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City Improving How Neighbors Can Learn About New Development

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, in coordination with BDS staff, is requesting comments about updating the Zoning Code to provide for earlier and more opportunities for developers to speak with neighbors.
In this article
Draft Development Notice Sign
Draft notice

Portlanders have long wanted a better way to learn about new development in their neighborhood. As part of early implementation of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability created the Neighborhood Contact Code Update project toaddress community desire to have more information about new large buildings in the area.

The project is addressing issues related to neighborhood notification of new development, such as:

  • How should developers be required to notify people about new development in their neighborhood?
  • What should trigger the notification; for instance, number of units in the new development?

Review the Discussion Draft and send BPS your comments

The Neighborhood Contact Code Update project released a Discussion Draft for public review. The document includes a proposal and an appendix with draft materials that will be finalized by the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) after adoption of code changes in late 2018.

What would the proposal change?

The code changes proposed in this draft would change both the required process and the triggers of the existing Neighborhood Contact Requirement.

Currently, the process requires applicants to offer information about the project at a neighborhood association meeting. The proposed changes to the process would:

  • Shift the focus from a meeting to an onsite sign with information about the project, posted 35 days before the permit application is submitted.
  • Require that informational emails be sent at the same time to the neighborhood association, business association and district coalition.
  • Require the applicant to host an informational meeting only for larger projects.

Currently, the requirement is applied to new development inconsistently in a variety of situations because the triggers have been added piecemeal over time. The proposed changes to the triggers would make them simpler and more standardized, applying to all projects with more than 10,000 square feet of new building.

How can you provide feedback?

Comments on the Discussion Draft (link to Discussion Draft page) are due on April 23, 2018. You can submit your comments any of these ways:

  • Online survey (survey is now closed)
  • Email Sara Wright
  • U.S. Mail: Neighborhood Contact Project, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 1900 S.W. Fourth Ave., Portland, Oregon 97201

Project staff will weigh comments against each other and the City’s goals and policies to produce the Proposed Draft, which will be submitted to the Planning and Sustainability Commission in late spring/early summer.

If you have questions or would like to have staff come and talk about the project with your organization, contact Sara Wright at 503-823-7728.


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