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Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) Happenings

Newsletter

Plans Examiner Newsletter

Published

With the onset of the coronavirus, the Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) missed its March 2020 meeting, but has since shifted its meetings online. DRAC subcommittees are also meeting virtually.

Highlights from recent DRAC meetings include:

April 16, 2020 Meeting

At their first online meeting, DRAC members heard updates from many of the development review bureaus regarding the impact of the coronavirus and remote workers on the development review process. The DRAC also discussed City projects and initiatives, including land use review extensions and updates to the Stormwater Management Manual. Several development bureaus provided information on fee changes for the coming fiscal year (July 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021).

May 21, 2020 Meeting

BDS Director Rebecca Esau shared her long-term vision for the bureau, including many staff working remotely and most programs and services being accessible online. Members spent significant time discussing the impacts of bird-safe glass requirements with staff from BPS and stakeholders from industry and the community.

Other City projects discussed included:

  • Creating Public Streets & Pedestrian Connections (PBOT)
  • Demolition administrative rule and code changes
  • Extension of the SDC waiver on Accessory Dwelling Units

June 18, 2020 Meeting

DRAC members discussed delays in various development review processes and services with staff from BDS and the other development bureaus.  The DRAC also reviewed proposed amendments to City Code and administrative rules related to residential demolitions, and passed a motion recommending the adoption of the amendments.

July 16, 2020 Meeting

Discussion continued regarding delays in development review processes and services and BDS’s efforts to address them.  Michelle Schulz from GBD Architects presented information regarding issues with loading requirements in City Code Title 33; representatives from the Commercial Real Estate Development Association (NAIOP) and the Building Owners & Managers Association (BOMA) have been discussing these issues with City staff as well.  Discussion focused on the possibility of re-starting the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Project (RICAP) as a tool for addressing the issues.

Next DRAC Meeting

The next DRAC meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 20, 2020.

DRAC Member Vacancies

The City is accepting applications for multiple vacant DRAC positions, representing:

  • Historic Preservation
  • Home Remodelers
  • Land Use Planning Professionals
  • Low-Income Housing Developers
  • Minority Construction Contractors & Development Professionals

The application for DRAC membership is available through the Office of Community & Civic Life website at www.portlandoregon.gov/civic/article/737790. If you have questions regarding DRAC membership, please contact BDS DRAC Liaison Mark Fetters (503-823-6351 or mark.fetters@portlandoregon.gov).

For more information about the DRAC, including meeting agendas, minutes, and handouts, please visit the DRAC website: www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/46405. The DRAC currently meets online the third Thursday of each month from 8 – 10 a.m. A link to the online meeting site is posted on the DRAC website 2-3 days before each meeting. DRAC meetings are open to the public.

DRAC Happenings highlights the activities of the City’s Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC). The DRAC is the City’s primary advisory body regarding development review. The DRAC’s members represent groups with interests in the outcome of policies, budgets, regulations, and procedures that affect development review processes.

The purpose of the DRAC is to foster a timely, predictable and accountable development review process that implements the City's goals for land use, transportation, housing, economic development, neighborhood livability and the environment. The DRAC advocates for and supports consistent and fair application and implementation of regulations.