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Executive Summaries for Environmental and Economic Stuides available separately

The ENTRIX executive summaries for these two documents are available as separate documents.

ENTRIX's Economic and Environmental Foundation Studies are both extremely large documents (see previous blog entries). To give readers the option of reading a summary of each of these reports, we have made the Economic Executive Summary and the Environmental Executive Summary available as separate documents. Each of these provide a synopsis of the chapters from the larger documents and include a summary of their findings.

Historic District Designation Proposed for Irvington Area (updated)

June 10, 2010

Area mapThe Irvington Community Association (ICA) has submitted a proposal to create a National Register Historic District in the Irvington area. This is a quick summary of the process and what would happen if the district were formally designated, or “listed.” 

The public review process

After a National Register nomination is submitted, there are required reviews at the local, state and federal levels before the property or district can be listed. For Irvington, the public process began with an advisory review by the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission (PHLC) on May 24. A state-level review on June 4 endorsed the proposal and requested some revisions. The National Park Service will hold the final review and decide whether to list the Irvington Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places. District designation could occur as soon as mid-August, 2010 if all required changes are made and it passes the review process. It’s also possible that listing will not occur until this fall. Until the district is officially listed in the National Register of Historic Places, there is a process for property owners in the proposed area to formally object.

Map resources

Proposed Irvington Historic District Status (database) (PDF Document, 607kb)

Proposed Irvington Historic District Orthophotos Map (PDF Document, 4,980kb)

Proposed Irvington Historic District Architectural Survey Area (PDF Document, 675kb)

For more information about this process and the full text of the nomination proposal, visit the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) website.

If the historic district were listed

Once a historic district is listed, we (BPS) add a map to City records, update PortlandOnline and GIS maps and datasets. Oregon law also requires local governments to protect resources that have historic designations. This generally means most exterior changes to properties require historic design review, as described in the Zoning Code. There would be a higher level of protection for “contributing” properties in the historic district in the form of demolition review, and some regulatory incentives would be available to property owners. Certain requirements would also apply for green building modifications. For example, installing solar panels and eco-roofs would not require historic design review if certain standards for height and location are met. Installing wind turbines would require historic design review if they are attached to a building. Alternative proposals – i.e., that do not meet standards -- could be approved through historic design review.

The Irvington proposal includes approximately 2800 properties. It would double the number of properties in Portland that have a formal historic designation. If listed, the Irvington Historic District would become the largest in Oregon.

A notice was mailed to property owners within the boundaries of the proposed Irvington Historic District in mid-April, 2010.

Please contact Liza Mickle if you have questions or comments:



Portlanders help refine proposed new tree rules

BPS E-news Issue 6

On March 23, 2010, the Planning Commission and Urban Forestry Commission heard public testimony on the Citywide Tree Policy Review and Regulatory Improvement Project (Citywide Tree Project) draft proposal ( The Planning Commission closed its public hearing on June 8, 2010.  The Urban Forestry Commission will discuss the project and take public comment at least through June 17, 2010.

The two commissions have received testimony from Portland neighborhood associations, developers, professional arborists and architects, Soil and Water Conservation Districts and watershed councils, environmental organizations and many individuals.

Comments on the Citywide Tree Project proposal include a variety of opinions. Many people have expressed support for the new tree code as well as stronger rules to improve tree preservation and tree planting.

Portlanders have emphasized the importance of large trees and tree groves to preserving neighborhood character and other benefits, such as improving air quality, stormwater management, wildlife habitat and property value. Residents also support proposed customer service improvements, such as a Community Tree Manual, a 24-hour “tree hotline” and a single point of contact for questions about City tree rules and programs.

The development community has expressed concerns about how the project proposal could affect development costs and City goals for urban density and affordable housing. There is also general agreement that the proposed regulations need to be simplified. Staff has responded by proposing revisions to simplify the rules, add flexibility and reduce costs.

The purpose of the Citywide Tree Project is to create a clear, consistent, cohesive regulatory framework for trees, and to enhance Portland’s urban forest across the entire city. The proposal would update the City’s tree rules significantly and consolidate existing rules into a new tree code. A key element would establish new rules for development projects to encourage tree preservation and increase replanting requirements. Proposed flexible development standards would make it easier to keep existing trees on development sites. The proposal would also standardize the City’s tree removal permit system, removing the existing exemption for trees on single-family lots.

Since the public hearings began, the Planning Commission and Urban Forestry Commission have directed staff to make a number of changes to the project proposal. Most of the changes would simplify the project proposal and reduce public and private costs. The Urban Forestry Commission will be discussing the Citywide Tree Project on June 17, 7:30 a.m. in City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Lovejoy Room, The public may also comment at that time.

To comment on the Citywide Tree Policy Review and Regulatory Improvement Project draft proposal online or by mail, please visit

Affordable Green Housing Makes Sense

BPS E-news Issue 6

Portland's green building movement doesn't just apply to people with big bank accounts. Fortunately, Portland has many community development corporations and housing developers committed to providing healthy and efficient housing options to people with different income levels.

Green affordable housing comes in all shapes and sizes. You can rent an apartment or purchase a home at below market rates. Most include green measures that save energy and water, improve indoor air quality and manage stormwater on-site. As a result, green affordable housing is healthier and more efficient, leading to savings for the occupant every month. In addition, affordable housing is often located close to transit lines and bike paths, further reducing the need to own a car and cost for associated maintenance and fuel.  

Portland’s many affordable green housing projects include the Sitka ( in Northwest Portland, which features low-energy traction elevators, efficient lighting, Energy Star appliances, more insulation than code requires and environmentally friendly materials. Rent ranges from $400 to $1,600, with income limits applying to most apartments.

Another project is Host Community Development's Helensview ( Certified as one of the nation's first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) neighborhoods by the U.S. Green Building Council, it features natural gas fireplaces as the main heating source, Energy Star appliances, heat recovery ventilators, 25-percent recycled fiberglass insulation and low-VOC paint.

When searching for your next apartment or home, look for third-party certifications that ensure you are getting the most efficient and healthy home on the market. Common certifications include LEED, Earth Advantage and Energy Star. Also ask about how much your monthly energy and water bills will be to factor that in your budget. Finally, consider where the property is located. Is it close to where you work and can you potentially walk or bike to a food store and other necessities?

To find affordable green housing options in Portland, contact the Community Development Network ( or Southeast Uplift ( for more information.

To learn more about third-party certification, visit the following websites:
•    USGBC.ORG (
• (
• (

If you have any questions about green building or how to find green affordable housing, please call our regional hotline, 503-823-5431 or visit

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