Lower SE Rising Community Development Overview

4 people of color standing on street with 2 scooters, in front of a large grassy area with people sitting and having picnics
Presents information on future community development scenarios for the Lower SE Rising project area in Southeast Portland. Photo above was taken at Brentwood Darlington Park.
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Community issues and needs

This online open house is shaped by previous planning efforts and City policies, an analysis of existing conditions, and public input. Members of the public shared their feedback via the kick-off survey in the summer of 2021 and an online mapping tool, called “Pin It, Portland,” during the fall/winter of 2021-22. The Project Advisory Committee also helped increase understanding of the areas in need of improvement. This analysis and feedback identified the following areas of need: 

Affordable housing in the project area is needed. Given only 8% multi-dwelling zoning, infrastructure, and market constraints, the likelihood of enough multifamily developments being built in the neighborhood is relatively low.

Man wearing large hat pointing at covered gardening beds and speaking to two women
Site Manager at Learning Gardens Laboratory educating residents on local farming.

More local commercial, community-serving businesses and gathering spaces in the project’s core focus area desired. Survey respondents mentioned going to neighboring Woodstock, Foster, Lents, or Clackamas County for grocery and retail shopping, banking, and eating out.

Parks and green spaces are valued, and more investment for these areas is needed. There are large parks throughout the neighborhood, but community members want improvements, such as shaded areas, picnic tables and playground equipment.

Public safety is a concern, particularly for those close to 52nd and 72nd Avenue. Public safety is highly important to community. Comments noted: street safety and road conditions, lack of sidewalks and general walkability, crime and safety, houselessness and trash, noise and abandoned automobiles.

Low-density zoning designation poses a challenge to neighborhood infrastructure investment. The lack of a neighborhood center or corridor precludes certain types of investment opportunities, and the project’s core focus area will find it difficult to attract City resources.

Equitable development

Who benefits and who is burdened by any future changes in policy or investments? Each of the following scenarios assumes some degree of change in land use policy to allow different kinds of development.

Group of 20+ people of all ages and races decoratively painting the street
Rose CDC led street painting at Woody Guthrie Apartments.

Changes in policy that affect zoning and land use allowances increase development potential with larger buildings, and provide greater access to local services and amenities, housing units, and flexibility for allowed commercial uses. These can create benefits for property owners and businesses, such as higher values for development and land. Changes can also result in burdens, such as displacement of lower income individuals or a reduction of cheaper commercial spaces for lease.

The Lower SE Rising project will evaluate the potential benefits and burdens of land policy, transportation improvements and transit investments to determine if excess benefits can be shared more broadly with community members. This could happen through creation of affordable housing and commercial spaces, preservation of existing low-cost housing, investment in transportation facilities, urban heat island remediation, or other approaches. As you review these scenarios, please think about how benefits and burdens can best be addressed in the scenarios.

Learn more in the Lower SE Rising Area Plan Racial Equity Summary.

Community development scenarios

The following four Community Development Scenarios for the Lower SE Rising project area are ready for your review and feedback. These scenarios illustrate different land use and community development futures for two focus areas. Each scenario could also be served by new transportation investments and transit service enhancements and/or realignment.

4 map images layered on top of each other
View details about the scenarios, including maps and illustrations of development options, on each of the scenario pages linked below.

The two focus areas are SE 52nd Avenue from Woodstock Boulevard to Flavel Drive and SE 72nd Avenue from Woodstock Boulevard to the Springwater Corridor. All four scenarios are intended to support Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan and climate action goals for improving economic prosperity, human and economic health, equity and resilience as well as reducing carbon emissions. Each scenario accomplishes this in different ways. The scenario pages for both focus areas include maps, images, and descriptions to highlight the features of each scenario and show how they are different:

All four scenarios propose improved pedestrian and bicycle connections as well as the preservation of larger low-cost apartment complexes in area. The scenarios also identify improved pedestrian and bicycle connections, as well as preservation of larger low-cost apartment complexes in the area. The unique features of each community development scenario are highlighted to show how they are different.

Evaluation matrix

This matrix helps explain the differences between the scenarios. The matrix will be used along with public input, transportation needs and policy direction to determine the preferred scenario. To read the matrix in more detail, please use the Lower SE Rising Community Development Evaluation Matrix PDF below.

Evaluation matrix for Lower SE Community Development scenarios
Key: +/- Pros/Cons Potential, + Modest Change Potential, ++ Expanded Change Potential, +++ Further Expanded Change Potential. For more detail, please use the Evaluation Matrix (PDF) file below.

Tell us what you think

We want to hear what elements of the development scenarios and transportation improvements you think best supports the project and community goals. Your input will help us combine the best elements into a plan for the area.

The survey includes key diagrams, maps and images, but you may find it helpful to have the individual development scenarios or transportation improvement pages open as you complete the survey.

The survey contains questions about both land use and transportation issues in the project area, but feel free to skip any questions where you do not have an opinion.

The survey is now closed.