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WPTC Plan background and legislative process

Details about the background and legislative project steps for the West Portland Town Center Plan.
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Project background

The West Portland Town Center Plan (WPTC) is one of several efforts under the SW Corridor Inclusive Communities Project. It was funded by a Metro Construction Excise Tax (CET) grant in late 2018.

Along with the town center plan, an equitable community development action plan will help create a fuller range of commercial services and achieve some of the housing goals in the Southwest Corridor Equitable Housing Strategy (EHS).

In addition, the Public Involvement Plan will guide the process for planning for healthy, connected, and inclusive communities in the South Portland and West Portland Town Center future light rail station areas:

The intent is to ensure an open and equitable process to provide residents, workers and other interested parties meaningful opportunities to shape the quality of growth in their communities.

The West Portland Town Center Plan will carry forward key directions from the EHS as well as the 2035 Comprehensive Plan goals and policies of building inclusive, connected and healthy communities.

Project steps and timeline

The October 2020 Discussion Draft of the WPTC Plan was the first public draft of the Plan.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will publish a Proposed Draft in late Summer 2021. The Proposed Draft will be considered by the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC), which will take public testimony before deliberating on the proposal. They may make amendments based on testimony and their own expertise, then make a recommendation to City Council – the Recommended Draft.

Council will take public testimony on the WPTC Plan Recommended Draft, likely in late Fall 2021.  The Plan would take effect once City Council has adopted it.

Community engagement

Since April 2019, the project team hosted five major community engagement events, presenting opportunities to learn about the project and provide feedback. Early on, project partners engaged with the area’s immigrant and lower income renter communities. Community-based organizations like HAKI Community Organization, Unite Oregon and Community Alliance of Tenants received grants to connect with community members via door-to-door outreach and small group meetings. They shared information, answered questions, and helped these under-represented communities understand the planning effort and engage with the WPTC work. 

Community events in Spring and Summer 2019 helped identify the social context, needs and opportunities in the area. At a Fall 2019 WPTC Design Workshop, community members discussed what they wanted to see in the town center (e.g., new housing, commercial services, transportation changes and open spaces) and where these elements could or should be located.

Read a short handout summarizing what we have heard so far from community members:

In the latter half of 2020, the pandemic required the project team to shift outreach methods, building on earlier outreach and connecting with a wide range of community members via an online open house and survey. 

During the next phase of the project, which includes publication of Proposed Draft, engagement opportunities will include learning about the proposal via an online open house and interactive map, as well as providing testimony on the proposal to the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

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