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Friday, September 13, 2013

As Threatened, Pearl Neighbors Inching Toward Lawsuit Over Right 2 Dream Too

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Fri, Sep 13, 2013 at 2:14 PM

Stung by Commissioner Amanda Fritz's insistence that moving Right 2 Dream Too onto a city-owned lot in the Pearl District sometime this fall will be perfectly legal, the Pearl District Neighborhood Association last night voted to free up $10,000 in rainy-day funding for a potential lawsuit.

As the Mercury already revealed this week, a land-use attorney working on behalf of neighbors sent a letter to the city last month threatening such a response. That was soon after the Mercury reported the outline of Fritz's deal with Right 2 Dream Too. Since then, neighbors have written letters to Fritz urging her not to do the deal. Many are concerned about process—others seem more concerned about the specter of homeless people living nearby.

The latest development, which came at last night's neighborhood association meeting, was first reported by KGW early this morning. The Oregonian's Brad Schmidt posted a link to the piece in his well-read daily city hall roundup.

"That's not how the city of Portland works and that's not how the state of Oregon works," neighborhood president Patricia Gardner said, according to KGW. "Public process is part of our DNA and it should be respected."

The Oregonian, in a later post, points out that Pearl neighbors are making common legal cause with Williams & Dame Development—run by Homer Williams, a major fundraiser for Mayor Charlie Hales and one of the major forces behind the creation of the Pearl as we know it. Hales has so far publicly supported Fritz's effort to move Right 2 Dream Too, telling the Mercury he looked forward to seeing how the public process, now that a lawsuit over the current site on NW 4th and Burnside is set, works out.

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