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CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Southwest Portland residents carried signs opposing proposed density increases during Multnomah Days parade.Dozens of Southwest Portland neighborhood activist protested the City Council's proposal to increase residential zoning in single-family neighborhoods during the annual Multnomah Days neighborhood festival Saturday.


“All single family residential lots [are] going to be open for multiplexes,” said Carol McCarthy, chair of the Multnomah Neighborhood Association. “You wake up in the morning and there’s going to be a multiplex going up next to where there was a single family home and there’s nothing you’ll be able to do about it.”

They carried signs saying "Stop Rezoning" that had been produced in the neighborhood.

The new growth plan approved by the City Council predicts the city will increase by around 123,000 households in the next 20 years. It calls for a study of increasing residential density in single family neighborhoods by changing the zoning to allow more so-called missing middle housing, ranging from duplexes to small apartment complexes.

Dozens of Multnomah Village residents marched in the Multnomah Day Parade chanting “Save our neighborhoods, save our trees,” to protest the potential rezoning. The council is not expected to consider it for at least year.

McCarthy and other members of the neighborhood association are worried that Portland is growing too much, too quickly. They say it’s losing too much of its architectural character.

“There are a lot of places they can build in cooperation with the [neighborhoods] look at Barbur, look at Foster, look at Sandy,” said Martie Sucec, vice chair of the Multnomah Village Neighborhood Association.

Not everyone is the neighborhood is opposed to the city's study, however.

“They want to keep things the way they are and that goes counter to this whole idea of being a Portlander,” says Moses Ross, a former MNA president.

Ross, who still lives in Multnomah Village, says he wouldn’t mind seeing some change in his city and wouldn’t mind seeing single family homes turned into duplexes or multiplexes.

“I think it would increase the diversity of our neighborhood. It would increase the livability of our neighborhood,” says Moses. “It would force more funding for transportation projects. I think it’s a good thing.”

The Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will be reviewing the proposal until December and will draft an amendment to the Comprehensive Plan in 2017. The council will consider it after that.

KOIN 6 News contributed to this story.

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