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Phone: 503-823-7700

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1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Testimony on the Central City 2035 Plan Proposed Draft extended to Thursday, August 11 at 5 p.m.

Portlanders can submit written testimony on the new plan via the online Map App and email

On Tuesday evening, August 9, 2016, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) closed its public hearing on the Central City 2035 Plan Proposed Draft. More than 140 Portlanders testified during two three-hour sessions (the first hearing was on July 26).

Responding to requests from multiple stakeholders and groups, the PSC will accept written testimony until 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 11. Written testimony on the CC2035 proposal can be submitted:

  • Via the Map App: Testify about specific properties or transportation proposals through the Map App
  • By email: Be sure to include “CC2035 Plan Testimony” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address.
  • By delivering physical letters to the address below before the 5 p.m. deadline

Planning and Sustainability Commission
City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201
Attn: CC2035 Testimony

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.

Residential Infill Project questionnaire closes on August 15

Share your feedback on proposals that address the scale of houses, housing types and historically narrow lots in residential neighborhoods

On June 15, 2016, the Residential Infill Project (RIP) released a set of proposals that would adjust Portland’s single-dwelling zoning rules to meet the needs of current and future generations.

Project staff then held six open houses around the city to share the proposals with community members. The events drew hundreds of Portlanders who were interested in and concerned about new development in their neighborhoods. Thanks to all who attended the events at Multnomah Arts Center (SW), Tabor Space (Inner SE), Historic Kenton Firehouse (North), East Portland Neighborhood Office (East), German American Society (Inner NE) and SMILE Station.

Staff notes reflecting the general conversations that occurred during the Q & A sessions at the open houses are posted on the project website with other public involvement documents.

Couldn’t attend an open house? Visit the online open house and take the questionnaire.
Since mid-June, an online open house and questionnaire has given Portlanders a chance to learn about the project and provide comments on the proposals. Deadline for filling out the questionnaire is August 15. Join hundreds of others and let staff know what you think of the draft proposals.

Visit the online open house and take the questionnaire

Don’t have enough space on the questionnaire?
Email your comments to All comments sent to our project mailbox will be included in the summary report of public comments. You may also mail your comments to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201, Attn: Residential Infill

How will public comments be used?
The Summary Report will be posted to the project website in September. These comments will inform possible revisions to the draft proposals for City Council consideration in November.

See the display boards in the lobby in front of the Permit Center at 1900 SW 4th Avenue

The same display boards that traveled to all the open houses are featured in the lobby in front of the permit center until Friday, August 12. These boards offer a chance to learn about the proposals at your own pace. While you’re there, you can give staff your feedback by:

  • Writing your comments on the flip chart.
  • Filling out a comment card and/or questionnaire and putting it in the comment box.

(subject to change; check website closer to date)

August 15: Public review of draft proposals ends
August/September: Summarize public comment and develop recommendations
October 3: Publish staff recommendations to City Council
October 25: Planning and Sustainability Commission briefing (tentative)
November 9: City Council hearing(s) (tentative); provide direction for code language
Winter 2016: Begin working on code language
Summer 2017: Publish draft code language; public review
Fall 2017: PSC and City Council hearings; adopt code language

For more information, visit the project website at

Or contact project staff:

Morgan Tracy, Project Manager, 503-823-6879
Julia Gisler, Public Involvement, 503-823-7624

One part of the proposal includes a limit on the size of houses, which is based on lot size. 

Zoning Code update for mass shelters proposed to address the needs of people experiencing homelessness

Portlanders invited to learn more about the draft code update at an open house on August 31 and testify on the proposal at a public hearing on September 13

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has released the Mass Shelters and Housing Zoning Code Update Proposed Draft. The draft responds to City Council direction to reduce some regulatory and process barriers for the siting of mass shelters, short-term housing and affordable housing.

Mass shelters are structures that provide communal sleeping areas within a larger room. Short-term housing structures provide one or more individual sleeping rooms (similar to a dorm room) on a short-term basis. Neither one is allowed in industrial zones, including Terminal 1.

Homelessness on the rise
In 2015, more than 4,300 people in Portland were placed in emergency shelters. Another 1,887 people — a third of which were newly homeless — couldn’t find housing, even in emergency shelters.

The proposed code amendments provide more flexibility for the siting of mass shelters in zones where they are already allowed. The new regulations would increase the number of allowed beds and reduce separation requirements for these mass shelters. The code also reduces parking requirements for some shelters and short-term housing that are part of an existing institution such as church or other community service use. In areas where shelters or short term housing are subject to a conditional use review, the amendments provide some additional options for the type of review and criteria that must be met.

Read the Mass Shelter and Housing Zoning Code Update Proposed Draft

Learn more …

There are several upcoming events to find out more about the project:

Citywide Land Use Meeting
Monday, August 22, 7 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Ave., Room 2500B

BPS Open House
Wednesday, August 31, 5–7 p.m.
First Baptist Church, 909 SW 11th Ave. 

… then testify to the Planning and Sustainability Commission

PSC Hearing on Mass Shelters Code Update
Tuesday September 13, 12:30 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Ave., Room 2500A

Please check the PSC calendar prior to the hearing to confirm date, time and agenda.

Read the Notice of the PSC Hearing.

For more information about the project, please visit the project website or contact Phil Nameny at or 503-823-7709. 

White House recognizes BPS equity specialist as “Champion of Change for Climate Equity”

Desirée Williams-Rajee honored for work to incorporate equity into the 2015 Climate Action Plan for Portland and Multnomah County.

BPS is proud to have her on our team: Equity Specialist Desirée Williams-Rajee traveled to Washington D.C. in July to receive recognition as a “White House Champion of Change for Climate Equity.”

Desiree Williams-Rajee“I’m so grateful and appreciative to be given this honor,” said Desirée. “I think it's incredibly important that Portland's work on advancing equity be elevated in concert with our reputation as a sustainable city—and while this honor is being given to me, it is for work that acknowledges how we are shifting our paradigm for better governance and government; it is work that is more responsive to the needs of all communities—which in turn, will make Portland more vibrant and resilient. We do this by starting with communities who have historically had the least influence in decision-making, but are highly impacted by the decisions we make and actions we take.”

As the equity specialist for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Desirée’s job is two-fold: She supports the cultural shift required for effective equity work; and supports teams to apply an equity lens to the work that they do. An equity lens operates as a new set of decision-making glasses that helps BPS bring into focus what might otherwise be ignored. This includes the experiences of people of color, low-income communities, the disability community and other marginalized groups. The text of the news release from the White House appears below.

News Release from The White House


July 13, 2016

White House to Recognize “Champions of Change for Climate Equity”

Champions of Change for Climate EquityWASHINGTON, D.C. – On Friday, July 15, the White House will recognize ten individuals from across the country as “White House Champions of Change for Climate Equity.”

The White House selected these individuals for their work empowering low-income and underserved communities to prepare for and adapt to climate change. These leaders have initiated powerful changes to ensure that those most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change have the resources they need to thrive and build resilient communities.

Climate change exacerbates existing health and socioeconomic inequities, placing children, the elderly, the sick, the low income, and communities of color at particular risk. These communities often have limited capacity and resources necessary to prepare for and adapt to a changing environment. That’s why the Obama Administration is committed to addressing climate change in a way that makes equity a priority and celebrating local leaders who are making a difference in their communities.

Friday’s program will feature remarks by Council on Environmental Quality Managing Director Christy Goldfuss and White House Office of Science and Technology Policy Director Dr. John Holdren.

The Champions of Change program was created as an opportunity for the White House to feature individuals doing extraordinary things to empower and inspire members of their communities. The event will be live streamed on the White House website at on Friday, July 15, at 2:30 PM ET. Follow the conversation at #ActonClimate and #WHChamps. 

Esau Sinnok — Shishmaref, Alaska

Esau was raised on an Alaskan island on the frontlines of climate change. Growing up in such a community inspired Esau to share his experiences, telling stories of how climate change has affected Shishmaref in order to raise awareness about the issues his community faces.

Esau represented his community when he traveled to COP21 for the United Nations Climate Change Negotiations as part of the Sierra Student Coalition and continues his advocacy in his current role as an Arctic Youth Ambassador for the US Chairmanship of the Arctic Council. He studies Tribal Management at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and hopes to run for Governor of Alaska by the year 2030.

Colette Pichon Battle — Sidell, Louisiana

Colette has worked for the past ten years with local communities, national funders and elected officials around equity issues in her home state of Louisiana in the post-Katrina and post-BP disaster in the Gulf Coast. She currently serves as Executive Director of the Gulf Coast Center for Law & Policy (GCCLP), developing programs focused on Global Migration, Community Economic Development, Climate Justice, and Equitable Disaster Recovery.

Colette has won a variety of awards for her work with Gulf Coast communities, including the 2015 US Human Rights Network Movement Builder Award and the 2015 Echoing Green Climate Fellowship. Most recently, Colette was named a Water Champion by the Greater New Orleans Foundation in recognition of her efforts supporting underrepresented communities and improving the lives of Gulf Coast residents.

Vien Truong — Oakland, California

Vien is one of the country’s foremost experts when it comes to building an equitable green economy. Inspired by her childhood in one of Oakland’s poorest and most polluted communities, she now leads Green For All, a national initiative with the goal of creating a green economy strong enough to lift people out of poverty. Among other accomplishments, Green For All was a key player in creating the country’s first Green Jobs Act in 2007. 

Vien is an instrumental leader in a wide variety of green economy initiatives: she has developed over a dozen state policies, created numerous energy and workforce programs, and advised on billions in public investments for energy and community development programs. More specifically, Vien is known for accelerating California’s transition to electric vehicles through the Charge Ahead Initiative and developing strong workforce standards in the environmental technology sector through the California Climate Credit.

Gilbert Campbell — Washington, DC

Gilbert is a co-founder and principal of Volt Energy, a renewable energy firm that finances and develops solar energy projects, electric vehicle charging stations, and energy storage solutions for commercial, government, educational, and non-profit institutions. Volt Energy's clients include Subaru, The Cheesecake Factory, Pepco, Fort Bragg, Wake Forest University, KIPP DC, and the Government of the District of Columbia.

Gilbert has been widely recognized for his work in promoting clean energy, entrepreneurship, and STEM education in underserved communities. In 2014, he was the recipient of the Amtrak and Washington Wizards Pioneer Award, which recognizes individuals that have made a positive impact in their local communities, and was included in EBONY magazine's Power 100 List. 

Cecilia Martinez — Minneapolis, Minnesota

Cecilia is the co-founder and Director of Research Programs at the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy (CEED). She previously held positions as Associate Research Professor in the College of Earth, Ocean and Environment at the University of Delaware, Associate Professor at Metropolitan State University and Research Director at the American Indian Policy Center. Cecilia has also worked with a range of organizations from local grassroots groups to international organizations engaging in the promotion of sound environmental policy and environmental justice. She served on the Climate Action Planning Steering Committee for the City of Minneapolis, and has been appointed to several national advisory boards. She is also on the leadership team for the national EJ and Science Initiative, and is leading the effort on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission on environmental harms.

Cecilia has led a variety of projects to address sustainable development at the local and international levels and has conducted research focused on the development of energy and environmental strategies that promote equitable and sustainable policies. Most recently Cecilia co-authored a chapter on environmental justice and climate resiliency with Dr. Nicky Sheats. She is working on a manuscript on environmental justice and climate change and among her other publications is the co-edited volume Environmental Justice: Discourses in International Political Economy, which includes some of her work on North American Indigenous peoples and the challenge of forging a common agenda of indigenous rights, justice and sustainability.

Michael Durglo — Pablo, Montana

Michael is a tribal elder from Montana and serves as the Environmental Protection Division Manager for the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT). He began his career in environmental advocacy in 1979, and has since worked for his tribe in a variety of positions including tribal police officer, wildlife conservation officer, wetland conservation coordinator, and water quality regulatory specialist. Michael has further influenced environmental policy through his former position on the CSKT Tribal Council and current position on the National Tribal Science Council.

In these roles and others, Michael has overseen a wide variety of environmental initiatives. In 2013, he led CSKT in developing a climate change strategic plan to address the effects of climate change on the Flathead Reservation and set a powerful example for other tribes as they develop strategies to protect the cultural and environmental resources.  He has also worked to engage community youth in sustainability projects through the Environmental Advocates for Global Logical Ecological Sustainability (EAGLES) Program.Desirée Williams-Rajee — Portland, Oregon

Desirée is the Equity Specialist for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. As the Equity Specialist, she provides technical assistance to shape the City’s urban planning and sustainability programs, policies, and services with an equity lens. Desirée led an effort to authentically engage organizations that serve communities of color and low-income populations through a formal learning partnership. Together, staff and community members built mutual capacity and actively collaborated to create a climate plan that meaningfully reduces carbon emissions, prepares for climate impacts, and delivers more equitable outcomes for Portland’s under-served and under-represented communities.

Her work has inspired other cities across the country and in Canada to incorporate similar equity considerations into their climate action planning efforts. The final product reflected a groundbreaking process that catalyzed the agency to rethink climate policy and public involvement and reignited a grassroots climate and environmental justice movement within Portland’s communities of color. Desirée was also a founding board member of the Center for Diversity and the Environment and a member of the inaugural cohort of the Young Climate Leaders Network.

Susana De Anda — Visalia, California

Susana co-founded and co-directs the Community Water Center (CWC) in Vasalia, California. Susana is a seasoned community organizer and has received numerous awards and recognitions, including: the 2009 Petra Foundation Fellowship award; “150 Fearless Women in the World” by Newsweek Magazine (2012); “Women on Top – Top Activist” by Marie Claire magazine (2012); AOL sponsored PBS 3-part series, “Makers: Women Who Have Shaped America” (2012); and “Las Fabulosas” and “Inspiring Latinas” by Powerful Latinas (2011). Susana and CWC are the focus of a chapter of Jill Iscol’s 2011 book, Hearts on Fire.

Susana has held a variety of positions at organizations including the Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, the County of Merced Planning Department, the Santa Barbara County Water Agency, and the Santa Barbara non-profit Community Environmental Council. For the past two years, Susana has served on the Community Funding Board of the Grassroots Fund through the Rose Foundation for Communities and the Environment and now serves on the Tulare County Water Commission and the Board of Directors of the Tulare County United Way.

Kristin Baja — Baltimore, Maryland

Kristin is the Climate and Resilience Planner at the Baltimore City Office of Sustainability. She is responsible for development, implementation and monitoring of the City’s Disaster Preparedness Project and Plan, which integrates climate adaptation with hazard mitigation efforts. She is also responsible for climate change communication and outreach, coordinating resiliency planning, the City’s Community Rating System certification, and updating and implementing the City’s Sustainability Plan.

Kristin has led initiatives focused on increasing community adaptive capacity for vulnerable populations and ensuring underserved populations have their voices heard. She plays a vital role in coordinating city agencies and stakeholders around resiliency efforts. Kristin was awarded the American Society of Adaptation Planners (ASAP) Prize for Progress in 2015 for her work on equity and climate adaptation.

Michael Green — Boston, Massachusetts

Michael is the Executive Director and Founding Partner of Climate Action Business Association (CABA). The Boston-based organization focuses on organizing leaders of small local businesses to advocate for action on climate issues on local, state, national, and international platforms. CABA also supports local businesses to reduce their carbon footprints and become more resilient to the impacts of climate change through metrics-driven programs and strategic support from staff.  These businesses form a powerful network of sustainable practices and effective advocacy work.

Michael advocates for policies to address climate change within and beyond his position at CABA. In addition to working on various national and international campaigns, Michael has served as a representative to the United Nations since 2012, focusing on international climate policy.



REMINDER: Central City 2035 Plan PSC public hearings continue on Tuesday, August 9 at 5:30 p.m.

Review the recap of July 26 Planning and Sustainability Commission hearing on the CC2035 Plan, then present your testimony on the new long range plan for Portland’s urban core in person or in writing.

Recap of July 26 hearing

The Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) opened public hearings on the Proposed Draft Central City 2035 Plan (CC2035) on July 26. More than 60 people signed up to testify, and over 50 community members have submitted written testimony to date.

Testimony covered a range of topics, including:

  • The need for new structures in historic districts to be compatible with the historic character around them.
  • The importance of protecting public views of surrounding mountains and natural features.
  • Strategies for supporting the creation of low-carbon buildings.
  • Requests from property owners and residents for changes to zoning and allowed building heights.
  • Support for big ideas and projects proposed in the CC2035 Plan such as the Green Loop, which is envisioned to be an open space pedestrian/bicycle path.
  • Comments regarding the proposed changes to parking requirements.

Review documents, presentations and written testimony as well as watch a video of the hearing.

Continued public hearing and testimony opportunities

The PSC will continue the CC2035 public hearing on August 9 at 5:30 p.m. Portlanders can sign-up to provide oral testimony starting at 3:30 p.m. in Room C of the Portland Building. Oral testimony will be limited to two minutes per person and may be changed at the PSC Chair’s discretion.  

Planning and Sustainability Commission Public Hearing on the Central City 2035 Plan
Tuesday, August 9, 5:30 p.m.
The Portland Building 
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room C (2nd floor)

Note: The PSC meeting starts at 4 p.m. with a work session on another project. CC2035 testifiers are welcome to attend the work session, but Commissioners will not take testimony on CC2035 until the hearing opens at or after 5:30 p.m.

The PSC also invites written testimony on the CC2035 proposal through August 9, 2016:

  • Via the Map App: Testify about specific properties or transportation proposals through the Map App.
  • 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: CC2035 Testimony

Learn how to testify to the PSC; read Tips for Effective Testimony.

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.

More information about and proposed amendments to the CC2035 Plan

Since the July 26 hearing, project staff provided the PSC with a memo that updates them on a few topics. These are briefly identified in the bullets below. More details can be found in the memo.

  • TSP maps: At the request of Commissioner Chris Smith, Portland Bureau of Transportation staff have created versions of the Transportation System Plan (TSP) Street Classification Maps, which now include streets outside the Central City boundary. This is intended to show how streets in the Central City connect to the surrounding bike, freight and other street networks outside of the plan district.
  • Corrections to actions: Staff identified discrepancies between transportation studies and projects in Volume 2B and the actions in Volume 5. A corrected version of Volume 5 will be provided for the first PSC work session on September 29, 2016.
  • Disclosures: Updated information about West Quadrant Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee member conflict of interest disclosures.