Demolitions, Infill Housing Got You Down?

IMG_0807It’s happening a lot.  I’ve seen in it Foster-Powell.  I know it’s going on in Mt. Scott-Arleta.  And from the gist of this article, many other neighborhoods are experiencing a spate of demolished homes being replaced with shiny, new versions, too.

While many of the new homes have better appeal than what previously existed—I’ve seen neighbors clap at the word of vacant, boarded up homes being demolished—the process of demolishing old homes for newer, denser construction has apparently raised some concerns.  Or so says this Oregonian article.

In general, the concern seems to stem from lack of notification by developers, specifically in regards to notice of demolition.  The secondary concern, as reported in the article, arises from what’s being built in place of the demolished homes:  sometimes bigger homes that dwarf neighboring houses and/or don’t mix with the architectural character of the neighborhood.  Oh, and then there’s that sticking point of increased property values…and the can of worms that comes with that discussion.

Dilapidated HouseOn the flip side—and this is purely based on observation—many of the newer homes are replacing dilapidated structures that A) pose safety issues, B) create nuisance concerns (i.e. overgrown yards, piling trash, squatters) and/or C) sit vacant and create the dreaded “ghost town” effect.  In the case of nuisance issues, many people have become overjoyed when the bulldozer arrives and permits for new development are filed.

This isn’t always the case, though.  And not all demolished homes were dilapidated, housing squatters, or creating distaste in the neighbors.  And a lot of the infill development is a speculative play by developers hoping to cash in on a semi-lucrative real estate market.

But is that necessarily a bad thing?  This is a sticky issue, for sure.  What has been your experience with new construction in the neighborhood, especially as it pertains to infill housing and the razing of old homes?

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8 Responses to Demolitions, Infill Housing Got You Down?

  1. amblyopic says:

    it’s the Oregonian’s job to create concerns and drama in order to sell newspapers and ad space… you can never take their articles at face value because the actual news isn’t as important to them as creating controversy…

  2. Spiffy says:

    it makes me sad when somebody splits their lot and sells their garage or backyard in order to build a row house in its place…

    it makes me happy to see buildings that are falling into themselves being demolished and replaced…

    it makes me sad to see a perfectly good house destroyed in order to build four row houses in its place…

    however, there’s only so much room for people, and they have to go somewhere, which means increased density… I’m ok with that, but I’d rather wait until the building is beyond hope before tearing it down… and they should be building apartments if they’re that concerned about density… I’m sure they could have had more than six residences at 67th and Holgate if it were a single apartment building instead of six row houses…

  3. MattSE60th says:

    I’m generally a fan of infill and redevelopment. Creating denser neighborhoods inside the Urban Growth Boundary prevents sprawl, saves resources and increases the viability of local commercial areas. If it makes our neighborhood look better and removes problem houses, then so much the better. It all needs to be done in a sensitive manner though, keeping the needs of the neighborhood in mind.

  4. Sarah says:

    The tiny 1950’s house next door to mine was torn down last spring and I had NO IDEA it was going to happen. It was just 15 feet from my house. It was a nice day and I had my windows open. If I hadn’t been at home that day, I would have come home to find my house filled with the dust of 60 years–including lead paint, I’m sure. At one point, the construction guy shooed me away from my window as he knocked down the last wall of the house–in case it went the wrong way and crashed into my living room. Wouldn’t that have been a fun surprise? For the rest of the summer, the crew started work bright and early, and more often on the weekends than on weekdays. We have nice neighbors now, but there’s zero natural light in our house (2 stories tall next door and exactly 10 feet away), and the summer of construction was no fun.

  5. Sinnyv says:

    The developers built 2 houses on the lot next door, claimed a foot of our property over the existing property line and built ugly monstrosities that block our view, invade our privacy, and blow toxic fumes from their water and heating system into our double doors. If the developers were conscientious and had good taste I wouldn’t mind but when you get a-hole money-grubbing developers who don’t consider the site or the neighbors, it sucks!

  6. malexreed says:

    A delapidated house was replaced with a big new one four houses away from me. I was happy that it happened and seeing the demolition and construction process was fascinating. I do wish that our zoning allowed denser development than single-family homes. I would prefer more people around in the ‘hood and the potential for more economic diversity (apartment renters = generally less wealthy than owners of giant new homes)

  7. Lynne C says:

    The neighborhood association used to keep up with building permits in the area, so folks could comment & complain before construction started-does this still happen? Sadly I haven’t been attending.
    We did receive notice from the city sbout a problem with new construction near our house, but of course it takes time & energy to track this stuff down and get involved.
    I can attest that most developers I ‘ve met don’t give a damn about what the neighbors think

  8. Pingback: Happy Weekend, FoPo! |

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