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Demolition of old Northwest house resumes

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - Sun shines Monday through the Goldsmith house in Northwest Portland. A developer resumed demolition this weekend on the 102-year-old house after a city stop-work order was lifted.Neighbors who were able to halt the demolition of a 102-year-old home in Northwest Portland saw the house on the corner of 24th Avenue and Quimby Street bulldozed during the weekend.

Residents said they don’t want to see the Goldsmith house in their neighborhood replaced with seven row houses, going so far as to make a deal with the developer and find a possible buyer. However, neighbors said despite their efforts, demolition on the old house resumed on Saturday.

Two weeks ago, the Northwest District Association pointed out to the city that the neighborhood group was not properly notified when the permit was issued. City officials admitted there was an error in the notification process, and the Bureau of Development Services ordered a stop-work order. Neighborhood association officials said that order was rescinded this weekend and demolition has started again.

“We think the whole process is disingenuous to the neighborhood. Both from the city and the developer we’re being yanked back and forth. We thought we had an arrangement with the developer where we would have another option for this historic house and they seem to have taken that away from us,” said NWDA President Phil Selinger.

The developer told KOIN 6 News’ media partner the Portland Tribune that he may have sued the city if the demolition permit, which was issued on April 9 and blocked nine days later, was not eventually approved.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz said in a statement that allowing the continued demolition was "the most prudent course of action."

"I appreciate NWDA members bringing to my attention the issues with the past administration of Title 24 with regard to demolitions," Fritz said. "Your actions have changed the interpretation of the Code from April 30 onward, and this may lead to other homes being saved.”