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July 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? 

  • Starting this month, these project updates will be released closer to the beginning of each month. 

  • Projects are now listed in alphabetical order to make them easier to find and align with the BPS website. 

  • One new project was added — the Dark Skies project. 

  • All hyperlinks are updated to reflect the recent “go-live” of the new website. 

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 

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: Increasing the resiliency of the City and our communities to deal with chronic economic disparities that contribute to displacement, especially of the most vulnerable and when exacerbated by a pandemic or increasing housing costs, investment patterns and gentrification. 

Status: With funds authorized by City Council on April 1, the Portland African American Leadership Forum (PAALF) hired an anti-displacement coalition organizer, who will help build the capacity of a coalition made up of frontline community organizations to drive an anti-displacement policy agenda. 

To address COVID-related displacement risks in Portland, BPS has adjusted the Anti-Displacement Action Plan workplan, accelerating the establishment of a citywide Anti-Displacement Task Force. The task force will comprise community members and cross-bureau City leadership and recommend actions for City Council to address housing and commercial displacement. The group will convene in July to begin work as soon as possible.   

Next opportunity to engage: Please see PAALF’s website for more information on the coalition. Community members interested in learning more about the project can also sign up for project updates.  

Contact: Andrea Pastor, 503-823-7845, 

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 had to readopt the plan to address the items identified in the Court’s ruling. 

Status: The Re-adoption Draft is available on the project website. City Council held a public hearing on May 28. Thirty people testified and 146 people provided written testimony before the record closed on June 4. Visit the MapApp to review written testimony received or watch the hearing and people that testified orally. City Council held a work session and vote on the amended findings on July 2. No public testimony was taken. 

Next opportunity to engage: City Council held a second reading and final vote on July 8 at 9:30 a.m. and voted to re-adopt the plan. The re-adopted CC2035 Plan will go back into effect on Aug. 10. 

Contact: Rachael Hoy,  

Dark Skies 

What: Reducing negative impacts on human and ecosystem health and safety as well as energy waste, and increasing our ability to see the night sky.  

The project will make recommendations to reduce the amount of poorly aimed, poorly shielded, and overly bright lights in Portland. The project will focus on light pollution associated with new and existing development on private or publicly owned property, signs and City-owned buildings and facilities, including streetlights. Staff will also address light pollution through public awareness, outreach and education. 

Status: The Public Review draft of the report and recommendations will be posted by July 13. Public comment is invited until July 31. 

Next opportunity to engage: City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the Dark Skies report on Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. 

Contact: Shannon Buono, 

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 PSC and 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 July 2020 before making their recommendations. The PSC held virtual work sessions on April 28 and June 9 and is expected to make a recommendation for the zoning code on July 14. The Design Commission held a work session on June 4 and made their final recommendation on the guidelines on June 18. The Recommended Draft is anticipated to be released in late Summer 2020, followed by a City Council hearing before adoption. 

Contact: Phil Nameny,  

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 Proposed Draft was released July 2 for public comment. Staff will brief the Planning and Sustainability Commission on July 14, followed by a public hearing on July 28. Site visits have resumed, with new safety protocols in place. Please see the project website for more information. 

Next opportunity to engage: The public can provide testimony on the Proposed Draft via the MapApp and during a PSC hearing on July 28, 2020. The PSC hearing will be held virtually. 

Contact: or 503-823-4225 

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: City Council held a hearing on May 14 at which 41 people testified. On May 21, City Council discussed the zoning code and map changes. On June 10, City Council voted to support all of the proposed code changes – and most of the proposed map changes – with amendments requiring that the regulations apply to projects when at least 50% of the units are affordable.  

Next opportunity to engage: On June 17, City Council unanimously adopted the project. The zoning code and map changes went into effect on June 18. 

Contact: Nan Stark, 

Expiration Date Extension Project  

What: Amending the zoning code to address the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the development market by extending the expiration date of some land use reviews, final plats and pre-application conferences; maintaining inclusionary housing rates that are set to increase; and allowing for virtual neighborhood contact meetings. 

Specifically, it will: 

  • Extend the expiration date for some land use reviews until Jan. 1, 2024. 

  • Extend the expiration date for some pre-application conferences for one more year. 

  • Allow some final plats 365 days of inactivity before they are voided. 

  • Allow neighborhood contact meetings to be held remotely using video conferencing technology. 

  • Extend the expiration date an additional three years for the lower inclusionary housing rates that apply outside the Central City and Gateway plan districts. 

Status: The Proposed Draft was released in April 2020. The PSC held a public hearing on May 26, and recommended that City Council adopt the proposed code changes with amendments. The Recommended Draft is now available for review. 

Next opportunity to engage: City Council held a public hearing on July 8 at 2 p.m. Written comments are being accepted until July 15 at 5 p.m.

Contact: JP McNeil, 

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, 

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 into a Proposed Draft of possible zoning code changes. 

Next opportunity to engage: The Proposed Draft will be released in summer 2020. A public hearing before the Planning and Sustainability Commission is scheduled for October 13.  

Contact: Brandon Spencer-Hartle, 

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 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. A consultant team is assisting with land use and transportation planning elements. The project is in the Urban Design Concepts phase, in which the community is asked to consider possible alternate land use Development Scenarios for the NW study area, and possible streetcar/transit Alignment Alternatives for the NE study area.  

Next opportunity to engage: The project is holding virtual open houses through July on the urban design concepts for Northwest and Northeast Portland. The concepts provide information on possible land use development scenarios for the NW study area as well as possible streetcar/transit alignment alternatives for the NE study area. 

Online Information Sessions are also scheduled as Zoom meetings to provide more details on the design concepts and for the public to ask questions. The NW Portland Information Session is July 15, 6:30 - 8 p.m., and the NE Portland Information Session is July 16, 6:30 - 8 p.m. 

Contact: Barry Manning (BPS), or Kate Drennan (PBOT),  

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 June 3, City Council held a virtual public hearing on proposed amendments to RIP, which was continued to June 18. Nearly 100 people signed up to testify, and nearly 300 written comments were received over the course of the four-month open record period on the proposed amendments. You can view the June 3 and June 18 Council hearings online

Next opportunity to engage: The record for testimony has closed. Council will return on July 9 at 2 p.m. to discuss and vote on the proposed amendments. Council will reconvene in August to consider and vote on the entire RIP package. Please check the RIP website and/or the Council calendar to confirm dates and times of these meetings. 

Contact: Morgan Tracy,  

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 Jan. 14. Public hearings were held on Feb. 25 and June 23. PSC work sessions were held on March 10, May 12 and 26, and June 23. The PSC voted to transmit the Proposed Draft as amended by the PSC to City Council for a public hearing. 

Next opportunity to engage: On July 16 at 1:30 p.m., the Design Commission will hold an online public hearing on design recommendations for South Portland / Macadam Plan District area, including a Macadam Character Statement. City Council will hold a public hearing on the River Plan / South Reach Recommended Draft in late summer / early fall. 

Contact: Debbie Bischoff, 

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: The project is partially on hold while PBOT recalibrates their project scope and timeline, including a final community engagement event. BPS is now scoping the range of land use and map changes to be recommended in the plan. An existing conditions report was published in March and includes an addendum summarizing major infrastructure projects in the study area. BPS and PBOT have a series of meetings with NUNM to discuss implications for their campus master plan. BPS has identified the range of land use changes to be recommended in the plan. 

After community engagement is restarted, two development concepts for the Ross Island Bridgehead opportunity sites will be refined and a racial equity analysis of the project will be led by BPS. Now seeking TAC member participation. 

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

Contact: Kevin Bond,  

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 late summer 2020 via zoom. 

Contact: Brandon Spencer-Hartle, 

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 used to create 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 is helping staff narrow choices further and move toward a proposed plan. A Discussion Draft of the plan is scheduled for release in September. A Community Advisory Group (CAG) meets every other month (through early September) to guide development of the plan. 

Next opportunity to engage: The March draft growth concepts for the West Portland Town Center can still be viewed online. The next CAG meeting will be in mid-August and held online. See the project event page for dates and details. CAG meetings are open to the public and past materials are available online

Contact: Joan Frederiksen,