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About the Design Commission

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The Design Commission provides leadership and expertise on urban design and architecture and advances the purpose of the Design overlay zone as authorized under Portland City Code 33.710.050,

The Design Commission powers and duties

  1. Reviewing major developments within Design overlay zones except those projects involving or located within the following:
    • Historic Districts;
    • Conservation Districts;
    • Historic Landmarks; and
    • Conservation Landmarks
  2. Recommending the establishment, amendment, or removal of the Design overlay zone and a design districts to the Planning and Sustainability Commission;
  3. Recommending design guidelines for adoption by City Council except for guidelines for Historic Districts and Conservation Districts;
  4. Reviewing other land use requests assigned to the Design Commission; and
  5. Providing advice on design matters to the Hearings Officer, Planning and Sustainability Commission, Historic Landmarks Commission, Portland Development Commission, City Council, and other City Bureaus or public agencies when necessary or requested.