Some very scary Cully Grove kids & parents hit the streets for Halloween. And for all who visited, we cooked up and handed out fresh beignets (New Orleans Square Donuts).
Author Archives: Eli Spevak
What do you get when you toss together Shajahan’s amazing cooking & tunes, a wonderful group of people, and some rocking music speakers in the common house? A scrumptious Indian food dinner and Bollywood dance party! We filled up the first floor pretty well, and also had kids/parents playing and eating upstairs in the larger guest room.
On Sunday, there was a KATU News story about Cully Grove during their Green Living segment. Here’s a link.
It’s taken a while, but as construction wraps up we’re starting to move in for real! The first 10 households have moved in or are in the process, and more will follow shortly. Grass is starting to grow, kids are playing everywhere, and new neighbors are hanging out. The common house is nearly done and there remain some little construction projects to wrap up. But it’s starting to feel more ‘home’ than ‘jobsite’ at long last.
Two of the 16 homes are not yet sold. If you’re interested in learning more about them, give us a call or e-mail at the numbers listed here.
It was so beautiful yesterday I couldn’t resist climbing our neighbor’s tree to take this aerial shot of Cully Grove. Utility trenches are all closed up (finally!) and we’ve been taking advantage of the lovely weather to pour front porch pads, build rear decks, go crazy painting building exteriors, and work on final site grading. Meanwhile, interior subcontractors (tile, flooring, cabinets, electricians, plumbers…) continue rolling through the units. Solar panels are up on all homes but the single family units – and those will be installed in the coming week. Looking ahead, we’re scheduling out half street improvements along Going St. and curbs/paving of our driveway and parking spaces. More soon! – Eli
We’ve had rain, mud, frozen ground… and for today: a little bit of snow. Yet construction is zipping forward as we roll into 2013. After trenching up the site for electrical underground service, we now have power extending to each home. Almost half the units are sheetrocked and another 6 are on deck for insulation and sheetrock in the next couple weeks. Next week, we’ll pour gypcrete over in-floor radiant tubing in the first batch of units, get most of the tile backer board and shower pans prepped, begin interior paint, and see the arrival of the first cabinets. Outside, siding of the multi-unit buildings is nearly complete, carport foundations are nearly done, and the common building comes next. Also in the next couple weeks, we’ll start digging the well! More soon… – Eli
This afternoon, Portland’s City Council voted unanimously to extend the waiver of Systems Development Charges on Accessory Dwelling Units for an additional 3 years. The waiver covers all new ADUs (conversions or new construction) that are permitted before July 31, 2016 and obtain a final inspection and certification of occupancy no later than June 30, 2017.
Critical to this decision was the overwhelming evidence of the waiver’s impact over the past 2+ years. Before the original waiver was adopted in early 2010, Portland was permitting 2.6 ADUs per month. That rate jumped to 8.7 ADUs per month in 2011 and is now on track for 12.8 ADUs/month in 2012, a nearly five-fold increase in ADU activity from before the waiver went into effect. There were undoubtedly other factors involved in this jump, including the available of Energy Trust of Oregon incentives for ADUs, zoning code changes to allow ADUs to be larger in comparison to the primary dwelling (but still capped at 800sf), new appraisal guidelines to make ADUs easier to finance, and a general lifting up of the housing market this year. But there’s no question that the SDC waiver has been critical in helping many builders and homeowners take the leap from “Maybe…” to “Yes, let’s go for it!” for their ADU schemes & dreams.
We also used the opportunity of some public testimony to nudge the city to consider adopting scalable SDC fees on residential homes – so that 1,000 square foot homes wouldn’t pay the same SDC fees as 5,000 square foot ones (as they do today). Based on feedback from City Council member Nick Fish, there might be some follow-up on this idea.
All the neighborhood, design community, builder, resident, and public agency support for accessory dwellings made this an enthusiastic and non-contentious “Yes” vote by Council. Here’s a big “Thank You” to everyone who’s been supportive of rule changes, like this one, that make it easier to build smaller homes. And a special “Thank you” to the City of Portland for taking the lead on this issue. Let’s keep the changes coming – locally and in other jurisdictions around the region.
– Eli Spevak
PS – For other city councils… during the ~3 hours in council chambers waiting for this resolution to come up, this bill stood out as their most fun vote amidst a lot of pretty dry, bureaucratic stuff to wade through. So lighten up your next meeting with an ordinance to support tiny homes!
I scurried up a neighbor’s tree for this overhead photo. The last multi-unit building had trusses delivered today, so soon all the 3-BR homes will be roofed. Unit 14 is decked and the footing for Unit 15 was poured this morning, so the single family homes are coming in close behind. Electricians are rolling through Units 9-13 while plumbers and HVAC folks work on Units 1-8. Next subs to add to the mix: insulation, drywall, gutters and siders. Keep sunny/dry weather in the forecast. We love it!