On Tuesday, November 7, voters in the City of Portland will be asked to vote on Question 2, which proposes to change the Portland City Code to give veto power over any zoning change or zoning map amendment to a small minority of registered voters. It would allow 25% of the registered voters who live within 500 feet of a proposed zoning change or map amendment to sign a petition, with no public hearing, to void the zoning change. This is undemocratic and terrible public policy.
Question 2 is bad for Portland.
– It will freeze business investment. Portland will be frozen in place, and businesses will not invest in our future if job-creating developments that require a zoning change can be blocked by a small minority of registered voters living within 500 feet of that development.
– It will turn away jobs. Question 2 would immediately reject 1,000 jobs coming to the Portland area through a recent zoning change at Portland’s Working Waterfront.
– If this ordinance passes and a flaw is found in the language, the City Charter prevents us from making any fixes to the ordinance for five years. That’s too risky.
– It’s poorly worded and will almost certainly lead to expensive lawsuits that would waste taxpayer dollars.
– The City of Portland faces an affordable housing crisis. Yet in many cases, zoning changes are the only way to allow the construction of more affordable homes. As a result, this law could make the problem even worse.
Please vote NO on Question 2.