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Living Smart featured in a publication of the National Home Builder's Association


Portland's Living Smart program is featured in the January edition of Builder Magazine Online as one of Five likeable projects proving that not all teardowns warrant a crackdown. Read the below article excerpt:

Slim Fit

Permit-ready designs expedite infill development in Oregon's biggest city.

Subdividing old lots in established neighborhoods has become common practice in Portland, Ore., as in many other urban locales where land is at a premium. But when citizen complaints about lackluster new construction became louder than a grumble, city officials decided to do something proactive and launched Living Smart, a design competition soliciting ideas for a better use of the typical subdivided, 25-foot-wide lot. The goal was to cultivate a few good plans that could be pre-approved and put on a fast track for development, with a diminished risk of public backlash.

Fast forward to the two slender residences now standing side-by-side on Knapp Street, on a lot once occupied by a single home. At $319,000 a pop, their price tags are affordable by market-rate standards. The neighbors like them. And get this: Their plans came permit-ready with a 50 percent discount on development fees-a perk that allowed builder/developer Jack Wagnon to avoid the quagmire of red tape that so often holds infill projects hostage.

Designed by the Berkeley, Calif.-based architectural team of Roxana Vargas and Trent Greenan, the tidy three-bedroom, two-bath houses embody one of two prototypes selected by the city as a model of what skinny infill could and should look like.

To view the complete article, go to:

Ross Turkus,

Bureau of Development Services


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