Right 2 Dream Too, city reach agreement to move homeless camp

Right 2 Dream Too, city reach agreement to move homeless camp »Play Video
Homeless campers have pitched tents on a lot at West Burnside and Fourth Avenue.

PORTLAND, Ore. - An agreement has been reached to move the Right to Dream 2 homeless camp to the Pearl District near the Broadway Bridge.

That's according to Michael Wright, who owns the property at Northwest 4th and Burnside where the camp is currently located, and his lawyer, Mark Kramer.

"We have an agreement," Kramer told KATU on Friday night. "We just have to finish the paperwork."

Kramer says it should all be wrapped over the weekend and, if City Commissioner Amanda Fritz goes along, they could have a press conference on Monday.

"I have not heard from the city attorney that the deal is final," Fritz said in an email to KATU Friday night. "I am looking forward to sharing the issues from my perspective and Right to Dream Too's, after the owner and the owner's attorney have been giving their version in the media for the past two weeks. I'm keeping my word, which was to do a joint press conference with Right to Dream Too, once the settlement is signed.  I have not yet signed the settlement agreement."

Last week the agreement was in jeopardy after the city's attorney sent a letter to Kramer, saying the city planned restrictions it previously said it wouldn't require.

Under Friday's agreement, Wright will drop a lawsuit against the city and the city will forgive some $25,000 in fines they have levied against him.

"I'm not yet relieved," Wright told KATU. "But it's not over yet. When everything is signed, that is when I will be really relieved."

Wright said it will be nice to move on from fighting the city.

"It takes a lot out of you," he said. "The thing is, no one wants to fight, but when you have to, you have to."

As part of the agreement, Wright says he won't put another homeless camp on his property.

There is a possibility that the Portland Development Commission might then buy it.

"I don't have any expectations when it comes to the city," he said. "But they have to come, and they have been looking at the property, so my hope is that something could be worked out.

"It would be nice to see something done with that property. It would be nice."

The paved site the Right 2 Dream Too camp would move to – under the Lovejoy onramp – is owned by the PDC.

Fritz met with residents of one nearby building that has a lot of elderly residents and many are angry about plans to move a homeless camp to within a couple blocks of their homes.

"The city doesn't care what we think," said Ramona Odierna. "The city doesn't care what our interests are. The city doesn't listen to us at all."

Niki Williams says she's afraid there will be more crime in the neighborhood.

"I'm afraid there will be trouble," she said. "You know, robbery or people getting accosted."

KATU News reporter Bob Heye contributed to this report.