November 2022 – Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) Project Updates

News Article
A monthly snapshot of BPS's active land use planning work going on throughout the City of Portland. Please see the project updates and websites below for more details, and to find contact information for the appropriate project staff.
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What’s new this month?

Useful resources

Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC)

City Council

Map App

Look at interactive maps, submit testimony during testimony periods, and read submitted testimony through the BPS Map App interactive tool.

PortlandMaps

Zoning, building permit, transportation, natural resource information, and more is available on PortlandMaps.com.

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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: A cross-bureau team of City staff continues to work internally to develop tools that better align City bureau strategies and actions to combat displacement and produce more equitable outcomes for communities. Staff is also working with the Anti-Displacement Coalition to support development of a civic leadership curriculum and a series of public workshops.

Next opportunity to engage: None currently. Those interested can always sign up for project updates.

Columbia Corridor Industrial Lands Ezones Project

What: Correcting the location of environmental overlay zones (Ezones) in the Columbia Corridor and other industrial areas to better align with rivers, streams, sloughs, wetlands, floodplains, forests, and wildlife habitat.

Status: Project staff have published an interactive online map of preliminary draft Ezones that is based on the Natural Resource Inventory. The natural resource mapping is subject to onsite verification at the request of property owners, and the draft Ezones mapping may change as the project progresses. Project staff will coordinate their work with the upcoming citywide economic opportunity analysis to provide adequate protection for natural resources and sufficient industrial and employment land to meet future needs.

Next opportunity to engage: Project staff are offering free site visits by request to confirm or correct natural resource mapping. Look up your address on the Columbia Corridor Industrial Lands Map App to see if your site is impacted by this project. You can submit a request for a site visit through the Map App or by contacting project staff. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA)

What: The purpose of the Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA) is to analyze and forecast growth in Portland’s industrial and other business districts, then designate an adequate 20-year supply of developable land for businesses and jobs.

Status: In April, BPS released an economic report detailing market trends for job growth in Portland. The report details economic growth and prosperity trends, local business specializations and competitiveness, as well as marine industrial forecasts and land needs.

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

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 augments recent state codes and rules to require that parking associated with new multi-dwelling and mixed-use development provide the infrastructure needed to make 50 percent of the parking spaces “EV-ready” (i.e. providing the electrical conduit connections for new or future charging equipment). The EV Ready Code Project will help implement policy direction from Portland’s Climate Emergency Workplan through changes to the zoning code.

Status: On October 25, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) voted to recommend approval of the EV-ready project to City Council with a couple amendments. The amendments increased the flexibility for locating the chargers and equipment in a portion of the perimeter parking lot landscaping, while forwarding the main staff proposal to require new development with at least 5 dwelling units to make at least 50% of the accessory on-site parking area EV-ready. The recommendation complies with, and augments, the state rules provided through House Bill 2180 and the Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) led Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities Rulemaking process. Staff is currently updating the Proposed Draft, to accommodate the PSC recommendations as well as developing the ordinance and findings to deliver to City Council. These documents should be available in December.

Next opportunity to engage: None currently. The Recommended Draft, Ordinance and Findings are planned to be released in December. At that time, the MapApp will be also available to submit testimony. City Council will consider any additional written and oral testimony prior to making a final decision in early 2023. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

Floodplain Resilience Plan

What: The plan updates floodplain regulations throughout the city to ensure that new development in the floodplain addresses flood risk from a changing climate, does not jeopardize threatened and endangered species, and allows Portlanders to continue to obtain federally-backed flood insurance.

Status: On August 30, the Proposed Draft of the Floodplain Resilience Plan was released for public review and comment. Read the announcement. Community members can view property-specific proposals on the project’s Map App interactive tool. The Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) got a briefing on September 13, held a hearing on September 27 and its first work session on October 25. A second work session is scheduled for November 22.

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

Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Project

What: This ordinance readopts the remanded zoning code amendments to restrict bulk fossil fuel terminals to address the policies identified by the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) that require additional findings.

Status: On June 30, City Council held a public hearing to reconsider adopting the zoning code amendments. On August 24, City Council adopted the ordinance and on August 31 the ordinance went into effect. The ordinance has been appealed by the Portland Business Alliance, the Working Waterfront Coalition, the Western States Petroleum Association, Oregon Business and Industry, and Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council. A LUBA decision is expected in early 2023.

Next opportunity to engage: None currently.

Lower SE Rising Area Plan

What: The Lower SE Rising Area Plan aims to address the historic lack of infrastructure investment in parts of Southeast and East Portland—including Brentwood-Darlington and portions of Mt Scott-Arleta, Woodstock and Lents—and seek community input to guide healthy community development.

Status: An online open house was launched for public review in May and closed on July 11. The self-guided open house introduces draft proposals for the project area that present an opportunity to create public and private investments, including more local commercial and housing opportunities, and transportation improvements. Project staff will be reviewing the online open house survey feedback and releasing a report later this summer. Materials from the October 24 PAC meeting are available for review.

Next opportunity to engage: None currently. Those interested can always 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 future streetcar links to Montgomery Park in Northwest Portland and 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 MP2H-NW Plan Discussion Draft, published in December 2021, suggests a new long-range land use vision for the area near Montgomery Park in Northwest Portland, served by an extension of the Portland Streetcar. The draft proposal presents an opportunity to create more affordable housing, more affordable commercial space, and other public benefits. A compilation of public comments on the Discussion Draft has been posted. City staff are reviewing the comments and working through issues, which is anticipated to lead to a Proposed Draft for future review by the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC).

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

Planning Commission Code Amendments

What: This project will amend the City Code to rename the Planning and Sustainability Commission to the Planning Commission and modify the scope of the Planning Commission. The new Planning Commission will focus on land use planning, while continuing to advance the policies in Portland’s Comprehensive Plan, including those related to sustainability.

Status: In 2010, the City of Portland combined the Planning Commission and the Multnomah County / Portland Sustainable Development Commission to create the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC). In the intervening years, the oversight responsibilities related to both land use planning and sustainability in Portland have become more than one commission can undertake effectively. In addition, issues related to sustainability and climate change have become more prominent and urgent. To ensure that both areas of policy and decision-making can be addressed with the focus, time, and attention each is warranted, the City plans to create two separate public bodies. A future project will amend the City Code to create a separate body focused on sustainability and climate. A working group consisting of members of the PSC has been meeting to advise staff on amendments to the scope of the new Planning Commission. The Proposed Draft of the code amendments was released on October 27, and the Map App interactive tool is available for the public to provide written comments prior to the public hearing.

Next opportunity to engage: On November 8, the PSC will have a public hearing on the draft code amendments. Those interested in testifying orally at the PSC hearing must sign up in advance by 5 p.m. on November 7.

Shelter to Housing Continuum – Part 2 (S2HC2)

What: The Shelter to Housing Continuum – Part 2 (S2HC2) proposes several zoning code refinements to the previously adopted Shelter to Housing Continuum, which took effect in 2021 and expanded the housing and shelter options for individuals and households with extremely low incomes.

Status: In 2021, Portland City Council adopted the Shelter to Housing Continuum project to address the crisis of houseless Portlanders. These code changes made it easier to site homeless shelters and created a new community service use in the code called “outdoor shelters,” which allows shelters like the St Johns Village or Kenton’s Women’s Village outright without first needing City Council approval. As the City launched the Safe Rest Villages initiative and the Joint City-County Office of Homeless Services continued to operate existing facilities and open others, several implementation issues arose as shelter operators sought to permit new outdoor shelters. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has developed several proposed code refinements that address these code barriers and unanticipated technical issues in the S2HC2 Proposed Draft, which was published on September 6 and is available for public review.

Next opportunity to engage: On November 8, the PSC will hold a work session and will vote on their recommendation to City Council. The next opportunity to engage with the proposal will be at a hearing before City Council in early 2023. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

South Portland Historic District Design Guidelines

What: New approval criteria for alteration, addition and new construction proposals in the South Portland Historic District. The new design guidelines will replace the Lair Hill Conservation District design guidelines as the historic resource review approval criteria that apply within the Historic District.

Status: On November 2, the City Council held a public hearing on the Recommended Draft design guidelines. The Recommended Draft design guidelines are available for public review.

Next opportunity to engage: The public testimony window is now closed. The City Council will vote to adopt the Recommended Draft design guidelines on November 9 at 10:15 am.

West Portland Town Center Plan

What: The West Portland Town Center (WPTC) Plan will lay out a vision for a healthy, connected, and multi-cultural town center and includes an action plan to meet the diverse needs of current and future residents and businesses.

Status: The Recommended Draft of the WPTC Plan is now available for public review. A Recommended Draft Overview and Map App interactive tool are available for learning more about the Plan. On October 12, the Portland City Council held a hearing on the Recommended Draft and the public was invited to testify in writing or verbally. On October 27, City Council met to discuss the proposal and consider any amendments. A small package of technical amendments was approved. On November 16, City Council will meet to vote on the ordinance and findings. A date for City Council to make a final vote will be scheduled for late November or December.

Next opportunity to engage: The public testimony period has closed. City Council will be taking additional votes on the plan on November 16. Those interested can always sign up for WPTC email updates.