PORTLAND, Ore – If you’ve taken the time to drive around Portland lately you will notice a new trend called “infill housing” or new homes which have been built on land which formally was vacant.
In urban planning, infill is the re-dedication of land in an urban environment, usually open space, to new construction. Infill also applies within an urban polity to construction on any undeveloped land that is not on the urban margin. The slightly broader term “land-recycling” is sometimes used instead. Infill has been promoted as an economical use of existing infrastructure and a remedy for urban sprawl. Its detractors view it as overloading urban services, including increased traffic congestion and pollution, and decreasing urban green-space.
Over the last few years many neighborhood groups have complained about infill housing since the building boom has led to the construction of homes which are bigger than others in the neighborhood and many times infill homes are built too close to an existing property line.
What Portland Is Doing About Infill Development
Thankfully the City of Portland is going to do something about infill development by considering a proposal which would rewrite all or part of the building code to rein in controversial infill development.
As of today Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is asking the city for $600,000 which they will use for paying their staff and some consultants to launch an evaluation process to see if the building code can be changed to slow down infill development.
Mayor Hales Leading the Way
Thanks to Portland Mayor Charlie Hales we may see the city take action to curb infill housing since mayor hales is trying to fast track $150,000 for this year’s fiscal budget so the city starts doing something NOW about this problem.
In a recent statement Mayor Hales said this about what Portland plans to do about development: “The city will meet its density goals, but not by bulldozing solid, older homes and putting up $1 million mansions.”
Hopefully Mayo Hales will be able to live up to his promise before we lose more old homes, empty spaces and Portland’s architectural heritage to the housing boom which has hit Portland over the last 24 months.