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City Council re-adopts the Central City 2035 Plan with a 3–1 vote on July 8

News article

The re-adopted plan goes back into effect on August 10, 2020; public comments invited on the re-adoption of administrative rules for bird-safe windows and low-carbon buildings.

Published

City Council received oral testimony from 30 people on May 28 and written testimony from 147 more before the record closed on the re-adoption of the Central City 2035 Plan.

Testifiers advocated for and against the re-adoption of the CC2035 Plan. Much of the testimony centered around the subject of the remand: increased height limits in the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic district.

On July 2, Council deliberated on the re-adoption. Commissioners made no additional amendments, except to accept the revised Exhibit A: Findings of Fact report, which reflects testimony received:

What Commissioners said

The CC2035 Plan moved forward to a 2nd reading and final vote on July 8, 2020. The vote passed 3 to 1, with Commissioner Amanda Fritz dissenting.

Commissioner Hardesty stated, “A plan is a document, it is what you do with the document that determines whether or not it lives up to the values you espouse. In my view, we have done a remarkable job of updating the Central City plan in a way that I hope will lead to much more equitable outcomes by 2035.”

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly stressed that her “… support for height changes in the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District, was in no way disregard for the Landmarks Commission. I consider them to be the experts on these issues and the backstop for what can be built in historic districts. However, I have a different charge than members of that Commission: As a Council member, we have to weigh issues such as affordable housing and displacement, economic development and the viability of this business district, along with historic preservation. This is the context within which I made my decision.”

The single no vote came from Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who said that she shared a core value with colleagues that “we are in need of affordable housing options for Portlanders, particularly those who are low income and at risk of displacement.” However, she voted no because Council’s decision to increase heights on 5 of 10 blocks in the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District, “… erodes years of public process and design guidelines to right size the district.”

The Mayor concluded the voting with: “What this plan does differently is that it sets the stage for a vibrant, equitable, and healthy city core. The plan helps us realize our goals for more affordable housing, increased resilience in the face of climate change and economic recession, and more and better jobs. The plan proposes a synergistic mix of old and new industry in the Central Eastside, better protection of our iconic scenic views, and a deeper focus on our greatest natural feature – the Willamette River.”

The re-adopted plan goes back into effect on Aug. 10, 2020, and can be viewed at CC2035 documents.

Re-adoption of administrative rules / public review period

After voting to adopt the CC2035 Plan, City Council directed the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to re-adopt two administrative rules related to standards in the zoning code:

  1. Low-carbon Building Certification List – New buildings larger than 50,000 square feet need to register with one of the approved Green Building Certification Programs on this Low-carbon Buildings list:

  2. Bird-Safe Windows List – When a building triggers the standard requiring bird-safe glazing on windows, developers must choose from the materials and spacing requirements on this Bird-safe Windows List:

These draft administrative rules are available for public comment until 5 p.m., August 5. Please send comments to:

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
c/o Rachael Hoy, Senior Planner
1900 SW 4th Avenue, 7100
Portland, OR 97201

Or by email: CC2035@portlandoregon.gov

Staff will review all comments and make a recommendation to BPS Director Andrea Durbin, who will make the final decision on any amendments to the administrative rules. The rules will go into effect, along with the CC2035 Plan, on Aug. 10, 2020.