I am shocked to see Tim Soley’s proposal for a zoning measure that would allow for a 20-plus-story building at Canal Plaza (Dec. 20).

Portland has been ranked as one of the 25 most livable cities in the U.S. It didn’t look like all the other cities with ugly skyscraper development, accompanying wind tunnels and impossible parking.

A city is livable in a practical and spiritual sense because its architecture fits the human scale, has a sense of at least pleasant attractiveness and fits the landscape.

The City Center buildings are enough of enough.

Portland is already undergoing hyperdevelopment. Much of it is by out-of-state investors who care only about profit, and little or nothing about livability. Then we taxpayers have to pay for all the new services their ill-designed developments, including a huge increase in population density, require. I don’t see my taxes going down over the years, so the argument that increased development results in increased revenues and lower taxes seems straight out false.

Approval of such a development monstrosity would be a terrible precedent for Portland’s future.

Finally, most of the new high rises going up in Portland are unattractive. The City Council should at least require decent aesthetics. There are good architects in Portland. The design of the building over Rosemont Market on Brackett Street is well done. The city should give that architect a prize to serve as a model for others.

James Harrod


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