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Media Advisory: Portland City Council to consider 2015 Climate Action Plan on June 24

Proposed plan contains revisions from public comment period, outlines next steps for achieving Portland and Multnomah County's carbon reduction goals.



Christine Llobregat

WHO: Portland City Council, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

WHAT: On behalf of all City of Portland bureaus, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will present the proposed draft of the 2015 Climate Action Plan for adoption by Portland City Council on Wednesday, June 24. The plan updates Portland’s 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.

WHEN: Wednesday, June 24, 2015 at 2 p.m.

WHERE: City Council Chambers, Portland City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Portland

WHY: In 1993, Portland was the first city in the United States to create a local action plan for cutting carbon. Since then, the City of Portland and Multnomah County have collaborated to produce updated climate plans that help guide the design and implementation of City and County efforts to reduce carbon emissions. Since 1990, total local carbon emissions have declined by 14 percent while 75,000 more jobs were added to the economy and the population grew by 31 percent. The plan being considered for adoption by City Council includes revisions based on comments and feedback from the public and outlines the actions the City and County will take in the next five years to keep Portland on the path of reducing local carbon emissions.

New focus areas include advancing equity and exploring consumption

Advancing equity: From transportation investments and economic opportunities to tree plantings and policy engagement, the proposed plan prioritizes actions that reduce disparities and ensure that under-served and under-represented communities share in the benefits of climate action work.

Exploring consumption: For the first time, the proposed plan includes a consumption-based inventory that counts carbon emissions associated with the goods and services that are produced elsewhere and consumed in Multnomah County. This inventory considers carbon emissions from the full lifecycle of goods and services, including production, transportation, wholesale and retail, use and disposal. Global carbon emissions as a result of local consumer demand are larger than the volume of emissions produced locally. The addition of the consumption-based inventory offers insight into a wider range of opportunities to reduce carbon.

Highlights of the proposed 2015 Climate Action Plan

  • The proposed plan calls for expanding active transportation options throughout Portland and ensure those infrastructure investments are resilient to the impacts of climate change. 
  • Given the strong momentum in Portland around home energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements, the proposed plan calls for doubling solar installations and continuing home weatherization efforts.
  • With a newly adopted energy tracking and reporting policy, the City will work with building owners and managers to improve the energy performance of Portland’s largest 1,000 commercial buildings.
  • Recent changes to garbage and composting service have led to a 36 percent reduction in garbage headed to the landfill. Residential bills are flat or down three years in a row, while Portland’s recycling rate has reached 70 percent, one of the highest in the nation. The proposed plan focuses on boosting food scrap recovery and multifamily recycling to raise those numbers even higher.

Comprehensive Plan inching its way toward City Council

Planning and Sustainability Commission scheduled to vote to recommend the new plan on July 14

On June 23, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) will hold its final work session to discuss the draft recommended plan. This draft is based on public testimony from six public hearings and more than 4,000 comments submitted via email and letters, and through the Map App. The Commission is tentatively scheduled to recommend the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan to City Council for consideration on July 14.

A final Recommended Draft (including goals, policies and land use map) will be published and sent to City Council in mid-August. Council will then hold a series of work sessions around topics such as employment land, housing, centers and corridors, mixed use zones and the Transportation System Plan. Starting in November, Portlanders will have a chance to testify in person at several public hearings on the Recommended Draft. Council will be accepting written comments from the time the final Recommended Draft is published in mid-August until the public hearings close.

Early Implementation: Zoning Code Updates

In the meantime, the early implementation projects (zoning code updates) for the Comprehensive Plan Update are moving forward. Discussion drafts for employment land, campus institutions, mixed use zones and other zoning updates will be released starting in July and extending into September. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff will accept comments on these drafts and use them when developing the project proposed drafts for the PSC.

Portlanders are invited to chat with city planners about how these new rules will affect their neighborhood during Neighborhood Office Hours throughout the city. Times and locations are posted on the Comprehensive Plan Update calendar.


The 2035 Comprehensive Plan
(Land use map, policies, project list)

  • PSC vote to recommend the plan to City Council: July 2015
  • Transmittal of PSC’s Recommended Draft to City Council: Mid-August 2015
  • City Council holds work sessions: September – October 2015
  • City Council holds public hearings: November – December 2015
  • Council adopts the plan (goals, policies and land use map): January 2016
  • Oregon Department of Land Conservation & Development reviews adopted plan: 2016
  • Effective date: 2017

Early Implementation Projects
(Zoning code and zoning map updates)

  • Bureau of Planning and Sustainability releases Discussion Drafts (comments to BPS staff):

Employment zoning – July 2015

Campus institutions – July 2015

Mixed use zones – August 2015

Other zoning – September 2015

  • PSC holds public hearings and accepts written testimony on proposed drafts and recommendations: September 2015 – March 2016 
  • City Council holds public hearings: May – June 2016
  • City Council adopts new Comprehensive Plan: Summer 2016
  • Oregon Department of Land Conservation & Development reviews adopted plan: 2016
  • Effective date: 2017

Sign up to receive updates

While the draft Comprehensive Plan keeps moving forward, there is still a ways to go before the new plan goes into effect in the summer of 2017. So stay tuned and look for opportunities to engage in the process. Sign up to receive updates on the Comprehensive Plan Update.

Free Recycling Resources for Multifamily Properties

Portland’s Multifamily Waste Reduction Program helps property owners and managers reduce garbage and recycling mistakes.


As the new property manager for an apartment building in Northeast Portland, Marty realized he needed a little help in managing the garbage and recycling collection area. Every week he noticed an increase in recyclable items showing up in the garbage, and wanted to figure out how to stop it. Marty reached out to Portland’s Multifamily Waste Reduction Program for free garbage and recycling resources and onsite assistance to support his residents with successfully getting discarded items into the right containers.

With onsite assistance from the Multifamily Waste Reduction Program, including an assessment of current operations, Marty now has increased the number of recycling containers. He also received informational materials for residents who speak a language other than English and added durable multilingual signs to make the recycling, garbage and composting collection area more accessible and easier to use. Now, residents have a much easier time getting recyclable items in the right containers.

Since 2004, Portland’s Multifamily Waste Reduction Program has been working with property owners, managers and maintenance staff to make recycling, composting and waste disposal accessible and easy for residents. The program provides free educational materials and technical assistance to help prevent garbage and recycling mistakes, making a property manager’s job much easier.

Portland is growing and the Multifamily Waste Reduction Program, along with garbage and recycling companies, play an essential role in navigating the garbage and recycling challenges and opportunities inherent in the city’s multifamily housing development. Over the next few years, the program will focus on strengthening communication channels with existing property managers while establishing strong relationships with builders and property managers of new multifamily sites. The program will make every effort to streamline educational outreach to make it as clear, straightforward and effective as possible. Outreach efforts tailored to the specific needs of property owners and managers will ensure more multifamily households in Portland have the necessary tools and resources to increase and improve recycling efforts. 

Get free resources for your property today: 503-823-7224  |

Portland City Council approves pilot deconstruction program

Pilot program will provide deconstruction training, education, technical assistance and financial incentives for innovative projects.

On June 3, Portland City Council unanimously approved a resolution instructing the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to establish a pilot program to advance deconstruction (disassembly of structures in order to salvage materials for reuse).  Mayor Hales said that Council is committed to moving fast on this issue. He also reiterated that the Portland community has shown a strong interest in moving in the direction of deconstruction as one of the ways to help address the recent increase in neighborhood demolition rates.

Members of Council and some testifiers also highlighted many of the benefits of deconstruction, including an increase in the amount of recovered materials that may be re-purposed and diverted from landfills, preservation of historic features and materials, a decrease in exposure to hazardous materials such as asbestos, and reduction of carbon emissions. .

The pilot program will provide deconstruction training, education, technical assistance and financial incentives for innovative projects. Deconstruction classes are scheduled to commence this fall, and BPS is expected to report back to Council on program status and next steps in January 2016. The pilot is funded through a grant from the Solid Waste Management Fund reserve, administered by BPS.

The design and execution of the pilot program will be conducted with continued discussion and input from the Deconstruction Advisory Group (DAG), convened in April. The group includes a wide range of experts including deconstruction contractors, salvage retail outlets, historic preservationists, developers, a recycler/hauler, the Bureau of Development Services (BDS), Mayor’s office, and Metro staff, as well as members of the Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) and United Neighbors for Reform.

More information about the Deconstruction Advisory Group, meeting minutes, calendar, and contact information are all available on the BPS website at To learn more about deconstruction, please visit the Construction & Demolition Debris section of the BPS website.

URL for full video of City Council proceedings: