January 2024 – 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

January 2024 highlights

  • Housing Regulatory Relief package and potential amendments scheduled for City Council hearing on Wed., Jan. 10 at 3 p.m.; community members invited to testify. Read more.
  • LGBTQ+ Historic Sites Project nominates two Portland buildings with LGBTQ+ historic ties for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. 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.

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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. Application of the riparian buffer area and its requirements in floodplains within 170 feet of the Willamette River in the Central City - and the associated expansion of the River Environmental overlay zone to encompass it - will take effect on Oct. 1, 2024. All other zoning code amendments will take effect on March 1, 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: On December 13, the City Council unanimously adopted the Housing Needs Analysis and related Buildable Land Inventory documents to address future housing needs, access to affordable housing, and development capacity. 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. Read the as-adopted HNA and Council ordinance.

In 2024, BPS will lead a process to develop a Housing Production Strategy with other city bureaus and the community and will report back to City Council by the end of the year.

Next opportunity to engage: None currently.

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 now 15 issues being addressed, including bike parking, ground floor active use/height, non-conforming upgrades, ecoroof standards, design review, neighborhood contact, and more. The 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 City Council will hold a hearing on the Planning Commission’s Recommended Draft on Wednesday, January 10 at 3 p.m. An amendment memo, based on initial discussions with Commissioner Rubio’s office, will also be considered at the hearing. The amendment memo clarifies the rules on inclusionary housing and creates additional flexibility for design review of affordable housing project. Read more about the Council hearing.

Next opportunity to engage: The public can submit written testimony through the Map App until the close of the hearing on January 10. Register in advance to give verbal testimony at the Council hearing. 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 comment period for the Discussion Draft staff report and code amendments closed on December 31. Staff are now working on making refinements to the code and preparing a Proposed Draft for the Planning Commission’s review. Until the Proposed Draft is published, the Discussion Draft, along with more information about the project and the key proposals, is still available for review. The Planning Commission will hold public hearings on the Proposed Draft in March. BPS will bring the Planning Commission’s Recommended Draft of the code updates to City Council for final adoption this summer.

Next opportunity to engage: The public will be invited to give testimony on the Proposed Draft beginning in February and ending at the conclusion of the Planning Commission’s public hearing in March. Check the project website for updates. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.

LGBTQ+ Historic Sites Project

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

Status: The project team is preparing a historic context statement, historic resources survey, and individual National Register of Historic Places nomination forms for properties significantly associated with LGBTQ+ history. Two draft National Register of Historic Places nomination forms are available for public review. Other draft project deliverables will be available for review and comments in early 2024.

Next opportunity to engage: Draft National Register nomination forms for the Crystal Hotel and Erv Lind Field are available for public review. Oral and written testimony on the nomination forms will be accepted by both the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission on January 22 and State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation on February 16. All community members are invited to participate.

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. Informed by two years of community input, the draft plan 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.

Status: The Proposed Draft of the Lower SE Rising Area Plan was made available for public review in September and the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the plan on October 10. During their work session on November 14, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that City Council adopt the Lower SE Rising Area Plan.

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. The hearing date is to be determined, but likely to be held in February or March 2024. 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 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: The public comment period on the RICAP 10 Discussion Draft closed on December 31. Staff are now revising the zoning code changes based on the comments and feedback received. A Proposed Draft of the RICAP 10 zoning code amendments is expected to be released in early February before a Planning Commission briefing and public hearing scheduled for late February.

Next opportunity to engage: None currently. The public will be invited to testify on the Proposed Draft before and during the Planning Commission hearing. Check the project website for updates. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.


Kevin Bond

City Planner II, Planning and Sustainability