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Early Implementation projects for Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan are here -- or coming soon

Public invited to review and comment on discussion/proposed drafts for employment land, campus institutions and mixed use zones.

Early Implementation timeline

While the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) voted on July 28 to recommend Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan to City Council, other projects that will help implement the new plan are in the pipeline.

These projects either address a state mandate or implement a key component of the new Comprehensive Plan. They will become effective after the plan is adopted by City Council. The public is invited to learn about and give feedback on the Early Implementation projects, including the following projects that have or will soon have drafts out for review.

Campus Institutional Zoning Project

A discussion draft for the Campus Institutional Zoning Project was released in early August, and the comment period is open until September 14, 2015. This project increases the development capacity of Portland’s college and hospital campuses to accommodate the projected demand for new construction and job growth over the next 20 years, while protecting surrounding neighborhoods from potential negative impacts. A proposed draft is expected in October. Learn more at

Employment Zoning Project

The public can expect a Proposed Draft on the Employment Zoning Project on September 21.This project implements new policies to achieve more efficient use of industrial land and mixed employment areas, while also protecting neighborhood livability and watershed health. Outcomes include code changes to Industrial (IG) and General Employment (EG) zones and zoning map changes for new mixed employment areas. Learn more at

Mixed Use Zones Project

The Mixed Use Zones Discussion Draft is scheduled to be published in late September. This project will develop new mixed use zoning designations and revise Portland’s commercial and central employment zoning codes currently applied in centers and corridors outside of the Central City. The project addresses issues that arise with new more intensive mixed use buildings, such as massing and design, transitions and step-downs, and ground floor uses. The comment period on the Discussion Draft will close on October 30, 2015. Learn more at

Discussion versus Recommended Drafts

Each project presents multiple opportunities for the public to provide feedback. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) staff will first publish a Discussion Draft (including policy, code and/or map changes), which serves as an initial proposal to stimulate discussion. Public comments on this draft may be submitted directly to project staff and are considered when developing the Proposed Draft. The Proposed Draft is staff’s proposal for the public and Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) to review. The PSC holds public hearings on the Proposed Draft and invites public comments in the form of written or oral testimony. After considering public testimony and deliberating, the PSC recommends revisions to the Proposed Draft to produce a new Recommended Draft that is forwarded to City Council for adoption.

So far, the Employment Zoning Project and Campus Institutional Zoning Project have both released Discussion Drafts. These drafts are the first opportunity for the public to review new policy, code and/or map changes and give feedback directly to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS). Staff will consider all comments on the discussion draft when writing proposed drafts for their projects. The public will then have the opportunity to review the proposed draft and provide testimony to PSC at public hearings. Check the PSC calendar for dates, times and tentative agendas.

Early Implementation Timeline & Commenting



Opportunities for providing feedback

If yes, to whom?

Summer 2015

Release of Discussion Drafts for Employment Zoning Project and Campus Institutional Zoning projects

Yes – The public may give feedback to staff, who will consider it when developing a  proposed draft

BPS staff

Summer/Fall 2015

Release of Proposed Draft for Employment Zoning Project

Yes – The public may provide written testimony to the PSC, who will consider it when developing a Recommended Draft

Planning and Sustainability Commission

Fall 2015

Release of Discussion Drafts for Mixed Use Zones Project and Zoning Map Update

Yes – The public may give feedback to staff, who will consider it when developing a Proposed Draft

BPS staff

Fall 2015

Release of the Proposed Draft for Campus Institutional Zoning and Mixed Use Zones Projects

Yes – The public may provide written testimony to the PSC, who will consider it when developing a Recommended Draft

Planning and Sustainability Commission

Fall 2015

PSC’s public hearings and recommendations on Employment Zoning and Campus Institutional Zoning Projects

Yes – Testimony may be submitted in writing or given orally at public hearings

Planning and Sustainability Commission

Winter 2016

PSC’s public hearings and recommendations on Mixed Use Zones Project and Zoning Map Update

Yes – Testimony may be submitted in writing or given orally at public hearings

Planning and Sustainability Commission

More Early Implementation projects are on their way this fall and winter. Check back here and/or subscribe to the Comprehensive Plan Update E-News by sending an email to


Portland’s New Comprehensive Plan to be Considered by City Council

Portlanders can now review the Recommended Draft and testify to City Council in writing, via the Map App or at a public hearing

Last month Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) voted to recommend a new Comprehensive Plan to City Council. With the release of the PSC’s Recommended Draft on August 24, 2015, Portlanders are invited to review the draft and submit their testimony to City Council.

At the request of the PSC, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) incorporated a list of amendments to improve the Plan’s ability to address economic prosperity, human and environmental health, equity and resiliency. The PSC’s amendments are now reflected in an updated land use map, goals and policies document, and a list of significant projects.

Portland's new Comprehensive Plan will help the City prepare for expected population and job growth. The Recommended Draft includes elements that address housing, transportation, environmental protection, economic development, infrastructure improvements and community involvement.

See the Comprehensive Plan Recommended Draft

Interactive Map App

The Recommended Draft also includes a revised Map App, which allows community members to click on or search for a specific property to view any recommended land use changes. Most of the city will keep the same land use designation (residential, employment, open space, etc.); only 14 percent of the area of the city will be subject to change if City Council adopts the Recommended Draft. Visit the Map App at

The bureau has set up a helpline to answer questions about the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan. Community members may call 503-823-0195, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Staff will be on hand to answer questions; interpretation services are also available for those whose first language is not English.

Additionally, the City’s District Liaisons will be holding drop-in hours throughout the city this fall to answer questions. Check the Comprehensive Plan calendar for dates, times and locations.

How to Comment

The public is invited to comment on the Recommended Draft directly to City Council via the following methods:


Map App:

U.S. Mail: 

Comprehensive Plan Testimony c/o Council Clerk
1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 130
Portland, OR 972014

In person:   

November 19, 2015, 2 p.m.
Portland City Hall
1221 SW 4th Avenue, Council Chambers

Public involvement timeline

With the publication of the PSC’s Recommended Draft and launch of the Map App, City Council’s official record opens. To give Council and the public time to review and understand the recommendations in the draft 2035 Plan, Commissioners will hold their own work sessions with staff on key topics from September through November.  

The first public hearing at City Council will be on November 19, with other hearings to be scheduled soon after. Council will then hold additional work sessions to consider amendments to the Recommended Draft. A City Council vote to adopt Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan is anticipated in February 2016. Once the Plan has been adopted, it then goes to the State Land Conservation and Development Commission for acknowledgement.

  • September – December 2015: City Council staff work sessions
  • November 19, 2015: City Council hearing @ 2 p.m.
  • November – December 2015: Additional City Council hearings
  • January 2016: Additional work sessions to consider amendments
  • February 2016: Anticipated City Council vote to adopt the 2035 Comprehensive Plan

Early implementation projects

There are several Early Implementation projects for the new Comprehensive Plan currently underway, including zoning code updates for employment land, campus institutions and mixed use areas. Portlanders will have additional opportunities to weigh in on drafts of these projects as they come before the PSC. Check the Comprehensive Plan Update website for news about those projects at

Planning and Sustainability Commission votes to recommend Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan to City Council

Responding to big picture issues identified in the Portland Plan and community input, a plan for the next 20 years of growth and development in Portland is on its way to adoption

Last week, Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) voted to recommend a new Comprehensive Plan to City Council. The draft 2035 Plan provides a framework to guide the city's growth and development over the next 20 years (through 2035). It includes a land use map, policy document and a list of needed public facilities (infrastructure investments). 

The Plan addresses a broad range of topics, including economic development, housing, environmental protection, transportation, infrastructure investments and community involvement. Accompanying public facility plans identify needed transportation improvements (such as sidewalks, bikeways and new transit lines) as well as improvements to parks and public buildings; and water, stormwater and sewer systems.

Vote by vote, commissioners praise the Plan and the public

As the vote was called, each of the 11 commissioners shared his or her thoughts about the Plan and the process of creating it. 

PSC Chair Andre Baugh thanked the people of Portland. “You’ve probably spent more time on this plan than we have, telling us what you want. We hope we put that in the plan,” he said. Chair Baugh then acknowledged his fellow commissioners. “You shared, you listened, allowing the community to understand that we heard them. This plan will endure for 20 years. It’s more than a land use plan. It’s about values.” 

Public process leads to a better plan

The PSC received more than 4,000 public comments on the plan. They held five public hearings and more than a dozen work sessions over the course of 12 months. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will incorporate a list of amendments requested by the Commission in June and July, and publish a complete Recommended Draft by late August. The City Council will take up the Commission's recommendation this fall, holding its own work sessions and public hearings before adopting the new plan. 

Plan ensures a healthy connected city

Physician and former Multnomah County Health Department Officer Gary Oxman spoke about how the Plan “supports a healthy community where people can really thrive in a very complete sense, enjoying physical, mental, social and spiritual well-being.”

“I think it’s a great plan,” said longtime commissioner Don Hanson. “It has so much content, so much depth.” 

Another PSC veteran, land use attorney Michelle Rudd, said, “I deal with reviewing plans every day, so I appreciate all the substance in this plan. It has multiple objectives and broad strategies to get us to success.” 

“When I first became involved in land use planning 35 years ago,” recalled Mike Houck, one of Portland’s most committed environmentalists, “I was told, ‘There’s no place for nature in the city.’ We’ve come to realize that human health and economic success require environmental health. With this new plan, we’re creating a resilient city and ecosystem.” 

Said Vice-chair Howard Shapiro, “Each of you contributed immensely to delivering this very elegant document. It’s a wonderful template for the city. But we need a good epilogue that says why we’re doing this. I think it’s about a sense of the common good … building bridges for the common good.”

The newest member of the Commission, Teresa St Martin, echoed that sentiment, “I’m impressed by the Commissioners, the stakeholders and by the excellent work of staff. So many hearts and minds have contributed to a healthy connected city.” 

Community Involvement Committee report

Prior to voting, Commissioners heard from the Comprehensive Plan Update Community Involvement Committee, the oversight body for public engagement. Representatives spoke about the legacy of their work on the advisory body, which began with the Portland Plan six years ago. They shared community engagement highlights over the course of the entire project, including the policy expert groups (PEGs),  the interactive Map App, the Comp Plan helpline, neighborhood walks, open houses, tabling at events, “office hours,” advertising, mailings, e-newletters, videos, social media channels, and special efforts to reach under-represented and underserved populations, including Portlanders who speak a foreign language. 

The entire meeting was streamed live on the BPS YouTube channel and, along with the meeting minutes and documents, is available for review


Under state law all Oregon cities must have comprehensive plans showing how 20 years of job and housing growth can be accommodated. And these plans must be updated periodically (state Periodic Review). Portland's first Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1980. Part of the plan was updated in the 1990s, but this is the first complete overhaul of Portland’s Comprehensive Plan. 

# # # 

Discussion Draft released for Employment Zoning Project

Public invited to comment to staff, who will consider feedback as they develop the Proposed Draft to increase land for jobs in Portland

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has released the Discussion Draft of the Employment Zoning Project. This early implementation project for the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan will implement new policies to achieve more efficient use of industrial land and mixed employment areas as well as map changes to expand these areas. Proposed changes also address the City’s prosperity and equity goals.

The number of people and jobs in Portland is expected to grow significantly over the next 20 years. The City of Portland is expected to accommodate approximately 141,000 new jobs between 2010 and 2035 — a 26-percent share of regional job growth.

The draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan proposes a range of strategies to meet forecast demand in Industrial and Mixed Employment areas (not Commercial areas), where 31,000 new jobs are projected. Most of these strategies will be implemented gradually. New brownfield redevelopment tools and investments that encourage industrial land intensification will be developed along with strategies to improve watershed health in what are largely the same places.

Read the Employment Land Project Discussion Draft. 

The Discussion Draft is a roughly 80-percent draft of the project proposals. Staff will gather public comments on this draft to inform the development of the Proposed Draft, which will be presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission in September for their consideration and vote.

Please submit comments or questions on the Discussion Draft by Friday, August 28, 2015 to:

Email: or

Write: City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Attn: Steve Kountz, 1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201