Homeless “Rest Areas” Might Be Worked Into Portland’s Central Planning Document – Blogtown – Portland Mercury

http://www.portlandmercury.com/blogtown/2016/05/12/18052891/homeless-rest-areas-might-be-worked-into-portlands-central-planning-document

Nick Fish, who hasn’t been shy about airing his disagreements with that strategy, asked (rhetorically) where “rest areas” fell in the Portland Housing Bureau’s array of services.

“They are not part of the continuum, as currently defined by the housing bureau,” housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman responded. “Rest areas are not something I want to see housing bureau dollars supporting.”

That’s what Fish, a former housing commissioner himself, was expecting to hear, and he used Saltzman’s response as an argument against cementing rest areas in the Comp Plan.

“Rest areas are currently not part of our policy,” he said. “I don’t think it’s appropriate. I don’t think we should decide the question as pat of the comp plan. Especially when there’s been no public process.”

Hales, obviously, disagreed. “I think we want to have the [planning] staff figure out what should be allowed where,” he said.

Depending on what planning staffers come up with, that could have important outcomes in Portland. Putting “rest areas” in the Comp Plan would add heft to discussions about where homeless campgrounds could be allowed under city zoning law—a bit of a gray area right now. (You’ll notice “transitional campgrounds” are also explicitly mentioned, without controversy, in the comp plan item under discussion. It’s not totally clear what the difference between the two is.)

Thanks. God bless

Aaron

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