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An Architect's Thoughts: "Residential Infill: One Size Does Not Fit All"

Last month, a local architect wrote an Op-Ed article titled "Residential infill: One size does not fit all" in the Portland Daily Journal of Commerce. With his permission, we are making that article available here.

Peter Meijer is Co-chair of the Laurelhurst Neighborhood Association (LNA) Land-Use Committee. His firm, Peter Meijer Architect, PC (PMA) focuses on the rehabilitation and reuse of existing buildings and the preservation of historic buildings and sites. PMA has successfully restored many significant structures in our city, and in so doing helped preserve not just beautiful buildings, but important pieces of our history.

Meijer writes:

"The City's proposed Residential Infill project gets some things right, but ultimately fails to recognize or learn from the varied housing types we already have in Portland's many neighborhoods. The project seeks to create more housing in single‐home residential neighborhoods, but its significant downfall is that the proposed changes are not tailored to the unique character and diversity currently existing in each neighborhood. Instead, allowed or encouraged housing types are applied across the City regardless of whether they fit in."

The article then discusses certain characteristics of Portland's various neighborhoods and the unsuitability of imposing the identical infill development scheme on varied neighborhoods. He concludes with thoughts on how Portland can increase housing density without damaging its older single family housing neighborhoods.

"Density goals should primarily target transit corridors and close‐in, underutilized commercial areas. While there certainly is room for increased density in older residential neighborhoods, haphazard development will damage these neighborhoods more than the increase in units will provide affordable development."

With Meijer's permission, we are making the full article available here (download as PDF):


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