1973

After years of trying to achieve state oversight of land use, McCall finds two allies: Hector MacPherson, a dairy farmer and Republican state senator; and Ted Hallock, a liberal state senator. With a plan drafted by landscape architect Lawrence Halprin, McCall barnstorms the state, warning of the coming “sagebrush subdivisions, coastal condomania, and the ravenous rampages of suburbia.” The result: Senate Bill 100, the most comprehensive state land regulation ever passed in the United States.



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1973

The Willamette River Park System Act becomes the Willamette River Greenway Act, a law that places the greenway under the protections of Senate Bill 100. Two years later, the state adds number 15 to the original 14 commandments of state land use: protecting around 200 river miles from uncontrolled development, from the base of the Cascade Range near Eugene to its confluence with the Columbia River.


1974 Regional Tilth
Image: Jef Jaisun

1974

Three important environmental groups surface—Portland Sun, Rain, and Regional Tilth (pictured). Portland Sun promotes early solar technologies. Rain starts a community resource center where folks can learn methods for living simply. And the Willamette Valley chapter of Tilth begins an organic certification program whose standards are later adopted by the National Organic Program.


1974

Mayor Neil Goldschmidt joins forces with Multnomah County Commissioners Don Clark and Mel Gordon to build a light-rail line to Gresham rather than a freeway to Mount Hood.


1974

Riverfront for People’s picnic turns into a jackhammer party to tear up Harbor Drive for Waterfront Park.


1974

The Portland Recycling Team, a student-led effort formed at Portland State University in 1970, evolves into Portland’s first curbside recycling businesses, Sunflower and Cloudburst (pictured).


1975

Former Governor McCall and Henry Richmond form the watchdog group 1000 Friends of Oregon to sue cities who don’t complete a comprehensive land-use plan as mandated by Senate Bill 100.


1975

Goldschmidt leads the Portland City Council to enact a “parking lid” while TriMet creates Fareless Square to discourage short car trips.














1975

Neighborhood associations lobby Portland City Council to pick three sites for a new Community Garden program (pictured) that will provide 450 city dwellers with space to grow their own food. Today, the program has 32 sites for more than 3,000 people—in 2008 alone, the waiting list doubled to 1,300, leaving the program in search of more space.





1975

The Environmental Protection Agency labels Portland the nation’s most livable city, ranking it high in every category—economics, politics, society, environment, and health/education.