Saturday, April 23, 2016

Proper comments on the updating of the Multnomah county land use and transportation plan

I commented on their new plans just now online at the Multnomah county land use site online:


Multnomah County ought to require use of an architect and/ or provide one for projects as consultants. The public could use the service and some architects might even be willing to donate time as consultants. It could vastly improve how people visually process the landscape.
As for so called Hazard zones, everywhere in the county is a potential hazard zone.  There is a good reason that property insurers will not insure properties against land slide damage and that is because it can happen anywhere.  The reason why flood insurance is only obtained from the federal government is it tends to happen almost anywhere  and rather frequently near known potential hazard areas.  zoning for potential hazards is absurd if we are actually in the so called Cascadia quake zone...even if that translates to a " likely "7.2 magnitude quake in most of Multnomah county it means almost no one will be spared some level of damage.  Even as dams are designed to resist such forces it does not mean that whole mountains can slide in such a quake directly into a river gorge like the Columbia river gorge. It happened before. If you look at the profile of the mountain over Skamania lodge in the gorge you will notice cliffs . if you view those mountains from the side at a distance you will notice that half that mountain slid in to the river and lapped over the other side into Cascade Locks which you can also see in satellite images where part of Washington state is cascade locks today.  That is what might have caused the land bridge at the site of the bridge of the gods in the mythology and it may have only happened 1000 years ago which is not long in geological history and that is no different than going back to the end of the last ice age for that mater.  If that happened even on a much smaller scale it can throw ,by displacement, all the water dammed over the dam below the dam in an instant putting much of the county and beyond into a hazard zone that is not mapped not even mapped on riparian maps nor on flood plan maps . Yes the dams will likely survive the force but won't stop the water from doing the same thing as if they broke by just going over the dam due to a large landslide into the river.    In Multnomah county we also have mountains like the ones in China that actually exploded in a quake . that is because the rock is brittle and oxidized because of old age.  We see oxidized basalt type rocks below the silt on the Portland west hills. It could be 'explosive' rock in a 7.0 plus quake. That rock should be tested.  There is a good core sample to look at in the subway stop at the Portland zoo for the max.  An even larger hazard is being ignored in the plans and that is wild fire. Much of Multnomah county becomes bone dry in fire season and has large urban and suburban areas that meld into forests that have not been thinned nor have had dead brush / fuel cleaned out of them.  Up on Larch mountain trees were replanted about 4 ft or less between them after a fire or logging and those trees were never thinned. lately some of these tracks were put into ron wyden natural areas that can't be touched.  They are severe fire hazard areas because lightening can hit up there and we even have people  practice shooting off roads up there.  A fire with the winds blowing from the east could sweep though much of east county to the Willamette river starting up above there or come racing out of the gorge.  We saw a fire like that happen on the opposite side of the river in a huge historic fire. The county should require that people be allowed to go into areas like and clean out the dead brush if they have a use for it and allow grazing in the higher lands to buffer other areas form fire spreading to urban areas. Some day we will see just how most of the county can become a disaster area.  Just think of the Berkley hills fire and we can have that over by forest park or from larch mountain and elsewhere . we could see all of bull run singed too because of poor forest management in the county.
An other issue not considered is public parks and open space areas....that metro and the county and state parks are accumulating lately . unfortunately they are buying private land and then putting up no trespassing signs or limiting public access.  That is unacceptable.  all public lands should be open to public use without charge or fees or they should just remain protected as they were in private ownership.  It is a shame we live in a time when our basic civil rights as American citizens that include private property ownership are being so significantly diminished so individuals working in government or elected to government can treat those properties like royals used to treat public hunting grounds by excluding the public from public property.  There is no sense in government ownership if it is for special interests  that is what private property is for.   If the sierra club wants to say that everything around Yellowstone national park is part of the same eco system and therefore only government ownership should be possible then instead of using government money to aquire that land they should pay for it themselves and keep it in their own private ownership.   No Multnomah county park should have any fees for entry or use or permit process for ordinary use or those lands just ought to be sold because they are the same thing as private property.







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