December 22

Ground cleared for new homes at north park entrance



As the snow fell Friday morning, so did the “boarding house” at the north entrance to Maple Leaf Reservoir Park.

Plans are to construct four new homes on the site at 12th Avenue Northeast and Northeast 88th Street, while retaining the largest trees. You can see our previous post here, or see the company’s plans for the “Canopy at Maple Leaf” at the Build Urban website.

The remains on Sunday morning.

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  1. Thomas, you are so right. You can`t even cut down a diseased tree in your own yard without bunny-hugging dirt worshipers getting all up in your face.

  2. Here’s a thought – if you want to control the way property is used…BUY IT. If you don’t have the money to buy it, butt out. Otherwise someday your neighbors will be micromanaging how you use your property, and you won’t get any sympathy.

  3. Dana, if you meant Rob, rather than (Ron?), I have lived here in this neighborhood all my life. I even bought the house that I grew up in. My son even went to the same schools that I did. If anyone knows the history of Maple leaf and the detrimental effects that newcomers have had, it is me.

  4. As a previous resident of the property in question, it seems like time to weigh in:

    1. “Boardinghouse” is an absurd descriptor for this property. It was occupied by an aging *original owner* (until her passage a couple of years ago) in a 13-bedroom 6+bath house. During my several years at that address, I was among the two people on the top floor and part of the 2nd. There was one college student that was rented a small room way down the hall, and many empty rooms between anyone (probably because noone there wanted it to be a “boardinghouse”).

    2. There was *always* an easement on the plat (& deed) in to the park from 12th, however it was blocked long ago or never opened after the house was built. Opening it to public walking is a great idea. The rest of it is not.

    3. The plot *isn’t* big enough for four homes, but as the city inspector explained to me on the property 5 years ago, “if they knock this place down they’ll have enough for 3 & a half plus, so they’ll probably get a minor exception approved and shoe-horn in 4”. As I expected, he was right.

    4. I sat on my 3rd-floor porch and watched houses on either side be demolished and replaced. To the right/west of the remaining structure in the pic was an all-brick stained-glass-everywhere top-flight million-dollar home. It was replaced with two nice homes, but “new-nice”, meaning wood not stone, near-identical homes not 1 unique (they did try on this aspect), small contrived landscaping not large trees tended for 30 years (fortunately several of those were given away and moved despite their size). Do not tell people that one old ugly home will become four lovely ones; I’ve watched the somewhat-the-opposite happen (from the exact spot on the top of the remaining structure in the picture), nail by nail, on the adjacent properties. (poor-quality video of bulldozing former residence available)

    5. 3-story issues: this is an issue this entire stretch of houses along the north side of the park have an unusually excellent view. Enter the park through the 12th/88th easement when it opens and imagine what 20 or 30 more feet of elevation would do to the view. For any homes on the other side of the street, however, their location so close to a view is close to meaningless. It’s certainly a tempting place to build up another story for anyone near the top of that hill on either side of 88th (and elsewhere, but this is *the spot* for views in ML (IMHO).

    6. Living in between three major construction projects (of 4-5 homes) did not make for a restful experience in Maple Leaf. It was lovely and calm, until the bulldozers, framers, roofers, etcetera went to work… then it was a near-constant construction in site in at least one of 3 directions for 3 years. That short-term disruption isn’t helpful to anyone, especially those seeking a park experience.

    7. A lack of community parks is *not* made up for with larger parks elsewhere. Community parks are those you can walk to from home (alone, with kids, with dogs…). Adding *more driving* in to your day to use a park is not part of my long-term vision for happy city living.

    Thank you to all struggling to make the best decisions for ML.

    Dan: So much to say, but to start with:
    I lived on the property. We had an SUV, a motorhome (perhaps you saw it, it was large and ugly), and my daily-driver was a 6000# wagon. I rarely eat less than a pound of meat at a time. A couple of other cliche’s were wrong, too (I agree with you that a lot of them are often right in these situations, but you missed it on this one).
    To sum up for you and Jeffrey:
    If you think I have lots of money will you suddenly think what I do/say is ok?
    (Jeffrey will assume, of course, that anyone who owns a home has “gotten themselves in to the position” to own it, despite nationwide evidence to the contrary, so I plan to ride his assumption just as far as it’ll take me and abuse he and you just as far your misplaced faith in wealth allows).

  5. You didn’t live here Ron and this neighborhood will never be the same with this down and the Girl Scout land being changed. Ug it WAS a great place to live before the crime hit it, the traffic and stupid decisions like this even though most of the community was against it.

  6. Dan, MapleleafBob, Jeffrey Herman; Glad to see some rational voices amongst all the ” radical lefties”. Oregon used to be the state that attracted all the wackos. Now, it`s Washington State.

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