October 2023 – Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) Project Updates

News Article
A monthly snapshot of BPS's active land use planning work going on across the City of Portland. See the project updates below for more details, and to find contact information for the City staff working on specific projects. Subscribe to get email notifications when these updates are posted.
In this article

October 2023 highlights

  • Floodplain Resilience Plan with amendment package goes to final City Council vote on Wed., Oct. 11 at 9:45 a.m. Read more.
  • Housing Needs Analysis extends public hearing on Proposed Draft; next Planning Commission hearing scheduled for Tue., Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. Read more.
  • Lower SE Rising Area Plan going to Planning Commission hearing on Tue., Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. Read more.
  • Housing Regulatory Relief releases Proposed Draft; welcoming public testimony ahead of Planning Commission hearing on Tue., Oct. 24 at 5 p.m. Read more.

Useful resources

Planning Commission

City Council

Map App

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


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

Sign up for BPS email updates

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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 to identify community priorities.

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 continue to offer free site visits by request to confirm or correct natural resource mapping. Learn more about draft wetland mapping and see if your site qualifies for a free wetland determination. 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: Last year, 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.

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: Staff released the Recommended Draft and a package of amendments for public review in August. A City Council hearing was held on the plan on August 30 and public testimony was accepted. City Council evaluated the public testimony and deliberated on proposed additional amendments on September 13. On October 4, the City Council voted to pass the As-Amended Recommended Draft.

Next opportunity to engage: City Council is expected to hold a final vote on adopting the Recommended Draft as amended on October 11 at 9:45 a.m. The draft ordinance with exhibits is available online. If adopted, the plan will become effective in two phases next year. No additional public testimony will be taken. 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: The City Council adopted the ordinance in August 2022. On September 29, the state Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) denied an appeal by the Portland Business Alliance, the Working Waterfront Coalition, the Western States Petroleum Association, Oregon Business and Industry, and the Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council. This LUBA decision could be appealed later in October. The ordinance also has been challenged in federal court by the State of Montana, Western Energy Alliance, Pacific Propane Gas Association, Idaho Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, and Christensen, Inc. The federal case is still pending.

Next opportunity to engage: None currently.

Housing Needs Analysis (HNA) and Housing Production Strategy (HPS)

What: The Housing Needs Analysis (HNA) analyzes the status of Portland’s housing supply, housing affordability issues, and the City's ability to meet projected housing demand through 2045. The Housing Production Strategy (HPS) addresses how Portland will accommodate future population growth through housing production strategies created to support the development of needed housing. These actions will take into consideration impacts on low-income households, communities of color, people with disabilities, and other state and federally protected classes.

Status: The HNA identifies the need for 120,000 more housing units at a variety of types and income levels over the next 20 years. The analysis also shows the need for more affordable, family-size, age-friendly, and accessible homes, as well as the need for more opportunities for home ownership. The Proposed Draft of the 2045 Housing Needs Analysis (HNA) is now available for review. Read the announcement.

Next opportunity to engage: Written public testimony on the Proposed Draft is being accepted for the HNA through the Map App and at the Planning Commission hearing scheduled for Tue., Oct. 10 at 5 p.m. Registration for verbal testimony has closed. BPS will bring the Recommended Draft of the HNA to City Council for final adoption by the end of 2023.

Housing Regulatory Relief

What: This project creates temporary waivers and permanent changes to zoning regulations to provide regulatory relief in the building of housing projects. The project addresses several issues identified in the housing production survey conducted by the Bureau of Development Services. There are 16 issues being addressed, including bike parking, ground floor active use/height, non-conforming upgrades, design review, neighborhood contact, and more. The proposed temporary waivers and reductions would last five years. The temporary waivers and reductions apply to development that includes residential units, unless otherwise stated.

Status: The Housing Regulatory Relief project webpage includes basic information on the project. A Proposed Draft of the zoning code amendments was released in late September. Read the announcement. On September 26, staff gave a briefing to the Planning Commission. A Planning Commission hearing is scheduled for Tue., Oct. 24 at 5 p.m.

Next opportunity to engage: The public is invited to give testimony on the Proposed Draft of the zoning code amendments. Written testimony can be submitted to the Planning Commission through the Map App until October 24. The public can also testify verbally at the Planning Commission hearing on October 24. Register to testify in advance. 

LGBTQ+ Historic Sites Project

What: Portland’s LGBTQ+ Historic Sites Project seeks to identify, document, and preserve historic resources associated with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer+ histories.

Status: Portlanders are invited to submit information about older buildings with historical ties and significance to the LGBTQ+ community. The project team is conducting archival research, meeting with key informants, and surveying potentially significant historic places. Multiple individual National Register of Historic Places nominations are in progress and will be available for public review in the late fall. A digital copy of the project's Pride zine is available. Read the announcement.

Next opportunity to engage: An online questionnaire is available on the project webpage for members of the public to assist in the identification of LGBTQ+ historic sites. The questionnaire will remain open through autumn.

Lower SE Rising Area Plan

What: The Lower SE Rising Area Plan aims to address the historic lack of neighborhood commercial services, diverse housing options, and infrastructure investment in the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood and nearby areas, including parts of the Mt Scott-Arleta, Woodstock and Lents neighborhoods. Project staff have been working with the community on identifying land use changes and transportation improvements to address these issues and support healthy community development.

Status: The Proposed Draft of the Lower SE Rising Area Plan is available for public review and testimony. Read the announcement. The Proposed Draft includes proposed zoning map changes and recommendations for transportation projects to implement the community’s aspirations for more neighborhood businesses and housing options, supported by transportation improvements, to make it easier to meet daily needs locally and help address affordability. An online summary of the Proposed Draft is available.

Next opportunity to engage: The Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the Lower SE Rising Area Plan on October 10, scheduled to start at 6:10 p.m. Public testimony on the Proposed Draft plan is welcome. Written testimony can be submitted using the Map App until Oct. 10. Registration for verbal testimony has closed. Questions can be emailed to the project team. In November, the Planning Commission is expected to consider public testimony, discuss potential amendments, and vote on a recommendation to City Council. Check the project website for updates on the draft plan and upcoming hearings. 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. A joint effort between the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), the MP2H project considers 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: While the Northwest element of the MP2H work continues, the Northeast element has largely concluded. The MP2H-Northwest Plan Discussion Draft published in December 2021 offered a new long-range land use vision for new housing, more jobs and public benefits in the area near Montgomery Park in Northwest Portland, served by an extension of the Portland Streetcar. A Proposed Draft of the land use and transportation plan is anticipated to be published in late 2023 or early 2024 for public review and Portland Planning Commission hearings.

On June 28, City staff held a public workshop to discuss development of a design character statement, a tool that will be used in the review of future development proposals subject to design review, for the MP2H Northwest Plan area. A summary of the workshop is available online, including notes of what people had to say. Staff also provided informational briefings to the Portland Planning Commission, Portland Design Commission, and Historic Landmarks Commission in August and September.

Next opportunity to engage: Look for an online survey later in October seeking feedback on the working draft of the MP2H NW Plan Character Statement. Visit the BPS project website and PBOT project website for more project information. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package 10 (RICAP 10)

What: Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Packages (RICAP) are an ongoing series of minor technical updates, clarifications, and refinements to Portland’s zoning regulations. RICAP 10 amendments are grouped into three themes: housing production, economic development, and regulatory reduction.

Status: In late July, the project website was launched and a workplan document with appendix is now available.

Next opportunity to engage: This fall, a draft of the proposed zoning code amendments will be released for public review and comment. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.


Kevin Bond

City Planner II, Planning and Sustainability