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Preserve Hood River's Heritage Neighborhood

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Joined: 07 Jun 2013
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 12:10 pm    Post subject: Preserve Hood River's Heritage Neighborhood Reply with quote

I never thought I would be posting something on a windsurf forum but we need all the community support we can get to ensure that Hood River remains the cute and quirky town we all have grown to love. I wanted to write to Windsurf Magazine but alas, it is no longer. I moved to Hood River with my husband in 1997. I took some lessons from Brian and can water start and sail around on a light wind day; however, I never moved beyond this. I would glance through Ross’ Windsurf Magazine and read the beginner how to stuff and I also actually read Eric Sanford’s articles. I actually liked most of them. I thought Eric was cute and quirky just like Hood River. Well, come to find out, I think Eric Sanford does not really care what happens to Hood River and is selling some of his property, 809 and 813 Columbia, to a realtor/developer named Bill Irving. Bill is a realtor at Copper West Real Estate (yes the one with Maui Meyer as the principal broker). The proposed project is for two town homes, so four units. They are three stories, with almost flat roofs, garages in front, and the entry on the second level. Not quite a “snout home” but close enough.
For all of you who have been to Hood River and have walked the neighborhood that borders downtown - 8th and Columbia to 12th and then north to Cascade and back down to 8th – you know that most of the houses are one to two story cottage and craftsman homes. There are a few three story homes but all have a peeked roof. You all know the peeked roof is important because you need to be able to see around it to the water to see the whitecaps - can’t do that with a massive wall of buildings with flat roofs. Now, our actual view will not be affected all that much and we will still be able to see the whitecaps from our deck so this is not about our view. This is about the neighborhood. We all love our neighborhood of small and modest homes. It’s a special place for those of us that live there and all that come to visit. You feel like you are in the action sports Mayberry. I believe the project proposed by Bill Irving on the land owned by Eric Sanford does not fit this. We were all hoping that the eventual development of these lots would be tasteful and compatible with the neighborhood. It is not. If you want more information or you want to be a part of preserving a neighborhood that the City of Hood River has determined to be a “Heritage Neighborhood” please send a letter to the City of Hood River Planning Commission, 211 State St., Hood River, OR 97031 or email
Thank you for your time.
Carolyn Smale
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Joined: 18 Jul 1999
Posts: 156

PostPosted: Fri Jun 07, 2013 6:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Carolyn, that is a sad development for the neighborhood.I know this property well, my wife calls it the "hillbilly house" sagging moss covered roof, front porch with obligatory junk collection etc. It is not by any stretch an historic structure or worth preserving, combined with the empty lot next door this place is ripe for redevelopment. What is proposed to be built is out of scale certainly,and sounds like the tall modernist townhomes that are on the corner of 13 and Lincoln, that whole street is full of this sort of development, some real quality stuff, some not so much, IMO. Unfortunately, other than height restrictions, I'm not sure there are design or style restrictions that could prevent them from building this project. Copper west et al developed several of these type of structures, on the other side of Columbia just east of these lots. This property has been for sale for awhile and must have sold for huge money, dictating this dense development to maximize return. I feel your pain, and lament this turn of events.
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