As the State of Oregon continues to pursue climate-friendly land use policies, the City of Portland is amending its Zoning Code to comply with emerging state rules.
The Parking Compliance Amendments Project (PCAP) is updating Portland’s parking code to bring the City into compliance with state rule changes recently adopted with the Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities (CFEC) rulemaking process, as outlined in the Recommended Draft released on May 23. In addition to the Recommended Draft, staff published a memo describing amendments proposed to the Recommended Draft. These amendments reflect recently adopted changes to the CFEC rules and bring the Parking Compliance Amendments proposals into alignment with the updated state rules. On June 6, staff published the PCAP As-Amended Draft, which incorporates the proposed amendments and will be voted on by City Council at the hearing on June 7.
On April 25, the Portland Planning Commission voted to recommend that City Council adopt the Parking Compliance Amendments Project proposals, with one code amendment. That amendment closes a loophole enabling all housing projects to take advantage of bike parking reductions intended for housing projects only for the elderly and disabled.
The resulting PCAP As-Amended Draft is available for public review and testimony.
What's in the As-Amended Draft?
The PCAP Recommended Draft included four proposals to bring Portland into compliance with the state’s new rules:
- Remove minimum parking space requirements.
- Update and simplify maximum parking space requirements.
- Adopt “green features” development standards for new surface parking lots.
- Miscellaneous technical items.
City Council will also vote on two new proposed amendments from Commissioner Carmen Rubio that are incorporated into the As-Amended Draft, and which would change the “green features” development standards for new surface parking lots. As currently written, the Parking Compliance Amendments would trigger inclusion of the green features standards for new parking lots larger than ¼ acre (or about 10,000 sq ft) in size. The first proposed amendment would raise that threshold to ½ acre. The other amendment would reduce the amount of tree canopy required with the green features standards from 50% of the parking lot to 40%. Both amendments align the Parking Compliance Amendments with recent changes to the state rules.
These proposals are outlined in detail in the reports and memo below, all of which are available for public review and comment at the June 7 City Council hearing.
Excess parking significantly impacts housing and business costs, the feasibility of housing and business redevelopment, walkability, air and water pollution, climate pollution, and general community character. Parking mandates force people who don’t own or use cars to pay indirectly for other people’s parking. Planning practices of the past have imposed a one-size-fits-all requirement everywhere, creating incentives to own more cars and drive more.
In summer 2022, the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) approved the Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities (CFEC) rules, which require communities to change land use and transportation rules to help Oregonians meet their daily needs without driving and have more safe and comfortable ways to get around. There are several components to these rules, one of which is for communities to reduce or eliminate one-size-fits-all parking regulations, which is the focus of the Parking Compliance Amendments Project. Portland must implement these rules by June 30.
Have your say
Portlanders are invited to review the draft code amendments and provide testimony to the City Council either in person or in writing.
City Council will hold a public hearing on the Parking Compliance Amendments Project on June 7 at 3:30 p.m. In-person testifiers must sign up before the agenda item is heard.
Written testimony can be submitted online via the Map App or via U.S. Mail before the close of the hearing. Send U.S. Mail to: Council Clerk, Parking Compliance Amendments Project (PCAP) Testimony, 1221 SW 4th Ave, Room 130, Portland, OR 97204.
After City Council hears testimony, the Commissioners will discuss potential amendments to the proposals and likely vote on the package on June 7. The state rules require the parking code to be in effect by June 30, 2023.