By Susan Trabucco, CNA Media Team
Spencer Q. Parsons, an attorney who specializes in land use and other government-related law, recently opened his legal practice in Concordia’s Fox Chase area. Photo by Susan Trabucco
Stepping in the door to land use attorney Spencer Q. Parsons’ office, one gets a decidedly different vibe than that of most law offices. No dark-paneled wood or receptionist counter barring the way to casual entry here. Instead, visitors to this recently opened law office will find a smiling Parsons jumping up to greet them from within a light and airy office finished in mostly subdued and soft tones. From the washed concrete floors, natural-wood window and door trim and creamy walls to the surprising blast of candy-apple green drapes framing the many large windows, the overall effect creates an atmosphere of approachability.
A Portlander of 23 years, Parsons is a Concordia resident who lives with his family near NE 31st and Ainsworth. His office is only a few blocks away in the Fox Chase business district of the Concordia neighborhood, located on the bottom floor of a vintage brick building that had been condo-ized for sale. His wife, Maria Los, owns the retail vintage clothing shop, Half Pint. By 2014, Half Pint outgrew the space, and Los moved the operation to North Mississippi Avenue, leaving the spot available for Parsons. Two years of remodeling work done largely by Parsons, and the space was ready for the debut of his private practice last month.
Parsons earned his undergraduate and law degrees from University of Oregon. After graduating from law school he began practicing at the Portland firm of Beery, Elsner & Hammond and worked with many local governments, including Happy Valley, North Plains, Fairview, Hillsboro and others. Much of this work involved land use issues. Parsons then worked as Assistant County Counsel for Columbia County, providing legal counsel to the county’s Board of Commissioners; Planning Commission; Land Use and Planning Department; Forest, Parks and Recreation Department; Road Department; and the Office of Animal Control.
Now on his own, Parsons’ primary practice area is real estate and land use law. He works to help clients understand existing land use law – how they can – or can’t – legally address a perceived problem, and how to interpret land use law for a desired project.
“People will say they don’t like what they are seeing happen in their neighborhood, but they don’t know what, if anything they can do about it,” said Parsons.Parsons sees himself as a kind of “translator” and a liaison for clients who have to navigate a complex land use process. “I think of myself as a peace-maker. I advise my clients to tell government staff to drop the jargon and talk to them like they are an eight-year-old,” said Parsons. “My hope is to focus on the nexus between the law and land use.”
Parsons’ secondary law emphasis is working on behalf of clients who have the need to address government in any matter.
“If someone has to go before city or state government, it can be intimidating; my aim is to inform and get people through the process.”
On the government side, he might provide assistance with applications for small business contractors, the public contracting process, city permit requirements, or even barking dog problems.
Find Parsons at his office located at 5400 NE 30th Ave., Suite 106. For more information call (971) 279-2018 or visit his website, www.SQPLaw.com.
Susan Trabucco is a business communications consultant. She lives in the Beaumont Wilshire neighborhood, just a few steps from Concordia. Reach her by emailing email@example.com or call (503) 440-7732.