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Central City 2035 heads to City Council for re-adoption and public hearing on May 28

News article

Revised plan includes changes to address LUBA and Court of Appeals concerns.

Published

On May 28 the Portland City Council will hold a public hearing on the re-adoption of the Central City 2035 Plan (CC2035). This plan was adopted by City Council in June 2018 and went into effect a month later.  

The plan was then appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) and, subsequently, the state Court of Appeals. LUBA found, and the Court of Appeals agreed, that the findings related to changes in allowed heights in the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District were not adequate to show compliance with Comprehensive Plan Policy 4.48: "… Continuity with established patterns. Encourage development that fills in vacant and underutilized gaps within the established urban fabric, while preserving and complementing historic resource...."

On March 16, 2020, the Oregon Court of Appeals remanded Ordinance 189000 of the Central City 2035 Plan back to the City. According to the Court of Appeal’s final order, the City will need to re-adopt CC2035 with changes to address this Comprehensive Plan policy.  

Impact of the remand  

When the final decision was released from LUBA, the old Zoning Code (more than 20 years old) went back into effect. This meant that numerous development projects either had to remain on hold until the City re-adopted the CC2035 code or proceed under the old Zoning Code and Map.  

Projects affected include the Broadway Corridor, OMSI, RiverPlace, Millcreek Apartments (including Multnomah Athletic Club parking) and a senior housing tower, among others. While the delay would be a problem in any economic climate, it is especially difficult for all parties involved due to COVID-19.  

How to testify

In writing

Written testimony should be submitted and received by the start of the hearing. Council may leave the record open for responsive testimony. All testimony must include your name and address. Portlanders can submit written testimony in two ways: 

  • Testify on the Map App: Select the Testify button to enter your testimony.
  • Send a letter to: City Council, CC2035 Re-adoption Draft testimony, 1221 SW 4th Ave Room 130, Portland OR 97204. 

At City Council online hearing

Re-adoption schedule 

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has been working with the offices of the Mayor and City Attorney to resubmit the same plan that City Council adopted in 2018 for re-adoption — with updated findings to address the issues found by the courts.

The proposed re-adoption schedule includes:

May 1 — Public notices sent; public record reopens; documents available for review

May 26 — Deadline to register to testify at Council hearing

May 28 — City Council re-adoption hearing; deadline for written testimony

July 2 — City Council work session and vote on amended findings

July 8 or 9 (TBD) — Second reading at Council and final vote

August 2020 — Re-adopted CC2035 Plan goes into effect