Why are we doing this?
Environmental overlay zones (ezones) help to protect important natural resources that benefit and protect human as well as watershed health. They also help protect property by capturing runoff, which reduces flooding and prevents erosion and landslides. Ezones were applied within the project area through officially adopted conservation plans from 1989 – 2010.
Today, new technology allows us to map natural resources much more accurately than before. The adopted 2012 Natural Resource Inventory and ongoing Wetland Inventory Project have revealed streams, wetlands, sloughs, and other water features that were missed when ezones were originally applied. This project will apply ezones to those features.
How will this impact you?
This project will propose updates to ezone mapping that could impact more than 2,100 properties. The location of ezones on many properties will probably change slightly, but some properties may have larger expansions or reductions.
If your property is considered for remapping as part of this project, you will receive a postcard in the mail.
Site visits and next steps
The draft ezone mapping is based on the Natural Resource Inventory (NRI) of streams, wetlands, vegetation, sloughs and slopes. The draft ezones are subject to change through adjustments to natural resource protection policies or field verification of natural resource mapping through site visits.
To request a site visit to confirm or correct natural resource mapping, contact Ezone Staff.
Relationship to the Ezone Project, Economic Opportunities Analysis, and Floodplain Resilience Plan
The Environmental Overlay Zone Map Correction Project (Ezone Project) was adopted by City Council on May 25, 2022 and will go into effect on Oct. 1, 2022. The Ezone Project updated ezone mapping throughout most of Portland except the Columbia Corridor and other areas with industrial zoning. The Columbia Corridor-Industrial Lands Ezones Project will update ezone mapping in parts of the city that were not part of the Ezone Project.
The Columbia Corridor and Industrial Ezones Project is being conducted in coordination with the citywide Economic Opportunity Analysis (EOA) to provide adequate protection for natural resources and sufficient industrial and employment land to meet future needs.
The Floodplain Resilience Plan is a separate BPS project that is updating regulations in Portland’s floodplains. Some property owners who are impacted by the Columbia Corridor and Industrial Ezones Project may also receive mailings or other notifications regarding the Floodplain Resilience Plan.