First things first: Brad Malsin, head of Beam Development and also the current president of the Central Eastside Industrial Council, is a supporter of the Right 2 Dream Too homeless camp and the services it provides.
What Malsin and other Central Eastside business owners do not support, however, is the city council’s vote yesterday to move the camp from its current location in Old Town Chinatown to a city-owned lot at Southeast Third and Harrison.
“I’m very much in favor of Right 2 Dream Too, but I feel that that location, and the plans the city has for it, is inadequate and unacceptable to us on the east side,” Malsin said.
The city council voted 4 to 1 yesterday to move the camp. Commissioner Nick Fish was the only dissenter, saying that the zoning for the new site, which is industrial, does not permit that kind of use. Malsin, too, said that there is concern among eastside businesses that the site, which sits next to East Side Plating, a manufacturing company that uses “corrosive chemistry” in its processes, is not the kind of place where people should be camping.
“With its proximity to a chemical plating company, I mean, wow, could you find a less appropriate place for it?” Malsin said. He added as well that the mayor’s new camping provisions, which allow people to sleep overnight on various city properties and sidewalks, have already led to a “blossoming” of campers on the eastside.
Malsin that opponents have a two-week window to appeal the city’s decision. One option could include filing an appeal with the state Land Use Board of Appeals, which is something that Malsin said is under consideration.
“We are exploring all our options,” he said. “We support the camp, but this plan does not meet the minimum requirements for people living on the streets.”
What this means for you
Whatever happens with the move, the areas of discussion will certainly be affected in terms of real estate. Hopefully though, the city can come to a solution which can benefit all affected parties, retaining some of the charm that makes Portland such a desirable city to move to.