Homeowners living in Overlook Neighborhood concerned about homel - KPTV - FOX 12

Homeowners living in Overlook Neighborhood concerned about homeless camp

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(KPTV/Amber Diaz) (KPTV/Amber Diaz)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Overlook Neighborhood Association wants to know why it's taking so long for a homeless camp to be moved out of their neighborhood.

Former Mayor Charlie Hales vowed to have Hazelnut Grove homeless camp relocated by Halloween of last year.

"Here we are 18 month plus and the camp is still going," said one neighbor.

In fact, it has grown. The camp has built a library, a garden and tiny homes. 

The people living there say they plan on staying long-term, and even working on a way to get clean running water from the Greeley Forest Garden.

"We took something that nobody cared about, no one was using it, to a positive outcome," said Desiree Rose.

When asked if she was happy at the camp, Rose said she is.

But that happiness comes at the price of making their tax paying neighbors upset.

Homeowners are worried about a number of things. From potential landslides as the camp sits on a hill to growing vegetation that could become a fire hazard. But in hoping for an answer from the new mayor, they were faced with a vote at a meeting Tuesday night.

When Mayor Ted Wheeler asked who wanted the camp gone, the room was divided, forcing Mayor Wheeler to push the community to work it out amongst themselves.

"This is a divided neighborhood on this particular subject and it's reflective of the calls and the cards and the information that I am getting," said Mayor Wheeler. "Rather than me directing your neighborhood and telling you what to do, I want you to have this conversation amongst yourselves.” 

Many stepped up to the podium to have their opinions heard, and with all of their concerns about the future of Hazelnut Grove, a happy medium wasn't found.

Mayor Wheeler did offer to have a Resolutions Team come in and be the moderator between those who want the camp gone and others who want it to stay.

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