September 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.

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What’s new this month?

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: 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: Project staff briefed the Planning and Sustainability Commission on August 11. 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: Andrea Pastor, 503-823-7845, andrea.pastor@portlandoregon.gov 

Dark Skies Project

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 final report was released on August 27.

Next opportunity to engage:City Council will hold a public hearing on the Dark Skies report on September 17 at 2 p.m. Written public testimony can be submitted online.

Contact: Shannon Buono, 503-823-7662, shannon.buono@portlandoregon.gov 

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. Staff is working to incorporate their decisions into the Recommended Draft, which will be published in late 2020. 

Next opportunity to engage: BPS staff is now incorporating the PSC and Design Commission recommendations into a Recommended Draft and drafting an ordinance to present to City Council. The City Council hearing dates will likely take place in 2021.

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

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 about this effort will be posted on the project web page

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

Contact: Ingrid Fish, 503-823-4326, ingrid.fish@portlandoregon.gov and Marty Stockton, 503-823-2041, marty.stockton@portlandoregon.gov  

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: A public hearing was held on July 28 and the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) voted to continue the hearing to December 8 at 12:30pm. A briefing will be provided to PSC on September 8. Site visits are continuing through the fall with new Covid safety protocols in place.

Next opportunity to engage: The public can provide written testimony on the Proposed Draft or request a site visit via the MapApp. The next public hearing will be on December 8.

Contact: ezone@portlandoregon.gov 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 September. 

Next opportunity to engage: None at this point in time.

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

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 will be released mid-September for public review and testimony before the Planning and Sustainability Commission. Testifiers must sign up by 5:00 p.m. on October 26 to provide virtual testimony. 

Next opportunity to engage: A public hearing before the Planning and Sustainability Commission is scheduled for October 27.

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 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 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 team will be working on a Preferred Alternative for the fall. 

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

With input from the public, the project working group, and other stakeholders, the project team is developing a Discussion Draft Preferred Alternative for further review this fall.

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

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 will go into effect on September 11. These changes relate to confirming platted lots and implement last year’s State Senate Bill 534. The bulk of the changes, including rezones, new overlay zones, increased options for housing, and limits on building scale are slated to go into effect on August 1, 2021.

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

Contact: Morgan Tracy, 503-823-6879, Morgan.Tracy@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: The City Council public hearing on the River Plan / South Reach was previously scheduled for early September, but it has been postponed. The Recommended Draft plan and the PSC Recommended Willamette River Greenway Inventory will be available on the project webpage and included in the public hearing. 

Next opportunity to engage:Portland City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on the Recommended Draft on Sept. 9 at 3:00 pm. The recommended draft plan will be available for public review on on Aug. 19. A PSC Recommended Willamette River Greenway Inventory will also be available on Aug. 19 and included in the public hearing on Sept. 9. Learn more.

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

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: A draft report and proposed code changes will be posted by the end of September. A PSC briefing is scheduled for November 10 and a PSC hearing is scheduled for December 8. PSC work sessions are scheduled for January 12 and 26, 2021, with a possible PSC recommendation on January 26.

Next opportunity to engage: Public comment on the report will open in September. Sign up for S2HC email updates. Learn more.

Contact: Al Burns, 503-823-7832, A.Burns@portlandoregon.gov  

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 has been partially on hold while PBOT recalibrated their project scope and timeline, including a final community engagement event this fall. BPS has identified a range of land use and map 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.  

A racial equity analysis of the project led by BPS is underway. Helping inform the analysis are neighborhood residents and a broader group of stakeholders representing people who have been historically harmed and displaced by previous transportation projects and urban renewal activities in the South Portland neighborhoods. Technical Advisory Committee members will also participate in the process. 

Next opportunity to engage: A PSC briefing on the project is scheduled for September 22 at 5:00 pm. Meanwhile, the final community engagement event will be tentatively scheduled in late September or October. 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 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 late summer 2020 via Zoom.

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: The emerging draft plan reflects community feedback from the past year and includes technical elements and actions to make the collective vision a reality. Release of a Discussion Draft is planned for late September. The Community Advisory Group (CAG) continues to meet through early September to guide development of the plan.

Next opportunity to engage:CAG meeting is scheduled for September 8 at 4:30 pm. CAG meetings are open to the public and materials are available online. Also look out for opportunities this fall to learn more about the Discussion Draft and provide feedback.

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