The Fight to Save the Farm

The Fight to Save the Farm

Greenspace Not Brownstone Presents ... a Word to the Wise

This Thursday, your voice counts! Brownstone Homes
and WRG Design want to bulldoze a sustainability
education center located inside Portland on seven
acres surrounded by lush forest, just above a
steelhead-bearing creek. Their plan to turn the land
notched into Tryon Creek State Park into 23
high-impact condos faces massive environmental and
engineering challenges. But the dollar signs are
flashing in their eyes. They need to know just how
much opposition there is in this city to such a
foolish waste.

On Thursday, hundreds of Portland residents will give
them a word to the wise. Your voice counts! (Feel
free to call them any day, of course. They might need
reminding.)

Give 'em a call!

Randall C. Myers, President
Brownstone Homes LLC
12670 SW 68th Pkwy, Suite 200
Portland, OR 97223
phone: (503) 598-7565 fax: (503) 620-9965

Trina Buitron Whitman, Project Manager
WRG Design
5415 SW Westgate Dr, Suite 100
Portland, OR 97221
phone: (503) 419-2500 fax: (503) 419-2600 cell: (503)
730-8615

Talking points:

"I'm calling to register my concerns with your
development of 11640 SW Boones Ferry Rd."

1. This is the wrong project for this place. Inside
the Park, so close to the creek, bulldozing this Farm
into a standard high-impact development is a
disaster-in-waiting.

2. We won't let it happen. As a Type III Land Use
Review, this very public process will be highly
politicized. Not only local residents, but I and my
friends and people throughout the city that love this
land and what it symbolizes will make their voices as
widely heard as possible.

3. Your project will eventually, inevitably, become
too costly to complete. Some developers in the area
are losing money heavily because they overestimated
the market and underestimated the cost. Now add PR
liability and legal fees, and unpredictable
pre-development requirements, and the financial choice
becomes obvious.

4. Pulling out now is the right thing to do. You've
seen all the reports and the studies, and you know the
problems. As a good public citizen, the wisest and
best thing is to acknowledge the facts and withdraw
before any damage is done.

Background:

11640 SW Boones Ferry Rd is 7 acres of wooded cliffs
and sloping meadow, surrounded on three sides by Tryon
Creek State Park, a 650 acre urban state park founded
in the early 1970s through extended community
mobilization. The property is about 400 feet uphill
from Tryon Creek, a sediment-limited steelhead-bearing
protected waterway. It is the largest open piece of
land bordering the park left so close to the creek.

Brownstone Homes and WRG Design have yet to file their
formal application with the city. According to the
pre-app, Brownstone plans 23 high-end, oversized
houses to be built on 5-6k sqft lots. They will have
to build a huge ramp up the 50' cliff and pump the
sewage to the road because the existing driveway
easement across the park will not be valid. They will
have to build a large stormwater trap that will
demonstrably prevent any additional runoff due to the
greatly increased impermeable surfaces. Their new
road meets Boones Ferry just north of a very dangerous
curve on which there has been 4 fatalities in the last
decade. To account for the massive pre-development
costs, Brownstone claims it will sell the houses for
$550k and up.

Two trails in the park approach near the boundary of
the land: the Boones Ferry trail, which parallels it
at about 30-50 feet for several hundred feet; and the
West Horse loop, which approaches within 15 feet of
the property. The new houses would approach within
five feet of the boundary, ten feet apart from each
other, creating a massive visual disturbance.

This development is opposed by virtually all
neighbors, the Friends of Tryon Creek, the Arnold
Creek Neighborhood Ass'n, and a multitude of others.
It would damage the watershed, impact important edge
habitat, and disrupt animal patterns. It would
undermine the beauty and peacefulness of one of the
most valuable parks in the region.

By opposing this development, citizens hold high the
vision and practice of another kind of urban density:
a density of healthy human interaction with
ecosystems, a density of education and demonstration,
of human care and detail without dense impact and
destruction. This place doesn't need another mushroom
patch housing development: it needs to become a taste
of the more sustainable world we know is possible.

Resources and Links

Following are some links to articles about the farm and community's efforts to save it:

The Fight To Save the Farm Article on Portland Indymedia site:
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/02/311232.shtm

Indymedia article on Greenspace Not Brownstone
http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2005/02/310890.shtm

The Tryon Creek Farm Website
www.tryonfarm.org