildings to maximize your views,
the answer is yes,” he said.
“If you’re asking to re-open the
zoning code, we’re not crazy about
that. We’ve already had that discus-
Another issue is open space. Wil-
liams said school wants lots of open
space, “the campus we never had on
the hill. We want to have the green-
est campus in the country.”
In fact, he said, under plans so far
the school will have 9,000 square feet
more open space than was called for
in the South Waterfront Plan. Auto
use will be minimized, with a single
conventional north-south street and
east-west ways given over largely to
pedestrians and bikes.
This didn’t satisfy Jerry Ward,
longtime neighborhood activist and
South Portland’s representative to
the North Macadam Urban Renewal
Advisory Committee. He told the
South Portland board that the South
Waterfront Plan called for two acres
of park land on the northern end,
and as far as he was concerned this
did not mean a series of plazas for
“I don’t care if the public is al-
lowed there; I wouldn’t feel com-
fortable being there,” Ward said.
“We need to get them to honor 10
years of planning.” South Portland
board member Jim Gardner pointed
out that the campus only occupied
about half of the northern part of
the district, and that a two-acre park
somewhere else would satisfy the
The campus, like the rest of South
Waterfront, will have a 100-foot
wide greenway west of the river
bank, Williams said. According to
long-term plans, he said, “This will
be the most habitat-intensive part
of the greenway. It won’t be a place
for people to tromp around in.”
He added, “This is the city’s plan.
Whether it gets built or not is not
our call.”
Williams said that the campus,
except for classrooms, will be “qua-
si-public” space which people in
the neighborhoods will be able to
use. In the same spirit, the ground
floors of some of the buildings may
be given over to retail services that
could serve the larger communities.
Hamilton Street Sidewalks
sociation hopes to work with the city
to better define zoning laws and find
solutions where the whole commu-
nity including foster care residents
Tanya Ghattas, the new Bridlemile
Elementary School principal stopped
by to say hello. Formerly principal
at Winterhaven, a focus magnate
program in Southeast Portland, she
started at Bridlemile on July 1. A
Johns Landing resident, she knows
and enjoys Southwest Portland and
is looking forward to working with
the Bridlemile community.
(Continued from Page 1 )
neighbors have seen them develop
into institutions.
Apparently, vague zoning laws
cannot prevent teardowns of exist-
ing older homes in order to build
facilities expressly for adult foster
care. These can cause traffic is-
sues and change the neighborhood
character. Everyone agreed on the
need and desire for housing for the
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