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ENB-10.10 - Central City 2035 Concept Plan

Non-Binding City Policies (NCP)
Policy category
Policy number


Non-Binding City Policy



WHEREAS, the Central City is the economic, cultural, and transportation hub of thePortlandmetropolitan region; and

WHEREAS, the adopted Portland Plan, Resolution No. 36918 on April 25, 2012, recognizes the Central City as one of the five district areas; and

WHEREAS, the Central City plays a critical role in fulfilling the vision of the Portland Plan for a prosperous, educated, healthy and equitable city; and

WHEREAS, the 1972 Downtown Plan and the 1988 Central City Plan established the foundations for collaborative public and private partnerships to strengthened the Central City as a vibrant commercial center and a great place to live, work, shop and visit; and

WHEREAS, the Central City Plan, adopted by City Council Ordinance No. 160606 and Resolution No. 34417 on March 24, 1988, is the guiding City policy document for the Central City; and

WHEREAS, the Central City Plan successfully accomplished 88 percent of the nearly 465 actions, and is in need of being updated to respond to changes in global economic and environmental conditions and the needs of local business and a growing diverse community; and

WHEREAS, the proposed CC2035 framework continues the principle of stepping down building heights to the river originally stated in Central City Plan (1988) and used in subsequent refinement plans including South Waterfront plan (2002) and the Centennial Mills Framework Plan (2006); and

WHEREAS, the City of Portland is undertaking a needed update to the Central City Plan through a project called Central City 2035, part of the update of the City’s Comprehensive Plan; and

WHEREAS, a diverse group of other interested stakeholders, including residents, business owners, area institutions, regional agencies, and city bureaus worked with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to draft a long-range plan for the future of Portland’s Central City; and

WHEREAS, the Central City 2035 Plan is a multi-phase planning effort that will update the Central City Plan, including the Central City’s eight districts through a quadrant planning process, and would amend the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Code; and

WHEREAS, the Central City 2035 Concept Plan, attached as Exhibit A, is a broad framework with guiding policies, goals and an urban design direction which will guide the development of quadrant / district plans for the Central City; and

WHEREAS, the Central City 2035 Plan including the quadrant plans and subsequent amendments would provide the basis for future public and private investments and decision making in the Central City to insure that the Central City fulfills its role as identified in the Portland Plan; and

WHEREAS, more than 1,000 community members contributed to this highly participatory planning process, and the Central City 2035 Steering Committee recommends the adoption of the Central City 2035 Concept Plan; and

WHEREAS, Central City Steering Committee recognized that the Central City 2035 Concept Plan was the first step in amending the Central City Plan and anticipates the manifestation of Concept Plan directives into quadrant plans and amendments to the Zoning Code to ensure successful implementation of a key element of the Portland Plan;

WHEREAS, the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission held a public hearing on September 11 and September 25, 2012 and unanimously recommended that City Council adopt the Central City 2035 Concept Plan;


NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Portland adopts the Central City 2035 Concept Plan, attached as Exhibit A, as Non-Binding City Policy; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, in collaboration with community, regional agencies and other City bureaus, is directed to complete the long-range quadrant planning work outlined in the Central City 2035 Concept Plan and submit to City Council by June 2015 an ordinance that adopts the final Central City 2035 Plan and amends the Portland Comprehensive Plan and Map and Zoning Code and maps in conformance with the Plan; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the urban design principle that calls for stepping down building height to the river will remain in effect unless a city wide public involvement process occurs that calls out specific changes that address how and why exceptions to this rule should occur; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the above direction to submit an ordinance to the City Council is not a land use decision within the meaning of ORS 197.015(10) because this direction is not a final determination of the City Council concerning the adoption, amendment, or application of the Statewide Planning Goals, a comprehensive plan, or a land use regulation; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City Council gratefully acknowledges the excellent work and dedication of the Central City 2035 Advisory Group and Central City 2035 Steering Committee as well as numerous community members who participated in the planning process.

Link to Exhibit A - Central City 2035 Concept Plan  (PDF Document, 2 MB)


Resolution No. 36970, adopted by City Council October 24, 2012.

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