Stoel Rives attorney Michelle Rudd was quoted in the Portland Tribune in an article titled “An end to Lents flooding?” The article discusses how the rising cost of flood insurance is affecting residents in Portland’s Lents neighborhood, home to much of Portland’s more affordable housing, and how a strategy to help residents remain in this affordable housing can also result in good-paying, blue-collar jobs and enhanced natural areas.
Johnson Creek’s 100-year floodplain is an area subject to floods predicted to occur once every century but also prone to minor flooding every few years. In ongoing work to stem the flooding of Johnson Creek, Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services completed the Foster Floodplain Project in 2012, which relocated 60 homes to provide more space for the creek to overflow but only addressed the nuisance flooding the area sees. The continuing increase in flood insurance rates led Gov. Kate Brown to endorse a more comprehensive project to ease flooding that will be overseen by Oregon Solutions, an organizer of complex intergovernmental projects.
Flood risk in the area impacts both resident pocketbooks and the intensity of development on industrially zoned land in the area. Rudd, who is a Portland Planning and Sustainability commissioner and co-convener of the Oregon Solutions project, says the project, if successful, can achieve multiple city goals: spur the creation of good-paying, blue-collar jobs closer to the city center and with good access to transportation, improve Johnson Creek and add natural area in East Portland, and preserve affordable housing.
Read “An end to Lents flooding?,” published November 22, 2016.