March 28, 2006. The Troutdale City Council reversed itself on maximum 45 foot building heights in downtown Troutdale. And by a 6-1 vote, no less.
I changed my mind. Why? First of all, 45 feet with a variance can go to 58+ feet mighty fast. Second reason? In our "compromise", we said sure, 45 feet high buildings on Columbia River Highway, as long as they aren't any higher then 35 feet above 2nd street. With the height measured from 2nd street.
Frank Windust, one of the property owners on 2nd street, invited me to take a look from the 3rd floor of one of his townhouses. So I took a look. A 35 foot building would have eliminated the views even from the 3rd floor of the townhouses on 2nd street. Wow, I thought. What was I thinking?
My second reason for changing my mind: there was absolutely NO consensus among the various special interests about the maximum building height downtown. No one agreed.
So we voted to put the maximum height back the way it was before we started deliberating on this several months ago. We ran in place as fast as we could, and didn't get anywhere.
Will the potential buyers of the Marino block pull out of their purchase? I have no idea. Do I care one way or the other? Not really. What will be will be.
Lesson learned: Don't vote "yes" with so many doubts floating around on the decision plate.