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March 2021 – 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?

  • Residential Infill Project Part 2 (RIP2) scoping session with PSC on March 9
  • Expanding Opportunities for Affordable Housing follow-up set for March 10 Council vote
  • Shelter to Housing Continuum recommendations go to City Council on March 17
  • Design Overlay Zone Amendments (DOZA) get tentative May 12 City Council date

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 Portlandmaps.com Explorer map.

COVID-19 Impacts

Please be aware that all public meetings are being held virtually 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.

Status: Due to severely limited capacities across many bureaus because of ongoing Covid-19 emergency response, recruitment for an Anti-Displacement Task Force (ADTF) has been postponed, and the project has pivoted to focus on land use and sustainability-related policies and programs that can be implemented by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS).

Kicking off in May 2021, BPS staff will be hosting a series of public workshops on a variety of topics related to displacement and gentrification to engage residents on potential land use changes and build community capacity to identify and advocate for implementation of and needed changes to existing policies and programs. The goal of the project is to provide community-led policy development, coordination, and collaboration that centers racial equity in the City’s anti-displacement and equitable development policies.

Next opportunity to engage: Community members interested in learning more about the project can sign up for project updates. Please also see Imagine Black’s website for more information on the community Anti-Displacement Coalition.

Contact: Kathryn Hartinger, 503-823-9714, Kathryn.Hartinger@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, 2020 and the Design Commission on June 18, 2020. 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: A City Council public hearing on the Recommended Draft is tentatively scheduled for May 12. Check the upcoming events to confirm the hearing date and time. Public testimony is now being accepted via the MapApp. BPS staff is available to provide information and discuss the updated project with interested stakeholder groups. Those interested may also sign up for DOZA email updates.

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 Community Engagement Plan is now available. Work on code concepts began last fall and will go through the spring 2021.

Next opportunity to engage: A technical advisory series of meetings, open to the public, is scheduled through this spring. The next technical advisory meeting is April 6 at 10:00 am. Check the project events page for future dates and times. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

Contact: Ingrid Fish, 503-823-4326, Ingrid.Fish@portlandoregon.gov
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: On January 26, an update of the proposed environmental zone maps was released. The updated maps reflect the results of site visits by staff and new wetland mapping. Staff gave a PSC briefing on February 9. A continuation of the PSC hearing was held on February 23.

There are two ways to view the Proposed Draft: Look up your property on the BPS Map App; or download a copy of the documents.

Site visits, including wetland determinations, are continuing this spring with new COVID-19 safety protocols in place. To request a site visit, go to the BPS Map App, enter the property address, then scroll down on the right side of the screen and click the “Request Site Visit” button.

Next opportunity to engage: More PSC work sessions are scheduled for this spring, starting on April 13. Check the upcoming PSC events for dates and times. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

Contact: Ezone staff at ezone@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-4225

Expanding Opportunities for Affordable Housing

What: The Expanding Opportunities for Affordable Housing (EOAH) project adopted by City Council in June 2020 included amendments to the Zoning Code, Zoning Map, and Comprehensive Plan Map. These changes will help pave the way for development of affordable housing on land owned by faith- and community-based organizations. City Council also directed the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to prepare a follow-up recommendation on five more sites, which were identified during testimony, for potential map changes to facilitate development. Staff subsequently drafted recommendations for Council consideration. The Expanding Opportunities for Affordable Housing – Package B included recommendations to rezone two of the five sites to allow more affordable housing.

Status: On March 3, staff presented the Package B proposal to City Council at a public hearing. City Council heard testimony from community members via the Map App and virtually during the hearing. City Council passed the package to a second reading, which is scheduled for March 10 at 9:30 am.

Next opportunity to engage: City Council is scheduled to vote on Package B on March 9 at 9:30 am.

Contact: JP McNeil, 503-823-6046, jason.mcneil@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 December 18, 2019. The ordinance was appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) by the Western States Petroleum Association, Portland Business Alliance, Oregon Business and Industry, and Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council. In October 2020, LUBA remanded the case back to City Council for additional findings and policy interpretations. BPS is working to determine what additional evidence is needed to address these issues before returning to City Council for re-consideration.

Next opportunity to engage: None currently.

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

Status: The Proposed Draft was released in September. A PSC hearing was held on October 27 and continued to November 10. Written testimony was accepted through November 10 and is currently closed. PSC work sessions were held December 8, January 12, and February 9. The next PSC work sessions are March 9, March 23, and April 27.

Next opportunity to engage: After considering amendments to the Proposed Draft at a series of work sessions, the PSC will make a recommendation to City Council in spring 2021, after which additional testimony will be invited. Find historic properties and review testimony on the Map App. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

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

Lower Southeast Rising Area Plan

What: The Lower Southeast Rising Area Plan will assess land use and transportation issues faced by community members in portions of Ardenwald-Johnson Creek, Brentwood-Darlington, Lents, Mount Scott-Arleta, and Woodstock; and will identify possible interventions. This community-focused work will help:

  • Explore potential new neighborhood commercial and housing opportunities and ways to prevent displacement;
  • Link affordable housing, economic development, and business stabilization opportunities; and
  • Enhance access to transit and pedestrian and bicycle network connectivity.

The final plan will consider potential zoning changes and develop implementation strategies related to transportation, land use, and community development.

Status: Recruitment for a Project Advisory Committee (PAC) opened in February and will go through March.

Next opportunity to engage: The PAC recruitment will be the first opportunity to get involved. Those interested can also sign up for email updates.

Contact: Marty Stockton (BPS), 503-823-2041, Marty.Stockton@portlandoregon.gov
Bryan Poole (PBOT), 503-823-1173, Bryan.Poole@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 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 considered possible alternative land use development scenarios for the Northwest study area, and possible streetcar/transit alignment alternatives for the Northeast study area. Virtual open houses and information sessions were held on the urban design concepts for Northwest and Northeast Portland last summer. A draft MP2H Urban Design Concept Virtual Open House – Public Comments Report is now available.

Next opportunity to engage: The project team is developing a Discussion Draft—with input from the public, the project working group, and other stakeholders—for broader public review this spring. The next working group meeting is tentatively scheduled for April 14. Check the working group upcoming events to confirm dates and times. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

Contact: Barry Manning (BPS), 503-823-7965, barry.manning@portlandoregon.gov
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, 2020, 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 2020. 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.

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

On March 9, BPS staff will hold a scoping session with the PSC for the next phase of the Residential Infill Project, referred to as RIP2.

Next opportunity to engage: None at this time. The adopted ordinance and supporting documents are available on the project web site.

Contact: Morgan Tracy, 503-823-6879, residential.infill@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, expanding opportunities for locating all shelters, 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: On January 26, the PSC voted to recommend several Zoning Code changes proposed by the S2HC project. The Recommended Draft is now available for review and public testimony is being accepted via the MapApp. The City Council hearing is scheduled for March 17 at 2:00 pm. The FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) was recently updated.

Next opportunity to engage: The City Council hearing is scheduled for March 17 at 2:00 pm. Written public testimony can be submitted via the MapApp or individuals can pre-register to testify during the virtual hearing. The deadline to pre-register is March 16 at 4:00 pm. Those interested can always sign up for S2HC email updates.

Contact: Eric Engstrom, 503-823-3329, Eric.Engstrom@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: 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. BPS staff is continuing to finalize the proposed development concepts for the bridgehead opportunity sites, completing the racial equity analysis, and drafting the land use plan.

Next opportunity to engage: None at this time, but check the project page 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 on an as-needed basis 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 the spring via Zoom.

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

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 October online open house and Discussion Draft are still available online. A summary of the public engagement and an appendix of full survey results has been posted online (see “Discussion Draft Engagement Reports”). Staff continues working on a Proposed Draft, expected in Spring 2021. The Community Advisory Group (CAG) will meet again in late April.

Next opportunity to engage: When the Proposed Draft is released in Spring 2021, a new comment period will open and testimony can be provided to the Planning and Sustainability Commission on the proposal. Questions can be emailed to wptc@portlandoregon.gov. Those interested can always sign up for WPTC email updates.

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