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PSC News: May 10, 2016 Meeting Recap

Solid Waste Rates — hearing / recommendation; Task 5: Mixed Use Zones Project — hearing


  • Solid Waste Rates — hearing / recommendation
  • Task 5: Mixed Use Zones Project — hearing

Meeting files

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

Recap of the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission Briefing (3/22/16) – Mixed Use Zones Project, Proposed Draft

The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission was briefed on the Mixed Use Zones Project on March 22, 2016.

The Proposed Draft of the Mixed Use Zones Project was released on March 22, 2016. Project staff gave a presentation to the Planning and Sustainability Commission that same day. Commissioners learned about proposed zoning and code changes in commercial zones that would address community concerns about the scale of new development, transitions to adjacent neighborhoods and the need for more affordable housing.

Watch the staff presentation:

Download a copy of the presentation:

Download the Mixed Use Zones Project Proposed Draft Zoning Code and Map Amendments report:

Upcoming public hearing

The Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold a public hearing and take testimony on the proposal on May 10, 2016, 12:30 p.m. at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500. Check the PSC Calendar to confirm the date, time and location. 

More details about the project and how to testify:  

Miscellaneous Zoning Code and Map Amendment Package Discussion Draft Released

Public invited to comment on proposals for a variety of zoning code and map changes

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has published a Discussion Draft of a series of proposed Zoning Code and Zoning Map amendments to implement new 2035 Comprehensive Plan policies or otherwise respond to Council direction. The miscellaneous code and map amendments considered in this proposal respond to a variety of issues not otherwise addressed in other Early Implementation Projects (e.g., Mixed Use Zones, Campus Institutions, Employment Land, Residential and Open Space Zoning Map), which have been presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Specific amendments proposed in the Miscellaneous Zoning Code and Map amendment package will:

  1. Allow retail plant nurseries as a conditional use in residential zones.
  2. Preserve rights to one house on lots that were buildable prior to down-zoning as part of the City’s natural hazard mitigation strategy.
  3. Amend multi-dwelling residential zone maximum FAR map (Map 120-17) to include several properties located in close-in Southwest Portland, which changed designations on the 2035 Comprehensive Plan Map.
  4. Allow established office uses in historic buildings to continue in the R5 zone as an incentive to preserve historic resources.
  5. Amend the Guild’s Lake Industrial Sanctuary plan district to limit office uses and expand the area where these limits apply.
  6. Address school district enrollment capacity during Zoning Map amendments, land divisions, and planned developments in a district that has a school facility plan.
  7. Delete requirement for addressing “no-net-loss of housing” policies for quasi-judicial Comprehensive Plan Map amendments and Zoning Map changes.
  8. Update the trail alignments designation on the Zoning Map to correspond to the Major Public Trail alignment adopted in the 2035 Comprehensive Plan.

Learn more about the project background and proposed Zoning Code text and map amendments on the project website.

Next Steps

Comments on the proposed amendments will be accepted through Friday, May 20, after which staff will consider the input received and prepare an amended Proposed Draft for consideration by the Planning and Sustainability Commission at a public hearing tentatively scheduled for July 26, 2016.

For additional information please contact John Cole, Project Manager at or 503-823-3475.

An investment in fresher air

Portland residents benefit from newer, cleaner garbage, recycling and composting trucks.

In 2008, City Council approved BPS clean fleet requirements for residential garbage, recycling and composting companies to follow when purchasing new trucks. Over the last seven years, these companies have been phasing in new trucks that release 90 percent less of the emissions that cause climate change, smog and soot.

Beginning this year, garbage, recycling and composting companies are required to replace trucks 12 years or older with new, more energy efficient vehicles. While it may sound counterintuitive to our reuse ethic, newer diesel engines are much cleaner than older trucks.

BPS staff conducted site visits to all 15 residential garbage, recycling and composting companies last fall to determine compliance with the 2016 residential clean fleet requirements. At these site visits, staff identified trucks, including older trucks, which can only be used as backup trucks on residential routes. Beginning in 2018, BPS will visit commercial garbage, recycling and composting companies to inspect and ensure trucks that are subject to the clean fleet requirements are in compliance.

Diesel trucks are required to use a minimum of 20 percent biodiesel, which reduces carbon emissions from the fuel used for collection services by 15 percent. Nearly half of Portland’s residential customers’ garbage, recycling and compost is collected by trucks using compressed natural gas, an even cleaner-burning fuel. As fueling infrastructure becomes available, we expect to see more haulers choose this more efficient, lower-cost fuel type. 

From BPS Director Susan Anderson: Happy Earth Day! It's time to celebrate -- Portland leads nation on climate action!

A 21 percent drop in Portland carbon emissions is cause for celebration.

Over the past decade, cities have become the epicenter of climate action. From recent events, such as Mayor Hales championing Portland’s 2015 Climate Action Plan on the global stage to our long-term focus on local climate action in every sector, Portland residents, businesses and government are making a difference.

We are thrilled to report that Portland is on its way to achieve the 80 percent carbon reduction goal established in 2009. Since the early 1990s, the City has set ambitious goals and taken steadfast action, and finally our hard work is paying off.

The results speak for themselves: Since 1990, Portland has reduced carbon emissions by 21 percent, while increasing population by more than 30 percent and total jobs by more than 20 percent. On a per-person basis, that’s equal to 40 percent less carbon pollution for every Portlander.

It’s fantastic to see this progress in every sector of the economy. For example:

  • Low-carbon transportation makes a huge difference. Gasoline sales are down seven percent, even with the 33 percent increase in population since 1990. This is the result of more Portlanders using public transit, walking or biking, driving shorter distances, driving more efficient vehicles, and using lower-carbon fuels including biodiesel and electric vehicles.
  • Energy efficiency saves money and reduces carbon emissions. As a result of energy efficiency investments, residential energy use has declined nearly 10 percent below 1990 levels, even as our homes have gotten larger.
  • Citywide recycling and composting works. Since 1990, emissions from Portland’s land-filled waste has decreased by 82 percent — thanks to residential and commercial recycling and composting, coupled with methane capture at the landfills.
  • Portland City government is walking the talk. Through energy efficiency projects, the City now saves more than $6 million annually on City government electricity and natural gas bills.
  • More of our electricity is generated from lower-carbon sources, such as wind, solar, hydro and natural gas.
  • More complete neighborhoods mean less energy use per person.By increasing the number of people who have access to wonderful, walkable neighborhoods with restaurants, stores, parks, libraries, grocery stores, breweries, schools and more, people are able to drive less, and walk and bike more. This means lower transportation costs and lower carbon emissions.

So what’s next for Portland?

Portland is significantly ahead of the national trend, but we have a way to go to meet our target to reduce emissions by 40 percent by 2030, and 80 percent by 2050. Nationally, total carbon emissions have actually increased by about 8 percent since 1990, while Portland total emissions have been reduced by 21 percent. So we are absolutely heading in the right direction, while growing a prosperous, healthy and more equitable community.

Recent actions indicate we can reach our goals by continuing to take action:

  • Walk, bike and take transit.
  • Drive more fuel-efficient or electric cars.
  • Compost and recycle, and buy durable goods that last.
  • Invest in solar on our homes or community solar projects.
  • Shift more utility power generation from coal to renewable energy sources, as required by new Oregon state law.
  • Insulate our homes and replace aging heating and cooling equipment.
  • Improve lighting, HVAC and other systems at local stores and office buildings, and in schools and public buildings.
  • Make cost-effective energy efficiency investments in industrial businesses.
  • Plant trees. They sequester carbon and shade our homes and buildings.

These actions can help reduce your carbon footprint and often can improve your health or save you money. Learn more at



Susan Anderson
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability