Residential Infill Project moves forward with Council direction

RIP team will begin transforming the adopted Concept Report into specific code and mapping changes.

Following City Council’s adoption of the Residential Infill Project Concept Report in December 2016, staff has begun “translating” the recommended concepts into specific code and mapping changes. Reflecting community input, the Council-approved and amended concepts would:

  • Reduce the maximum size of new houses and remodels in single-dwelling zones.
  • Establish a Housing Opportunity Overlay Zone that will allow more housing types (i.e., houses with two ADUs, duplexes, duplexes with detached ADUs, and triplexes on corner lots) in selected areas near centers and corridors with good access to neighborhood services.
  • Refine the boundary of the Housing Opportunity Overlay Zone to consider property lines, physical barriers, natural features, topography and infrastructure constraints.
  • Provide added flexibility for internal conversions of existing houses citywide.
  • Increase flexibility for cottage clusters on large lots citywide.
  • Explore incentives for age-friendliness, affordability and tree preservation.
  • Not allow historically narrow lots to be built on in the R5 zone.
  • Make citywide improvements to the R2.5 zone.
  • Revise parking rules for houses on narrow lots.

Council Documents 

For more information about the concepts, see Council's Final Concept Report as well as a Summary of Council’s Adopted Concepts. Both of these documents have incorporated Council’s amendments. A Matrix of Council’s Amendments, arranged by topic area, has been prepared by staff.

Read news about the amendments published shortly after City Council voted on the RIP Concept Report on December 7.

Next steps

Mayor Ted Wheeler has directed Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff to bring a recommendation on the RIP housing overlay zone boundary to the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) for public hearings and deliberations. The boundary will reflect the goals for the project as well as constraints, such as whether transportation and sewer infrastructure can handle the additional demand. The boundary may also be adjusted based on physical barriers and natural features and will be reviewed for potential economic, housing affordability and equity impacts.

This fall, prior to the PSC hearings, community members will have an opportunity to review the draft code changes and zoning map amendments. The PSC is expected to forward their recommendation to City Council by Spring 2018.

Staff is planning to conduct a check-in with the community later this spring. Stay tuned for more information on the timeline and upcoming ways to participate in the project.

For more information

Morgan Tracy, Project Manager,, 503-823-6879
Julia Gisler, Public Involvement,, 503-823-7624

For general information about the project, visit the website at