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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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BPS E-News: From BPS Director Susan Anderson -- Towards a better community

Issue #19, Sept. 2012

We all know that Portland is a participatory place. Our form of government, our robust system of neighborhoods, our involvement and strong support for public schools and libraries – all speak to a very active civic life and sincere concern for our city. This concern also translates to a high rate of volunteerism. Did you know that, in terms of volunteer hours, Portland is ranked consistently in the top ten among large cities?

At BPS, we depend on volunteers for dozens of committees each year. Residents, business owners, neighborhood groups, and people from all walks of life help to inform and develop policies and programs that make Portland a healthy, prosperous and equitable place to live and work. To encourage and build on this strong foundation of volunteerism, I’m encouraging our staff members to “pay it forward” and give back to the community. Two examples are:

  • BPS Service Days — BPS teams volunteer a day of service with local nonprofits, which share similar missions. Recently our green building team volunteered to help Habitat for Humanity make progress on a local home building project.
  • BPS silent auction — Once a year, BPS raises funds for a local nonprofit chosen by our staff. Last year auction proceeds went to the Oregon Food Bank.  

Volunteer hours are dedicated to organizations that work in areas related to our bureau’s mission. If you have a volunteer idea for us, please contact us at 503-823-7700.

By the way — a signature BPS event that also receives help from community volunteers is our Build It Green! Home Tour and Info Fair. Our 11th annual self-guided tour day and free info fair happens on Saturday, Sept. 22. Tickets are limited — buy yours at and have a fun day learning about green building techniques and materials at your own pace.

All the best,

Susan Anderson
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

BPS E-News: BIG! Home Tour offers discounted tickets for bikers, students, honored citizens

Issue #19, Sept. 2012

On Sept. 22, travel in most any direction in Portland and you’ll find yourself near a home participating on the 11th annual Build It Green! Home Tour and Info Fair (BIG!). As a self-guided tour of green remodels and new homes, this year’s tour ticket includes drop-in 30-minute workshops at the Info Fair and selected homes. Tickets are on sale now online or in person at Green Depot in SE Portland.

Tourgoers can pick up great ideas for their own projects by visiting with homeowners, designers, do-it-yourselfers and contractors about accessory dwelling units, solar panels, ecoroofs (green roofs), rainwater harvesting, natural landscaping, affordable housing, water and energy conservation, natural building materials, alternative construction techniques and much more. The homeowners and contractors who participate in the tour are ready for questions: They want to help everyone understand that, in many cases, incorporating green building techniques and materials can be simple and affordable.  

Among the homes on this year’s tour are eight accessory dwelling units (ADU). An ADU is a small residential unit built on the same lot as an existing single-family home. These ADUs are an exciting result of the City of Portland’s decision to temporarily waive selected development fees for this type of small project (until summer 2013).

  • Tour date: Saturday, September 22, 2012
  • Tour time: 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Info Fair hours: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The Info Fair is a prelude to the Tour with green vendors, demonstrations, food, drink and music. Green Depot, 819 SE Taylor, Portland, OR, 503-222-3881. The Info Fair is free and open to everyone.
  • $15 admission.
  • $10 honored citizens/students/alternative transportation.
  • Children 13 years-old and under are FREE.
  • Buy tickets here.

Thank you to our 2012 Build It Green! Home Tour and Info Fair sponsors

Green Depot, Energy Trust of Oregon, KINK-FM, Metro, Oregon Home Magazine, Solar Oregon, City of Portland Water Bureau, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services and City of Portland Bureau of Development Services.

Free Energy Assessments for Small Commercial Buildings

Buildings 10,000 square feet or smaller can receive a customized report on existing building and equipment conditions and priorities for energy upgrades.

Assessment Update (as of March 29, 2013)

Funding for these free energy assessments is no longer available. If you are still looking for assistance identifying energy savings opportunities at your building, please contact the Energy Trust of Oregon for a free energy assessment  or contact Sustainability at Work for a free onsite sustainability assessment .


The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability offered a limited number of free energy assessments to small commercial buildings in Portland. The assessments, provided by a local engineering firm, resulted in a customized report that evaluates existing building and equipment conditions, prioritizes energy upgrades, estimates energy efficiency and cost savings and identifies relevant tax credits and financial incentives.

To participate in this offer businesses needed to meet the following criteria:

  • Be located within the City of Portland;
  • Occupy a building whose total size is 10,000 square feet or smaller;
  • Be the owner of the building; OR be a tenant with 4 years or more remaining in your lease term; and
  • Be able to provide a signed utility account release form (so that we can analyze historical energy consumption).


For more information, please contact Marlowe Kulley at 503-823-3919 or

This effort was made possible by a grant from the US Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Neighborhood program.

Better Buildings US Dept of Energy Program Logo

PSC News: September 11, 2012 meeting recap and documents

R/W #7360: Proposed Street Vacation - hearing / recommendation; Central City Concept Plan – hearing; North/Northeast Quadrant Plan and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Facilities Plan - hearing

The Planning and Sustainability Commission met on September 11, 2012.


  • R/W #7360: Proposed Street Vacation – hearing / recommendation
  • Central City Concept Plan – hearing
  • North/Northeast Quadrant Plan and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Facilities Plan – hearing


Meeting files:


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

Recap of the PSC Hearing on the N/NE Quadrant Project

Public testimony overview

The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) held a public hearing on the N/NE Quadrant and I-5 Broadway/Weidler Plans on September 11. Approximately 35 people were in attendance. The hearing began with a staff presentation describing the planning process and highlights of the N/NE Quadrant Plan - Proposed Draft and the I-5 Broadway/Weidler Facility Plan, followed by oral testimony from nine people, including the project’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee Co-Chairs Lloyd Lindley and Tracy Whalen. The hearing was closed at the end of the meeting.

The N/NE Quadrant Project will return to the PSC on the evening of September 25th for a work session, where the commission members will discuss the project and ask questions. The PSC is expected to make a recommendation to City Council at the 9/25 meeting. Go to to view the agenda, available approximately 10 days before the meeting. No additional public testimony will be taken by the PSC, however there will be opportunity to make comments to City Council at their hearing on the project, tentatively scheduled for October 25 at 2 p.m.

Meeting materials are available at the following link: (click the magnifying glass next to the document). Meeting minutes will be added within two weeks of the meeting. The meeting will also be shown on Channel 30 in the upcoming days. Their regular re-airing schedule is Every Friday at 3pm, the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays at 7:30pm and the 1st and 3rd Sundays at 7:00am.