Commissioner Rubio Updates Zoning Code to Support Housing Production and Offer Flexibility for Home-Based Businesses

News Article

On Thursday Portland City Council unanimously passed a package of more than 80 updates to the zoning code that will help expand economic opportunity. Commissioner Carmen Rubio introduced the code amendments as part of her efforts to advance housing production despite ongoing market challenges. 

“Having regulations that are clear, simple, and easy to implement ensures Portland is a good partner to the development community,” Rubio said. “This is particularly important as we respond to the housing emergency and lasting economic impacts of the pandemic by doing everything possible to increase housing production and support small businesses. It’s simply good governance.”

The Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package proposes many minor policy and technical amendments to the zoning code. These amendments will make it easier for permit customers building housing in Portland and staff to understand and implement the code.

The package also includes a set of amendments that will allow more flexibility for people operating small businesses out of their homes. These changes relax the rules for Portlanders operating home-based businesses by increasing the number of customers and employees that can come to their site, and by allowing these types of businesses to be operated on a property with an accessory dwelling unit.

In addition, the package will bring the City’s zoning code into alignment with State rules, such as those covering new childcare facilities. This will provide permitting customers with a user-friendly resource to find all the zoning rules on one place. 

This new package is the latest in a series of actions from Commissioner Rubio to identify every lever that City government can pull to advance housing production. These accomplishments include identifying barriers to housing production and providing regulatory relief, securing funds for land banking for future homeownership development, and recalibrating the Inclusionary Housing program. Under Commissioner Rubio’s leadership, City Council also recently approved a new permitting bureau, a critical step toward creating a one-stop shop to help Portlanders get projects done safely and efficiently.  


Jimmy Radosta

Communications Director for Commissioner Carmen Rubio