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PSC News: July 14, 2015 Meeting Information

Powell-Division Transit and Development Project — briefing; Comprehensive Plan — work session

Agenda

  • Powell-Division Transit and Development Project — briefing
  • Comprehensive Plan — work session / recommendation

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/webdrawer.dll/webdrawer/search/rec?sm_class=uri_7223&count&rows=50.

Portland City Council Adopts New Climate Action Plan

New plan emphasizes equity and includes a new methodology for measuring carbon emissions from consumer choices.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

June 24, 2015

CONTACT 
Eden Dabbs
503-823-7007
eden.dabbs@portlandoregon.gov

Portland City Council Adopts New Climate Action Plan

New plan emphasizes equity and includes a new methodology for measuring carbon emissions from consumer choices.

Portland, Ore. —  Today, Portland City Council adopted the joint City of Portland and Multnomah County 2015 Climate Action Plan, strengthening local efforts to achieve an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. The 2015 Climate Action Plan builds on Portland’s 20+ year legacy of climate action with ambitious new policies and fresh research on consumer choices. Community leaders serving low-income households and communities of color were engaged to help ensure that all Portlanders benefit from the City and County’s climate action efforts.

Portland was the first city in the United States to adopt a local plan to cut carbon, and sustained efforts by businesses, public agencies and individuals are producing results. While total carbon emissions in the US are up 7 percent since 1990, Portland has cut total local emissions by 14 percent, despite adding 170,000 more people and 75,000 more jobs over the same time period. 

"Cities are a key part of the solution to climate change,” Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Equity is a key factor. As we reduce carbon, it is imperative that we ensure that the benefits and opportunities that come along are shared with every part of Portland. Especially with people who haven’t benefited in the past. This plan makes important commitments to advancing equity while we address climate change.”

“We all bear the costs of climate change, but seniors, children, the homeless and communities of color are impacted the most.” said Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury. “Worsening air quality, flooding and heat waves affect our health and well-being, and making our community climate resilient is a vital part of doing our job.”

“Thanks to the efforts of Portland residents, businesses and organizations who have worked to reduce their carbon footprint, local carbon emissions are down 35 percent per person,” said City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Susan Anderson. “This is promising progress, and we need to keep up the momentum to reach Portland’s climate goals.”

As global leaders grapple with the concerns and opportunities the changing climate presents, Portland has become an international destination for planners and decision-makers seeking proven strategies for climate action. Since 2010, more than 160 delegations from around the world have come to Portland to speak with business and government leaders to understand how Portland has lowered emissions while creating jobs, welcoming new residents and creating a more livable community. Portland and Multnomah County now have 12,000 clean tech jobs, an increase of 25 percent in the last 15 years.

Accomplishments and New Action

  • This summer TriMet will open Tilikum Crossing: Bridge of the People, the largest bridge in the United States to carry people on transit, bikes and on foot, but no cars. To accommodate the potential for higher river levels from climate change, the height of the bridge above the water was increased. The new plan calls for continued investments that expand active transportation options throughout Portland and ensure those infrastructure investments are resilient to the impacts of climate change. 
  • Over the last five years, Portland residents have installed more than 2,000 solar systems and more than 2,000 homeowners have insulated their houses. The new plan calls for doubling solar installations through efforts like community solar and continuing to weatherize homes at a faster rate than ever.
  • Recently the Portland City Council adopted an energy tracking and reporting policy for large commercial buildings. The City is working with building owners and managers to access resources and technologies to improve the energy performance of Portland’s largest 1,000 commercial buildings.
  • Recent changes to garbage and composting service have led to a 36 percent reduction in garbage headed to the landfill. Residential bills are flat or down three years in a row, while Portland’s recycling rate has reached 70 percent, one of the highest in the nation. The proposed draft focuses on boosting food scrap recover and multifamily recycling to raise those numbers even higher.

Engaging communities to advance equity

Portland is changing. More than half of the students in Portland Public Schools, for example, are people of color. Low-income communities and people of color in Multnomah County are likely to experience the impacts of climate change more acutely, including poor air quality and heat waves.

At the same time, these communities historically have not had the same access to the kinds of services and infrastructure that make low-carbon choices easier and affordable, such as frequent transit service and adequate sidewalks in East Portland or energy efficiency programs that benefit renters. From transportation investments and economic opportunities to tree plantings and policy engagement, the 2015 plan makes those actions that reduce disparities and ensure that under-served and under-represented communities share in the benefits of climate action work a priority.

Exploring what we consume

For the first time, the Climate Action Plan includes a consumption-based inventory, tallying carbon emissions associated with all of the goods and services that are produced elsewhere and consumed in Multnomah County. This inventory considers carbon emissions from the full lifecycle of goods and services, including production, transportation, wholesale and retail, use and disposal. Global carbon emissions as a result of local consumer demand are larger than the volume of emissions produced locally.

The addition of the consumption-based inventory offers insight into a wider range of opportunities to reduce carbon. Residents, for example, can shift purchases toward goods that are durable and repairable. Businesses have opportunities throughout their supply chains to choose lower-carbon options, and new business models like car-sharing are emerging to make it easier to borrow, repair and reuse everyday goods.

Next Steps

Tomorrow, June 25, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners will vote on adopting the plan. Find a copy of the plan and follow the progress at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/climate.

Learn more about how to take action at www.portlandcan.org.

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Media Advisory: Portland City Council to consider 2015 Climate Action Plan on June 24

Proposed plan contains revisions from public comment period, outlines next steps for achieving Portland and Multnomah County's carbon reduction goals.

MEDIA ADVISORY

CONTACT

Christine Llobregat
503-823-7007
christine.llobregat@portlandoregon.gov

WHO: Portland City Council, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

WHAT: On behalf of all City of Portland bureaus, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will present the proposed draft of the 2015 Climate Action Plan for adoption by Portland City Council on Wednesday, June 24. The plan updates Portland’s roadmap for the community to achieve an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, with an interim goal of a 40 percent reduction by 2030.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: City Council Chambers, Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Portland

WHY: In 1993, Portland was the first city in the United States to create a local action plan for cutting carbon. Since then, the City of Portland and Multnomah County have collaborated to produce updated climate plans that help guide the design and implementation of City and County efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Since 1990, total local carbon emissions have declined by 14 percent while 75,000 more jobs were added to the economy and the population grew by 31 percent. The plan being considered for adoption by City Council includes revisions based on comments and feedback from the public and outlines the actions the City and County will take in the next five years to keep Portland on the path of reducing local carbon emissions.

New focus areas include advancing equity and exploring consumption

Advancing equity: From transportation investments and economic opportunities to tree plantings and policy engagement, the proposed plan prioritizes actions that reduce disparities and ensure that under-served and under-represented communities share in the benefits of climate action work.

Exploring consumption: For the first time, the proposed plan includes a consumption-based inventory that counts carbon emissions associated with the goods and services that are produced elsewhere and consumed in Multnomah County. This inventory considers carbon emissions from the full lifecycle of goods and services, including production, transportation, wholesale and retail, use and disposal. Global carbon emissions as a result of local consumer demand are larger than the volume of emissions produced locally. The addition of the consumption-based inventory offers insight into a wider range of opportunities to reduce carbon.

Highlights of the proposed 2015 Climate Action Plan

  • The proposed plan calls for expanding active transportation options throughout Portland and ensure those infrastructure investments are resilient to the impacts of climate change. 
  • Given the strong momentum in Portland around home energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements, the proposed plan calls for doubling solar installations and continuing home weatherization efforts.
  • With a newly adopted energy tracking and reporting policy, the City will work with building owners and managers to improve the energy performance of Portland’s largest 1,000 commercial buildings.
  • Recent changes to garbage and composting service have led to a 36 percent reduction in garbage headed to the landfill. Residential bills are flat or down three years in a row, while Portland’s recycling rate has reached 70 percent, one of the highest in the nation. The proposed plan focuses on boosting food scrap recovery and multifamily recycling to raise those numbers even higher.

Comprehensive Plan inching its way toward City Council

Planning and Sustainability Commission scheduled to vote to recommend the new plan on July 14

On June 23, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) will hold its final work session to discuss the draft recommended plan. This draft is based on public testimony from six public hearings and more than 4,000 comments submitted via email and letters, and through the Map App. The Commission is tentatively scheduled to recommend the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan to City Council for consideration on July 14.

A final Recommended Draft (including goals, policies and land use map) will be published and sent to City Council in mid-August. Council will then hold a series of work sessions around topics such as employment land, housing, centers and corridors, mixed use zones and the Transportation System Plan. Starting in November, Portlanders will have a chance to testify in person at several public hearings on the Recommended Draft. Council will be accepting written comments from the time the final Recommended Draft is published in mid-August until the public hearings close.

Early Implementation: Zoning Code Updates

In the meantime, the early implementation projects (zoning code updates) for the Comprehensive Plan Update are moving forward. Discussion drafts for employment land, campus institutions, mixed use zones and other zoning updates will be released starting in July and extending into September. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff will accept comments on these drafts and use them when developing the project proposed drafts for the PSC.

Portlanders are invited to chat with city planners about how these new rules will affect their neighborhood during Neighborhood Office Hours throughout the city. Times and locations are posted on the Comprehensive Plan Update calendar.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN UPDATE PROCESS/TIMELINE

The 2035 Comprehensive Plan
(Land use map, policies, project list)

  • PSC vote to recommend the plan to City Council: July 2015
  • Transmittal of PSC’s Recommended Draft to City Council: Mid-August 2015
  • City Council holds work sessions: September – October 2015
  • City Council holds public hearings: November – December 2015
  • Council adopts the plan (goals, policies and land use map): January 2016
  • Oregon Department of Land Conservation & Development reviews adopted plan: 2016
  • Effective date: 2017

Early Implementation Projects
(Zoning code and zoning map updates)

  • Bureau of Planning and Sustainability releases Discussion Drafts (comments to BPS staff):

Employment zoning – July 2015

Campus institutions – July 2015

Mixed use zones – August 2015

Other zoning – September 2015

  • PSC holds public hearings and accepts written testimony on proposed drafts and recommendations: September 2015 – March 2016 
  • City Council holds public hearings: May – June 2016
  • City Council adopts new Comprehensive Plan: Summer 2016
  • Oregon Department of Land Conservation & Development reviews adopted plan: 2016
  • Effective date: 2017

Sign up to receive updates

While the draft Comprehensive Plan keeps moving forward, there is still a ways to go before the new plan goes into effect in the summer of 2017. So stay tuned and look for opportunities to engage in the process. Sign up to receive updates on the Comprehensive Plan Update.

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 https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/67421. To learn more about deconstruction, please visit the Construction & Demolition Debris section of the BPS website.

URL for full video of City Council proceedings: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/28258