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Portland business and government leaders speak up about bold climate leadership

Produced by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, a new video features Portland’s climate action leaders whose vision has contributed to a notable achievement, according to BPS Director, Susan Anderson.

“Total carbon emissions in the U.S. are up 7 percent since 1990. Here, in Portland and Multnomah County, we’ve cut total emissions by 14 percent, with 30 percent more people and over 75,000 more jobs. Clearly we are headed in a different direction," said Anderson. “The investments that have helped us cut energy use and reduce carbon emissions are the same things that make people want to live here: Creating walkable neighborhoods with shopping, restaurants and parks; investing in transit and bike facilities; and making our homes and buildings more efficient and comfortable.”

The draft 2015 Climate Action Plan --now out for public comment before consideration by Portland City Council in June -- builds on Portland’s 20+ year legacy of climate action and provides a roadmap for the community to achieve an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, with an interim goal of a 40 percent reduction by 2030.

In 1993, Portland was the first U.S. city to create a local action plan for cutting carbon. The 2015 draft plan builds on the accomplishments to date with ambitious new policies, fresh research on consumption choices and engagement with community leaders serving low-income households and communities of color to advance equity through the City and County’s climate action efforts. Following community input and revisions, the draft plan will be considered for adoption by the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission, Multnomah County Board of Commissioners and the Portland City Council in June 2015.

As global leaders grapple with the concerns and opportunities the changing climate presents, Portland has become an international destination for planners and decision-makers seeking proven strategies for climate action. Since 2010, more than 160 delegations from around the world have come to Portland to speak with business and government leaders to understand how Portland has lowered emissions while welcoming growth and creating a more livable community. Portland and Multnomah County now have 12,000 clean tech jobs, an increase of 25 percent in the last 15 years.

Watch Portland’s climate action leaders talk about bold policy, benefits and the road ahead.

Download a copy or individual chapters of the draft 2015 Climate Action Plan at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/climate


RICAP 7 Proposed Draft Released

A wide range of minor Zoning Code amendments are headed to the Planning and Sustainability Commission for a public hearing on April 28

BPS staff have released the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package 7 (RICAP 7): Proposed Draft in preparation for the upcoming Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) public hearing on April 28, 2015.

This draft contains proposed amendments for 42 wide ranging topics, from clarifying existing limitations on the size of certain land uses (such as retail establishments in an industrial area) to specifying the maximum amount of time between when an applicant meets with the neighborhood for a project like a land division or condominium project, and when they submit their application. Many of the items clarify existing regulations, make minor fixes for code consistency, or restructure existing regulations such as converting the long list of design review thresholds into a table.

This Proposed Draft updates the public Discussion Draft, which as released in January. The Proposed Draft includes staff consideration of the comments received over a seven-week outreach period. This feedback was helpful in identifying areas of the code or commentary that some found to be confusing or that needed additional refinement to avoid unintended outcomes.

PSC Hearing Details
Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission – Public Hearing
Tuesday, April 28, 2014, 3 p.m.**
1900 SW 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Room 2500A

** Please check the PSC calendar approximately one week before the hearing for a more specific time and additional details.

View the agenda: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/psc
View the Proposed Draft: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/524658
For detailed instructions on submitting testimony: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/383906

Ladd’s Addition Historic Guidelines

The requested update to the Ladd’s Addition Historic District guidelines would address inconsistencies between tree species in the required street tree planting plan as well as tree species that are prohibited because they are considered nuisance species in the Portland Plant List. Staff is not advancing proposed amendments at this time, as additional work is still need to develop a suitable replacement street tree list and update procedure.

Staff will be briefing the Urban Forestry Commission on the status of the Ladd’s Addition Historic Guideline update on April 16 at 8:30 a.m. in the Lovejoy Room at City Hall (1221 SW 4th Avenue). There will be no public testimony at this briefing, but the public is welcome attend.

On April 27 at 1:30 p.m., the Historic Landmarks Commission will hold a public hearing to consider staff’s recommendation to not amend the guidelines until additional work has been completed. The Landmarks Commission hearing will be in the same location as the Planning and Sustainability Commission’s hearing (1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A).


PSC News: April 7, 2015 Meeting Recap and Documents

Terminal 6 Environmental Overlay Zone Boundary and Code Amendment — hearing / recommendation

Agenda

  • Terminal 6 Environmental Overlay Zone Boundary and Code Amendment — hearing / recommendation

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.  

Proposal for New Multnomah County Health Department Headquarters in Old Town/Chinatown Subject of Public Hearing on April 28

Portlanders invited to review and testify on proposed height increase that would allow the County to consolidate Health Department administrative services in one building

Map showing Old Town/Chinatown site of proposed Multnomah County Health BuildingThe Multnomah County Health Department serves the county’s 748,000 residents, providing essential public health services, including direct medical and dental services, environmental health services, public health investigation and reporting, and chronic and communicable disease prevention. However, the County’s Health Department administrative facilities in downtown Portland are under-sized and functionally obsolete, and department functions are spread across multiple buildings throughout the county.

So the County is proposing to construct a new headquarters facility for its Health Department on a half-block site in Old Town/Chinatown. The new building would concentrate most of the County’s health-related administrative departments and include some direct-service functions.

Extra height required

The site selected for the proposed facility is the eastern portion of Block U, located on NW 6th Ave, between NW Hoyt and NW Irving streets, within the River District of the Central City (see map). The new building would require an estimated 120,000 to 150,000 square feet and would stand between 105 and 150 feet in height. While the density entitlement (with bonuses) for the site is sufficient for the proposed building, the height allowance (75 feet) is not.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is proposing to raise the height on Block U to a maximum of 150 feet to accommodate this proposal. This would be done by increasing the base height from 75 to 105 feet and making the site eligible for an additional 45 feet of bonus height. This could be earned through the use of floor area ratio (FAR) bonuses in exchange for providing various public benefits. The public is invited to testify on the proposed height increase at a public hearing with the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Public Hearing on Multnomah County Health Department Building

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission
Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 3 p.m.*
1900 SW 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Room 2500A

* Please check the PSC calendar or call (503) 823-7700 one week prior to hearing for scheduled time of this agenda item

Instructions on submitting testimony:https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/383906.

Download the proposal (including graphics and ESEE analysis update): https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/524773 

Next Steps

A City Council public hearing to consider the recommendations of the Planning and Sustainability Commission on this proposal is anticipated in early June 2015. For more information, visit the project website or contact Nicholas Starin at nicholas.starin@portlandoregon.gov or by phone at (503) 823-5837.

 

Portland City Council Adopts West Quadrant Plan

Long-range plan for the west side of the Central City provides direction for economic activity and growth, access to the Willamette River and an exciting urban waterfront, habitat restoration, more housing diversity and livability

On March 5, 2015, the Portland City Council voted to adopt the West Quadrant Plan, which sets direction for a long-range plan for Central City districts west of the Willamette River, including Downtown, the West End, Goose Hollow, the Pearl, Old Town/Chinatown, South Waterfront and South Downtown/University. 


“This plan welcomes change, growth and development, but also seeks to preserve character, livability and important historic and environmental resources,” said Mayor Charlie Hales at the start of the second public hearing on the West Quadrant Plan Recommended Draft. “The plan lays out a detailed and balanced roadmap and builds on the successes and key directions from the 1972 Downtown Plan and 1988 Central City Plans.”


Commissioners discuss proposed amendments to the West Quadrant PlanAt the first public hearing on the West Quadrant Plan on February 4, Council received oral and written communications from more than 100 people. At the March 5 hearing, about a dozen Portlanders testified on amendments to the plan, which were introduced by Mayor Hales, Commissioners Fritz and Novick, and City planners. The package included amendments for habitat restoration, Waterfront Park, the Greenway Trail, bridgehead heights, the Pearl District Waterfront and Goose Hollow Residential Overlays.

Waterfront Park, housing bonuses and Pearl District Greenway top issues

The liveliest discussions between commissioners were around updating the master plan for Waterfront Park — with Commissioner Fritz passionately advocating for resources to go to unmet park needs in East Portland — and height bonuses for affordable housing along the Pearl District Waterfront.

The vote to adopt was four to one, with Fritz the single nay vote. “We haven’t gotten to the right endpoint with the Pearl Greenway and Waterfront Park,” she explained.

Commissioner Saltzman, a strong affordable housing advocate, noted, “There’s nothing to be ashamed of about height. I see it as an opportunity for more affordable housing. We’ll be coming back in May with more information about bonuses and affordable housing, and I feel good we’ll get those bonuses in time.”

All the commissioners acknowledged the tremendous amount of work on the part of the project Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the Planning and Sustainability Commission, community members who participated in the process and testified to City Council, and City bureaus who collaborated to craft the plan.


“So much of what the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability does is act as the nexus; bringing together the best ideas of the community and other bureaus’ work,” said BPS Director Susan Anderson. “Staff have had hundreds of conversations with residents, businesses and our bureau partners to develop this plan.”


Thanking his fellow commissioners for their willingness to work through every detail of the plan, Mayor Hales acknowledged “the amazing thoughtful community testimony. Reflecting on my work here and around the country, I don’t think we understand how high caliber the work is here in Portland. … Good work is being done here.”

Other features of the plan

The West Quadrant Plan aims to improve livability, stimulate economic development, and increase connections and access in and around the Central City with the Green Loop, a 10-mile walking and biking open space path. The plan also includes actions to activate the waterfront and restore habitat in the Willamette River for fish, wildlife and people. And it ensures a more resilient Central City in response to global environmental changes and challenges.

Next steps

By adopting the plan, Council approved specific policy directions for the West Quadrant. Now staff will begin writing the code to implement the plan, which will be rolled up into the Central City 2035 Plan, along with the N/NE Quadrant Plan (completed in 2012) and the SE Quadrant Plan (in progress), and submitted to City Council in 2016 as the first amendment to the 2035 Comprehensive Plan.