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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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PSC News: January 13, 2015 Meeting Recap and Documents

Vote for 2015 PSC Officer Slate; Energy Performance in Portland's Commercial Buildings; Comprehensive Plan Update; Proposed Amendments to Two URAs; Zoning Code Amendment for Hazardous Substances in the Environmental Overlay Zone


  • Vote for 2015 PSC Officer Slate — decision
  • Energy Performance in Portland’s Commercial Buildings — briefing
  • Comprehensive Plan — briefing
  • URA Amendments — work session / recommendation
  • Zoning Code Amendment for Hazardous Substances in the Environmental Overlay Zone — hearing

Meeting files

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

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Staff Reports Available for January 27 Comprehensive Plan Work Session

Planning and Sustainability Commission to discuss decision-making, Centers and Corridors, non-conforming situations, split zoning and more

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has published a set of Comprehensive Plan staff reports in preparation for the Jan. 27, 2015, Planning and Sustainability Commission work session. The reports include staff-recommended amendments to the Comprehensive Plan Proposed Draft, in response to public testimony received to date.

The first reports available for public review are:

Staff reports or memos for subsequent PSC work sessions will be available approximately two weeks prior to each one.

Work Session #1

The January 27 work session will be held at 1900 SW 4th Ave, Rm 2500. The meeting starts at 3 p.m., and the final agenda will be posted on the PSC calendar approximately one week before the meeting. The public is invited to attend; however, this is a work session for commissioners, so no public testimony will be taken during this or any other work session.

The PSC will, however, accept written comments on the Proposed Draft until March 13, 2015. Community members are encouraged to review the work session schedule and send their comments about a particular topic to the commission at least eight days before that issue will be discussed. This will allow commissioners time to review relevant testimony before each meeting.

View the schedule of planned work sessions. 

RICAP 7 Discussion Draft is now available for review and comment; Portlanders invited to open house to learn more

Code amendments would address design review, neighborhood contact requirements, shed roof heights, floor area use clarification and more

Regulatory improvement code amendment packages (RICAP) are intended to continually update and improve City building and land use regulations. RICAPs address technical matters and clarifications or refinement of existing adopted policy in typically a one-year revolving work plan. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is now working on the seventh package of code amendments, and a discussion draft is available for Portlanders to review.

The new RICAP 7 Discussion Draft contains 45 items that are being evaluated for possible regulatory improvement, per community requests submitted via the Regulatory Improvement Request (RIR) Database. Comments from the public on the Discussion Draft are welcome through Feb. 27, 2015.

Open House                                                                                             

Project staff will hold an open house on Feb. 10, 2015, from 5 – 7 p.m. to answer questions about the RICAP 7 Discussion Draft. The open house will be in the Development Services Building, 1900 SW 4thAve, Room 7A (7th floor). Staff will also be reviewing the Discussion Draft with the neighborhood coalitions; check the project calendar for more information.

Read the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Project (RICAP) 7 Discussion Draft

Summary of Potential Amendments

Many of the items in the Discussion Draft reflect simple code corrections or clarifications to ensure that regulations are implemented consistent with the original policy intent. Three items resulted in no proposed amendment after Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff researched and analyzed the issue. The remaining items include either minor policy or more substantive changes to:

  • Allow for small changes to approved Type III Design Review cases to be processed through a Type II review.
  • Specify that required pre-application conferences must be held prior to submitting the land use application.
  • Establish a one-year time limit for the neighborhood contact requirement.
  • Clarify how to measure the area occupied by land uses that are limited in size by particular zones.
  • Clarify how to measure the height for shed roof structures.
  • Allow fences in the commercial zone buffer overlay setback for sites with residential development.
  • Allow a conditional use review to establish alternative minimum and maximum parking standards.
  • Reorganize the definitions chapter to arrange items alphabetically.

Comments on the 45 items can be submitted by mail to 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201, Attn: RICAP 7; FAX: 503-823-7800; or email

The comment period for the Discussion Draft ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 27, 2015.

Next Steps

Staff will incorporate comments received on the Discussion Draft into a Proposed Draft, which will be presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) at a public hearing in the spring. The PSC will consider public testimony and then forward a recommendation to City Council for consideration and additional public review before final adoption.

Portland’s Unique Neighborhoods Star in the Latest Centers & Corridors Video

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability releases newest episode in a series about the City’s growth management strategy

Hot off the “cutting room floor,” the latest episode of Portland’s Centers & Corridors video focuses on the different types of these vibrant hubs and bustling streets. Some of our favorite places in Portland take a starring role; neighborhoods like Sellwood and Montavilla, Multnomah Village, Hollywood and St Johns. And major thoroughfares like Barbur and Sandy boulevards.

Viewers can see computer-generated renderings of the different types of neighborhood, town and regional centers and corridors. The video shows how the size and scale of each determines the types of amenities and services each one can provide Portland’s residents and visitors. And it helps explain why more density and development means more shops, restaurants, transit, parks and civic buildings for people living in and around these compact neighborhoods and vibrant streets.

So take a look, and see if you can tell what kind of center or corridor you live or work in — or would like to. Portland has so many different shapes and sizes of great places. Focusing growth in Centers and Corridors means we’ll be able to create even more.