PORTLAND -- A 1940s-era home in SE Portland's Eastmoreland neighborhood is at the center of a fight. But with a handshake this morning, the developer who just bought the property and the president of the neighborhood association agreed to wait a week and talk before it's demolished.
Neighbors staged a park-in, parking cars in front of the property so demolition crews couldn't access it. It worked....for now.
The 1,050 square-foot home at 3620 SE Rural St. is a one level, ranch-style home built in 1949.
Renaissance Homes bought it in June for $375,000. The high-end development company has built hundreds of homes all over the Portland area and Bend, including many Street of Dreams homes.
Randy Sebastian, president of Renaissance Homes, says he has the permit to demolish the house and build a new bungalow-type home in its place.
Sebastian says soon after, he plans to build a second home on the same lot.
That is what Eastmoreland neighbors are upset about. The city code says if a builder applies for a permit to split a lot, a neighborhood association can have a 120-day delay before demolition to voice concerns.
It changes the neighborhood. This is a perfectly nice house, anyone would find it very pleasant to live in and they're going to knock it flat and build two 'McMansions,' I don't like it, said Victor Stevens, who lives next door to the proposed demolition.
The Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association was granted the 120-day delay, two days ago. They are concerned new homes won't fit into the character of the area and squeezing two homes onto one lot will encroach on neighboring homes and take away too many old trees.
They'd rather see the old home remodeled.
We believe in land use and process. What we don't believe is having a bulldozer clank down your street, take down the house next to you without warning, and that's entirely different than our character, said Robert McCullough, president of the Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association.
Renaissance Homes pulled the application for the split lot, and instead applied to build just one single house, which doesn't require the 120-day waiting period. It was granted the permit Wednesday, and Thursday showed up with excavators and construction crews.
With the silent protest of the park-in, Renaissance agreed to talk with neighbors and wait a week on demolition.
But Sebastian told a crowd of reporters and neighborhood spokesmen he will move forward with eventually building the two homes on the lot.
We want to cooperate, but at the same time we're not going to be told what to build or how to build it, and we want to maybe inform them of what they're doing and be good neighbors, he said.