Molalla’s wasteful PLANNING WALK OF SHAME continues!

“It’s becoming so difficult for most Americans to afford a home, with larger down payments and tighter credit, that it is creating a renter’s nation,” says Robert Shiller, a Yale economist and co-creator of the Case-Shiller home price index. “The home is no longer an investment; it’s a burden.”

In the seven years before its peak in July 2006, the home-price index surged 155 percent. Since then, it’s fallen 33 percent.

During the Great Depression, prices fell 31 percent. It took 19 years for the housing market to regain its losses after the Depression ended.”  – ABC News web story, May 31, 2011, reporting that real estate prices continue to fall.

Yesterday I went to read the “walk of shame” files in Molalla City Hall regarding the DEAD IN THE WATER Hart Street MILLION DOLLAR WAIVER apartment/commercial complex that was proposed at least a year and a half ago.

Have you wondered, after all these months of fake manager Atkin’s claims that it is on its way, how soon till the supposed developer will break ground? And don’t you wonder, given the horrific real estate crash and the overstock of homes in the Molalla area why anyone would ever loan the tens of millions needed for the 164 apt. project?

LOL! Don’t be expecting anything on that nasty Hart Street strip of land except the ugly gravel and the big rigs we see today. We, the public of Oregon, paid through the nose for a $43,000 Transportation Growth Management “quick grant” from ODOT that PROVES that it ain’t a gonna happen!

And why, in a climate that favors renting over buying (see article below “New Generation of Renters Emerges as Housing Market Struggles“) would Molalla be unable to host the MILLION DOLLAR WAIVER BOONDOGGLE APARTMENTS?

Because, as usual, the fake bozo planner and the head in the sand fake manager who proposed the waiver, (obviously tailored so this inside trader developer could hog it for residential when it was SUPPOSED to bring jobs), failed to consider how stuffing in a pile of car driving renters and a bunch of commercial traffic right next to the downtown 4-way stop would impact Molalla’s so-called “Transportation Plan”.

There are volumes now of glossy studies – that WE ALL PAID FOR – done by ODOT contracted professionals (unlike the “guys” without training who pretend to “plan” and “manage” Molalla!) sitting in City Hall that spell DOOM for the Hart project.

The biggest LOL is that not only would stuffing in all that new traffic require the city to use eminent domain to get land for turn lanes, the city would have to pay for a stop light at the 4-way to the tune of up to $350,000 – money Molalla doesn’t have BECAUSE IT NEVER CHARGED ENOUGH SDCs TO HAVE MONEY FOR IMPORTANT IMPROVEMENTS! That’s called rock and hard place!

But wait! It gets even funnier and the rock becomes a boulder! ODOT determined that there would need to be TWO STOPLIGHTS on 211 if the apt/commercial complex was built. There would also need to be a stoplight at Shaver and 211.

But wait! Hold the laughter or you might explode because ODOT rules say there CAN’T BE TWO STOPLIGHTS THAT CLOSE TOGETHER ON STATE HIGHWAYS!

So here’s a quick synopsis: Molalla, in its desperate lust for bodies and “business” tried to give away a million dollars of SDCs and we, the people of Oregon paid for a $43,000 “study” to see if the million dollar give away project to stuff in more people instead of bringing jobs would fly. To give away a MILLION the city would be on the hook for hundreds of thousands of road upgrades – and the city HAS NO MONEY because it never charged proper SDCs (and because the “manager” couldn’t claw his way  out of a paper bag!).  And now, our PUBLIC MONEY has proved completely that the project can’t be done as planned.

Gee, don’t cha feel kinda RIPPED OFF?

And, to boot, the April 4 letter from ODOT to bozo FAKE planner Potter (posted below – see “City Staff Report and Initial ODOT Concerns”) outlines the FACT that fake planner Potter’s “staff report” couldn’t even get the information straight from the $43,000 “study” that, we the people, funded to prove the project is DEAD.

It only goes to prove the saying “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”. ODOT looked in the boondoggle’s million dollar give-away mouth and ODOT said to SHOOT THE HORSE.

Now City Council needs to shuffle the FAKE PLANNER off the stage and sign up with affordable, competent, ethical County Contract Planning. If the County had been in charge of this bogus MILLION DOLLAR give-away “project” from the start, I have no doubt that a ton of public money would have been saved. If the County had been doing the planning, I highly doubt that the Council would have been DUMB enough to even authorize the MILLION DOLLAR WAIVER.

It’s time to stop pretending that a MILLION DOLLAR WAIVER can change a sow’s ear – Molalla – into a silk purse. It is time for responsible, accountable use of public funds. It is time for the people who claim they are have Molalla’s best interest at heart to put slow and steady before quick and dirty. It is time for QUALITY OVER QUANTITY.

Molalla will never “grow up” until it accepts where it stands in the pecking order. It’s really, really, really low on the totem pole – the Oregonian no longer considers Molalla part of the regular reporting zone and no longer lists Molalla real estate as a heading in the Sunday paper. We’re considered far off the beaten path and once we accept that, there can be progress.

Hello! Remember: In a housing market that heavily leans toward renting, Molalla can’t even plan, finance and build an apartment complex! WE PAID for the ODOT study and it said point blank that there was no need to dump up to 170 apts. downtown. The study suggested that maybe a slow buildout might work. But there was NO WAY a bunch of commercial space and all those apts. were needed in tanking Molalla.

Hey “developer”: Let’s see your funding – is anyone crazy enough to risk loaning you the funds to build that boondoggle, even if you could meet ODOT’s demands? I sure doubt it!

Let’s celebrate the end of fake planning and fake management in Molalla. It is LONG OVERDUE for  elected officials to start to do their own deep research about issues BEFORE they take the word of bogus TEAM, of land speculators and of the soon to be gone fake manager Atkins. REALISM AHOY!

Read on for the truth about where the housing market is heading. The FIRE SECTOR (finance, insurance, real estate) must be crying in their cheap beer over this trend. I doubt if Eric Kyllo and his insurance cronies can look forward to any insurance boom, given that renters are not likely to pay for policies. I wonder if all the banks are funding insurance for the empty hulks around town?

And don’t miss the ODOT letter to Molalla at the end of the following article and never forget:


New Generation Of Renters Emerges As Housing Market Struggles


By DEREK KRAVITZ   05/24/11 07:16 AM ET   AP

WASHINGTON — A growing number of Americans can’t afford a home or don’t want to own one, a trend that’s spawning a generation of renters and a rise in apartment construction.

Many of the new renters are former owners who lost homes to foreclosure or bankruptcy. For others who could afford one, a home now feels too costly, too risky or unlikely to appreciate enough to make it a worthwhile investment.

The proportion of U.S. households that own homes is at its lowest point since 1998. When the housing bubble burst four years ago, 31.6 percent of households were renters. Now, it’s at 33.6 percent and rising. Since the housing meltdown, nearly 3 million households have become renters. At least 3 million more are expected by 2015, according to census data analyzed by Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies and The Associated Press.

All told, nearly 38 million households are renters.

Among the signs of a rising rental market:

_ The pace of apartment construction has surged 115 percent from its October 2009 low. It’s still well below a healthy level. But permits for apartments, a gauge of future construction, hit a two-year peak in March. By contrast, permits for single-family home are on pace for their lowest annual level on records dating to 1960.

_ The number of completed apartments averaged about 250,000 a year before the boom. They fell to 54,000 last year and will probably number around the same this year. But then the number will likely double to about 100,000 in 2012 and hit 250,000 by 2013 or 2014, according to the CoStar Group, a research firm. The lag is due to the time it takes for an apartment building to be completed: an average of 14 months.

_ Demand is driving up rents. The median price of advertised rents rose 4.1 percent between the end of 2009 and the end of 2010, census data shows. Few expect the higher prices to stem the flood of renters, though. One reason: Younger adults don’t value homeownership as earlier generations did and many prefer to rent, studies show.

_ Rental housing is giving builders more work just as construction of single-family homes has dried up. Still, that economic lift won’t make up for all the single-family houses not being built. Apartments account for only about one-fourth of homes. And renters are outspent roughly 2-to-1 by homeowners, who pay for items from lawn care to remodeling and help drive the economy.

Before the housing bust, mortgage rates were so low it was often cheaper to buy than rent. That was true a decade ago in more than half the 54 biggest metro areas, according to Moody’s Analytics. Today, by contrast, it’s cheaper to rent in about 72 percent of metro areas.

Consider Mason Hamilton, 26, an energy consultant who rents an apartment with his wife for $1,100 a month in Alexandria, Va., outside Washington. He’d like something bigger. But he says he doesn’t plan to buy even though he could afford to.

“My parents always told me, `You need to buy a place; you need to buy property,'” he says. “But the housing market is insane.”

Many younger Americans see owning as risky. It hardly seems the best way to build wealth, especially when prices are falling.

“There’s been this idea for years, a part of the American dream, that owning a home improves and strengthens communities,” said John McIlwain, a senior fellow at the nonprofit Urban Land Institute. “But what we’ve learned over the past few years is that many people simply are not ready to own a home.”

From the 1940s until 2007, homes appreciated an average of nearly 5 percent a year, adjusted for inflation. In the past four years, the median price of a single-family home has sunk 37 percent, by $57,500, to its lowest since 2002. Yet in some areas, owning is still too expensive for many.

“It’s becoming so difficult for most Americans to afford a home, with larger down payments and tighter credit, that it is creating a renter’s nation,” says Robert Shiller, a Yale economist and co-creator of the Case-Shiller home price index. “The home is no longer an investment; it’s a burden.”

Homeownership bestows its own financial advantages, of course. Each loan payment builds equity. Loan interest and property taxes provide tax deductions. And in normal housing markets, home values rise over time.

But for now, renting is more attractive. Hamilton, the energy consultant, says his father, a 58-year-old teacher in Richmond, Va., still owes nearly as much on his mortgage as his house is worth.

“He’s stuck in that house,” Hamilton says. “After telling me to buy for all of those years, he’d love to rent like me.”


First, in case you want to read the sloppy, incompetent “work” produced by fake planner Potter here is a link – especially note that even though DLCD has requested (and I have requested) that all references to “equestrian, golf courses, and community planning areas” be removed from codes, this pathetic report, section 18.4.150 has a reference to “equstrian” (sic, Potter can’t spell or proofread!). DLCD rips this staff report apart in pages 3-4 in the below letter  under heading “City Staff Report and Initial ODOT Concerns”:

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