Lents may not have the business district it's been expecting for 15 years. But Lents has gotten your goats.
The Belmont Goats, a herd of 14 goats forced to leave its urban pasture at Southeast 10th Avenue and Belmont Street by a new apartment complex, has been OK'd by the Portland Development Commission to move to an empty lot in the East Portland neighborhood of Lents.
The PDC has agreed to locate the new goat pasture for at least one year at 9316 SE Woodstock Ave.—a vacant field next to Interstate 205—and to work with the goats' owners to move the herd to another vacant lot at Southeast 91st Avenue and Foster Road in the summer, when that property hosts the Lents Farmers Market.
"All of us are excited for this next phase of Portland's original resident urban herd," Belmont Goats caretaker Christopher Frankonis says in a statement.
In a follow-up interview with WW, Frankonis said he was impressed by "Lents' current drive to be local, green, and sustainable, combined with an outpouring of neighborhood support unlike anything we saw from any Portland neighborhood other than our current one."
The Lents Goats plan is one of three stopgap projects the PDC approved today for some of the 12 acres the city's urban renewal agency owns in Lents.
The PDC has spent more than $96 million in Lents, but has mostly produced razed and vacant properties, as WW reported last month.
The goats' owners submitted a proposal Jan. 17 to the PDC—one of six proposals for empty lots the urban renewal agency has been shopping to developers. (The PDC also crowdsourced ideas for two lots, erecting pink signs reading, "What Would You Like to See?")
The PDC hasn't decided the length of cost of the goats' lease, though they have offered a $7,500 grant to design the pasture and its climbing structure.
"We'll start a discussion about how long they'll be on the site," says PDC spokesman Shawn Uhlman, "and if there will be a charge."
The other selected projects are an outdoor photo installation proposed by affordable housing nonprofit ROSE Community Development, and a set of wire mesh furniture built by Propel Studio Architecture. Both these projects will be located at 8801 SE Foster Rd.
No project has been selected for the third lot the PDC was shopping—a property at 8930 SE Foster Rd. Rolling Oasis, a bicycle delivery service for fruit and vegetables, had made a proposal to use the location.
The PDC says it also plans to continue talks with developer David Emami, who is offering to build a 16,700-square-foot mixed-use project on the site where the Lents Goats will be located.