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PSC News: October 25, 2016 Meeting Recap

Residential Infill Project — briefing; Inclusionary Housing Zoning Code Project — hearing


  • Residential Infill Project — briefing
  • Inclusionary Housing Zoning Code Project — hearing**

** Testimony will be taken for this agenda item. Testimony will be limited to 2 minutes per person and may be changed at the Chair's discretion.

Meeting files

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

How is the Off-road Cycling Master Plan project identifying potential off-road cycling sites?

The site screening process is a key part of planning for a citywide network of places to ride a bicycle off-road.

The site screening process is a key part of planning for a citywide network of places to ride a bicycle off-road.

This process is underway and is happening in multiple steps:

First, the project team screened out properties that would not be appropriate for off-road cycling for an easily identifiable reason (such as properties that were very small, incredibly steep, fully developed, predominantly wetland, or designated as industrial land or archaeologically significant).

Next, the team categorized remaining sites as potentially suitable for off-road cycling trails, parks, both, or neither, based on considerations like slope, size, and the extent of existing natural areas.

As a third step, the project team, the Project Advisory Committee, and agency partners will identify initial sites that might offer good opportunities to provide a connected network of diverse off-road cycling experiences. This step will also consider important factors like:

  • Existing regulatory restrictions that prevent or limit recreational use.
  • Community priorities and other guidance established in existing master and management plans.
  • Environmental factors, such as habitat, soils, and waterways.
  • Other existing or planned recreational facilities on the property.

The final step will combine community knowledge and feedback with on-the-ground site assessments. 

As part of a broader community engagement strategy, community members will be able to explore and comment on all potential off-road cycling sites via an online interactive map. Sites that were screened out in previous steps will also be displayed and identified as such. Community members will be asked to help shape the plan by voicing their priorities for Portland’s parks and trails; commenting on potential sites; identifying ways to create a varied off-road cycling system that meets community needs; and noting potential management opportunities or challenges that should be explored further.

Specialists in environmental conservation and off-road cycling facility design will also complete field assessments of potential sites that have unique features or challenges. They will confirm suitability for the types of riding experiences proposed based on environmental conditions and other site-specific factors.

Zoning Code updates to increase shelter availability for people experiencing homelessness moves through Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC)

With PSC recommendation, code update project goes to City Council for public hearing on November 2

After hearing public testimony on the Mass Shelters and Housing Zoning Code Update on September 13, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) held a work session on September 27 to discuss the proposal and make their recommendation to City Council.

The PSC recommendations provide more flexibility for the siting of mass shelters in zones where they are already allowed, including increasing the number of beds and reducing separation requirements between buildings. The new code also reduces parking requirements for some mass shelters and short-term housing.

The PSC recommended not to move forward with any permanent amendments affecting the process of design or historic review of affordable housing projects. This was based on a lack of case studies to determine the effectiveness of the current temporary measure as well as due to testimony received at the hearing. 

Read the Mass Shelters and Housing Zoning Code Update Recommended Draft.

City Council will hold a public hearing on November 2 to consider the PSC recommendation.

Portland City Council Hearing
Mass Shelters and Housing Zoning Code Update
November 2, 2016, 2:20 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers 
1221 SW 4th Avenue

The public is also invited to testify in writing via:


U.S. Mail: Send to 1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 130, Portland, Oregon 97204

Written testimony must be received by the time of the hearing and must include your name and address. 

View the City Council hearing notice. 


In 2015, more than 4,300 Portlanders were placed in emergency shelters, and nearly 1,900 more were unable to find housing, even temporary housing. The code updates in this project respond to City Council’s direction to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to “simplify regulations, remove regulatory obstacles and expedite processes for land use reviews and permits for affordable housing projects, mass shelters and short-term housing” (Resolution #37196, passed on March 9, 2016).

City introduces new tool to address affordable housing shortage

Planning and Sustainability, Housing bureaus collaborate on policies and regulations for new Inclusionary Housing Program

Last spring the State Legislature adopted SB 1533 that enabled local governments to require affordable housing units be included in new multi-family developments. Under the direction of Commissioner Dan Saltzman, the Portland Housing Bureau is undertaking a process to develop an Inclusionary Housing program that is expected to be adopted by the Portland City Council in December.

As part of this program, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has proposed changes to the Zoning Code that will require new development with 20 or more units to set aside up to 20 percent of the new units as affordable for households earning 80 percent of the median family income (MFI), which is about $58,650 for a family of four. As part of the program, developments will be eligible for density bonuses, fee waivers and tax abatements.  As an alternative, developers will be able to provide affordable units off site, but nearby, or pay a fee into an affordable housing fund.

Read the Inclusionary Housing Zoning Code Project Proposed Draft.

The public is invited to testify on the Proposed Draft at the upcoming Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) hearing.

Public Hearing: Inclusionary Housing Zoning Code Project Proposed Draft
Tuesday, Oct.  25, 2016, 4:00 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A

Check the PSC Calendar one week prior to the scheduled hearing to confirm the date, time and location. Learn how to testify to the PSC; read Tips for Effective Testimony.

The PSC also invites testimony on this proposal through October 25, 2016, in writing:

  • By Email:
  • By U.S. Mail
    Planning and Sustainability Commission
    City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
    1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201
    Attn: Inclusionary Housing

Note: All testimony to the PSC is considered public record, and testifiers' name, address and any other information included in the testimony will be posted on the website.

Next steps

Following the PSC’s public hearing, the Commission will hold a work session on November 8, 2016, and vote on a recommendation for City Council to consider in December 2016. 


On February 10, 2016, through Resolution No. 37187, City Council asserted its intention to engage in a fair, deliberative, data-driven community discussion of enabling ordinances resulting from the removal of the preemption on inclusionary housing in the 2016 State Legislative Session.

Under the direction of Commissioner Dan Saltzman, the Portland Housing Bureau has introduced the recently formed Inclusionary Housing Program, which mandates the provision of affordable units in new multi-dwelling residential development through changes to the Zoning Code.

In response, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has proposed a set of new regulations to ensure the City complies with the Inclusionary Housing Program and SB1533. The Inclusionary Housing Zoning Code Project Proposed Draft requires that new construction of more than 20 units include a share of affordable units. The developer may also pay a fee in lieu of constructing affordable units, which will go into an affordable housing fund.

The Inclusionary Housing program is expected to be adopted by the Portland City Council in December, and is one of several tools available to the city to address the shortage of affordable housing.

For more information, visit the Inclusionary Housing Program website and/or the Inclusionary Housing Zoning Code Project page.


Recap: October 6 City Council Hearing on Recommended Early Implementation Package

Height/floor area ratio and transportation-related topics dominate first public hearing

Last Thursday, October 6, 2016, City Council held a public hearing on the Comprehensive Plan Recommended Early Implementation Package. More than 75 Portlanders signed up to testify, but due to unrelated events at City Hall, Council was able to hear testimony from roughly 45 people before running out of time.

What did people talk about at the hearing?

Public Hearing on Comprehensive Plan Implementation begins at approximately 1:39:20.

While testimony provided on October 6 addressed a variety of topics, there were some common themes, such as:

  • Parking minimums in mixed use/commercial zones outside of the Central City.
  • Floor area ratio (FAR) of properties zoned RH in Northwest Portland.
  • Drive-through facilities.

Next steps

This Thursday, October 13, 2016, at 2 p.m., City Council will hold another public hearing on the proposal. Portlanders may sign up to testify in front of Council Chambers starting at 1 p.m. However, please note that priority will be given to those who signed up to testify on October 6 and were unable to do so.

City Council Public Hearing
Recommended Early Implementation Package
Thursday, October 13, 2016, 2 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers
1221 SW 4th Avenue

Please check the Auditor’s website for more information and to confirm details. People interested in providing testimony may begin signing up one hour before the hearing but may only sign up for one person at a time. Testimony is limited to two minutes per person.

Other ways to testify

City Council will continue to accept written testimony on the Early Implementation Package until at least October 13. Learn how to provide testimony by visiting the How to Provide Feedback page.