November 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

November 2023 highlights

  • Floodplain Resilience Plan unanimously adopted by City Council to protect Portland’s residents, properties, wildlife, and floodplains. Read more.
  • Housing Regulatory Relief returns to Planning Commission for recommendation on Tue., Nov. 14 at 12:30 p.m.; expected to include several amendments. Read more.
  • Lower SE Rising Area Plan goes to Planning Commission for recommendation on Tue., Nov. 28 at 5 p.m. Read more.
  • Housing Needs Analysis heads to City Council hearing on Wed., Dec. 6 at 3 p.m.; public testimony welcome. Read more.
  • Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package 10 (RICAP 10) publishes set of zoning code updates for public review; welcomes public comments through Dec. 31. Read more.
  • Land Division Code Update project launches to encourage new housing development and streamline the land division review process; accepting public comments through Dec. 31. 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

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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: In April 2022, 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: On October 11, City Council voted unanimously to adopt zoning code amendments that reduce the impacts of future flooding on those who live or work in or near Portland’s floodplains. City Council added several key amendments to the package. Implementation of the zoning code changes will be in two phases in 2024. Read the full announcement.

Next opportunity to engage: None.

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 has been appealed to Oregon Court of Appeals with a decision expected in 2024. 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 Recommended Draft of the 2045 Housing Needs Analysis (HNA) is now available for review.

Next opportunity to engage: A City Council hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, December 6 at 3 p.m. Verbal and written testimony on the Recommended Draft for the HNA will be accepted. The agenda with the public testimony registration links will be posted online by 9 a.m. on Friday, December 1. Check the project page for more information about how to give written and verbal testimony.

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, ecoroof and bird-safe glazing standards, 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: In late September, a Proposed Draft of the zoning code amendments was released. The Planning Commission held a hearing on October 24, followed by a work session on November 7. On November 14 at 12:30 p.m., the Planning Commission is scheduled to make a recommendation after considering amendments on ecoroofs, bird-safe glazing, and neighborhood contact. Staff will develop the Recommended Draft over the next few weeks.

Next opportunity to engage: None currently. The public will be invited to give testimony on the Recommended Draft once it is released later this year. Check the project website for updates.

Land Division Code Update

What: The Land Division Code Update aims to encourage new housing development by streamlining the review of residential land divisions. The goal of the project is to reduce regulatory barriers and uncertainty in the application process, while continuing to provide benefits to the community.

Status: The Discussion Draft staff report and code amendments are now available to spur discussion and help refine the amendments before the Proposed Draft is presented for the Planning Commission’s review in 2024. The Discussion Draft, along with more information about the project and the key proposals, is available on the project website. The Planning Commission will hold public hearings on the Proposed Draft in February 2024. BPS will bring the Planning Commission’s Recommended Draft of the code updates to City Council for final adoption in Summer 2024.

Next opportunity to engage: Public comments on the Discussion Draft may be submitted via the Map App, or by email. Comments are welcome through 5 p.m. on Dec. 31, 2023. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

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.

Next opportunity to engage: Draft nomination forms for the National Register of Historic Places will be available in mid-December for public review. Additional draft project documents will be available for public review in early 2024.

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: On October 10, the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the Proposed Draft of the Lower SE Rising Area Plan. The public testimony period is now closed. 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. The Planning Commission is currently considering public testimony and will discuss potential revisions to the plan during work sessions scheduled for November 14 starting at 12:30 p.m. and on November 28 starting at 5 p.m. At the conclusion of their deliberations, the Planning Commission will vote to forward a Recommended Draft to the Portland City Council.

Next opportunity to engage: The next opportunity for the public to provide testimony will be when City Council holds a public hearing on the Recommended Draft Plan (date to be determined). 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.

In June, 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: None currently. 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: A package of zoning code updates that aim to make it easier to understand and implement Portland’s zoning code has been released for public review and comment. The Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package 10 (RICAP 10) Discussion Draft contains the most recent in an ongoing series of updates and improvements to Portland’s land use regulations. The RICAP 10 Discussion Draft is being shared with community members to solicit their input before staff makes an official proposal to the Planning Commission and, subsequently, City Council. This is the first RICAP package after a five-year hiatus. The RICAP 10 Discussion Draft considers 80 items for possible regulatory improvement. Read the full announcement.

Next opportunity to engage: Portlanders are invited to review these code amendments and provide comments on them to BPS staff via the Map App. Planning staff are accepting comments on the Discussion Draft through Dec. 31, 2023. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.


Kevin Bond

City Planner II, Planning and Sustainability