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Climate Change Preparation Strategy published for public review

BPS News release, Feb. 19, 2014


Feb. 19, 2014



Christine Llobregat
City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Climate Change Preparation Strategy published for public review

City of Portland and Multnomah County seek input on a new draft plan to build resilience into local policies, operations, services and infrastructure

Portland, ORE – The City of Portland and Multnomah County’s new draft Climate Change Preparation Strategy and draft Risk & Vulnerabilities Assessment have been released for comment. Technical experts, organizations, businesses and members of the public are encouraged to provide feedback on the documents before the Portland and Multnomah County council members consider adopting the documents later this year. 

The draft materials describe how climate change will affect the region and what actions are proposed to improve resiliency and to protect communities. Through April 11, 2014, comments may be submitted online, by e-mail to or by mail to City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Attn: Michele Crim, 1900 SW 4th Ave., Suite 7100, Portland, Oregon 97201.

“The analysis and implementation relies on a strong collaboration between the city and county, and across city agencies,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “I just returned from a global conference in South Africa on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate risk. What I found is that cities everywhere face daunting impacts from climate change and we need to take a prudent, responsible approach to reducing risk and building resilience. I welcome feedback on the draft findings and proposed actions.”

The draft strategy and the companion background report are key deliverables from Portland’s 2009 Climate Action Plan. They explore the potential impacts of climate change on various sectors, including people, infrastructure, and natural systems likes rivers and wetlands. Potential impacts to food production, climate migrants, energy systems and the economy are also explored in the strategy. The strategy proposes 12 objectives and more than 80 actions to build resilience into Portland and Multnomah County’s policies, operations, services and infrastructure over the coming years. 

“We’ve already taken many actions that help us be more resilient and prepare for climate change. These actions benefit local air and water quality, protect greenspaces and create wonderful places for Portlanders to live, work and play,” said Susan Anderson, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability director. “We appreciate the longstanding collaboration among many local partners that will help to implement this strategy.”

Portland’s climate future is expected to be characterized by warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers with an increased frequency of high-heat days. The strategy names five distinct risks:

Hotter, drier summers with more high-heat days

Risk 1: Increased temperatures (both day and night) and frequency of high-heat days.

Risk 2: Increased incidence of drought.

Risk 3: Increased wildfire frequency and intensity.

Warmer, wetter winters

Risk 4: Increased incidence and magnitude of damaging floods.

Risk 5: Increased incidence of landslides.

“This strategy is an excellent example of the collaboration between Multnomah County and the City of Portland. Our Health Department staff are working to prepare for an increase of heat-related illnesses and deaths, mosquito-borne diseases, asthma attacks from poor air quality and community's health in the face of these challenges,” said Joanne Fuller, chief operating officer, interim health director, Multnomah County.

Successful preparation requires an understanding of how climate change may affect people most vulnerable to projected impacts, particularly increased temperatures, poor air quality and flooding. Where possible, the strategy recommends that preparation actions be prioritized in areas where people face current and historical disparities that may be exacerbated by climate change impacts, including low-income populations and communities of color. 

“Certain populations, including low-income households, communities of color, linguistically isolated households, renters and older adults may be less able to prepare for and recover from impacts from climate change, said Claudia Arana Colen, health equity coordinator, Upstream Public Health. “I am pleased to see the needs of vulnerable populations prioritized, and expect Portland and Multnomah County to deliver on their commitments to these communities as they implement this plan.”

Developed by the City of Portland and Multnomah County, the draft materials were informed by advisors from the Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, Oregon Department of Geology & Mineral Industries and the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission. 

Carbon emissions from the burning of fossil fuels and from land use changes, including deforestation, are the primary drivers for the climate change we are experiencing today and expect to see in the future. Reducing carbon emissions remains a crucial component of climate change preparation work. The assessment and the strategy are linked to the City of Portland and Multnomah County Climate Action Plan, which integrates the City and County’s work to slow the effects of climate change while also preparing for the impacts that we will experience. Portland and Multnomah County are currently in the process of updating the Climate Action Plan, which was originally adopted in 2009. Visit Portland’s Climate Action website to learn more about the Climate Action Plan update project and other existing climate efforts.

Additional statements from community partners

“Floods and landslides damage homes, roads and infrastructure. They disrupt residents’ lives and occasionally threaten personal safety. This strategy emphasizes the need to prepare for these types of events, which are projected to become more common as our climate changes,” said Carmen Merlo, director of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management.

“Portland is already implementing many actions that will make the city more resilient to the impacts of climate change. For example, to improve stormwater management and reduce flooding, significant efforts have been made to acquire and restore natural areas and to install green infrastructure, such as bioswales and ecoroofs,” said Jane Bacchieri, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, watershed services manager. “These strategies will also help Portland address the urban heat effects, changing precipitation patterns, and public health impacts expected as a result of climate change.”


Standing Room Only at RICAP 6 Open House

Short term rental proposal steals the show, but there’s still time to submit your comments on the code amendment Discussion Draft

It was standing room only at the RICAP 6 Open House on Feb. 11, 2014, as the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Code Development Team presented information and fielded questions and comments on the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package (RICAP) proposals. While the RICAP 6 Discussion Draft comprises 45 issues ranging from minor clarifications to fence regulations to more substantive changes to wireless facility requirements, the overwhelming interest was focused on the short term rental regulations.

Staff opened the meeting with a short presentation about the RICAP 6 process and timeline, and opportunities to get involved moving forward. The presentation then shifted to short term rentals: what they are, the current regulations that apply to them, and the proposal to address one- and two-bedroom operations in residential zones.

Staff from the Revenue Bureau and Bureau of Development Services were also on hand to help explain the existing transient lodging tax requirements and code compliance process.

Attendees included people interested in starting their own short term rental operation, those who are or had been operating a short term rental, and neighbors concerned about potential impacts from these operations. Staff heard questions about impacts to affordable housing and requirements for neighbor notification and hosting, as well as concerns about safety and security for both visiting guests and other residents in the neighborhood. Some also expressed concern about existing limits on allowed social gatherings for properties that are running a short term rental. Some attendees felt that the proposal did not go far enough in addressing absentee whole-house short term vacation rentals (which are prohibited), while others felt that the proposal was going too far by placing restrictions on the one- and two-bedroom operations.

Comments on this and the other 44 issues in the RICAP 6 Discussion Draft can be submitted until Feb. 21, 2014. Staff will then review, analyze, and incorporate feedback into a Proposed Draft to be released in March. The Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold a public hearing and take testimony on April 22, 2014. After that they will make their recommendation to City Council, who will hold an additional public hearing in late spring.

For more information

RICAP 6 (Bureau of Planning and Sustainability) or call 503-823-6879

Transient Lodging Tax Information (Revenue Bureau) or 503-823-5157

Current Zoning Regulations (Bureau of Development Services) or 503-823-7526

Portland’s Central Eastside Poses Interesting Questions About the Future of Employment Land

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability releases introduction to the history and background of the district, its role as a regional employment center, types of businesses, urban character, transportation issues, the riverfront and future of the industrial sanctuary

Portland’s Central Eastside (CES) is an economic development success story, and a variety of businesses make the area one of the city’s largest employment districts. Over the past decade, while the rest of the city and the region’s job growth stagnated, the CES now includes more than 1,100 businesses with more than 17,000 employees. Reflecting the changing nature of industry and technology, industrial uses and creative enterprises are neighbors in an area that is emerging as an attractive location for cross-industry exchange, from film and digital enterprises to food, creative services and craft industries.

To address the changing dynamics in the SE Quadrant and ensure that the industrial sanctuary in the Central Eastside preserves and enhances new employment growth, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is leading the SE Quadrant planning effort and recently released a dynamic introduction to the area.

Titled Portland’s Central Eastside, the document includes bold illustrations by a local comic artist, fascinating historic photographs and compelling stories about the people and places in the Central Eastside.

Portland's Central Eastside  Illustration
Read Portland’s Central Eastside

Urban Land Institute Daniel Rose Fellows Offer Recommendations for Future Planning Efforts

Through narrative and images, the book paints a picture of a place transformed from farmland to loading docks to train tracks and freeways. It shows how the district went from Produce Row to industrial sanctuary, and describes the various business sectors thriving in the area today. It presents a case study of the Ranchers and Gardners Building, which was once a place for local immigrant farmers to sell and distribute their produce and is now home to a variety of small, mostly manufacturing enterprises. The book describes an evolving industrial “ecosystem,” where metal fabricators and other craftspeople form a “colony” of mutually supportive services that are accessible by foot or bike. And it identifies the issues around urban form and character, transportation and the riverfront, and offers discussion questions to start conversations with the community that will be necessary to chart the path ahead.

The land use challenges in this unique part of Portland have caught the eye of planners around the nation. The Urban Land Institute Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership in Land Use recently chose Portland as one of four cities to study this year, with Mayor Charlie Hales, and directors Susan Anderson (BPS), Leah Treat (PBOT) and Patrick Quinton (PDC) named as Rose Center Fellows.

During the week of February 10, ULI staff and Rose Center fellows toured the Central Eastside, talked with project staff, interviewed stakeholders and presented their findings and recommendations to a crowd of about 70 people on Thursday morning.

According to a ULI media release, their “goal is to initiate the creation of strategy to position the Central Eastside… as a 21st century business district offering sufficient flexibility to serve longtime industrial employers as well as new, emerging industries.”

At the presentation on Thursday, February 13, held at the Eastside Exchange building, ULI staff and fellows emphasized the need to redefine the notion of an industrial sanctuary and create a “haven for ‘doers and makers’” in the Central Eastside. They called on the City to create an employment strategy, not a regulatory strategy, through:

  • Infrastructure and access improvements.
  • Land use flexibility.
  • Programming and partnerships.

The presentation ended with some “homework” assignments for City staff, which will be reviewed when the teams reconvene in April in Vancouver, Wash.For more information about ULI and the Daniel Rose Center, please visit

Regulatory Round Up: February 11 Open House To Share Ideas for Code Improvements

Public invited to learn about and comment on new code amendment packages for short-term rentals, commercial filming, wireless services and more

On Tuesday, February 11, project staff will host an open house to share information about new regulations for short-term rentals and other code revisions, including:

  • Wireless service facilities
  • Commercial filming
  • Temporary construction staging
  • Historic review for resources in the public right-of-way
  • 20 other code clarification items

The focus of the first hour of the open house will be on new rules for short-term rentals, defined as one or two bedrooms rented to nightly visitors by residents living in their home. Staff will give a short presentation on proposed changes to the bed and breakfast regulations at 5:15 p.m., followed by a question and answer session. Participants will then be able to discuss any of the other items in the code amendment package with staff around the room.

RICAP 6 Open House, 1900 SW 4th Ave, Rm 2500B
Tuesday, February 11

5 p.m. – 6 p.m Short Term Rental presentation
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. General Open House
The first hour will include a presentation and Q&A session about short-term rentals, followed by an open house format about all the amendment packages.

The open house will allow participants to learn about and submit comments on the proposed amendments, as well as next steps in the process. Deadline for comments is February 21. Staff will then incorporate public input into the Proposed Draft, which will be released in March for the Planning and Sustainability Commission's consideration.

The proposed amendments are part of the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package (RICAP). This new package constitutes the sixth round (RICAP 6) of these relatively quick code fixes in response to community input. Unlike other regulatory improvement projects, RICAPs are limited to technical corrections and clarification of existing code, along with minor changes of existing policy.

Download the RICAP 6 Discussion Draft

Download a Summary of the 45 Items being considered

How to save money and be healthy this winter – Come to the FREE Fix-It Fair!

Saturday, February 22, 2014, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. at David Douglas High School. ¡Clases en español!

Fix-It Fair workshop

en español abajo

The Fix-It Fair is a free event where you can learn simple and effective ways to stay healthy and save money at home this winter and beyond.

Featuring exhibits from numerous community partners, these events also include an extensive schedule of workshops held throughout the day. Experts will be available to talk with you about water and energy savings, personal health and healthcare, food and nutrition, community resources, recycling, yard care and more!

Special workshops will be taught in Spanish. Free professional childcare, blood lead testing for children and lunch are provided.

Please bring a reusable bag to gather resources and giveaways from the exhibits and classes. Hourly raffle prizes are offered.

When and Where

Saturday, February 22, 2014
9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.
David Douglas High School
1001 SE 135th Ave.

This event is free and open to the public.

To help ensure equal access to City programs, services and activities, the City of Portland will reasonably modify policies/procedures and provide auxiliary aids/services to persons with disabilities. Call 503-823-7700 with such requests.

For More Information | | 503-823-4309
En español: | 503-823-4000

La Fix-It Fair ofrece clases y exposiciones gratuitos para ayudarle a ahorrar dinero y vivir una vidasana

La Fix-It Fair es un evento GRATUITO presentado por la Ciudad de Portland en donde usted puede aprender maneras simples de ahorrar dinero y conectarse con recursos. Únase a sus vecinos y hable con expertos sobre la manera de gastar menos y mantenerse saludable.

La guardería y el almuerzo es gratis. Análisis de plomo gratuito para los niños. Premios cada hora. No olvide llevar una bolsa reutilizable para los recursos de la sala de exposiciones.

Clases en español

  • Aprenda a construir y reparar el crédito
  • Compradores de su primera casa
  • Comida saludable con un bajo presupuesto
  • Hablemos sobre la sexualidad
  • Asegúrate de Asegurarte

¿Cuándo y Dónde?

el 22 de febrero 2014
sábado 9:30 a.m. a 3 p.m.
David Douglas High School
1001 SE 135th Ave.

Este evento es gratuito y abierto al público.

Para ayudar a asegurar igualdad de acceso a losprogramas, servicios y actividades de la Ciudad, la Ciudad de Portland modificará razonablementelas políticas y procedimientos y proporcionaráayudas y servicios auxiliares para personas condiscapacidades. Llame al 503-823-4000 para solicitarlos.

Para más información | | 503-823-4309
En español: | 503-823-4000

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