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Learn about the Comprehensive Plan Update. Find out more through news items, meeting announcements and summaries.

City sends commercial property owners a mailer about land use and zone changes that could affect their property

Helpline staff can answer community questions about mixed-use areas

On Tuesday, July 1 more than 17,000 commercial property owners will start receiving a mailer with information about proposed land use and zoning changes that could affect their property.

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Mailed to 17,000 commercial property owners citywide

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has set up a helpline to answer recipients’ questions about proposed land use and zone changes to specific properties, as well as the Comprehensive Plan Update and the Mixed-Use Zones Project. The helpline will go live on July 21, but staff will be answering the call center number and checking voicemail messages beginning July 1.

Growing in centers and corridors

The City of Portland is updating its Comprehensive Plan — a state-mandated blueprint for future growth and development. The new plan will help the city accommodate an expected 122,000 households and 135,000 jobs. 

Where and how to locate these new households and businesses is a key question. The Comprehensive Plan directs growth and new development to a series of “centers” and “corridors” throughout the city. Designating places as centers and corridors will also guide future public investments in infrastructure and services to better support these places as they grow and change. This will help create more complete and well-served neighborhoods. It also helps preserve the character of lower density, single-family neighborhoods. 

Centers and corridors already exist throughout the city, including well known places such as the Hollywood District and St Johns (proposed as “urban centers”), Kenton and Multnomah Village (as “neighborhood centers”); Sandy and Barbur Boulevards (as “civic corridors”); and Division and Alberta streets (as “neighborhood corridors”). However, some other places may take on a more prominent role and be newly classified as a “center” with this plan; for instance, the Killingsworth/Alberta/Interstate area, which already has many services and a MAX station nearby.

Proposed land use and zone changes

Portland is relabeling its Commercial and Central Employment land use designations (on the Comprehensive Plan Map) to include “mixed use” so they more accurately reflect that these areas allow multiple uses, including residential, commercial and some employment uses. “Mixed use” refers to a healthy blend of shops, restaurants, housing and other services that are a convenient and walkable distance from each other.

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Map showing proposed changes

The city is also in the process of developing new and revised mixed-use zones (on the Zoning Map and in the Zoning Code) to apply in the mixed use areas. The new mixed-use zones will revise or replace many of the city’s current Commercial zones and the Central Employment zone applied outside of the Central City.

Most activities will still be allowed

Most current activities in these “new” mixed-use zones will continue to be allowed as they have in the past. The new regulations would primarily affect new development or significant changes to existing buildings. The revised zones will address issues like the size, bulk and design of new buildings and their relationship to adjacent buildings, among other things.

Developing a new set of zones will be completed in mid-2015. The new zones could be considered by the Planning and Sustainability Commission around that time. Then City Council would consider them for adoption along with other elements of the Comprehensive Plan Update.

For more information about the Mixed Use Zones project, please visit: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/mixeduse.

To learn more about the Comprehensive Plan Update, go to: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/pdxcompplan.

To speak with a customer service specialist about the Mixed-Use Zones flyer, please call: 503-823-0195.

Preview proposed land use changes for the new Comprehensive Plan in a new interactive map

Early release of the new Map App available soon

Map App previewSoon you can view a preview of the proposed land use changes for Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan. The Map App preview will show work-in-progress on new land use designations throughout the city. By typing in an address, you’ll be able to see if any proposed changes could affect your neighborhood or property.

When the Proposed Draft of Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan is formally released on July 21, you’ll be able to submit your comments and feedback directly onto the Map App.

So stay tuned for updates. We’ll let you know as soon as the Map App Preview is live!

To be notified when the preview is ready, sign up now at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/mapapp

Mixed Use Zones Project: Revising zoning to support vibrant neighborhoods in centers and corridors

You’re invited to share your thoughts during upcoming neighborhood walks

NE Broadway walkPortland is made up of more than 90 neighborhoods, many of which have bustling centers or streets where people can shop, eat, work, play and take transit to jobs. But not all parts of Portland have these kinds of amenities or access to public transportation.

The city’s new proposed Comprehensive Plan is focused on creating more of these thriving, healthy and connected neighborhoods throughout the city, in part by targeting housing and job growth in Portland’s centers and corridors.  Zoning regulations will need to support these functions, as well as promote pedestrian-friendly streets and sidewalks; create desirable places to live, work and visit; and address the needs of nearby residential areas.

The Mixed Use Zones Project (MUZ) will revise the zoning code for commercial and mixed use zones to help create more vibrant centers and corridors. The project is part of Task 5: Implementation for the Comprehensive Plan Update.

To better understand current conditions, issues and community aspirations, the project team has been leading a series of community walks. Community members are invited on these walks to share ideas for how zoning regulations can be refined to help make better places. Your feedback will help staff see zoning issues through a local lens.

We want to know:

  • What’s working well or not so well regarding new development?
  • How can zoning code regulations help support a thriving business environment?
  • What building features, scale or site designs will enhance the character of the area?
  • What design features will create a quality environment for future residents?
  • What are appropriate ways of creating transitions in development scale and activity between mixed use development and adjacent residential areas?

Staff, neighbors and community activists have participated in three walks so far. They have discussed zoning and development in/around:

  • NE Broadway from the Lloyd District to Hollywood
  • SE Division around SE 122nd Avenue
  • SE 82nd Avenue around SE Division

For more information, and for full details on upcoming walks, please visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/mixeduse or call 503-823-7700.

Mixed Use Zones Project Hosts NE Broadway Walkabout

The public is invited to walk with planners and share ideas for how zoning changes can contribute to making Broadway a vibrant place

Join community members and City of Portland planners for a walk along NE Broadway to share ideas for how zoning regulations can be crafted to help achieve desired development outcomes. Neighbors, business and property owners, apartment residents — everyone is invited to share their perspectives on how future development can contribute to making Broadway a vibrant place.

WalkaboutWhen: Saturday, April 26, 10 a.m. until Noon
Where: Meet at the Fred Meyer play park at NE 28th and Weidler Street
Options: Join a walk on NE Broadway east toward Hollywood, or a walk west to NE 16th

The NE Broadway Walkabout is part of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s Mixed Use Zoning Project. This project will revise zoning code regulations for commercial and mixed use zones to implement the “centers and corridors” concepts that emerged from the Portland Plan and Comprehensive Plan Update. Mixed-use corridors, such as Broadway, are intended to be enhanced as vibrant commercial districts and as places that play an important role in accommodating housing and employment growth. Zoning regulations will need to support these functions, as well as promote development designed to provide a pedestrian-friendly environment; create places where people will want to live, work and visit; and address the relationship to adjacent residential areas. The Broadway walk will be a key opportunity for City staff to consider these zoning and development issues through a local lens.

The types of questions to be considered will include:

  • What’s working well or not so well on Broadway regarding new development?
  • How can zoning code regulations help support a thriving business environment?
  • What scale of development is appropriate, and how might this vary along Broadway?
  • What building design features will enhance the character of Broadway?
  • What design features will create a quality environment for future residents?
  • What are appropriate ways of creating transitions in development scale and activity between mixed-use development along Broadway and adjacent residential areas?

Come prepared to share your thoughts, ideas, and concerns.

Several more walkabouts in neighborhoods across Portland are in the works — stay tuned for more details about these events and other ways to get involved in the Mixed Use Zones Project. For information, contact Barry Manning, project manager at 503-823-7965 or barry.manning@portlandoregon.gov.

Next Steps for Comprehensive Plan Update

Milestones and events include more opportunities to learn and testify to the Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council

Portland’s Comprehensive Plan has been guiding the city’s growth and development for more than 30 years. City planners have been working hard to update this long-range plan to ensure the community is prepared to manage expected population and employment growth over the next 25 years.

CPU timelineSomething this important requires robust community participation and plenty of opportunities for all Portlanders’ voices to be heard. Over the past couple of years, City staff have been soliciting public feedback at neighborhood association meetings, open houses, workshops, summer tabling events, community meetings and other events. Public comments have also been received through online surveys and the Map App as well as comment cards, letters and emails.

As we move into the final phases of the project, public input will now be considered through the legislative process — in the form of testimony given at Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) and City Council hearings.

See the timeline and process chart for the remaining phases of the project.

Currently, staff are busy preparing the Proposed Plan, incorporating feedback gathered in the latter half of 2013, which is summarized in the What We Heard memo). The Proposed Plan will be released in July, and Portlanders will be able to submit testimony to the PSC at public hearings held throughout the city, beginning in late September. There will be informational open houses scheduled in July and in early September. After considering public testimony, the PSC will forward a Recommended Plan to City Council for consideration in early 2015.

Included in the Comprehensive Plan update process, some Early Implementation projects have begun. These projects represent the last phase of the state-mandated periodic review work plan. Technical experts and dedicated volunteers have been forming committees to discuss revisions to the zoning code, oversee community involvement processes, refine the Transportation Systems Plan, and more.  The July and September 2014 open houses will include information about Early Implementation projects. Additional outreach for these projects will occur in early 2015, before the PSC and City Council hold hearings on those projects.

Stay tuned for announcements of specific open house dates, as well as information about how you can submit formal testimony to the PSC and City Council.