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Portland City Council approves pilot deconstruction program

Pilot program will provide deconstruction training, education, technical assistance and financial incentives for innovative projects.

On June 3, Portland City Council unanimously approved a resolution instructing the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to establish a pilot program to advance deconstruction (disassembly of structures in order to salvage materials for reuse).  Mayor Hales said that Council is committed to moving fast on this issue. He also reiterated that the Portland community has shown a strong interest in moving in the direction of deconstruction as one of the ways to help address the recent increase in neighborhood demolition rates.

Members of Council and some testifiers also highlighted many of the benefits of deconstruction, including an increase in the amount of recovered materials that may be re-purposed and diverted from landfills, preservation of historic features and materials, a decrease in exposure to hazardous materials such as asbestos, and reduction of carbon emissions. .

The pilot program will provide deconstruction training, education, technical assistance and financial incentives for innovative projects. Deconstruction classes are scheduled to commence this fall, and BPS is expected to report back to Council on program status and next steps in January 2016. The pilot is funded through a grant from the Solid Waste Management Fund reserve, administered by BPS.

The design and execution of the pilot program will be conducted with continued discussion and input from the Deconstruction Advisory Group (DAG), convened in April. The group includes a wide range of experts including deconstruction contractors, salvage retail outlets, historic preservationists, developers, a recycler/hauler, the Bureau of Development Services (BDS), Mayor’s office, and Metro staff, as well as members of the Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) and United Neighbors for Reform.

More information about the Deconstruction Advisory Group, meeting minutes, calendar, and contact information are all available on the BPS website at To learn more about deconstruction, please visit the Construction & Demolition Debris section of the BPS website.

URL for full video of City Council proceedings:


Free Recycling Resources for Multifamily Properties

Portland’s Multifamily Waste Reduction Program helps property owners and managers reduce garbage and recycling mistakes.


As the new property manager for an apartment building in Northeast Portland, Marty realized he needed a little help in managing the garbage and recycling collection area. Every week he noticed an increase in recyclable items showing up in the garbage, and wanted to figure out how to stop it. Marty reached out to Portland’s Multifamily Waste Reduction Program for free garbage and recycling resources and onsite assistance to support his residents with successfully getting discarded items into the right containers.

With onsite assistance from the Multifamily Waste Reduction Program, including an assessment of current operations, Marty now has increased the number of recycling containers. He also received informational materials for residents who speak a language other than English and added durable multilingual signs to make the recycling, garbage and composting collection area more accessible and easier to use. Now, residents have a much easier time getting recyclable items in the right containers.

Since 2004, Portland’s Multifamily Waste Reduction Program has been working with property owners, managers and maintenance staff to make recycling, composting and waste disposal accessible and easy for residents. The program provides free educational materials and technical assistance to help prevent garbage and recycling mistakes, making a property manager’s job much easier.

Portland is growing and the Multifamily Waste Reduction Program, along with garbage and recycling companies, play an essential role in navigating the garbage and recycling challenges and opportunities inherent in the city’s multifamily housing development. Over the next few years, the program will focus on strengthening communication channels with existing property managers while establishing strong relationships with builders and property managers of new multifamily sites. The program will make every effort to streamline educational outreach to make it as clear, straightforward and effective as possible. Outreach efforts tailored to the specific needs of property owners and managers will ensure more multifamily households in Portland have the necessary tools and resources to increase and improve recycling efforts. 

Get free resources for your property today: 503-823-7224  |

PSC News: June 23, 2015 Meeting Recap

Revised Growth Scenarios Report — hearing; Comprehensive Plan — work session


  • Revised Growth Scenarios Report — heraing / recommendation
  • Comprehensive Plan — work session

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at

Draft code changes for accessory structures available for review

New rules proposed for the size, design and location of garages, ADUs, and other accessory structures

What do trellises, ADA ramps, air conditioning units and garages have in common? They’re all what’s called an “accessory structure” — or a smaller structure that’s an “accessory” to a house or residence. The City regulates their size, location and mass to minimize impacts on neighbors.

Through the Accessory Structures Zoning Code Update project, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is revising the City’s Zoning Code for accessory structures. It focuses on detached residential structures such as garages, storage sheds, home offices and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) as well as decks, trellises, ADA ramps and mechanical equipment. The new regulations will streamline regulations by emphasizing form (setbacks, height and bulk) over function (how the accessory structure is used) while continuing to address impacts on neighboring properties. 

The public is invited to review the Discussion Draft for the Accessory Structures Zoning Code Update.

The proposed amendments in the Discussion Draft will:

  • Expand the exemption that allows small one-story garages in side and rear setbacks to all detached covered accessory structures.
  • Set a building height maximum of 20 feet for all detached covered structures.
  • Require all detached covered accessory structures over 15 feet in height to meet revised compatibility standards.

The project focuses on detached accessory structures in residential zones, but code amendments are proposed within all the base zones as well as the accessory dwelling unit chapter in the Zoning Code.

The Accessory Structures Zoning Code Update Discussion Draft contains the staff proposal for code amendments and corresponding commentary.

A two-page summary provides a brief overview of the project and code changes, as well as a timeline for the review and hearing process.

Learn more at an open house

Project staff will hold an open house on July 9 from 5:30 - 8 p.m. to answer questions about the Discussion Draft. The open house will be in the Development Services Building, 1900 SW 4th Ave, Room 2500B (2nd floor).

Staff will also be making short presentations at neighborhood district coalition offices; check the Meetings and Events calendar for more information. 

Public comments on the Discussion Draft will be accepted until 5 p.m. on Friday, July 24, 2015.

Next Steps

Staff will consider public comments on the Discussion Draft when developing the Proposed Draft. The Proposed Draft will be presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) later in the summer, with an anticipated public hearing date in September. After hearing public testimony, the PSC will forward a recommendation to City Council for consideration and additional public review before final adoption.

Please check the Meetings and Events calendar for details on upcoming events.