Good Neighbor Agreement for Recreational Fields

For more than fifty years, Portland Parks & Recreation and Portland Public Schools
have worked together to provide thousands of children, youth, and adults sports
programming and recreational opportunities on hundreds of sports fields in almost
every neighborhood in the city.

Policy Statement

March 4, 1933, Roosevelt stated: "In the field of world policy I would dedicate this nation to the policy of the good neighbor--the neighbor who resolutely respects himself and, because he does so, respects the rights of others."

Good Neighbor Plans have been used extensively as a tool to engage in collaborative problem solving with communities around issues of land use, housing, crime prevention and siting for decades.

Rather than relying on legal strategies, communities, interest groups and governments come together in the spirit of collaboration and partnership to enhance neighborhood livability, develop unique and local solutions and initiate and sustain healthy partnerships and establish mechanism for accountability. The ultimate decision about what being a Good Neighbor means in practice is local: each community is different and there are different issues within the communities depending on the size and level of activity of the park.

While City Code specifically references the use of Good Neighbor Agreements in relation to liquor outlets and convenience stores, they are not incorporated in regards to other parts of the code.

City Code as it applies to sports fields, limits the ability of Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland Public School and the community to come together as partners, sharing a common community to work out the details of that relationship in a more finessed manner. Rather, the code relies heavily on conditional use reviews to handle issues that may arise due to changes in field use. This heavy reliance on conditional use reviews limits all parties in their ability to have their issues identified and addressed. Conditional use reviews often result in “Winners” and “Losers” often leaving stressed relationships and universally dissatisfied participants.


Good Neighbor Agreement (GNA) – A document detailing the history, concerns, agreements and outcomes developed to address impacts associated with changes in use to recreational fields.

Stakeholder – anyone who is impacted by the changes in use to recreational fields. Could be a neighbor, user, business, public agency, neighborhood organization, school, etc. 

Neighbor – Any business, organization, home within 400 feet of the specified site. Portland Parks & Recreation, Portland Public Schools, businesses and homeowner are neighbors.

Recreational Field – An outdoor area used formally for organized sports play. Examples include but are not limited to baseball, soccer, softball, lacrosse, rugby, and other fields.

View the full PP&R Good Neighbor Agreement