November 2020 – Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) Updates

News Article
A monthly snapshot of land use planning work going on in your neighborhoods. Please visit the specific project website and contact project staff with any questions.

What’s new this month?

  • Historic Resources Code Project PSC hearing continues on November 10 

  • River Plan/South Reach going to Council vote on December 2 

  • Shelter to Housing Continuum going to PSC; public testimony on proposed draft opening 

  • West Portland Town Center discussion draft open for public comment; open house and info sessions ongoing 

Useful resources

Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC)

City Council

Map App

You can look at interactive maps, submit testimony during testimony periods, and read submitted testimony through the BPS Map App.

Portland Maps – Explorer

You can look at existing zoning, building permit, transportation and natural resource information and more on the interactive Explorer map.

COVID-19 Impacts

Please be aware that public meetings are being cancelled or rescheduled for public health and safety, so be sure to check the calendars on specific project pages for meeting updates and the latest information.

Anti-Displacement Action Plan

What: The Anti-Displacement Action Plan (ADAP) aims to increase the resiliency of the city and our communities to deal with racial and economic disparities that contribute to displacement.  

As part of ADAP, an Anti-Displacement Task Force (ADTF) is forming to provide community-led, citywide leadership, policy development, coordination and collaboration that centers racial equity in the City’s anti-displacement and equitable development policies. 

Status: Recruitment for the Anti-Displacement Task Force is ongoing. Interested individuals and organizations should contact project staff for presentations and outreach materials. When the official application process opens, the application will be found on the Civic Life webpage

The Task Force will be composed of 12 to 15 community members and cross-bureau City leadership, working together to recommend actions for City Council to address housing and commercial displacement. The group will start meeting in the fall. 

Next opportunity to engage: The Task Force work is expected to start in January 2021.  Community members interested in learning more about the project can sign up for project updates. Please also see PAALF’s website for more information on the community Anti-Displacement Coalition. 

Contact: Kathryn Hartinger, 503-823-9714,

Design Overlay Zone Amendments Project (DOZA)

What: Updating and improving both the process and tools used within the design overlay zone. The project includes changes to the zoning code, zoning map, and the citywide design guidelines. 

Status: The DOZA Project received unanimous approvals from the PSC on July 14 and the Design Commission on June 18. Both the PSC and the Design Commission are charged with making a recommendation to the Portland City Council. The Recommended Draft, which is their joint recommendation, will be published in November 2020. 

Next opportunity to engage: The City Council public hearing will take place in 2021, with dates to be determined. Please check the website in early 2021 for information on the dates. 

Contact: Phil Nameny, 503-823-7709,

Electric Vehicle (EV) Ready Code Project

What: The project seeks to expand zero-emission transportation options for individuals and households beyond what the market is doing today, specifically in multi-dwelling housing. The project will explore Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure requirements for multi-dwelling and other residential development. The EV Ready Code Project will help implement policy direction from the EV Strategy through changes to the zoning code.

Status: The Urban Sustainability Directors Network grant-funded Electric Vehicle Access to Renters effort has concluded. More information and to view materials from the Electric Vehicle Access to Renters effort are available online.

Next opportunity to engage: Code concepts and impact analysis work will begin this fall. Community members interested in learning more about the project can sign up for project updates.

Contact: Ingrid Fish, 503-823-4326,
Marty Stockton, 503-823-2041,

Environmental Overlay Zone Map Correction Project

What: Correcting the location of environmental overlay zones (ezones) to better align with rivers, streams, wetlands, floodplains, forests, steep slopes and wildlife habitat. 

Status: The Planning and Sustainability Commission held a public hearing on July 28 and  received a briefing on September 8. The public hearing is continued to February 23, 2021. Site visits are continuing through the fall with new COVID-19 safety protocols in place. 

Next opportunity to engage: The public can provide written testimony on the Proposed Draft via the MapApp starting in January 2021. The next public hearing will be on February 23. or 503-823-4225

Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Project

What: Restricts the development and expansion of bulk fossil fuel terminals. Zoning Code amendments were adopted by the Portland City Council on Dec. 14, 2016. That ordinance was appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court and went back to City Council.

Status: City Council voted to adopt the ordinance on Dec. 18, 2019. The ordinance was appealed to LUBA by the Western States Petroleum Association, Portland Business Alliance, Oregon Business and Industry, and Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council. The LUBA hearing took place on July 14. A decision is expected by late October.

Next opportunity to engage: None currently.

Contact: Tom Armstrong, 503-823-3527,

Historic Resources Code Project

What: Updating the City’s zoning regulations pertaining to the identification, designation, protection, and reuse of historic resources. Proposed changes include:  

  • refining the historic resource review exemptions, procedures, and criteria;  

  • expanding demolition review to City-designated Historic and Conservation Landmarks and Districts that are currently subject to demolition delay;  

  • amending demolition review approval criteria;  

  • expanding regulatory incentives to allow for the adaptive reuse of designated resources; and  

  • increasing emphasis on the importance of cultural and social history when new resources are determined eligible for designation. 

Status: The Proposed Draft was released mid-September for public review and testimony before the Planning and Sustainability Commission. A PSC hearing was held on October 27 and has been continued to November 10 for those who were unable to testify. Testimony is accepted through November 10. 

Next opportunity to engage: Written testimony must be submitted by November 10. Testimony can be submitted on the MapApp

Contact: Brandon Spencer-Hartle, 503-823-4641,

Montgomery Park to Hollywood Transit and Land Use Development Strategy (MP2H)

What: Exploring options for a successful land use and transit system, including potential streetcar linking Montgomery Park in Northwest Portland to the Hollywood Town Center in Northeast Portland. The project is a joint effort between BPS and PBOT. 

Status: The project will assess land use and transportation issues and options, including affordable housing, economic development and business stabilization opportunities associated with potential transit investments, including possible extension of the Portland Streetcar. The project has concluded the Urban Design Concepts phase, during which the community was asked to consider possible alternative land use development scenarios for the Northwest study area, and possible streetcar/transit alignment alternatives for the Northeast study area. The project held virtual open houses and information sessions on the urban design concepts for Northwest and Northeast Portland this summer. A draft MP2H Urban Design Concept Virtual Open House – Public Comments Report is now available. 

Next opportunity to engage: With input from the public, the project working group, and other stakeholders, the project team is developing a Discussion Draft Preferred Alternative for broader public review this fall. 

Contact: Barry Manning (BPS), 503-823-7965,
Kate Drennan (PBOT), 503-823-4599,

Residential Infill Project (RIP)

What: Updating the rules that shape Portland’s residential neighborhoods, so more people can live in them, while limiting the construction of very large new houses. 

Status: On August 12, City Council voted to adopt the Residential Infill Project (RIP), including the deeper affordability bonus and the historic resource demolition disincentive amendments. A limited number of changes related to confirming the eligibility of platted lots for development went into effect in September. The bulk of the changes, including rezones, new overlay zones, increased options for housing, and limits on building scale will go into effect on August 1, 2021. 

Notice of Adoption of a Post Acknowledgement Plan Amendment for the project was filed with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development on August 13. 

The RIP Map App continues to be available as a resource to learn more about specific changes to individual properties. 

Next opportunity to engage: The record for testimony has closed. The adopted ordinance and supporting documents are available on the project web site.

Contact: Morgan Tracy, 503-823-6879,

River Plan / South Reach

What: Developing an updated vision and implementing maps, code and action items for the southern part of the Willamette River, as well as Natural Resources and Scenic Resources protection plans. 

Status: On November 4, the City Council public hearing was held virtually on the River Plan / South Reach. The River Plan / South Reach Recommended Draft and the PSC-Recommended Willamette River Greenway Inventory documents are still available on their respective project webpages and included in the public hearing. Oral testimony is now closed. 

Next opportunity to engage: Written testimony can be submitted until November 11 via the MapApp or via The City Council hearing will continue on Wednesday, December 2 at 3:00pm for deliberations and a possible vote on the proposed amendments and the final revised findings. A final City Council hearing and possible vote for adoption is scheduled for Thursday, December 10. 

Contact: Jeff Caudill, 503-823-4572,

Shelter to Housing Continuum (S2HC)

What: Reducing code barriers in order to provide more opportunities to transition from temporary shelter to permanent housing. The S2HC project will make recommendations to provide additional siting opportunities for temporary and transitional shelters and to allow more affordable forms of housing. Title 33 (Zoning Code) and several other titles of the City Code will be amended. No plan or zone maps will be amended. Major changes include adding a new Outdoor Shelter use under the Community Service category and expanding opportunities for Group Living.

Status: On October 30, the comment period on the discussion draft closed.

Next opportunity to engage: A PSC briefing is scheduled for November 10. On November 25, a proposed draft will be available and the project record will open for testimony. The first PSC public hearing is scheduled for December 8. If needed, a second PSC hearing would be scheduled for December 16. The record would then close for written testimony on December 24. A work session is scheduled for January 12, 2021. A second work session and possible PSC recommendation is scheduled for January 26, 2021. The Map App will open for public testimony on November 25 and remain open until December 16. Those interested can also sign up for S2HC email updates

Contact: Al Burns, 503-823-7832,

South Portland Area Planning

What: Working with PBOT and community members to develop land use, circulation and urban design plans around the Ross Island Bridgehead in South Portland, and featuring a Naito Main Street Plan. This effort is part of BPS’s Southwest Corridor Inclusive Communities Project

Status: BPS has identified a range of land use and map changes to be recommended in the plan. Continued community engagement will help refine two development concepts for the Ross Island Bridgehead opportunity sites. A racial equity analysis of the project led by BPS is underway. 

Over the past month or so, BPS and PBOT staff have given a series of project briefings to the Planning and Sustainability, Design, and Historic Landmarks Commissions—culminating in an online public event on October 20. The purpose of these events was to update the city boards and the public on the status of the Naito Main Street project in South Portland, show early concepts that have come out of the last year of planning and community engagement, and seek feedback on what the public would like to see developed on the opportunity sites in the project area. Videos and presentation slides from the three briefings and the October 20 public event are available on the project webpage. Each briefing and the public event ends with its own question-and-answer session. 

Next opportunity to engage: None at this time, but check the project page for updates. 

Contact: Kevin Bond, 503-823-1112,

South Portland Historic District Design Guidelines

What: New approval criteria for alterations, additions and new construction in the South Portland Historic District.

Status: A Community Advisory Group (CAG) is meeting bimonthly to guide development of the draft approval criteria.

Next opportunity to engage: CAG meetings are open to the public, with time reserved for public comments at every meeting. The next CAG meeting will be held on November 5 via Zoom.

Contact: Brandon Spencer-Hartle, 503-823-4641,

West Portland Town Center Plan

What: The West Portland Town Center Plan will articulate the community and City’s vision for transforming the West Portland area into a healthy, inclusive, people-centered place. Work will cover housing and displacement, improved health and prosperity for low-income residents, transportation and stormwater improvements, economic development, zoning changes and urban design. 

Status: A Discussion Draft of the West Portland Town Center Plan was published on October 21. The draft plan reflects community feedback from the past year and includes technical elements and actions to make the collective vision a reality. An online open house and survey, along with the draft plan and supporting documents, are available now. Comments on the draft plan are welcome through Thursday, December 3. The Community Advisory Group (CAG) will meet again in February 2021. 

Next opportunity to engage: Learn about the draft plan at the online open house and take the survey by December 3 to share your feedback. Other comments or questions can be sent to

Interested people can also join one of the online information session on November 12, 18, or 19 to hear a presentation about the plan and ask questions. Event details are available on the project events page, along with other public meetings scheduled by other organizations where the plan will be presented. 

Contact: Joan Frederiksen, 503-823-3111,