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BPS assists community orchard group in Lents neighborhood

Friends of Malden Court Community Orchard invites public to community design meeting towards a more healthy connected neighborhood.

A vacant lot overrun with invasive blackberries in the Lents neighborhood — considered a neighborhood eyesore — will soon be transformed into a
community orchard and gathering place. The Friends of Malden Court Community Orchard neighborhood group is about to involve neighborhood residents in the next steps of placemaking: design meetings. The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) have provided financial support through a Community Watershed Stewardship Grant and project planning and siting support.

“The one-third acre site was identified in the 2005 Diggable City project that created an inventory of surplus city properties with potential for growing food and providing a community benefit,” explained Steve Cohen, Sustainable Food program manager at BPS. “It took awhile to figure out the best use for the land, identify neighborhood partners, and secure the non-profit Green Lents, who will act as the fiscal agent. We are so lucky to work with such a dedicated group of volunteers.”

Green Lents will lease the land from the City of Portland on behalf of the Malden Court Community Orchard project. The Lents property was acquired by the City in August 1992 from Multnomah County Tax Title to be used for the public good in service of the programs and goals of the Bureau of Environmental Services.

From permaculture to fruit tree varieties to interpretive signage, all site ideas will emerge from community meetings

The community orchard will be located on Malden Court where SE 87th Avenue meets the Springwater Corridor, but design meetings will be held at the following locations at the following dates and times:

Saturday, November 15 | 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. 
St. Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Church ( 7715 SE 92ND Ave.)

Wednesday, November 19 | 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m
Kelly Elementary School Cafeteria (9030 SE Cooper St)

Refreshments and snacks will be provided.

  • For more information about the design meetings, contact April Jamison, or (971) 266-4196.
  • Follow the project on the web at:
  • For more information about how the City of Portland has participated in this project, contact Steve Cohen at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 503-823-4225. 

Portlanders share their homes

New regulations make short-term rentals legal

Thanks to new regulations crafted by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Portlanders can now legitimately rent bedrooms in their homes to guests staying fewer than 30 days. The new rules allow residents to rent out up to two bedrooms in their single-dwelling residence with a low-cost permit, provided they live in their residence at least nine months a year.

The new regulations, which were passed unanimously by City Council in July, require a City inspection and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Operators of short-term rentals must notify their neighbors, post their permit number on their listings, and remit transient lodging taxes to the City. For more information about short-term rental permits, please the Bureau of Development Services webpage

Mayor Charlie Hales released a proposal that would expand these new rules to cover multi-dwelling buildings, including apartments and condominiums. City Council will consider such amendments at a public hearing on November 19. More information about the proposal is available on the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Program (RICAP) News and Update page

Mixed Use Zones Project to share new concepts

November 5 & 6 workshops offer Portlanders a chance to view and discuss initial ideas to improve zoning code

Last month, we shared news about the Mixed Use Zones (MUZ) Project, an early implementation project for the Comprehensive Plan Update. Mixed use zones allow commercial development as well as multifamily housing. They are scattered around the city along busy main streets and boulevards (corridors) and vibrant neighborhood hubs (centers).

The draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan proposes a growth management strategy focusing much of the city’s future growth and development in and along centers and corridors — places like Hollywood and St Johns, Barbur Blvd and 82nd Ave. But because centers and corridors are so diverse in size and character, mixed use regulations must be refined to more sensitively accommodate the needs of the community while simplifying the code. 

The MUZ Project is being guided by an advisory committee, which has helped craft principles for developing new code for mixed use zones, such as quality design, economically feasible development, equity, and sensitivity to neighborhood character and adjacent structures.

Staff have also been gathering community feedback from neighborhood walkabouts and holding roundtable discussions with businesses, developers and designers. Feedback from this process and the project advisory committee has informed a very preliminary conceptual framework for code updates.

Now it’s time to share that framework with the community

A workshop to present and discuss these initial concepts will be held November 5, 6 - 9 p.m. at 1900 SW 4th Ave (Rm 2500) and November 6, 6 – 9 p.m. at Jefferson High School, 5210 N Kerby Avenue (cafeteria). Staff will describe the proposed new zones and some basic characteristics (i.e., anticipated floor-area ratios and height limits). A more detailed MUZ concept report is due by Winter 2015. Proposed zoning codes are expected in the spring. Public hearings on the proposed mixed use zones are scheduled for the summer.

For more information, see the story on the Comprehensive Plan Update news feed

PSC News: October 21, 2014 Meeting Recap and Documents

City Green Building Policy — briefing; CC2035 West Quadrant Plan — work session


  • City Green Building Policy — briefing
  • CC2035 West Quadrant Plan — work session

Meeting files

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