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Plan to protect Portland’s residents, properties and floodplains ready for public review and comment

News Article
Public comments sought on the Floodplain Resilience Plan Discussion Draft; learn how the plan will help make the city’s environmental zones and nearby communities more resilient at online open house events.
Published

As climate change increases the chance of extreme weather events and excessive rain, the areas near rivers and other bodies of water are at greater risk of flooding and environmental disruption. This puts people, buildings, wildlife, trees and other vegetation at risk.

The Floodplain Resilience Plan will reduce the impacts of future flooding on residents and businesses living and working in or close to Portland’s floodplains. The plan also aims to protect floodplain habitat for endangered and threatened fish species. The project responds to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) for residents and businesses living and working in or close to Portland’s floodplain areas by updating the rules that apply to new development along the edges of Portland’s rivers and streams.

The project will:

  • Expand environmental zones to protect the City’s floodplains.
  • Update development and building requirements in the FEMA 100-year floodplain and areas that were flooded in February of 1996.
  • Update the Zoning Code to better manage tree and vegetation removal in the floodplain and ensure no net loss in floodplain functions.
  • Add new mitigation requirements to areas within 170 ft of the Willamette River in Central Reach floodplains (33.475) to enhance riparian habitat.
  • Increase the compensatory excavation (cut) of the riverbed required in some portions of the floodplain when fill (soil) or structures are proposed. This ensures adequate space for flood waters is provided with new development.

The adoption of the plan will continue the City’s compliance with the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) flood protection requirements and maintain the 25% discount Portlanders currently receive on their flood insurance policies. The plan also advances floodplain management goals and policies in the City’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan.

Review the Discussion Draft and comment

You can see proposed changes to your property and others on the Map App (not every property is affected, only those in or close to a floodplain). Then review the Discussion Draft.

Submit comments by January 28, 2022, via the Map App.

Learn more

Attend an open house:

Contact the project helpline:
503-823-7831 or floodplainproject@portlandoregon.gov 

Next Steps

  • November - January – Stakeholder engagement events to gather feedback and comments on the Discussion Draft
  • Spring of 2022 – Planning and Sustainability Commission public hearing, work sessions and recommendation
  • Summer/Fall of 2022 – City Council public hearing, deliberations and decision

Contact

Jeff Caudill

City Planner II, Environmental