Portland could require stores to provide outside space for homeless

Triple-distilled madness to outrun most any Portlandia script: “If a majority of the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission has its way, new private buildings downtown will be required to include spaces where houseless Portlanders can ‘rest,’ which could include sleeping and pitching tents.” [Nigel Jaquiss, Willamette Week]


  • I am reminded of how our Founders came up with the 3rd Amendment. No quartering of troops as that was the custom of both invaders and home armies of that day. Now our politicians are saying they require citizens to “quarter an invading army” and how is that?

    • Sorry, but I doubt you will be able to find any court willing to read the third amendment a covering anything other than active duty uniformed military personnel (soldiers).

  • Better idea: require that all government buildings and offices provide “rest space” for the houseless. No exceptions for schools, hospitals and (if there is any justice in the universe), the private homes of all elected public officials. ?

  • The final insult is that building owners would likely still be taxed on the lad they essentially give to the homeless.

  • This will not receive legislative or executive approval. One thing about modern politics, for good or for ill (in this case I think it’s for good), is that politicians are able to poll constantly, and receive input on anything they’re considering. This is more of a trial balloon than anything else.

  • I also assume that this requirement would provide no legal cover for a store sued by a member of the public regarding any misbehavior of such a “tenant”…

  • If you want to guarantee that no one will build any new homes, this law will do it. And if they build it no one will buy it–would you?
    Portland already has declared that any trees on your property belong to “the people” and you cannot cut them down without permission (even if unsafe).

  • Taxes are far from the final insult.

    The “houseless” guests still will be forced to poop on the sidewalk, so the property owner must be fined for keeping a unsanitary conditions.

    Fine the owner because the newly-installed restroom facilities not up to whatever standards.

    Fine the owner for not providing security and protection for the residents after one gets assaulted during a deal.

    Fine the owner for “allowing” drug use and drug dealing” on the properly.

    Now the owner is declared a “slumlord” allowing the city to seize the property for being a “public nuisance”.

    — Rinse and repeat —

  • “Magnera, however, says she’s more determined than ever to use city code to carve out space for people who have none.”
    Put the knife down, lady. Is metrocide a real word?

  • Unfortunately, the law is no longer necessary. The USSC turned down the writ application in Martin v City of Boise (9th Cir 2018) holding that making it a crime to sleep on sidewalks and in public parks violates the 8th Amendment unless other places are provided/available. Ted Olson, et al, were unable to convince 4 Justices that this was a horrible infringement on traditional police powers and private persons’ rights. There is no longer a need for this law – just build more sidewalks and impose levies on the adjoining landowners for the improvements.

    • Of course the new law is still necessary. They want to force private parties to supply the other places without any impact on the city budget.