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About RICAP 10

View of downtown and East portland with Mt Hood in background
Project purpose, background, steps and timeline.
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Project purpose

The Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Packages (RICAP) are an ongoing series of updates and improvements to Portland’s land use regulations. RICAP addresses simpler technical matters, clarifications, and refinements to the existing zoning code. Issues that require major policy changes are not addressed through RICAP; rather, they are evaluated through separate legislative projects.

RICAP 10 considers over 80 items for possible regulatory improvement, with an emphasis on three themes: housing production, economic development, and regulatory reduction.

The dozens of items are bundled to align with those three themes:

  • Housing production
    • Ground floor and ground floor façades
    • Design Overlay Zone
    • Historic Resource Overlay Zone
  • Economic development
    • Central City
    • Home occupations
    • Temporary activities
  • Regulatory reduction
    • State and local compliance
    • Land use review process
    • Miscellaneous items

Project background

Portland’s current zoning code was originally adopted in 1990. Over time, changing needs, new laws and court rulings, new technology and innovations, and shifting perceptions required that the City’s regulations be updated and improved.

The City of Portland initiated the Regulatory Improvement Program in 2002 as a way to “update and improve City building and land use regulations that hinder desirable development.” One component of the program, the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Packages (RICAP), was designed to provide an ongoing vehicle for technical and minor policy amendments to the City’s land use regulations.

From 2003 to 2010, City Council adopted eight packages of amendments, which resulted in many amendments to city regulations. Following a suspension of the program from 2010 to 2013 due to budget limitations, the program was reinstated with RICAP 6 through 8. Another suspension of the program occurred from 2016 to 2022, again due to budget constraints. An archive of prior regulatory improvement packages is available online.

In the last couple of years, through Permitting Improvement Task Force discussions, a renewed focus on continuous improvement of the City’s zoning regulations evolved, and the value of the RICAP program was affirmed.

In 2022, there was a renewed focus on providing opportunities for continuous improvement of the City’s zoning regulations through discussions of the Permitting Improvement Task Force. The goals of the Task Force spanned bureaus, regulations, and processes, but this work resulted in identifying the value of the RICAP program. The City Council approved the budget to reinstate the program starting in fiscal year 2022‐2023. Resolution No. 37593 further directed the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to address zoning issues related to affordable housing with this regulatory improvement package. The first package under this reinstatement is labeled RICAP 10.

Project steps and timeline

July 2023 – RICAP 10 workplan released

Summer 2023 – Project staff drafted RICAP 10 zoning code amendment package

November 8, 2023 – RICAP 10 Discussion Draft releases for public review and comment

February 1, 2024 – Proposed Draft released for public testimony

February 27, 2024 – Planning Commission public hearing

March/April 2024 – Planning Commission work session and recommendation

May 15, 2024 – Recommended Draft released for public testimony

May 30, 2024 – Public hearing at Portland City Council

June 2024 – City Council adoption

October 1, 2024 - RICAP 10 amendments effective