River Plan / South Reach on its way to City Council

News Article
Planning and Sustainability Commission and Design Commission vote to recommend proposals to City Council; public hearing TBD

After two public hearings and four work sessions about the draft River Plan / South Reach Plan, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) voted to recommend the plan, as amended, to City Council.

The PSC’s amendments included the following:

  • Expand the minimum width of the River Environmental overlay zone to 100 ft.

  • Improve enforcement of tree planting and mitigation requirements.

  • Reduce the River Environmental tree replacement threshold to three inches for trees not in the setback.

  • Add new standards for new residential docks and existing docks undergoing significant repair or replacement. 

  • Add Washington tribal and historic resources representatives to the contact list for archaeological resources protection.

  • Add regional trail design guidelines for making trail system improvements.

  • Repeal the Macadam Corridor Design Guidelines and recommend a new Macadam Character Statement to be applied with the DOZA Citywide Design Guidelines. 

  • Add a new action for City Council to petition the Oregon State Marine Board (OSMB) to establish a slow-no wake zone from the Hawthorne to Sellwood bridges, adjacent to Powers Marine Park and Elk Island.

The recommendation to repeal the Macadam Corridor Design Guidelines and replace them with the DOZA Citywide Design Guidelines and a Macadam Character Statement were also the subject of a July 16 public hearing and July 23 work session before the Design Commission. The Commission requested stronger direction for development along the Willamette riverfront and South Macadam Avenue, as well as more clarity on the purpose of the background section, before unanimously voting to recommend them to City Council. 

Before the PSC voted, they held another public hearing to be sure that boaters and other river users had a chance to testify before the commission. This hearing was prompted by a pending action by the OSMB to regulate boating in the South Reach area. More than 900 people submitted written testimony, which the PSC forwarded to the Marine Board. 

Learn more about the Marine Board meetings. 

City Council hearing to be scheduled

The City Council public hearing on the River Plan / South Reach was previously scheduled for early September, but it has been postponed. Stay tuned for news about a new date and time.