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Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Recycle right when school starts and routines resume

Muhumed Noor, SummerWorks intern at Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), offers his insights on going back to school and how one of his chores includes collecting the garbage and recycling at home.

“While I have finished high school and am now taking classes at Mt Hood Community College, I still live at home and am expected to help out with chores. I live in an apartment with my little sister and my dad, and I am responsible for taking out the garbage and recycling. This became one of my chores because my dad saw my messy room and told me to clean it up. My room had stuff spread out all over it, like clothes and shoes, water bottles, papers and a little garbage on floor.

When I cleaned my room, I started by collecting everything together to put in one place (the garbage), but realized that many of the items can be recycled or even reused.

Back in Kenya, where I used to live, people don’t know about sorting things for garbage or recycling. There was one place to put whatever came their way. Since working at BPS this summer, I have had a chance to learn many aspects of sustainability, including more about garbage and recycling. I have come to understand what materials go in which containers and why it matters to sort out items that can be recycled.”

Get the right materials in the right place

Whether you’re a renter or live in your own home, the same materials are accepted for recycling in Portland. It is the system itself that varies, based on residential or multifamily services.

Much of the activity related to recycling happens in our kitchens, family rooms, home offices, bedrooms and bathrooms. Increase the chance that things get in the right container by creating easy strategies throughout the house. One principal to good recycling is to provide a recycling container everywhere where there is a garbage can.


Items may get tossed in the garbage that could be recycled if you only have one container and no one committed to take care of the waste. If you only have a recycling container in one place, garbage might end up in your recycling. Check the two containers to ensure that waste materials are in the right one before emptying out into the roll carts or containers. People often make decisions about where to throw things away by looking into the container and seeing what is already there rather than reading signs or asking questions. One person’s mistake can quickly become a household or multifamily community norm.Mix paper, plastic and metal together. Keep glass bottles and jars in a separate area inside the home before taking them out to the bin or container for glass only.

Do you live in an apartment and want information on garbage and recycling? Find information online about multifamily communities of five units and more.

Do you live in a house or smallplex (2-4 units) and want a detailed list of what goes in your curbside containers?  Find information online or download a guide in 10 languages.

PSC News: September 8, 2015 Meeting Recap

R/W #7920 — consent; Solid Waste Rates — briefing; Urban Services Boundary — briefing


  • R/W #7920 NE Wielder St and NE Halsey St east of NE 32nd Ave — consent
  • Solid Waste Rates — briefing
  • Urban Services Boundary — briefing 

Meeting files

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

Early Implementation projects for Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan are here – or coming soon

Public invited to review and comment on discussion/proposed drafts for employment land, campus institutions and mixed use zones.

While the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) voted on July 28 to recommend Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan to City Council, other projects that will help implement the new plan are in the pipeline.

These projects either address a state mandate or implement a key component of the new Comprehensive Plan. They will become effective after the plan is adopted by City Council. The public is invited to learn about and give feedback on the Early Implementation projects, including the following projects that have or will soon have drafts out for review.

Campus Institutional Zoning Project

A discussion draft for the Campus Institutional Zoning Project was released in early August, and the comment period is open until September 14, 2015. This project increases the development capacity of Portland’s college and hospital campuses to accommodate the projected demand for new construction and job growth over the next 20 years, while protecting surrounding neighborhoods from potential negative impacts. A proposed draft is expected in October. Learn more at

Employment Zoning Project

The public can expect a Proposed Draft on the Employment Zoning Project on September 21.This project implements new policies to achieve more efficient use of industrial land and mixed employment areas, while also protecting neighborhood livability and watershed health. Outcomes include code changes to Industrial (IG) and General Employment (EG) zones and zoning map changes for new mixed employment areas. Learn more at

Mixed Use Zones Project

The Mixed Use Zones Discussion Draft is scheduled to be published in late September. This project will develop new mixed use zoning designations and revise Portland’s commercial and central employment zoning codes currently applied in centers and corridors outside of the Central City. The project addresses issues that arise with new more intensive mixed use buildings, such as massing and design, transitions and step-downs, and ground floor uses. The comment period on the Discussion Draft will close on October 30, 2015. Learn more at

Discussion versus Recommended Drafts

Each project presents multiple opportunities for the public to provide feedback. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) staff will first publish a Discussion Draft (including policy, code and/or map changes), which serves as an initial proposal to stimulate discussion. Public comments on this draft may be submitted directly to project staff and are considered when developing the Proposed Draft. The Proposed Draft is staff’s proposal for the public and Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) to review. The PSC holds public hearings on the Proposed Draft and invites public comments in the form of written or oral testimony. After considering public testimony and deliberating, the PSC recommends revisions to the Proposed Draft to produce a new Recommended Draft that is forwarded to City Council for adoption.

So far, the Employment Zoning Project and Campus Institutional Zoning Project have both released Discussion Drafts. These drafts are the first opportunity for the public to review new policy, code and/or map changes and give feedback directly to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS). Staff will consider all comments on the discussion draft when writing proposed drafts for their projects. The public will then have the opportunity to review the proposed draft and provide testimony to PSC at public hearings. Check the PSC calendar for dates, times and tentative agendas.

Early Implementation Timeline & Commenting



Opportunities for providing feedback

If yes, to whom?

Summer 2015

Release of Discussion Drafts for Employment Zoning Project and Campus Institutional Zoning projects

Yes – The public may give feedback to staff, who will consider it when developing a  proposed draft

BPS staff

Summer/Fall 2015

Release of Proposed Draft for Employment Zoning Project

Yes – The public may provide written testimony to the PSC, who will consider it when developing a Recommended Draft

Planning and Sustainability Commission

Fall 2015

Release of Discussion Drafts for Mixed Use Zones Project and Zoning Map Update

Yes – The public may give feedback to staff, who will consider it when developing a Proposed Draft

BPS staff

Fall 2015

Release of the Proposed Draft for Campus Institutional Zoning and Mixed Use Zones Projects

Yes – The public may provide written testimony to the PSC, who will consider it when developing a Recommended Draft

Planning and Sustainability Commission

Fall 2015

PSC’s public hearings and recommendations on Employment Zoning and Campus Institutional Zoning Projects

Yes – Testimony may be submitted in writing or given orally at public hearings

Planning and Sustainability Commission

Winter 2016

PSC’s public hearings and recommendations on Mixed Use Zones Project and Zoning Map Update

Yes – Testimony may be submitted in writing or given orally at public hearings

Planning and Sustainability Commission

More Early Implementation projects are on their way this fall and winter. Check back here and/or subscribe to the Comprehensive Plan Update E-News by sending an email to


Portland’s New Comprehensive Plan to be Considered by City Council

Portlanders can now review the Recommended Draft and testify to City Council in writing, via the Map App or at a public hearing

Last month Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) voted to recommend a new Comprehensive Plan to City Council. With the release of the PSC’s Recommended Draft on August 24, 2015, Portlanders are invited to review the draft and submit their testimony to City Council.

At the request of the PSC, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) incorporated a list of amendments to improve the Plan’s ability to address economic prosperity, human and environmental health, equity and resiliency. The PSC’s amendments are now reflected in an updated land use map, goals and policies document, and a list of significant projects.

Portland's new Comprehensive Plan will help the City prepare for expected population and job growth. The Recommended Draft includes elements that address housing, transportation, environmental protection, economic development, infrastructure improvements and community involvement.

See the Comprehensive Plan Recommended Draft

Interactive Map App

The Recommended Draft also includes a revised Map App, which allows community members to click on or search for a specific property to view any recommended land use changes. Most of the city will keep the same land use designation (residential, employment, open space, etc.); only 14 percent of the area of the city will be subject to change if City Council adopts the Recommended Draft. Visit the Map App at

The bureau has set up a helpline to answer questions about the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan. Community members may call 503-823-0195, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Staff will be on hand to answer questions; interpretation services are also available for those whose first language is not English.

Additionally, the City’s District Liaisons will be holding drop-in hours throughout the city this fall to answer questions. Check the Comprehensive Plan calendar for dates, times and locations.

How to Comment

The public is invited to comment on the Recommended Draft directly to City Council via the following methods:


Map App:

U.S. Mail: 

Comprehensive Plan Testimony c/o Council Clerk
1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 130
Portland, OR 972014

In person:   

November 19, 2015, 2 p.m.
Portland City Hall
1221 SW 4th Avenue, Council Chambers

Public involvement timeline

With the publication of the PSC’s Recommended Draft and launch of the Map App, City Council’s official record opens. To give Council and the public time to review and understand the recommendations in the draft 2035 Plan, Commissioners will hold their own work sessions with staff on key topics from September through November.  

The first public hearing at City Council will be on November 19, with other hearings to be scheduled soon after. Council will then hold additional work sessions to consider amendments to the Recommended Draft. A City Council vote to adopt Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan is anticipated in February 2016. Once the Plan has been adopted, it then goes to the State Land Conservation and Development Commission for acknowledgement.

  • September – December 2015: City Council staff work sessions
  • November 19, 2015: City Council hearing @ 2 p.m.
  • November – December 2015: Additional City Council hearings
  • January 2016: Additional work sessions to consider amendments
  • February 2016: Anticipated City Council vote to adopt the 2035 Comprehensive Plan

Early implementation projects

There are several Early Implementation projects for the new Comprehensive Plan currently underway, including zoning code updates for employment land, campus institutions and mixed use areas. Portlanders will have additional opportunities to weigh in on drafts of these projects as they come before the PSC. Check the Comprehensive Plan Update website for news about those projects at

Accessory Structures Zoning Code Update heads to Planning and Sustainability Commission for Hearing

Proposed Draft revises rules for garages, home offices, greenhouses, accessory dwelling units and other accessory structures

BPS staff have released the Accessory Structures Zoning Code Update Proposed Draft in preparation for the upcoming Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) public hearing on September 22,2015.

The Accessory Structures Zoning Code Update is revising the City's Zoning Code regulations, focusing on detached accessory structures associated with residential development. This includes structures such as garages, storage sheds, home offices, greenhouses and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) as well as decks, trellises and mechanical equipment.

The project aims to streamline the regulations by emphasizing form (setbacks, height and bulk) over function (how the accessory structure is used) while continuing to address impacts on neighboring properties. Specifically, the proposed amendments:

  • Expand the exemption that allows small one-story garages in side and rear setbacks to other detached accessory structures.
  • Set a uniform building height maximum of 20 feet for all detached accessory structures.
  • Require all detached covered accessory structures more than 15 feet high to meet revised compatibility standards for exterior finish materials, roof pitch, trim, windows and eaves.
  • Provide additional flexibility for mechanical equipment installations related to single-dwelling development.
  • Reformat regulations to improve clarity.

The Proposed Draft updates the public Discussion Draft, which was released in June. The Proposed Draft includes staff consideration of the comments received during the outreach period. The Proposed Draft is the staff recommendation for PSC consideration and recommendation at their hearing. The public is invited to attend and/or submit testimony on the proposal.

PSC Hearing Details

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission - Public Hearing
Tuesday September 22, 2015, 5p.m. **
1900 SW 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Room 2500A
** Please check the PSC calendar approximately one week before the hearing for a more specific time and additional details.

View the PSC agenda:

View the Proposed Draft:

Detailed instructions for submitting testimony: