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Planning and Sustainability Commission Moving Through Long Work Sessions for Comprehensive Plan While Considering Other Projects Too

Volunteer commissioners dive into discussions about housing, residential densities, employment land and West Hayden Island, the Transportation Systems Plan, community involvement and more

To attend a recent Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) meeting is to witness public service at its finest. Last fall the PSC held four public hearings throughout the city on the Comprehensive Plan Proposed Draft. And since January 27 of this year, commissioners have been holding long work sessions to review public testimony and staff recommendations as they move through the outstanding issues of the draft plan.

They’ve dug into the details of proposals for housing, addressing displacement, residential down-designations and densities, and nonconforming uses. They’ve had spirited discussions about centers and corridors and how the Transportation System Plan (TSP) would serve the additional people, jobs, housing and businesses in these growing areas. They’ve revisited West Hayden Island and considered strategies to create and intensify employment land to provide more jobs for Portlanders yet to come. And they’ve reviewed how the policies in the new Comprehensive Plan would guide decision-making and make the City’s public involvement efforts more inclusive.

Many of the PSC’s 11 members have served on the commission since the Portland Plan days (six years or more) and will continue on until they have recommended the Comprehensive Plan to City Council. Normally they meet for two to four hours twice a month, but the scope and complexity of the draft Comprehensive Plan, the update to the Central City Plan and other long-range plans, code amendments and special projects have meant more and longer meetings. To cover this much material and provide thoughtful and thorough guidance to the City Council, commissioners have spent countless hours preparing for and engaging in sometimes four and five-hour meetings every two weeks. You can read the meeting minutes and watch the video of each meeting on the PSC website.

Who are they?

These dedicated volunteers represent a broad spectrum of the community. They’re busy people whose love of Portland and commitment to making it better for everyone is reflected in their hard work on behalf of all Portlanders.

Take Chris Smith, digital marketer for Xerox who serves on the Portland Streetcar Inc. Board of Directors as well as many other advisory committees and commissions. And Michelle Rudd, a partner with Stoel Rives who was just named one of Savoy Magazine’s 2015 Most Influential Black Lawyers. People like Karen Gray, superintendent of the Parkrose School District. Or Don Hanson, principal at OTAK, who also served on the commission back when it was the Planning Commission. Teresa St Martin of Windermere and Margaret Tallmadge with the Coalition of Communities of Color, are the commission’s newest members. Mike Houck, executive director of Urban Greenspaces Institute, and Gary Oxman, retired Chief Health Officer for Multnomah County, look after our human and environmental health. Then there are vice chairs Howard Shapiro, who also chairs the Community Involvement Committee for the Comp Plan, and Katherine Schultz of GBD Architects. At the helm is André Baugh, a consultant with Group AGB Ltd, perhaps the commission’s most passionate equity advocate.

As a group, they have a variety of viewpoints, and together they work to balance and realize the goals of a prosperous, healthy and equitable city. In addition to working on the Comprehensive Plan, they’ve been holding hearings, briefings and meetings about Central City’s West Quadrant Plan, energy performance in commercial buildings, urban renewal areas and a proposal to build a propane transport facility at the Port’s T6 terminal.

What’s next?

In the next couple of months alone, they’ll be holding public hearings on the updated Economic Opportunities Analysis (April 28) and revised Growth Scenarios Report (May 12) for the Comprehensive Plan as well as the T6 code amendment (April 7), the RICAP 7 package (also April 28) and the SE Quadrant Plan (May 26). In addition they’ll hear briefings on the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project, something BPS is working on in partnership with Metro and TriMet. Please check the PSC calendar approximately one week prior to each tentative meeting date for specific agendas.

 

Future of the Powell-Division Corridor is Taking Shape

Powell-Division Transit and Development Project gathers community feedback in the Jade District and Midway; interactive mapping tool allows for virtual commenting

Community OutreachEvery day tens of thousands of people ride TriMet bus lines 4 and 9 between Portland and Gresham to connect to Portland’s Central City, Downtown Gresham, Portland Community College’s Southeast Center and many places in between. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is collaborating with Metro, TriMet, the City of Gresham, ODOT and Multnomah County on the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project to provide faster, more reliable high capacity transit to more Portlanders, especially those living, working or going to school in East Portland.

The project team has been conducting extensive outreach, focusing on the needs and interests of East and Southeast Portland and Gresham residents as well as the many immigrant and refugee and limited English proficiency (LEP) populations in the area. In addition to focus groups and youth outreach, the City of Portland and Metro recently partnered with the Jade District and Division Midway Alliance for Community Improvement to host community workshops at local businesses at East Garden restaurant on SE Division and 124th and at Fubonn on SE 82nd Ave. Successful and lively events, the Jade District workshop on February 28 included live translation services for Cantonese and Vietnamese speakers provided by community leaders Rosaline Hui and Thao Tran, respectively. A joint Powell-Division and Mixed Use Zones Project open house was also held at Cleveland High School on March 10.

P-D Route Option

Community outreach has also been supported by Metro’s new interactive map tool, which asked participants to share their preferences for alignments and station area planning. Metro received more than 1,500 comments between February 13 and March 4, 2015, which were shared with the project's Steering Committee in advance of their March 16 meeting. Representatives from the Tongan community, the Russian Speaking Network and the Latino Network all spoke at the meeting, and youth organizers shared insights they gained while canvassing businesses in the City of Gresham. The project team is looking forward to them continuing their work as they move west into the City of Portland. Additional focus groups are slated for April and May, and staff will schedule presentations and discussions with Neighborhood Associations during that time as well.

At the same meeting the Steering Committee, which includes community and government agency representatives, reached consensus on the most promising route options for the new high-capacity transit services slated for the Powell-Division corridor. The new bus rapid transit service will travel from the Central City across the Tilikum Crossing, up Powell Blvd to either 50th, 52nd or 82nd Avenues, where it will head north to Division St. It will then travel on Division to Gresham, where it will connect to Mount Hood Community College. The Steering Committee expressed strong support for 82nd Ave as the north-south crossing, but some cautioned that additional engineering, design and traffic studies need to be completed to better understand the opportunities and challenges. Further refinements to the design will take place as the team moves into project development and completes additional engineering and traffic studies.

PSC News: March 17, 2015 Meeting Recap and Documents

Terminal 6 Environmental Overlay Zone Boundary and Code Amendment — briefing

Agenda

  • Terminal 6 Environmental Overlay Zone Boundary and Code Amendment — briefing

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/webdrawer.dll/webdrawer/search/rec?sm_class=uri_7223&count&rows=50.

You're Invited: Mixed Use Zones Project Open House at Cleveland High School on March 10

City planners to share Revised Zoning Concept for mixed use Centers and Corridors

mixed use buildingThe future of Portland’s neighborhoods is taking shape. The Mixed Use Zones Project is developing new rules for the size, shape and location of new buildings in Portland’s bustling commercial main streets and busy corridors.

Join us at an open house to learn about the Revised Zoning Concept, including new draft development and design standards. This open house is being held jointly with the Powell-Division Transit and Development Project.

Mixed Use Zones Project Open House

Tuesday, March 10, 2015, 5:30 to 8 p.m.
Cleveland High School Cafeteria
3400 Southeast 26th Avenue, Portland, OR 97202

  • Cleveland High School is at the corner of SE Powell Blvd and SE 26th Ave.
  • TriMet lines 10-Harold and 9-Powell directly serve Cleveland High School.
  • The cafeteria can be accessed from the main entrance on SE 26th Ave or from Franklin St, which is on the north side of the high school.

Light refreshments will be provided.

What will the project do?

The Mixed Use Zones Project will revise Portland’s Commercial and Central Employment zoning codes applied in Centers and Corridors outside of the Central City. Attend the open house to join the conversation and learn about concepts for zoning code regulations intended to:

  • Improve height transitions to lower density residential zones.
  • Address building scale and divide the mass of larger buildings.
  • Encourage ground-floor activity and commercial uses in key areas.
  • Promote more ground-floor windows and building entrances.
  • Provide shared or outdoor space for residents.
  • Foster affordable housing and commercial space, historic preservation, plazas and other features.

Timeline & Next Steps

A Preliminary Zoning Concept was released last fall. The Revised Zoning Concept will lead to proposed zoning codes this spring, with public hearings beginning in Summer 2015.

Why are we doing this?

Portland is expected to grow over the next 20 years. Where new households and jobs locate is key to supporting and enhancing the qualities that help make Portland an attractive place. Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan proposes to focus neighborhood businesses and much of new household growth in mixed use Centers and Corridors that will serve as the anchors of convenient, walkable neighborhoods, helping Portland meet its vision for becoming a more prosperous, healthy, equitable and resilient city.

For more information about the Mixed Use Zones Project:

Website: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/mixeduse 

Email: mixedusezones@portlandoregon.gov

Phone:  503-823-7700

Mail: City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

1900 SW 4th Avenue #7100, Portland, OR, 97201