City Council to consider updates to the Shelter to Housing Continuum Project

News Article
Portlanders invited to testify on new proposals to streamline the process of creating shelter for people experiencing houselessness, address code barriers, and unanticipated technical issues.

On Wednesday, February 8, City Council will hold a public hearing on recommended changes to the Shelter to Housing Continuum project, which was adopted in 2021. That project sought to address the crisis of houseless Portlanders by making it easier to site homeless shelters.

But as the City launched the Safe Rest Villages initiative and the Joint City-County Office of Homeless Services continued to operate existing facilities and open others, several implementation issues arose as shelter operators sought to permit new outdoor shelters in Portland.

Addressing the problem through code amendments

To resolve those code barriers and unanticipated technical issues, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability proposed several refinements through the supplemental Shelter to Housing Continuum – Part 2 (S2HC2) project. Last fall, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) held a public hearing on the code changes, and the PSC is now recommending that City Council adopt them.

The S2HC2 Recommended Draft is available for public review and comment. A public hearing on these amendments will be held at the City Council on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m.

What’s in the Recommended Draft?

The S2HC2 Recommended Draft includes code changes that clarify the new outdoor shelter use added to the Zoning Code with the original S2HC, including:

  • Outdoor Shelter Standards: These amendments clarify the development standards that outdoor shelters must meet. They also resolve a technical issue re: the size of industrially zoned sites that can be used for outdoor shelters.
  • Temporary Activities Rules: For shelters allowed using the Temporary Activities chapter of the Zoning Code, these amendments clarify that new permanent structures or alterations are not allowed with a temporary activity, and outdoor shelters can temporarily occupy a parking area on a site.
  • Conditional Uses: The amendments clarify when a conditional use land use review is triggered for changes on sites with an existing conditional use.

Have your say

Portlanders are invited to review these code amendments and provide testimony on them to the City Council either in person or in writing.

In person

The City Council will hold a public hearing on the S2HC2 amendments on Wednesday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. Register to testify at the hearing.

In writing

Written testimony can be submitted via the Map App.

Next steps

City Council will meet again to discuss potential amendments to the proposals, tentatively scheduled for February 15, at which time they will likely vote on any amendments and whether to adopt the recommended package. Check the project page for updates.