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PSC News: July 22, 2014 Meeting Recap and Documents

Proposed Comprehensive Plan — briefing


  • Proposed Comprehensive Planbriefing

Meeting files

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

Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan Proposed Draft available for review and comment

Portlanders are invited to view and comment on the long-range plan for the city that will guide growth, change and improvements over the next 20 years

Portland’s current Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1980. That year, Mt St Helens erupted, Jimmy Carter was president, the first MAX line was still in the design phase, and the city’s population was 366,000. Now, some 220,000 people later — and with another 200,000 on the way — the Proposed Draft of a new 2035 Comprehensive Plan is available for public review and comment.

See the Comprehensive Plan Proposed Draft.

The 2035 Comprehensive Plan will continue the successes of the previous one by focusing expected population and job growth in centers and corridors (in the 80s, they were called “nodes and noodles”).

In addition to directing growth and development in vibrant centers like St Johns, Multnomah Village and Hollywood and along bustling corridors like Sandy, Powell and Barbur boulevards, the new plan emphasizes creating healthier, safer, more connected neighborhoods; filling infrastructure gaps and addressing equity; providing more land for jobs; improving natural areas and open spaces; and building our resilience to climate change and natural disasters.

Watch the first video in a five-part series about the Centers and Corridors growth management strategy and what it will look like in the 21st century.

Parts of the Plan

The Comprehensive Plan Proposed Draft comprises four main parts. These components work together to guide land use and infrastructure investment decisions in Portland:

  • Goals and Policies – Long-term aspirations for Portland and the work that must be done to achieve them.
  • A set of maps – Land use designations for growth, development and conservation.
  • List of Significant Projects – Planned infrastructure projects to meet the transportation, sewer, stormwater and water needs of Portland’s current and future residents and businesses.
  • Portions of the Transportation System Plan (TSP) – Transportation policies, street classifications and street plan maps.

While most of Portland’s land area will not be directly affected by land use or zone changes, the City is proposing four major changes:

  • Complete Neighborhoods Most new growth will be focused in Centers and Corridors, which include clusters of shops, restaurants, offices and housing. This approach promotes convenience, walkability and access to services. Development will be scaled to the size and character of Portland’s various centers and corridors.
  • Jobs – The 2035 Draft Plan includes areas where a variety of new jobs can be created, including campuses for colleges and hospitals, as well as policies to support more efficient uses of industrial land.
  • Risks and Service Gaps – Proposed changes will help protect public health and safety, avoid exacerbating natural hazard risks, and acknowledge limited infrastructure or services. This includes changes to slow the pace and scale of development in East Portland, while maintaining a strong commitment to continued investment in essential infrastructure.
  • Neighborhoods, parks and open space – Changes to some residential densities and updates to open space designations will better reflect existing neighborhood character and acknowledge recent park land acquisitions.

View changes and comment from your kitchen table with online Map App

You can use your computer, tablet or smart phone to view maps and significant projects from the draft 2035 Plan from the comfort of your home. With the interactive Map App, viewers can:

  • Click through the different map themes to view proposed land use changes, and transportation and infrastructure investments.
  • Enter an address to view the area within a quarter mile of that location and learn what changes may affect that property and/or neighborhood.
  • Submit comments about a specific proposal (or change) directly onto the Map App. It will be forwarded to the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC).

Built entirely in house by the technical services team at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, the Map App is intended to engage more Portlanders in the planning process. As a tool, it gives people more options to learn about and comment on the Proposed Draft without have to attend a meeting or read long documents.

Feedback and Comments

As a state-mandated plan, the Proposed Draft will be presented to the City’s Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC), a volunteer advisory group responsible for advising City Council on long-range planning decisions. The PSC will hold several public hearings where Portlanders can testify in person, starting in late September:

September 23, 2014 at 5 p.m.
(Focus on Goals and Policies)
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A

October 14, 2014 at 5 p.m.
(Focus on Maps)
Community location TBD, see

October 28, 2014 at 5 p.m.
(Focus on Maps)
Community location TBD, see

November 4, 2014 at 4 p.m.
(Focus on Citywide Systems Plan and
Transportation System Plan)
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A

Portlanders may also submit feedback on the Proposed 2035 Plan online through the Map App or in writing to the PSC. After considering testimony and revising the Proposed Plan, the commission will submit a Recommended Plan to City Council in spring of 2015.

“As a major opportunity to implement the Portland Plan, the 2035 Comprehensive Plan gives us a detailed roadmap to the future,” said Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Susan Anderson. “We invite you to review the draft 2035 Plan and give us your feedback. Your comments are critical for helping to create a healthier, more resilient and prosperous city for us and future generations.”

Helpline and Other Support

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has set up a helpline to answer questions from the public. The line is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., with extended hours on Mondays until 8 p.m. Call: 503-823-0195.

In addition, the City’s District Liaisons will be holding “office hours” at various times and locations throughout the summer to help answer questions from their communities. Check the Comp Plan calendar for dates, times and locations or contact your district liaison.


This new plan builds on dozens of community plans since 1980, including the Portland Plan, Climate Action Plan, the Portland Economic Development Strategy, Parks 2020 Vision, Albina Community Plan, East Portland Action Plan, the Watershed Management Plan, the 1980 Comprehensive Plan and many others. 

Take a Walk on the Riverside, the Central Eastside’s that is, on July 22

Join City planners, river enthusiasts and other community members as they stroll along the Willamette’s edge, imagining the future of the Central City’s waterfront

You’re invited to a summer’s eve river walk on July 22. City staff and others interested in improving river habitat, boating and other activities in the Central Reach will tour and discuss key locations along the Central Eastside’s riverfront area.SEQ Walking Tour Map

Meet at the PCC Climb Center Auditorium, 1626 SE Waters Ave, at 5 p.m. for an overview before heading down to the river. Staff will pose specific questions and record comments that will inform development of the Central City 2035 Plan, which includes the Southeast Quadrant Plan and River Plan / Central Reach.

We’ll be stopping at the following locations along the way:

1. Madison Dock (Fire Station) & Plaza area
2. Holman Dock area
3. OMSI area
4. End of Caruthers Street
5. Willamette Greenway Trail connection

Bring a water bottle; light snacks will be provided. Come support the river!

For more information, contact Debbie Bischoff at or 503-823-6946.

City Council puts finishing touches on short-term rental regulations

Multifamily apartments and condos to be addressed later this year

At the July 2 meeting, City Council heard public testimony and made amendments to the proposed accessory short-term rental regulations.

The new regulations will allow residents to rent up to two bedrooms to overnight guests through a simple permit, rather than the more involved conditional use process. Short-term rentals will be allowed in single-dwelling units, such as houses and duplexes. Multi-dwelling structures, such as apartments and condos, will be addressed by Council later this year.

Following several hours of testimony, Council moved the accessory short-term rental package forward with the following changes:

  • Inspection by Bureau of Development Services will be required with the initial application and every 6 years thereafter, or with a change in ownership. The amendment allows for self-certification for the intervening semi-annual renewals.
  • Require carbon monoxide detectors, where carbon monoxide sources are present.
  • Require that the resident reside in the dwelling unit at least 9 months of the year.
  • Allow the resident to appoint a designee to operate the accessory short-term rental.
  • Require the permit number to be in all advertisements and in the dwelling unit.
  • Require Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to return with a monitoring report in September 2016.

Council will reconvene on July 23 to vote on the final package of regulations. Amended code language and explanatory commentary will be available July 18 for public review and will be posted on the project website If you would like a copy mailed to you, please contact Julia Gisler at 503.823.7624 or

City Council Work Session on Short-Term Rental Issues Covers a Lot of Ground

Public hearing will continue on July 2 at 2 p.m.

On June 24, City Council held a work session to discuss short-term rental regulations included in the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Program (RICAP) 6 package. Commissioners listened to hours of testimony at a June 4public hearing on the proposed zoning code amendments. They continued the hearing to July 2 to hear additional viewpoints and deliberate over potential refinements to the proposed rules.

Short-term rentals, most commonly provided through websites like Airbnb and VRBO, are on the rise in Portland and around the country. Council asked the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to look at revising the zoning code to more accurately reflect community trends and needs.

During the work session, commissioners discussed a number of permitting issues with staff, such as:

  • Scope and frequency of inspections.
  • Whether nonresidents could operate a short-term rental.
  • Whether the host needed to be present while guests were at the house.

Council also contemplated what types of short-term rentals could qualify for a simpler and less costly permit, including:

  • Dedicated vacation rentals (homes where there is no long-term resident).
  • Three-bedroom facilities (as opposed to the current two-room threshold).
  • Multi-dwelling units (e.g., apartments and condominiums).

Taxing mechanisms and impacts on affordable housing were also discussed.

No decisions or changes to the proposed rules were made. Council will reconvene on Tuesday, July 2 at 2 p.m. to listen to more testimony and deliberate before making a final decision.

The remaining items in RICAP 6, including revisions to cell tower regulations, temporary activities and more, were passed unanimously at the June 4 hearing. They become effective on July 11.