Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

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

More Contact Info

Subscribe to RSS feed

Most Recent

View More

New Map App makes commenting and testifying on land use and zoning changes easier than ever in new mobile-friendly interface

Enhanced design and user interface created to more clearly communicate technical information about zoning and land use proposals.

The all new Comprehensive Plan Map App was launched earlier this month with the release of the Recommended Draft, offering Portlanders an improved interface and design.  

The app has been completely overhauled, with a fresh look and feel and new interface that performs just as well on mobile devices as on desktop. Portlanders can now submit comments on the Comprehensive Plan’s land use designations, Citywide Systems Plan, Transportation System Plan, as well as Mixed Use Zones and Employment Zoning projects. More project maps, including the Residential and Open Space Zoning Update Project, will come online later this fall.

More accessible, visual content

Users familiar with the original Map App will notice the new version is more visually appealing than its predecessor. A newly designed user interface presents information on land use and zoning proposals in a quick and succinct manner. Visit the Mixed Use Zones Project map, for instance, click or tap on a proposal, and take a look at how the proposed zones are described. You’ll see new visuals and images that summarize zones to make understanding proposed changes easier. Major improvements have also been made to performance, especially on smartphones and tablets, so users can view and comment on proposals from anywhere.

Better commenting experience

The ability to add and view comments and testimony is now in a single place, which is especially nice for mobile users. The comment form offers a lot more information about what kind of feedback you are providing and where it will go. And email confirmations with details about the proposal, what's next, what we will do with your comments or testimony, and what to do if you have questions, are sent to every person who comments or testifies on the Map App.

Behind the scenes with the back end of the Map App

Like the first versions of the Map App, the newest version was created entirely in house. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s Technical Services team used a custom database along with Esri’s ArcGIS platform, ArcGIS JavaScript API, Maxbox Studio, Dojo Toolkit and Dojo Bootstrap. In the brief period of time since it was launched, the app has received 18,500 page views.

Says Tech Services Manager Kevin Martin, “The Map App is just one product of a very complex project, but it’s helped us improve our communication and outreach with the public. This version, more than the two previous ones, was less about building a web app and more about creating information and visuals that help Portlanders understand sometimes confusing planning ideas across several platforms.”

If you would like to learn more about how the Map App was developed or report a bug in the app, please send an email to and someone from the web development team will get back to you. Otherwise, enjoy the user experience!

Coming Soon to Your Neighborhood: Info Sessions, Drop-in Hours and Open Houses re: the Comprehensive Plan and Early Implementation Projects

Planners will be at locations all over town to chat with community members and answer questions about the land use and zoning changes.

No matter where you live in Portland, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn more about the City’s draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan; the Mixed Use Zones, Employment Zoning and Campus Institutional Zoning projects; and the Residential and Open Space Zoning Map Update.  

Over the next few months, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) will host events around the city, ranging from neighborhood drop-in hours, where Portlanders can chat with their local District Liaison, to project-specific informational sessions and open houses. Staff will also be “tabling” at other events organized by various community organizations around the city. Look for an event near you at:

Open House at PCC Cascade

One of the main events will be an open house and info session on Thursday, October 15, from 6 – 8 p.m. at PCC Cascade’s Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building (MAHB). The event will include an info session about the recently released Mixed Use Zones Discussion Draft, with a presentation starting at 7 p.m. The open house will cover the Comprehensive Plan Recommended Draft, which is at City Council for public hearings starting November 19, as well as other Early Implementation projects such as Campus Institutional Zoning, Employment Zoning, Residential and Open Space Zoning Map Updates and more.

Staff from BPS and the Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will be there to talk with community members about their projects and answer questions.

Want to find an outreach event near you?

Check the Meetings and Events calendar.

Don't want to go out?

No problem; the Map App allows you to learn more and provide feedback from the comfort of your home. So if you’d prefer to stay in, you can always learn more about proposed land use and zoning changes on the Map App. Or give us a call on the Comp Plan Helpline at 503-823-0195.

Stay tuned for more events being scheduled. Any way you like, you can learn more about the Comprehensive Plan — in person, online or by phone. Looking forward to seeing you out there!

Property owners may receive letters about proposed land use changes that could affect permissible uses of their property

Notice of proposed Comprehensive Plan Code or Map changes arriving in mailboxes soon; recipients can look up their property on the Map App to see proposed code or map changes and/or call Helpline with questions

Thousands of Portlanders may receive — or have already received — notices regarding proposed land use changes that could affect the permissible uses of their property.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability recently sent out the first notices to owners of property proposed to be rezoned for employment. Subsequent mailings will go to campus institutions and nearby residents, property owners in mixed use zones, and others whose property may have a proposed land use designation or zone that is new or different from the current one.

Along with information on the proposed changes, the notices tell property owners how they can learn more, get answers to their questions via the Comprehensive Plan Helpline, or provide formal testimony to the Planning and Sustainability Commission or City Council.

If you haven’t received one of these notices yet, but are curious about proposed changes, visit the all-new Map App, which allows you to browse or search by specific address and view any proposed changes to your property.

And feel free to call the Comprehensive Plan Helpline at 503-823-0195 or email us at if you have any questions. We’re here to help!

Eagerly Awaited Mixed Use Zones Project Discussion Draft Released

Public invited to share feedback with City planners about new regulations that will guide the “look and feel” of Portland’s growing centers and corridors.

Based on public input, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has developed a Discussion Draft of new regulations for mixed use zones. The Mixed Use Zones Project Discussion Draft includes draft Zoning Code and Zoning Map amendments for community review and feedback.

Review the Mixed Use Zones Discussion Draft

The code amendments in the Discussion Draft would replace the current array of commercial zones with a smaller number of new commercial/mixed use zones. The new regulations would accommodate growth and development in centers and corridors while addressing community concerns about building massing and design, transitions to lower density zoning, outdoor space and ground floor uses. They would also provide incentives for affordable housing, affordable commercial space, plazas/community gathering places and sustainable development.

The Mixed Use Zones Project Discussion Draft represents evolving thinking and is an initial proposal to stimulate community discussion.

Staff will gather public comments on this Discussion Draft to inform the development of a Proposed Draft, which will be presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission in early 2016 for their consideration, public hearings and a vote.

See the Mixed Use Zones Project component of the Comprehensive Plan Map App to find out where the new commercial/mixed use zones are proposed to be applied:

Please submit comments or questions on the Discussion Draft by Monday, November 16, 2015:


Write:    City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

              Attn: Mixed Use Zones Project

              1900 SW 4th Ave., Suite 7100

              Portland, OR  97201

Learn more at Mixed Use Info Sessions and an Early Implementation Open House
The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is hosting a series of public information sessions on the Mixed Use Zones Discussion Draft as well as an open house on all the Comprehensive Plan Early Implementation projects (see list below). Please check the Comprehensive Plan Update calendar to confirm dates, times and locations at

CENTRAL – Info Session
Wednesday, October 7, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Presentation at 7 p.m.
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, Room 2500 A/B

CENTRAL – Info Session
Thursday, October 8, 8 – 9:30 a.m.
Presentation at 8:30 a.m.
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Portland, Room 2500 A/B

SOUTHEAST – Info Session
Monday, October 12, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Presentation at 7 p.m.
Community Music Center
3350 SE Francis Street, Portland

SOUTHWEST – Info Session
Wednesday, October 14, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Presentation at 7 p.m.
Wilson High School – Cafeteria
1151 SW Vermont Street, Portland

(Mixed Use Zones, Campus Institutions, Employment Land and more)
Thursday, October 15, 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Presentation at 7 p.m.
PCC Cascade Campus
Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building – Room 104
705 N Killingsworth Street, Portland

EAST – Info Session
Tuesday, October 20, 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Presentation at 7 p.m.
Floyd Light Middle School – Library
10800 SE Washington, Portland

For more information, visit the project website at


Planning and Sustainability Commission Formally Recommends the Comprehensive Plan Recommended Draft to City Council

Commission’s transmittal letter focuses on residential and economic growth strategies, housing affordability, environmental health, transportation, and equity and inclusion.

After a unanimous vote on July 28, 2015, Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) formally sent its Recommended Draft of the Comprehensive Plan to City Council. PSC Chair André Baugh summed up the Commission’s recommendation in a September 14 letter to Council, stating:

Adopting a new Comprehensive Plan is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. This Plan will shape the future of Portland by giving direction to land use, development and public facility investment decisions between now and 2035.

The Recommended Plan includes a vision statement and guiding principles, goals and policies, a land use map, and a list of significant projects. The Plan addresses standard land use and growth topics like urban form, housing, environment, economy and transportation. … [I]t also expands the traditional view of a comprehensive plan to include topics such as equity, technology and public health.

Portland’s last Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1980. It laid the groundwork for one of the best transportation systems in the country and helped develop a vibrant Central City. Since then the city’s population has doubled and become more diverse. We need more housing and jobs for new residents, access to good transit and amenities for all Portlanders — especially in East Portland — and a healthy and resilient environment.  

Excerpts from the PSC’s letter include statements about:

Residential Growth Strategy
The heart of the residential strategy is to build more complete communities. This means well-designed growth in centers and on corridors that serve surrounding neighborhoods. We seek complete communities that can benefit Portlanders through improved walkability and safety, expanded housing choices, stronger business districts, and full return on our investments in transit through compact development. This does not mean that the goal for complete communities means all places will be the same. The strategy is not “one-size-fits-all.” It is intended to build on the existing variety among neighborhoods, corridors and centers.

Economic Growth Strategy
The Commission put significant energy into understanding and debating issues related to employment land supply. We made several conclusions that are built into the Recommended Plan:

  • The desire to try to address growing income disparity and declining middle-class employment opportunities shaped the Recommended Plan. In the current economic recovery, well-paying jobs for people with high levels of education increased. Low-wage jobs also grew. Family-wage middle class career opportunities did not.
  • It is important to maintain manufacturing and distribution jobs, because they serve as an upward mobility ladder for a large sector of the population — especially people of color and those without access to higher education.
  • In order to maintain and grow our manufacturing and distribution job sector, Portland must use our existing employment land base more efficiently, but this will require significant public investment. There are 600 acres of industrial brownfields that could be returned to productive use. There are also important transportation investments recommended in the Transportation Systems Plan (TSP) that can increase the productivity of existing employment. …
  • Expanding middle-wage jobs, however, does not mean we should sacrifice environmental quality or accept industrial sprawl. Also of note, the PSC found that the 2035 industrial land supply would be sufficient to meet the jobs and economic development objectives without greenfield development on West Hayden Island. 

Housing Affordability Challenge
The city has enough land zoned and served with infrastructure to accommodate expected residential growth. … However, the current national and local challenges to affordability, housing choice, and equity in public services shaped the Recommended Plan:

  • If Portland is to meet its goals to be affordable to a broad range of households, market-rate and affordable residential development must increase. Even with the growth in housing supply, more Portland households are forecast to experience excessive housing cost burdens. …
  • The Comprehensive Plan plays an important role to ensure the private market can develop enough housing to keep up with demand, but this is not enough. It is clear to us that investment in affordable housing must be substantially increased over the next 20 years.
  • We also have recommended a suite of anti-displacement policies for your consideration. The Recommended Plan includes policies that support increased affordable housing development and housing security. It includes policy support for additional funding tools such as inclusionary zoning, bonuses, and linkage fees. It recommends improved tenant rights protections. It recommends consideration of community benefit agreements where relevant.

… The Plan includes several “big moves” in transportation that we would like to highlight:

  • Unlike the previous Transportation System Plan, the recommended transportation project list has been prioritized using explicit criteria developed with public input. The list also has been right-sized to match the amount of revenue the Portland Bureau of Transportation expects to have. …
  • The recommended transportation project list includes significant investment in East Portland — to build out more complete streets, connect people to transit, and carry out the already-adopted Bicycle Master Plan. This is an important investment in equity. This investment should happen before we consider further expansion of the streetcar in central Portland.

Environmental Health
The new Comprehensive Plan includes many policies regarding improving fish and wildlife habitat, protecting the city’s biodiversity, preventing incremental environmental degradation, and ensuring ecosystem resilience.

Equity and Inclusion
The Recommended Plan features policies that bring a focus on increasing equity into how we grow, shape and invest in Portland’s future. It includes equity as one of the five guiding principles of the Plan. It is built on the premise that we must consider the combined effect of Comprehensive Plan elements, such as housing, economy and transportation, could have on the opportunities, stability and health of households. It incorporates the use of environmental justice considerations into future decision making.

The Plan also includes a significant overhaul of the public involvement program. 

Measures of Success

Noting that the Recommended Plan was designed to make Portland more prosperous, healthy, equitable and resilient, the PSC urged City Council to keep in mind the following measurable goals for progress by 2035, as described in the adopted 2012 Portland Plan:

  • 80% of households live in complete neighborhoods (as measured by the Complete Neighborhoods Index).
  • Carbon emissions 50% below 1990 levels.
  • 33% tree canopy coverage citywide.
  • 90% of households are economically self-sufficient.
  • 84% of eighth graders are at a healthy weight.
  • 70% of people walk, bike, take transit, or use other less polluting ways to get to work.

Next Steps

City Council will hold its first public hearing on the Recommended Draft on November 19, 2015, at 3 p.m. in Council Chambers. Additional hearings will be held in December. Portlanders are invited to view the Recommended Draft and comment online via the Map App, by letter or email, or in person at a hearing.

Learn more about the Comprehensive Plan Recommended Draft.