April 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.
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April 2024 highlights

  • Housing Production Strategy — The Housing Production Survey is accepting responses until April 14. Read more.
  • Land Division Code Update goes back to the Planning Commission for a work session on the Proposed Draft and code amendments on April 23. Read more.
  • Lower SE Rising Area Plan Recommended Draft now available for public review. City Council will hold a public hearing on the plan on April 25 at 2 p.m. Read more.
  • Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package 10 — The Planning Commission voted on March 26 to recommend an amended Proposed Draft to City Council. Read more.
  • Sustainability and Climate Commission (SCC) — City Council will consider testimony and review the proposal to create the SCC on April 24 at 2 p.m. This is the second commission formed after Commissioner Rubio directed BPS to split the Planning and Sustainability Commission into two distinct commissions. In March 2023, the Planning Commission was created and research phases for the SCC began. The new SCC will guide the City’s climate action and sustainability goals as a new governance structure and champion body for current and future climate work. Read more on the SCC website.

Useful resources

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

What: The Housing Needs Analysis analyzed 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 addresses how Portland will accommodate future population growth with strategies that support the development of needed housing. These actions will consider impacts on low-income households, communities of color, people with disabilities, and other state and federally protected classes.

Status: BPS is leading the development of a Housing Production Strategy with other City bureaus and the community. The HPS will identify strategies the City can take over the next five years to support needed housing development. The Housing Production Strategy Discussion Draft is now available for public review and comment.

Next opportunity to engage: Check the project website for updates on the draft plan and upcoming hearings.

Housing Regulatory Relief

What: This project addressed several barriers to development identified in the housing production survey conducted by the Bureau of Development Services, including bike parking, ground floor active use/height, nonconforming upgrades, ecoroof standards, design review, neighborhood contact, and more. The project resulted in temporary waivers and permanent changes to zoning regulations. These temporary waivers and reductions will last 5 years and apply to development that includes residential units, unless otherwise stated.

Status: In January 2024, City Council voted unanimously to adopt Ordinance No. 191609 approving the project. Read Commissioner Rubio's announcement. The code in the package is now effective.

Next opportunity to engage: None. The adopted amendments are in effect as of 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 and reducing regulatory barriers and uncertainty in the application process, while continuing to provide benefits to the community.

Status: The Proposed Draft and code amendments are available for review. In addition to a number of revisions and clarifications from the Discussion Draft, the Proposed Draft includes refinements to the proposed Potential Landslide Hazard Area map, as well as improved tree preservation standards.

Project staff briefed the Planning Commission on the project proposals and heard public testimony at a hearing on March 26. Commissioners will hold a work session on April 23 to discuss the proposals and consider possible amendments for consideration at their May meeting before making their recommendation to City Council. BPS staff will then bring the Recommended Draft of the code updates to City Council for adoption in Summer 2024.

Next opportunity to engage: The Planning Commission will make a recommendation to City Council. The updated Recommended Draft will be published in the summer, followed by a public hearing at City Council where community members will be able to testify in writing and in person. Check the project website for updates. Those interested can 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 National Register of Historic Places nomination forms for the Crystal Hotel and Erv Lind Field received recommendations from the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission and State Advisory Committee on Historic Preservation to move forward for federal approval. Check the project website for updates.

Next opportunity to engage: Additional draft project deliverables, including an additional National Register nomination, will be available for public review in late Spring 2024.

Lower SE Rising Area Plan

What: The Lower SE Rising (LSER) 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 released in for public review in September 2023; the Planning Commission held a public hearing on the plan on Oct. 10. During their work session on Nov. 14, the Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend that City Council adopt the Lower SE Rising Area Plan.

Next opportunity to engage: The LSER Recommended Draft Plan is available for public review. City Council will hold a public hearing on the Recommended Draft on April 25 at 2 p.m. Community members are invited to testify on the plan at the hearing or in writing using the Map App, where you can also review the proposed zone changes. Check the project website to learn more about the public hearing, how to provide testimony, or sign up for email updates.

Montgomery Park to Hollywood Transit and Land Use Development Study (MP2H) and Montgomery Park Area Plan (MPAP)

What: A joint effort between the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) and the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), the project explores options for a successful land use and transit system, including potential future streetcar links to Montgomery Park in NW Portland and Hollywood Town Center in NE Portland. Considers affordable housing, as well as economic development and business stabilization opportunities associated with potential transit investments, including the possible extension of the Portland Streetcar.

Status: The Montgomery Park Area Plan (MPAP) Proposed Draft is an outcome of the MP2H Study and follow up to the MP2H-NW Plan Discussion Draft. The MPAP proposes land use and transportation changes to establish a new transit-oriented district in Northwest Portland west of Highway 30, between NW Vaughn and NW Nicolai streets. The plan envisions the area as a mixed-use employment district that supports job growth and housing development. It proposes land use changes to promote equitable, transit-oriented development and complements a future extension of the Portland Streetcar. The changes include proposed amendments to Portland’s Comprehensive Plan map, zoning map, zoning code, and design guidance.

Next opportunity to engage: The MPAP Proposed Draft is available for public review. The Planning Commission and Design Commission are expected to hold a joint public hearing on May 21 at 5 p.m. Check the project website for updates, upcoming hearings, and to 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. Some items are minor policy changes, while others are technical amendments or clarifications with little policy impact.

Status: The Planning Commission voted to recommend an amended Proposed Draft (with two amendments) to City Council on March 26. The first amendment clarified a proposed change to rules for conditional use sites; the second amendment narrowed the applicability of an allowance for land owned by a public agency in the River Industrial overlay zone.

Next opportunity to engage: Staff will publish a Recommended Draft incorporating the Planning Commission amendments in April. A public hearing at City Council is tentatively scheduled for late May. Community members will be able to testify in writing and in person at the public hearing. Check the project website for updates and upcoming hearings or sign up for email updates.

Ongoing projects

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 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 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 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 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: In October 2023, 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. The large majority of the requirements went into effect on March 1 and the remaining items won’t go into effect until Oct. 1, 2024. Read the full announcement.

Next opportunity to engage: None.

Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Amendments

What: This ordinance readopts the remanded zoning code amendments that 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 Sept. 29, 2023, the LUBA denied an appeal by the Portland Business Alliance, Working Waterfront Coalition, Western States Petroleum Association, Oregon Business and Industry, and Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council. This LUBA decision was appealed to Oregon Court of Appeals, which upheld the LUBA decision to affirm the City Council’s adoption of reasonable limits on fossil fuel infrastructure. The Court of Appeals decision has not been appealed to the Oregon Supreme Court; however the ordinance 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.


District Planning

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