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Sustainability at Work business profile: Meet Bamboo Sushi, 2011 BEST award winner

BPS E-News Issue 15 - January

BEST logoIn partnership with the world’s leading marine conservation organizations, Bamboo Sushi is proud to be the first certified sustainable sushi restaurant in the world. Born out of a desire to change the existing business paradigm that says altruism and profitability are mutually exclusive, Bamboo Sushi employs business practices that serve to achieve greater social equity and support the local economy, while ensuring the highest possible standard of environmental sustainability.

Learn more about Bamboo Sushi at

Apply to be a 2012 BEST Award Winner!

Like Bamboo Sushi, does your business have practices, products or services that exemplify social, environmental and economic sustainability?

Download your application at Deadline to apply is February 10. Winners will be announced at the 20th Annual BEST Awards on April 25, 2012. In addition to on-stage recognition, winners will be featured prominently at the event and on our website.

Mark your calendars now for this must-attend event!


Neighbors, local businesses and PSU students provide input on SE 122nd Avenue Corridor rezone project

BPS E-News Issue 15 - January

For many years, East Portland residents have advocated for more local businesses along SE 122nd Avenue and better multi-family residential design in the area. So during the fall and winter of 2011, BPS staff met with a neighborhood-based advisory group, hosted neighborhood walks and reviewed existing economic and land use data about rezoning SE 122nd Avenue to better meet community and resident needs. The SE 122nd Avenue Corridor Rezone Project team also received ideas on how to improve the area from students of Portland State University Professor B.D. Wortham-Galvin’s Fall Architectural Studio class.

Together residents, students, staff and members of the business community are working to generate more small-scale commercial activity along the SE 122nd Ave corridor, provide more opportunities for “cottage commercial” uses, and improve the design and location of multi-family residential development within the study area.

The SE 122nd Avenue Corridor Rezone Project will implement portions of the community-led SE 122nd Avenue Pilot Study, an offshoot of the East Portland Action Plan.

Project Advisory Group helps guide the process

Staff have been guided in their efforts to update the zoning map and recommend changes to the zoning ordinance by a Project Advisory Group (PAG) made up of roughly a dozen members of the business and neighborhood communities invested in the SE 122nd Ave area. Three PAG meetings have been held in the Leander Court community room, where members gave their input to staff, raised concerns and suggested ideas for improving the neighborhood. In the upcoming months a draft list of property rezonings will be refined and recommendations for code language amendments will be presented that accomplish the objectives generated by the PAG.
The next Project Advisory Group meeting will be Jan. 26, 2012. An open house for the general public is scheduled for February 23rd, with representatives of the Portland Development Commission and the Bureau of Transportation helping to facilitate. Portlanders will have a chance to learn more about the project and give feedback on the code amendments at this time. After final input from the public and other stakeholders and refinement of the code language in early spring, a final package of rezoning and text amendment recommendations will be presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission for their consideration and to City Council for adoption in July.

For more information on this project or about the upcoming open house, please visit the project website. You may also contact Chris Scarzello at or 503-823-7716; or John Cole at or 503-823-3475.


Register now for Urban Growth Bounty 2012

BPS E-News Issue 15 - January

In its fourth year, Urban Growth Bounty offer Portlanders a fun, affordable way to dive into urban homesteading
through classes. With more than 30 classes on the roster for 2012, UGB will explore everything from cheesemaking to beekeeping to urban gardening to food preservation. This year sees a great mix of old favorites and exciting new
subject matter — everything a city-dweller needs to know to make food a more considered part of their life.

Organized by the City of Portland's Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, these classes allow participants to take
advantage of the diverse benefits — budgetary, community-oriented, and environmental — that come from a closer
connection to food. The City’s expert partners hold classes in venues throughout the city, and students enjoy both
high-quality instruction and the opportunity to meet others who share their interests.
The Urban Growth Bounty series has educated thousands of Oregonians about the ins and outs of urban agriculture
since its start in 2009. Courses span from February to the end of July, and take participants from planning a garden all the way to preserving its fruits. For detailed Urban Growth Bounty 2012 descriptions and registration information, visit or e-mail

Q&A with the Regional Green Building Hotline

BPS E-News Issue 15 - January

Ever wonder about simple ways to make your home more energy efficient or wanted guidance navigating legislation
and permits?  Our Regional Green Building Hotline staff are standing by with answers.  Check out a few of our most
frequently asked questions below.

Have a question for the Regional Green Building Hotline? 

Call 503-823-5431 or e-mail us. The Regional Green Building Hotline is a free service from the City of Portland, Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties.

Q:  Can you tell me about the new light bulb legislation starting in January 2012?

A: This new federal legislation increases the efficiency of all bulbs by at least 25 percent. You can still buy incandescent bulbs. Home lighting makes up around 11 percent of a home’s total monthly energy bill.  Higher bulb efficiencies will begin phasing in 2012 to 2014, increasing again in 2020. Specialty bulbs such as plant bulbs, three-way, appliance, colored bulbs are excluded.  With the legislation, new product labeling allows customers to shop for bulbs based on visible light (lumens) rather than watts (power).

More efficient bulbs mean that homeowners will replace bulbs less often, save on their energy bills and generate more light and less heat from bulbs.  For most, light bulbs are an easy change with a big impact –- no large investment or planning is required and bulbs can be replaced room-by-room.  

Compact fluorescents (CFLs) offer consumers a range of color temperature -- from warm white (like incandescents) to cool white (similar to many office/school fluorescents) to daylight color (blue hue). With new CFLs and light emitting diodes (LEDs) the bulbs light up to full brightness quickly, stay cool to the touch and last much longer than incandescents (offsetting higher up-front costs).  A few dimmable CFLs and LEDs are currently on the market.  Burned-out and broken CFLs must be disposed of properly as they contain a small amount of mercury and cannot go into the trash (neither incandescents nor LEDs contain mercury).  Look for ENERGY STAR labeled products.

Q:  I want to build a “granny flat” in my back yard, so where do I start?

A:  Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) and space-efficient dwellings, sometimes called granny flats, are recognized by ADU Examplethe City of Portland as providing an affordable, low impact solution to increase density. Through July 2013, the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services system development charges (SDCs) are waived resulting in potential savings of $7,000 to $12,000 in building permit fees for these small units. is a great local site to start your research.  Space-efficient dwellings and ADU’s can provide rental income and allow for changing household sizes over time.  These dwellings have a low impact on existing city infrastructure, are affordable to build and maintain and are constructed using few building materials.  Check the City of Portland Sustainability Calendar for ADU workshops.

Q:  Can I use graywater to irrigate my garden?

A:  Yes, now you can. In Oregon, graywater is drain water from utility, bath and kitchen sinks (not the garbage graywater reusedisposal), showers/tubs and clothes washers. Drain water from dishwashers and toilets (black water) is not included.

The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will start accepting permit applications for graywater garden irrigation in Spring 2012.  There are three permit tiers.  Most residential systems will fall under Tier I –- less than 300 gallons/day with a physical filtering process and sub-surface irrigation only.  The permit will cost $90.00.  The next two tiers are for larger gray water volumes and include chemical and disinfectant processes and fees are significantly higher.  Local jurisdiction plumbing permits are required. This document has more information.

Q:  How can I find out more about green building and sustainability, perhaps leading to a job?

A:  The City of Portland Sustainability Calendar is full of City and community trainings, tours, workshops, conferences, open houses and events – many of which are free.  Postings are accepted from many organizations in addition to City

The non-profit Center for Earth Leadership has a stimulating, free six week course called Agent of Change In Your
Circle of Influence
where you can meet fellow sustainability enthusiasts, listen to guest speakers and get involved with
community projects.

A useful local guide available specifically for our region is the “Portland Green Guide to Networking and Jobs.”  Written by career counselors, it lists local organizations in environmental and sustainability-related fields, resume and interview best practices, how to research job opportunities, what employers are looking for, targeted volunteering and profiles of successful candidates.

The long-standing local networking group Portland Green Drinks meets the first Tuesday evening of every month at Ecotrust, 721 NW Ninth Avenue, Portland.  Listen to diverse guest presenters and mingle in a relaxed atmosphere.Contact anyone you know in the industry for a short informational interview. Many professionals are amenable to sharing some time to meet with you.  When you meet, ask the contact for more referrals.

N/NE Quadrant Project presents proposed land use and freeway improvement concepts at February second Open House

BPS E-News Issue 15 - January

After extensive public input, the N/NE Quadrant Project advisory group and staff have developed a draft proposed
concept for future land use, urban design and local transportation in the area, as well as options for proposed
improvements to the Broadway/Weidler freeway interchange. An open house is scheduled for Feb. 2, 2012, to present these proposals to the public and seek feedback on:

  • Future direction for land use and urban form.

  • Street design and connectivity.

  • New parks and open spaces.

  • Ways to incorporate green infrastructure.

  • Safety and operational improvements for the Broadway/Weidler freeway interchange.

At the open house, these concepts will be on display and City of Portland and Oregon Department of Transportation staff will be on hand to answer questions, receive public feedback and discuss the project.

The N/NE Quadrant Project is a collaborative effort by the City of Portland and Oregon Department of Transportation to provide detailed planning for the Lower Albina and Lloyd District areas. It is part of Central City 2035, the City of Portland's effort to update the 1988 Central City Plan.

For more information about the project or the upcoming open house, please visit, email or call 503-823-6042.

N/NE Quadrant Project Open House

Thursday, February 2, 2012
4:30 6:30 p.m.

Lloyd Center Mall, NE 9th and Multnomah

West end of the mall (near Nordstrom)

The Lloyd Center is accessible by the #8, 73, 70, or 77 buses and Blue, Green, and Red MAX lines. Free parking is

available in mall lots.