Report from the Rose City
Mike February 17, 2009 1 Comment
I’m enjoying delicious coffee and beer in Portland for the week, so I’ve got some Oregon things to share.
- What is the role of zoning in issues of free speech? This Portland Mercury article details a push in Oregon to create new zoning regulations for stores selling “adult materials”. State law currently makes no distinction between sexually oriented businesses and those exercising free speech to express less libidinous views (like religious bookstores).
- Portland is often lauded for the success of its urban growth boundary, but elsewhere in the state, local governments are less than thrilled. This is largely because regional land use is strictly limited by the Oregon legislature in all regions aside from Portland’s Metro, which has special status. Though recognizing the success of the state’s regulations in preventing sprawl, the bi-partisan Big Look Task Force has suggested more regional autonomy in land use decisions throughout Oregon. Environmental groups fear the worst if the regulatory reins are loosened, while many municipalities favor greater regional autonomy. The Oregonian details the ongoing debate in this piece. Also check out Big Look’s video content if you’d like some additional background info.
Non-Oregon Specific Item:
- Luddites probably hate my preoccupation with emerging technology, but I can’t help it. (By the by, there’s a Luddite restaurant here in Portland). Anyway, the thing that has me most excited today is the Aptera. Saul Griffith, who’s featured in our external media section, mentions this company. These things are pretty cool looking and it would be fantastic if they became widely available. Still a little pricy though…