Tom Moyer has left the building…


Tom Moyer, a native Portlander, founder of TMT Development, and an important influence on Portland real estate, business and architecture, died on Friday at age 95. Although most remembered by the general public for his skyscrapers, financed without public subsidy, he also helped improve the lives of thousands of homeless young people in Portland through a charity he started named New Avenues for Youth.

Oregon courts cannot void transfers of Washington real property

This appellate court opinion issued last week caught my eye. The conclusion seems obvious enough: “…ORS 14.030 denies to Oregon courts the authority to directly affect the ownership of (real) property located outside of Oregon.” For the curious, the appellant’s and respondent’s briefs to the Oregon Court of Appeals shed some light on the circumstances of the underlying trial court proceeding.

The rainy season brings thoughts of leaky roofs, water intrusion and years of resulting litigation…

Jason Gardner, a fellow lawyer in Portland, wrote an interesting article in Tuesday’s Daily Journal of Commerce about construction liability timelines and the unsettled state of the law concerning statutes of limitation and repose in construction defect litigation. For more detail, here is his firm’s brief in what I think is the appellate case he refers to in his article.

The Latest on Portland’s Airbnb Rules

On November 19 at 2pm, Portland City Council will hold a public hearing on the latest revisions to the proposed short-term rental code amendments. This means that City Council is close to voting on new rules to regulate Airbnb rentals in Portland.

There are over 1000 Portland rentals advertised on Airbnb, the vast majority of which are being rented without the permits required under existing short-term rental rules. The proposed rules are less onerous for those who own detached-single-family homes that were built in compliance with the City Code, and which aren’t subject to separate homeowners association restrictions, but the new rules seem like a dead end for all the quirky basements, barns, cellars, coops, attics and apartments that constitute the cool essence of Portland’s Airbnb rental corpus.

So, it’ll certainly be a lively hearing. If you can’t make it downtown, you can watch the fray live from the cozy comfort of your nonconforming converted basement sleeping room.

61.9 million gallons of sewage flowed into Willamette River on Wednesday

According to this Oregonian story, a large volume of untreated sewage was discharged into the Willamette this week because of the heavy rains. Thankfully, this kind of story is news nowadays, because historically, discharging sewage into the Willamette was Portland’s sewage handling strategy.

According to my math, 61.9 million gallons of sewage discharge in 3 hours and 45 minutes equals about 620 cubic feet per second, which, put in perspective, is roughly twice the summertime flow of the Tualatin River at West Linn. According to these Portland BES estimates, that’s only about 1/3 of the 1,900 cubic foot per second maximum system-wide expected overflow. In other words, combined system overflows of untreated sewage can get a lot worse than the event we experienced on Wednesday.