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July 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.
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What’s new this month?

  • DOZA project adopted at City Council on June 30; becomes effective on August 1
  • The remainder of the RIP and S2HC project amendments become effective on August 1
  • Parkrose Community Plan kicks off with a July 13 PSC briefing and a July 20 open house
  • Historic Resources Code Project releases revised recommended draft; testimony open
  • Ezones Map Correction project set for July 27 PSC briefing and August 24 PSC hearing

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: The ADAP Foundation Report was released this spring. The report presents the City’s current anti-displacement policy framework, analytical tools, and cross-bureau efforts to keep people in their homes as the city grows. The report also highlights anti-displacement efforts in other cities that could be useful for Portland.

On June 8, project staff gave a briefing to the PSC. Video of the project update is available online.

Over the coming months, BPS will be working with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights (OEHR), and other partners to update and develop new analytic, investment, and accountability tools to support equitable and resilient communities, while fighting displacement.

BPS will also continue working with a coalition of community groups to design a series of public workshops to build community capacity and engage residents on potential land use approaches to better combat displacement.

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.

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: On June 30, the City Council unanimously adopted DOZA with amendments. The zoning code and zoning map changes become effective on August 1, 2021. Information on the adopted amendments and other updates are available on the project website.

Next opportunity to engage: None at this time. DOZA becomes effective on August 1, 2021.

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 still available. Work on code concepts began last fall and went through spring 2021. A technical advisory series of meetings concluded with a final meeting on June 29.

Next opportunity to engage: None at this time. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

Ezone 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: SWCA Environmental has completed an update of the wetland data, which will be used to correct the Ezones map. The wetland mapping will be available in late July for the public to review through the Ezone Map App. The PSC will hold a final public hearing on the wetland data on August 24. See the project news page for a full update and schedule.

Property owners that would like a site visit to confirm the location of streams, trees, and steep slopes must request one by August 25 and the site visit must be completed by September 10 to be included in this phase of the project. To request a site visit, go to the Ezone 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: Staff will present the updated wetland data to the PSC on July 27. PSC will hold a public hearing on August 24 to hear testimony on the project. Check the upcoming PSC events to confirm dates and times. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

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 reconsideration.

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: On May 4, the PSC voted unanimously to recommend City Council consider—and adopt—the Historic Resources Code Project amendments. On June 30, the revised Recommended Draft was released for public review and testimony in advance of a City Council hearing expected in fall 2021. Find affected properties and submit testimony on the Map App.

Next opportunity to engage: A City Council hearing is expected in fall 2021. Public testimony can be submitted via the Map App. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

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: Meeting #1 with the Project Advisory Committee was held on June 29. Meeting materials and video from the May 26 kickoff are still available online. Work on the existing conditions report has begun and will go through the summer.

Next opportunity to engage: The next Project Advisory Committee meeting is scheduled for September 27 at 6:00 pm. Meanwhile, the project team is continuing to meet with community groups and organizations to introduce the project and hear from the public. Those interested can also sign up for email updates.

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. 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.

Status: The project team is developing a Discussion Draft for public review later in 2021.

Next opportunity to engage: None at this time. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

Parkrose Community Plan

What: The Historic Parkrose Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative (NPI) is working on the community-led Parkrose Community Plan in partnership with the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, and the Oregon Department of Transportation. The greater Parkrose neighborhood is a diverse part of the city, with a high population of communities of color. There are many community assets in Parkrose, including a thriving school district and local organizations and businesses.

Some community concerns in the area include rising rents, the need for more living wage jobs for students and their parents, unsafe conditions on Outer Sandy Boulevard, the need for community gathering places, and a disaster preparedness plan for marginalized communities. These long-standing issues impact historically marginalized groups the most. With the support of agency and community partners, the Historic Parkrose NPI is working with underserved groups to create the Parkrose Community Plan to address these community concerns.

Status: On July 13 starting at about 1:40 pm, project staff will give a briefing on East Portland community priorities to the PSC. On July 20 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, the Parkrose Neighborhood Association is hosting an open house. If you would like to attend the open house, please register online. For more information about the plan, please visit the Historic Parkrose NPI website.

Next opportunity to engage: On July 13 starting at about 1:40 pm, project staff will give a briefing on East Portland community priorities to the PSC. On July 20 from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm, the Parkrose Neighborhood Association is hosting an open house. If you would like to attend the open house, please register online.

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 adopted 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. Most 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 is still available as a resource to learn more about specific changes to individual properties. On March 9, BPS staff held a scoping information session with the PSC for the next phase of the Residential Infill Project, referred to as RIP2, which will begin this summer.

While permit applications that take advantage of RIP cannot be submitted prior to the August 1, 2021 effective date, the Portland Bureau of Development Services (BDS) is now accepting inquiries related to the zoning code changes. See the BDS Residential Infill Project page for contact information and development assistance.

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

Shelter to Housing Continuum (S2HC)

What: BPS, Housing Bureau, and Joint City-County Office of Homeless Services are partnering to retool City codes to better address the homelessness crisis. The project will further fair housing, expand shelter and housing options, and improve city code to aid shelter and housing providers.

Status: On April 28, City Council unanimously adopted the Shelter to Housing Continuum zoning code amendment package. The changes—which are intended to address the growing crisis of houseless Portlanders—expand where homeless shelters are allowed, add a new shelter format (outdoor shelters), and allow group living more broadly as well as occupancy of RVs and tiny houses on wheels. The shelter-related elements of the package go into effect immediately. The group living and RV/tiny house on wheels elements will take effect on August 1. Through a separate ordinance, City Council also extended the current housing emergency until April 2022. The adopted ordinance and supporting documents, exhibits, and findings are available on the project website.

Next opportunity to engage: None at this time. The remainder of the S2HC amendments, related to group living and RVs/tiny houses on wheels, become effective on August 1, 2021.

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 development concepts for the Ross Island Bridgehead opportunity sites. A racial equity analysis of the project led by BPS will be completed this summer.

During fall 2020, 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 in November 2020, 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.

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 summer 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: On August 10, project staff will give a briefing to the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC). Meanwhile, staff continues working on a Proposed Draft, expected in early August. The Community Advisory Group (CAG) will be invited to meet this summer.

Previously, 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 2020 and comments were accepted until early December 2020. The October online open house and Discussion Draft are still available online. Public feedback on the Discussion Draft was generally positive, with nearly 200 community members answering the online questionnaire.

Next opportunity to engage: When the Proposed Draft is released in late summer 2021, a new public comment period will open and testimony can be provided to the PSC. Those interested can always sign up for WPTC email updates.