On Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020, the Oregon Court of Appeals affirmed Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan. The court heard oral arguments in the case (A168704 - Multnomah Neighborhood Association v. Land Conservation and Development Commission, et. al) on Jan. 9 in Salem.
Portland’s new citywide growth plan went into effect in May 2018. The 20-year plan includes new land use policies, land use maps and zoning, and new public facilities plans. This was the largest overhaul of Portland’s land use plan since the City’s original Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1980.
The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) approved the plan in December 2017. In March of 2018, the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) voted to reject six appeals that were filed to block elements of the plan. The Multnomah Neighborhood Association subsequently filed an appeal of the LCDC decision in September 2018.
The appeal of the LCDC decision was primarily concerned with the City’s “middle housing policy,” which City Council added to the plan in early 2016. The policy encourages the City to consider zoning decisions to allow more duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, accessory dwelling units, and small multi-unit or clustered residential buildings.
City Council is currently considering ways to implement the policy through the Residential Infill Project. A Council decision is expected on RIP in the coming months.
There is now a 35-day appeal period during which time the Multnomah Neighborhood Association could appeal the decision to the Oregon Supreme Court. If no appeal is filed, the plan would be considered “acknowledged” by the state.
Companion CC2035 plan
Portland’s Central City 2035 plan, which provides the blueprint for growth in downtown Portland and the surrounding Central City neighborhoods, is still in dispute. In a separate court decision it was recently sent back to City Council for further consideration.