Does it seem that graffiti around town is worse than ever? Well, you’re right. According to a recent report to City Council by Juliette Muracchioli from the Office of Neighborhood Involvement’s (ONI) Graffiti Abatement Program, high priority graffiti reports involving hate or gang tags have increased considerably from 2011 through 2016. Much of this increase has occurred in the past two to three years.
With the looming threat of the Program being totally disbanded, ONI is asking City Council to not only maintain current budget levels, but to expand it so that Portland can better combat this ever growing menace which is a crime (Oregon Statue 164.381-388). While Portland’s program has a budget of about $340,000, the City of Denver with a similar population budgets $1.3 million. The smaller City of Sacramento budgets about $1,000,000. The cost of damages in Portland due to graffiti is now at some $1,800,000.
For many years, Portland was nationally acclaimed for its Graffiti Abatement Program, but budgetary restraints no longer allow us that distinction. Graffiti abatement is essential in maintaining Portland’s quality of life and keeping neighborhoods safe and livable. The failure to properly enforce our graffiti laws encourages an influx of taggers from all over the country and leads to other insidious criminal activities.
We need your help
Please take a few minutes to e-mail your City Council and let them know you want a strong Graffiti Abatement Program:
Many people are unaware that illegal advertising on city property and rights of way (ROW) is illegal. The City of Portland’s code regarding such advertising is currently inadequate and lacking in clarity as to definitions, enforcement and authority. Known as “bandit” or “snipe” signs, illegal advertising can be found in many areas of the city. It is a blight on aesthetics; causes clean up expense for what is litter; creates a safety hazard for vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians by hindering visibility; and, allows an unjust commercial advantage to those who break the law over those who abide by it.
Friendly Streets has undertaken an initiative to have the city clarify and strengthen the code. Over a period of many months, we have researched the issue and drafted a proposed revised ordinance that can be found here. In the coming months we will be advocating for this revision at City Hall.
Please join us in our efforts by learning about the issue and contacting our commissioners to advocate for improving the current ordinance
Mayor Ted Wheeler [email protected]
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly [email protected]
Commissioner Nick Fish [email protected]
Januar 23,, 2017
The history of the Centennial Mills property is a long and sad one. As one of the most historic and iconic properties in the Pearl District, and the entire city, there was much optimism about this prime riverfront site being developed into a unique and significant project benefitting the whole city.
Purchased by the Portland Development Commission (PDC) in 2000, there was great anticipation that the city would guide this project to fruition. Unfortunately, that has not been the case. An agreement with a developer in 2008 fell through leading to a lawsuit that was eventually settled. The most recent 2013 agreement with Harsch Investments again fell apart, suddenly and unilaterally on the part of PDC. With no public process, PDC surprisingly announced last year that portions of the site and possibly the entire site would be demolished. Selective demolition is currently underway, but there is fear that the two most important and iconic buildings, the flour and feed mills, may be next for the wrecking ball.
With that as background, a standing room crowd packed the Pure Space meeting room on January 21st for a Centennial Mills Town Hall sponsored by the Pearl District Neighborhood Association (PDNA) and Jordan Schnitzer of Harsch Investments. Led by Patty Gardner, President of PDNA and Chair of its Planning Committee, the crowd heard the history of the city’s involvement with the property including an agreement in 2005 to keep portions of the site for historical purposes, and the creation in 2006 of a Framework Plan to guide future development. Historian Chet Orloff then presented a slide show relating the historic importance of Centennial Mills and Oregon’s prominent wheat industry dating back to the early 1800’s.
Jordan Schnitzer followed with a presentation of his team’s numerous options for development, with associated costs, that would fulfill the objectives of the Framework Plan by:
The Town Hall ended with questions from the audience and Ms. Gardner reminding everyone who wants the site to be saved to please write letters to the Mayor, PDC and the newspapers.
To learn more log on to www.millmeeting.org