April 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 project website and contact project staff with any questions.
In this article

Useful resources

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.

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: The March 12 City Council hearing on potential amendments to the RIP Recommended Draft was cancelled to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The hearing has not been rescheduled at this time. Notice of the rescheduled hearing date will be sent at least 14 days prior to the hearing and will include instructions on ways to testify. Information will also be posted on the project website when more is known.

Following work sessions on January 29 and February 12, City Council directed staff to develop specific code amendment proposals for seven topics. These include:

  1. Changes to align the proposals with recently adopted projects for consistency.
  2. Changes to align duplex allowances with state mandates in HB2001.
  3. Changes to respond to the SB 534 requirement to recognize certain substandard platted lots.
  4. Creating a combined process for lot consolidations and property line adjustments.
  5. No zoning code amendment proposed.
  6. Provisions for a “Deeper Affordability Bonus.”
  7. Historic Resource Demolition Disincentive.

Each of the amendment packages includes a description of the amendment, a table listing the particular sections of code that are proposed to be amended, followed by the specific revised code language and explanatory commentary. The draft text of the full amendment packages is  available under “Amendment Packages for City Council’s Consideration” on the project documents page.

The public record has been reopened and extended for written testimony regarding these amendments only. Testimony must be received before the close of the public hearing, which has not been scheduled at this time. You can submit written testimony:

  • Online through the Map App
  • By email to cctestimony@portlandoregon.gov
  • By mail to the following address:
    City Council
    Residential Infill Project Testimony
    1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 130
    Portland, OR 97204
    Be sure to include “Residential Infill Project Testimony” to ensure it is routed to the right place.

You can view the zoning proposals for individual properties by using the project Map App. You can also sign up to receive project email updates by filling out this quick form.

Next opportunity to engage: City Council will hold a public hearing and a work session on the amendments only and subsequently vote on them. A vote to adopt the entire RIP package is TBD. Please check the RIP website and/or the Council calendar to confirm dates and times of hearings.

Contact: Morgan Tracy, 503-823-6879, Morgan.Tracy@portlandoregon.gov

Central City 2035 Plan (CC2035) Re-Adoption

What: City Council adopted the Central City 2035 Plan in June 2018, and the plan went into effect in July 2018. The plan was appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) and then to the Court of Appeals. On March 16, 2020, the Oregon Court of Appeals remanded the Central City 2035 Plan, a new land use, transportation and environmental plan to manage growth and development in Portland’s urban core. City Council must now readopt the plan to address the items identified in the Court’s ruling.

Status: The Re-Adoption Draft will be available on the project website in May 2020.

Next opportunity to engage: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, public hearings will be held virtually. The City Council hearing date is not set yet. Notice of the hearing will be sent to all affected properties and posted on the project website with the re-adoption documents. 

Contact: Rachael Hoy, Rachael.hoy@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-6042

Expiration Date Extension Project 

What: This project will address several Title 33-related issues that have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 health crisis. Land use reviews, pre-application conferences, and required neighborhood contact notifications all expire after a specified period of time. This project will extend the expiration dates for these reviews and procedures because of the economic uncertainty related to the coronavirus pandemic.

This project will also extend the expiration date for the lower inclusionary housing rates that currently apply outside the Central City and Gateway plan districts (see Zoning Code Chapter 33.245). Given the current economic uncertainties due to the coronavirus, this project proposes to extend the expiration date for another three years, to Jan. 1, 2024.

Status: A Proposed Draft will be released in May 2020.

Next opportunity to engage: A public hearing before the Planning and Sustainability Commission is scheduled for May 26, 2020. A hearing before City Council is expected in July 2020.

Contact: JP McNeil, 503-823-6046, jason.mcneil@portlandoregon.gov

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: Project staff released a Proposed Draft for public review on January 14. The Planning and Sustainability Commission held a public hearing on February 25 and a work session on the proposed draft on March 10. An April 14 work session was cancelled.

Next opportunity to engage: The next work sessions with possible PSC action on the draft plan are scheduled for May 12 at 12:30 p.m. and May 26 at 5 p.m. Work sessions are open to the public, but public testimony is not taken. A public hearing with the Design Commission on design recommendations for South Portland / Macadam Plan District area will be set in June or July. City Council will hold a public hearing on the River Plan / South Reach Recommended Draft in Summer 2020. Please check the project events page to confirm meeting dates and times.

Contact: Debbie Bischoff, 503-823-6946, Debbie.Bischoff@portlandoregon.gov

Expanding Opportunities for Affordable Housing

What: Supporting community-based organizations (CBOs) that want to use their property to develop affordable housing with proposed zoning code changes to the Conditional Use review process on conditional use sites and map changes on some CBO-owned sites.

Status: On March 10, the Planning and Sustainability Commission voted to support all of the proposed code changes – and most of the proposed map changes – with amendments to further liberalize code standards for parking and property line adjustments on conditional use sites.

Next opportunity to engage: The Recommended Draft is now available for review. City Council will hold a virtual public hearing on May 14 at 2 p.m. See the project website for information on how to testify. Public testimony may also be submitted via the MapApp and by mail until the hearing date. Staff will hold a virtual Q&A session in late April or early May.

Contact: Nan Stark, 503-823-3986, Nan.Stark@portlandoregon.gov

Design Overlay Zone Amendments Project (DOZA)

What: Updating and improving both the process and tools used within the design overlay zone

Status: Staff released the Proposed Draft on Sept. 16, 2019. A joint public hearing with the Planning and Sustainability Commission and the Design Commission was held on Oct. 22. Opportunities for submitting public testimony ended on Nov. 15.  

Next opportunity to engage: The two commissions will continue to hold work sessions on the staff proposal through May 2020 before making their recommendations. While COVID-19 has delayed some scheduled work sessions, the PSC plans to hold a web-based work session on April 28. However, no testimony is being taken. The Recommended Draft is anticipated to be released in late Summer 2020, with a City Council hearing to follow.

Contact: Phil Nameny, 503-823-7709, Phil.Nameny@portlandoregon.gov

Environmental Overlay Zone Map Correction Project

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

Status: The Proposed Draft will be released in June 2020.

Next opportunity to engage: Due to the COVID-19 crisis, public hearings have been postponed.  The tentative schedule includes a public hearing of the Planning and Sustainability Commission in July 2020. Notice of hearings will be sent to all affected properties.

Contactezone@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-4225

West Portland Town Center Plan

What: Creating a vision and identifying actions to transition “the Crossroads” area into a healthy, inclusive and complete community. 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: Community feedback from Fall 2019 was integrated into the creation of three growth concepts for the town center, which were shared with the public at an open house on March 4. Community input from the open house and an online survey will help staff narrow choices further and develop a proposed plan. A set of existing conditions memos covering health equity, urban form and demographics are also available online. A Community Advisory Group (CAG) meets every other month to guide development of the plan.

Next opportunity to engage: The March draft growth concepts for the West Portland Town Center can be viewed online. The next CAG meeting is Monday, May 4 and will be held remotely/online. See the project event page for meeting details. CAG meetings are open to the public and past materials are available online.

Contact: Joan Frederiksen, 503-823-3111, Joan.Frederiksen@portlandoregon.gov

South Portland Area Planning

What: The Bureaus of Transportation (PBOT) and Planning and Sustainability (BPS) are working with community members to develop land use, circulation, and urban design plans along SW Naito Parkway and around the Ross Island Bridgehead in South Portland. This effort is part of BPS’s Southwest Corridor Inclusive Communities Project.

Status: At an open house on Feb. 25, 2020, staff presented urban design concepts and streetscape design options for SW Naito as well as development concepts for the opportunity sites created by the Ross Island Bridgehead realignment. Feedback received from the open house will be used to further refine the design options and to help inform a preferred development concept for the opportunity sites.

An existing conditions report is now available and includes an addendum summarizing major infrastructure projects in the study area.

Next opportunity to engage: The next open house is TBD. Check the project calendar for updates.

Contact: Kevin Bond, 503-823-1112, Kevin.Bond@portlandoregon.gov

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 monthly 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 spring 2020 at a date and time to be determined.

Contact: Brandon Spencer-Hartle, 503-823-4641, Brandon.Spencer@portlandoregon.gov

Historic Resources Code Project

What: Updating the zoning code to change how the City identifies, designates and protects historic resources.

Status: Staff are incorporating public feedback received in 2019 into a Proposed Draft of possible zoning code changes.

Next opportunity to engage: The Proposed Draft will be released in spring/summer 2020. A public hearing before the Planning and Sustainability Commission is tentatively scheduled for summer 2020.

Contact: Brandon Spencer-Hartle, 503-823-4641, Brandon.Spencer@portlandoregon.gov

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 NW Portland to the Hollywood Town Center in NE Portland. The project is a joint effort between the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (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. A consultant team has been selected to assist with land use and transportation planning elements. A prior study, Northwest Portland Streetcar Extension & Land Use Alternatives Analysis, explored preliminary issues and options for the NW Portland component of the project. An Existing Conditions Report and Community Engagement Plan are available on the MP2H project webpage. A kickoff open house/workshop was held on March 2, 2020, attended by some 25 community members. Grant agreements with community-based organizations are being developed; outreach and involvement for underserved communities and other targeted groups is expected to occur between April and July 2020.  Applications for a NW Project Working Group were reopened (closes 4/12/20), and the group will be formed and begin meeting later this spring.

Next opportunity to engage: More public workshops are planned in June 2020. Draft urban development and design concepts will be shared, and community feedback gathered. Dates to be announced.

Contact: Barry Manning (BPS), 503-823-7965, barry.manning@portlandoregon.gov or Kate Drennan (PBOT), 503-823-4599, kate.drennan@portlandoregon.gov

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 has been appealed to LUBA by the Western States Petroleum Association, Portland Business Alliance, Oregon Business and Industry, and Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council. LUBA proceedings are expected later this spring.

Next opportunity to engage: Only parties to the appeal can submit testimony to LUBA.

Contact: Tom Armstrong, 503-823-3527, Tom.Armstrong@portlandoregon.gov