December 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.
In this article

What’s new this month?

  • River Plan / South Reach going to City Council vote on December 10

  • Shelter to Housing Continuum’s second PSC hearing on December 15

  • DOZA and West Portland Town Center plan drafts available for review

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 at Civic Life.

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, was published in November and is available now for review—including a guide to help break down its contents.

Next opportunity to engage: The City Council public hearing will take place in 2021, with dates to be determined. Please check back 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 Community Engagement Plan is now available.

Next opportunity to engage: Code concepts work will begin this fall and go through the winter 2021. 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 continued to November 10 for those who were unable to testify. Written testimony was accepted through November 10.

Next opportunity to engage: After considering amendments at a series of work sessions beginning on December 8, the PSC will make a recommendation to City Council in spring 2021, after which additional testimony will be invited.

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 for broader public review this winter.

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 for review. 

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 hearing was held 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. The opportunity for submitting written testimony was open until November 11 and has closed. City Council deliberated on testimony at the December 2 session and two amendments were proposed. Written testimony on these amendments was accepted until December 7 and is now closed.

Next opportunity to engage: City Council is scheduled to vote on the final amendments to River Plan / South Reach Plan on Thursday, December 10 at 2:00 pm. Second reading is scheduled for Wednesday, December 16 at 10:45 am.

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, expanding opportunities for Group Living, and allowing an RV, trailer or tiny house on wheels to serve as a substitute for an allowed accessory dwelling unit.

Status: The Proposed Draft was released in November, in anticipation of the PSC hearings in December. A PSC briefing was held November 10.

Next opportunity to engage: The Map App is currently accepting public testimony on the Proposed Draft until 5:00 pm on December 21. The first of two PSC public hearings was held December 8. The second PSC hearing is scheduled for December 15.  A work session is scheduled for January 12, 2021. A second work session and possible PSC recommendation is scheduled for January 26, 2021. 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. Ongoing 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 nearly complete.

During the early fall, BPS and PBOT staff gave a series of project briefings to the Planning and Sustainability, Design, and Historic Landmarks Commissions—culminating in an online public event on October 20. Videos and presentation slides from the three briefings and the October 20 public event are available on the project webpage.

Following the failure of Metro’s regional transportation funding measure, PBOT is putting their transportation projects on hold related to the Ross Island Bridgehead realignment and Naito Main Street.

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 in February 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, reflecting past community feedback and technical elements to support the plan vision, was published in October and comments were accepted until early December. The online open house and Draft Plan are still available online. Staff are reviewing public comments and will prepare a summary in mid-January. A Proposed Draft is expected in Spring 2021. The Community Advisory Group (CAG) will meet again in February or March 2021.

Next opportunity to engage: Learn about the Discussion Draft. Questions can be emailed to

Contact: Joan Frederiksen, 503-823-3111,