Safe Rest site nixed, ‘did not go through flood review’

Civic Affairs

Site at SE 45th and Harney is in a flood zone

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Less than a week after announcing 3 Safe Rest Village sites in Portland, Commissioner Dan Ryan’s office announced the site at SE 45th and Harney is no longer a chosen spot since it is in a flood zone.

In a late Tuesday afternoon statement, Ryan said he was “disappointed that the site at SE 45th and Harney is no longer viable as a Safe Rest Village.”

Residents in the area pointed out to city leaders that spot is in a flood zone, as did the Portland Audobon Society.

“This particular site was reviewed for many considerations but did not go through a floodplain review and should have,” said Bureau of Development Services spokesperson Ken Ray. “This will be corrected for reviews of potential Safe Rest Village sites in the future.”

Monday night, the Brentwood-Darlington neighbors said they’re opposed to the location for numerous reasons: the homeless in the area already caused health worries from feces and garbage; the wildlife has disappeared; and the constant flooding also makes the area a poor “safe rest” spot.

Portland Audobon members said there were unanswered questions about this site. First, the city’s own flood map shows the site is in a flood zone. City code appears to show that outdoor shelters can’t be built in flood hazard areas. There are also contamination concerns about the site.

Overarching both of these issues is the terrain, members said. The city of Portland bought the land a few years ago as part of a wetlands restoration project, raising concerns over how a safe rest village would impact that.

KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.

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