February 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

February 2024 highlights

  • Housing Regulatory Relief was unanimously approved by City Council hearing on Monday, Jan. 31. The package temporary reduces or suspends development standards and processes for housing projects within the next five years. The changes go into effect on March 1, 2024. Read more.
  • Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package 10 (RICAP 10) Proposed Draft of zoning code amendments is available for review. A Planning Commission public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 27, at 5 p.m. Community members are invited to review the code amendments and provide written or verbal testimony to the Planning Commission. The deadline to sign up for verbal testimony is Monday, Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. Read more.
  • LGBTQ+ Historic Sites Project nominated two Portland buildings with LGBTQ+ historic ties for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The Portland Historic Landmarks Commission will be making a recommendation to the State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation on Feb., at 1:30 p.m. Read more.
  • Land Division Code Update to publish the Proposed Draft of zoning code amendments and a revised Potential Landslide Hazard Area Map the week of Feb. 19, in advance of the Planning Commission hearing tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, March 26. The goal of the project is to reduce regulatory barriers and uncertainty in the land division application process, while continuing to provide benefits to the community. 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 bureau strategies and actions to combat displacement and produce more equitable outcomes for communities. Staff are 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 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 published an interactive online map of preliminary draft ezones 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. Sign up for email updates.

Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA)

What: The purpose of the 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 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 Oct. 11, City Council voted unanimously to adopt zoning code amendments that will reduce the impacts of 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 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 that restrict bulk fossil fuel terminals in order 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 Sept. 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 HNA analyzes Portland’s housing supply and affordability issues, as well as the City's ability to meet projected housing demand through 2045. The HPS addresses how Portland will accommodate future population growth and 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 Dec. 13, City Council unanimously adopted the Housing Needs Analysis and related Buildable Land Inventory documents to address future housing requirements, access to affordable housing, and development capacity. The HNA identified the need for 120,000 more housing units at a variety of types and income levels over the next 20 years. The analysis also showed 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 adopted 2045 Housing Needs Analysis and Council Ordinance No. 191547.

In 2024, BPS is leading the development of a Housing Production Strategy with other City bureaus and the community. The HPS will identify steps the City can take over the next five years to support needed housing development. Read more about the HPS. Later in February, a draft strategy will be released for public review and comment.

Next opportunity to engage: Once the draft Housing Production Strategy Discussion Draft is published, the public can comment on the strategies via the Map App or email. Comments are welcome through 5 p.m. on April 1, 2024. Also later in February, a survey will be open for Portlanders to provide more input on needs and priorities. Check the project website for updates.

Housing Regulatory Relief

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

Status: On Jan. 31, City Council voted unanimously to adopt Ordinance No. 191609 approving the project. Read Commissioner Rubio's announcement. This vote followed the City Council hearing on Jan. 10, and additional discussion sessions on Jan. 17 and Jan. 24.

Next opportunity to engage: None. The adopted regulations take effect on March 1, 2024.

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 Dec. 31. Staff are now working on making refinements to the code and preparing a Proposed Draft for the Planning Commission’s review. But 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 recommendations to City Council for final adoption this summer.

Next opportunity to engage: The public will be invited to give written testimony on the Proposed Draft in February and in person at the Planning Commission’s public hearing in March. Check the project website for updates and/or 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 received a recommendation from the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission on Jan. 22 and are available for public review. Other draft project deliverables will be available for public review and comment in 2024.

Next opportunity to engage: Draft National Register nomination forms for the Crystal Hotel and Erv Lind Field are available for review and comments. The State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation will hear briefings on the proposed nominations on Feb. 16.

Lower SE Rising Area Plan

What: The Lower SE Rising Area Plan addresses the historic lack of neighborhood commercial services, housing options, and infrastructure investment in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood and nearby areas. The plan includes proposed zoning map changes and recommendations for transportation projects to implement the community’s aspirations for more neighborhood businesses and housing options, as well as transportation improvements, to make it easier to meet daily needs locally and address affordability.

Status: the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the LSER Proposed Draft on Oct. 10, 2023. The commissioners voted unanimously to recommend that City Council adopt the Lower SE Rising Area Plan on Nov. 14.

Next opportunity to engage: City Council will hold a public hearing on the Recommended Draft plan on April 25, 2024. Check the project website for updates and upcoming Council 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 NW Portland and the Hollywood Town Center in Northeast Portland. A joint effort between BPS and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), the 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: The MP2H-Northwest Plan Discussion offers a long-range land use vision for new housing, more jobs and public benefits in the area near Montgomery Park, served by an extension of the Portland Streetcar. A Proposed Draft of the land use and transportation plan is anticipated in early 2024 for public review and Portland Planning Commission hearings.

In June 2023, City staff held a public workshop to develop a design character statement, a tool to review future development proposals subject to design review. A summary of the workshop is available online. Staff also briefed the Portland Planning Commission, Portland Design Commission, and Historic Landmarks Commission in August and September of 2023.

Next opportunity to engage: None currently. Visit the BPS project website and PBOT project website for more project information. Or sign up for email updates.

Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package 10 (RICAP 10)

What: The RICAP packages 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 RICAP 10 Proposed Draft is available for review. Read the full announcement. It proposes more than 80 items for regulatory improvement. The Planning Commission will consider the RICAP 10 Proposed Draft during a public hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. A confirmed agenda will be available on February 20 for this meeting. Prior to the hearing, BPS staff will brief commissioners on the proposals.

Next opportunity to engage: Community members are invited to testify to the Planning Commission in writing via the Map App or verbally during the hearing. You must sign up in advance to testify verbally. Deadline to register is Monday, Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. Those interested can always sign up for email updates.


District Planning

A program of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)