PNCA Building (block 136)

As many of you now know LUBA decided in favor of the City and Security Properties. Having been at the hearing we are a bit surprised. Testimony by the City included statements implying that current City code shouldn't matter because "future" code will supersede it.

The glaring flaws in the system remain. Public participation in the future of Portland continues to be a formality for our current neighborhood and City representatives. As a result, we are encouraged to report that Preserve the Pearl will appeal the LUBA decision to the State Court of Appeals.

We remain committed to the truth, equal representation, your voice, and a successful outcome.

Your help and support is greatly appreciated. We would not be here without you. Please send donations to be used solely for legal costs to:

Preserve The Pearl
P.O. Box 12633
1706 NW 24th Ave.
Portland, OR 97210-2508

​Block 136 will proceed to LUBA (Land Use Board of Appeals).  Ty Wyman, an experienced Land Use Attorney with Dunn Carney, has filed the appeal.  When: Thursday, September 17, 2015, 9:00AM to 10:30AM   Where:   LUBA Land Board Room - 1st Floor - DSL Building, 775 Summer Street NE, Salem, OR

The Appeal to LUBA states that the City erred in concluding that the approved development is consistent with PCC 33.510.205.A. Basically, that the City is NOT being consistent with the purposes as listed, specifically, “creat(e) a step down of building heights to the Willamette River”, as stated within the Central City Plan District’s River Sub-District.


You are invited to attend a Preserve the Pearl meeting in the PREM Group conference room, 351 NW 12th Ave, on the 18th of August, at 6:00pm. The purpose of this meeting is to bring those interested up to date on the merits of our appeal, and to have a voice in the future of our neighborhood.

Please RSVP ASAP to :

UPDATE: August 2015

State Court of Appeals

Suggested Links

APPEAL - APRIL 23, 2015

West Quadrant Plan

PNCA Building (block 136)

Design Commission Public Hearings
The Design Commission public hearings schedule is available through  This is good way to stay aware of upcoming design presentations by developers.

Review PDNA Meeting Notes
The Pearl District Neighborhood Association learns of new proposed structures about a year in advance.  One way to stay abreast of development is to take a little bit of time each month to quickly review their meeting notes (Planning and Design).

Portland Design Guidelines
City of Portland design guidelines.

Documents / News

the developer’s project.   Quantity in no way translated into quality during this entire process. 

The Mayor also noted that the proposed north/south public area between the two buildings fits in with the current pedestrian network in the Pearl.  Perhaps he has never bothered to walk our streets, with the obvious east/west public path that leads from 12th to Jamison Park just east of the project.   The north/south pedestrian ‘paths’ through the Pearl are the avenues themselves, and particularly 13th.  A north/south mall mid-block off of 13th is redundant, at best, and as proposed simply dead-ends into the walls of commercial buildings both to the north and the south of the project.   

City staff are now charged with drafting a written opinion of the Council decision which is due and will be adopted on May 20th.  21 days from the issuance of that opinion are allowed to file a further appeal with the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA).  Assessment of that option will await a review of how the written decision addresses the points raised in our appeal.​.  

Preserve the Pearl LLC

On April 23rd, 2015, the City Council and the Mayor unanimously denied the appeal with very little comment and essentially no discussion of the merits.  In fact, just prior to taking up the Block 136 agenda item, the upper gallery was filled with the children of Planning Bureau employees, the very city agency whose decision was being appealed.  

In acknowledging their presence, the Council said the children had come to see ‘democracy in action.’  What they got to witness, though, was a rubber-stamped endorsement facilitating the demise of the middle Pearl as we have known it.  A Seattle developer’s goliath tower will now permanently overwhelm and shadow the warehouses and complementary residences of the Riverstone and the Johnston Street Townhouses that defined the organic rhythm and quality of our neighborhood.  A little piece of what made Portland ‘Portland’ has been lost. 

The Mayor claimed that the public hearings afforded plenty of opportunity for ‘public comment’.  Whatever comments opponents to the project made, however, were never given serious consideration since no issue raised by the public resulted in even one modification to

On Thursday, March 5th, City Council voted to adopt the West Quadrant Plan (4-1). The only 'No' vote came from Commissioner Amanda Fritz.  Commissioner Fritz expressed deep disappointment with aspects of the WQP, and with the public process.  To watch the hearing, click below.  Commissioner Fritz's comments are at time code 143:09. 

WQP Hearing March 5, 2015

70 Portland residents signed up to give testimony at the first public hearing, most speaking in opposition to proposed building height allowances, lack of affordable housing, lack of environmental protection and planning, and lack of protection for historic buildings and neighborhoods.  At the final public hearing, Mayor Hales did not allow the neighborhood association for Goose Hollow to speak, which was later commented upon by Commissioner Fritz.