City Council approves all six Residential Infill Project amendment packages

News Article
Staff to return on August 5, 2020, with “As-amended” draft.

On July 9, 2020, City Council unanimously passed five of six amendment packages for the Residential Infill Project, including the Deeper Affordability Bonus and the Historic Resource Demolition Disincentive. With this action, the entire RIP package is one step closer to adoption. 

Ensuring compliance with SB 534 

Amendment Package #3 (alignments with Senate Bill 534) passed with a 3-1 vote, Commissioner Amanda Fritz dissenting. Package #3 was necessary to bring the City into compliance with SB534 mandates requiring Oregon cities to allow development of a house on any legally platted lot, with certain exceptions for environmental and public safety issues.  

Commissioner Fritz voted against this amendment based on her objections to SB534 overriding local government’s control determining the developability of certain lots. 

Deeper affordability bonus 

Amendment Package #6 added a new deeper affordability bonus, which allows up to six units when at least half are income restricted to families earning less than 60% of the median family income.  

“I want to really appreciate all the community members and organizations that came out and demanded that we build deeper affordability into RIP,” noted Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty before she voted. “I also applaud my colleagues … who pushed and demanded that we add this component to the package.” 

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, who co-introduced and sponsored the amendment with the Mayor, stated, “This amendment will allow affordable housing developers to be more competitive in RIP zones. While it won’t on its own prevent displacement or ensure affordable housing at the levels we need it, it will help.” 

“This is one of the elements of the Residential Infill Project that I do enthusiastically support as this is for the people and not for the developers.” Commissioner Fritz commented, “I appreciate that this was added, and I commend Commissioner Eudaly for sticking to it and insisting on the visitability requirement.”  

Mayor Wheeler concluded the vote on this amendment with appreciation as well. ”I first want to express my gratitude to the community members who have been championing this amendment. Thank you to our affordable housing developers, who have expressed their intent and desire to use this bonus. And thank you to the organizations who are organized around inclusive smart growth – like Portland Neighbors Welcome and anti-displacement advocacy organizations.” 

Historic resources protections 

Regarding Amendment Package #7, which restricts the development of triplexes and fourplexes on sites where a historic resource has been demolished without first receiving demolition approval, Commissioner Eudaly observed: “This mirrors the changes we made with Better Housing by Design. It will discourage demolitions in the short term and act as a stop gap measure until the Historic Resource project is in place and we have new regulations.” 

Commissioner Fritz was enthusiastic about this amendment. ”Thank you to Peggy Morretti [Restore Oregon] and Kristin Minor [Historic Landmarks Commission] for making the case. It shows that you can have infill development and still preserve the historic resources which we have so few of.” 

Mayor Wheeler noted the need for the amendment but included a cautionary note as the Historic Resources rules are being drafted:  

“Restricting growth in specific areas for a certain amount of time can arguably hinder the City’s  progress in reaching our comprehensive plan, climate action plan, and equity goals and objectives” he noted. However, on balance … this amendment gives the necessary time for Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff to propose a strategy to City Council for how to balance adaptive reuse of buildings and districts that have historic significance with our need to accommodate more growth.”  

Watch the July 9 hearing

You can also watch past and upcoming hearings on the Council’s YouTube channel or at

Read more about all six amendment packages:

Next steps 

With the passage of these six amendments, staff will make the necessary changes to the staff report, code amendments and related explanatory commentary. These will be packaged into an “As-amended Draft.” City Council will then convene on August 5, 2020 to review and accept the draft and vote on the ordinance package as a whole at a subsequent meeting (second reading). 

  • Council votes on As-amended Draft  — August 5, 2020  

  • Second reading of ordinance — TBD 

  • Platted lot rules related to SB534 — effective 30 days after second reading 

  • Remainder of project effective — August 1, 2021 

For more information about the project 

Browse the project website

Use the Map App to learn more about how the proposals affect particular properties.