Housing Regulatory Relief – Exemptions, Amendments, and Extensions of Land Use Review Decisions for Residential Projects

Portland City Council approved code amendments to provide housing regulatory relief on January 31, 2024, with an effective date of March 1, 2024. This page explains how those amendments impact land use review decisions for residential projects in exemptions, amendments, and extensions.

City Council approved the Housing Regulatory Relief code amendments on January 31, 2024 and this code is effective March 1, 2024. Within the approved ordinance, there are two allowances for projects that already have approved land use review decisions or have development permits under review.

Temporary exemptions and amendments that can be used by a residential project approved under a different code or have permits under review:

Typically, projects are reviewed under the Zoning Code in effect when a land use review application is submitted or, when a land use review is not required, when a building permit application is submitted. Under this ordinance Council approved the ability for projects with residential uses that have an approved land use review under a different code, to use some of the exemptions and amendments included in the Housing Regulatory Relief code. However, use of exemptions or amendments listed below cannot cause the project to go out of compliance with their approved land use review decision or conditions of approval. Additionally, use of exemptions or amendments cannot result in the project not meeting other development standards that apply to the project.

The ordinance says:

  1. Notwithstanding 33.700.080.A.2, nor 33.700.090.A, development with a residential use that has been or will be approved by a land use review that was deemed complete prior to March 1, 2024 and has not expired, and building or development permits with a residential use submitted prior to March 1, 2024 that have not expired and have not received final inspection, may be subject to the following zoning code provisions:
    1. 33.258.070.D.2.; (Non-conforming development upgrades “NCUs”)
    2. 33.266.200.B, Table 266-6, 33.266.210.D., and 33.266.310.C.1.; (bike parking regulations)
    3. 33.415.200; (Centers Main Street Overlay ground floor active uses)
    4. 33.510.225.C.1., and 33.510.255.I.; (Central City ground floor active uses, Central City Master Plan Amendments)
    5. 33.562.270.C.; (Northwest Plan District minimum active floor area)
    6. 33.595.130.B. (West Portland Multicultural Plan District ground floor active uses)

Extensions of Land Use Review Decisions

During COVID, Council extended the time the land use review decisions have to obtain an issued building permit. This period ended December 31, 2023. With this ordinance, Council further extended the land use review decisions.

The ordinance says:

  1. Within the city, notwithstanding 33.730.130, final decisions for land use reviews that became effective between March 8, 2017 and March 1, 2020 expire on March 1, 2025, if a City permit has not been issued for approved development or the approved activity has not commenced.

 If you have questions about use of these regulations related to your project you can schedule a 15 minute appointment to speak with a planner or schedule a zoning only early assistance meeting.