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City Council considers medium-cargo forecast for new Comprehensive Plan; revised EOA in the works

Private investment to expand Portland Harbor’s capacity make increased forecast feasible.

Port of Portland aerial image

At their January 26, 2016, work session on Portland’s draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan, City Council indicated their general support for revising the Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA) to incorporate a medium-cargo forecast. The forecast and the EOA are used to determine future land needs for marine terminals in the Portland Harbor. The Comprehensive Plan determines how much of what type of land will be required over the next 20 years to accommodate population and job growth.

During public hearings with City Council on the draft Plan, public testimony on the EOA focused on the cargo forecast and was divided on the issue of whether to use a low- or medium-cargo forecast. Business, labor and agricultural representatives raised concerns that the EOA's low forecast sends a negative message that could discourage harbor reinvestment and affect agricultural and other export markets. Environmental and neighborhood representatives supported the current draft EOA reflecting the balance of industrial and environmental objectives in the draft Plan.

Specifically, the Port of Portland documented several major investments to expand existing marine terminals. These investments substantially expand the Portland Harbor’s existing capacity to meet future growth and have made the medium-cargo forecast scenario a more realistic option that does not rely on the future development of West Hayden Island in the next 20 years.

In response to this City Council direction, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will prepare a revised EOA based on the medium-cargo forecast. This will be published on March 9 in advance of a public hearing with City Council on April 14, 2016. To confirm date, time and location, please visit the City Auditor’s website.

City Council to hold one more hearing on draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan goals, policies and land use map on January 13

Commissioners will hear testimony from community members who attended last week’s hearings but could not be heard due to time constraints.

The turnout at last Thursday’s hearing was so large that City Council has decided to hold one more public hearing on the draft Comprehensive Plan goals, policies and land use map this Wednesday at City Hall.

City Council Public Hearing on Comprehensive Plan Recommended Draft
Testimony will be heard on draft goals, policies and land use map
Wednesday, January 13, 2016, 4 ­– 6 p.m.
Council Chambers
1221 SW 4th Avenue

Those who signed up to testify at Council’s January 7 hearing — but didn’t get a chance — will be heard first, in the order they signed up. Other community members may sign up on a wait list starting at 3 p.m., but time for additional testimony will be limited. Please note that you may not save a spot in line or sign up to testify for anyone but yourself. No food or childcare will be provided.

At the end of Wednesday's hearing, City Council will determine whether to close the comment period then or at a later time/date. In the following weeks, Commissioners will discuss Commissioner-sponsored amendments to the draft 2035 Plan in work sessions on January 26, February 2, and February 23, 2016. 

Once an amendments package is published, an additional public hearing on Council’s amendments will be scheduled in April. Please check the City Council website to confirm dates, times and locations for all hearings.

Questions about the Comprehensive Plan? Call the Helpline at 503-823-0195. Or visit

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is committed to providing equal access to information and hearings. If you need special accommodation, interpretation or translation, please call 503-823-7700, the TTY at 503-823-6868 or the Oregon Relay Service at 1-800-735-2900 within 48 hours prior to the event.

Comp Plan public hearings take a rest for the holidays; one more opportunity to testify in January 2016

Stay tuned for revised drafts coming soon for early implementation projects: Mixed Use Zones Project, Residential and Open Space Zoning Map Update, Transportation Systems Plan, Community Involvement Program and Housekeeping Amendments.

It’s been a busy year for the Comprehensive Plan Update, with seven Planning and Sustainability Commission hearings and three City Council hearings on the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan goals, policies and land use map. Both the PSC and Council also held multiple work sessions to explore, discuss and deliberate on topics from infrastructure investments and housing to economic development and transportation projects.

Videos of the hearings are available on the Auditor’s website and the PSC YouTube channel.

At the first three City Council hearings (11/19, 12/3 and 12/10), Commissioners heard testimony about a variety of topics, including displacement and housing affordability, concerns about the height and scale of new development, cargo forecasts and environmental protection. They also heard testimony from individual property owners about the changes (or lack thereof) recommended for their property.

One more City Council hearing is scheduled for January 7, 6 – 9 p.m. at Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) in Northeast Portland. After that, testimony on the goals, policies and land use map will be closed. Commissioners subsequently will propose their amendments to the Plan, participate in additional work sessions on the amendments in late January and February, and then hold a final public hearing to hear testimony on the amendments in late March, with a vote to adopt scheduled for early April.

Early Implementation projects moving forward

Meanwhile … the early implementation projects for the Comp Plan Update are making their way through the legislative process. Staff have released discussion drafts and some proposed drafts for the Employment Zoning Project, Campus Institutional Project, Mixed Use Zones Project, Residential and Open Space Zoning Map and the Transportation System Plan. Additional early implementation projects are in the pipeline, and all of them will ultimately end up as a single package for City Council to consider and hold public hearings on in late Summer/Fall of 2016.

See a tentative schedule of all early implementation projects.

We invite you to mark your calendars for the release of each draft so you have time to weigh in and comment to staff, the PSC or City Council.

Planners hold neighborhood meetings to discuss “Zoning Review Areas” as part of the Residential and Open Space Zoning Map Update

Neighborhood meeting notes and presentations now online for review

In some residential areas of Portland, the Comprehensive Plan land use designation and the current zoning have been different from each other for decades — many since the 1980 Comprehensive Plan took effect. As part of the Residential and Open Space Zoning Map Update, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) is evaluating many of these areas to determine whether to reconcile them or leave them alone.

Dubbed “Zoning Review Areas,” BPS staff have been holding community conversations about the criteria and process for evaluating these areas. Notes from these meetings are now online, along with copies of slide presentations that were given where time allowed.

Read more about the Zoning Review Areas and see the meeting notes here


The land use designation in the Comp Plan Map reflects the long-term vision for the appropriate use and density of development for a given area. The zoning determines more specifically what a property owner is currently allowed to build.

Situations where the two are different may reflect infrastructure or development conditions that were present several decades ago — but which may have changed significantly since then. In other cases, it may be that constraints on development remain, such as landslide risk or lack of sidewalks. These areas are being evaluated based on the current understanding of natural hazards and infrastructure constraints and conditions, as well as recommended policies about proximity to centers or corridors.

More links and commenting

Read more background about the Zoning Review Areas in Section 5 of the Residential and Open Space Zoning Update Discussion Draft.

Check out the Zoning Review Areas and leave comments on the Map App.

Have a comment about the process for the Zoning Review Areas or another aspect of the Residential and Open Space Zoning Map Update? Send an email to before Dec. 21, 2015. Your feedback will be considered as staff develops the Proposed Draft, which will be released later this winter for written and oral testimony.

Review the Residential and Open Space Zoning Update Discussion Draft

Comments on the Discussion Draft of the Residential and Open Space Zoning Update will be open until December 21, 2015.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has released the Discussion Draft for the Residential and Open Space Zoning Update. Community review and feedback on the Discussion Draft will inform the Proposed Draft, scheduled to be released in February 2016. At that point we will invite further testimony for the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Review the Residential and Open Space Zoning Update Discussion Draft

Residential Zoning Map changes are proposed to:

  • Match newly applied Comprehensive Plan designations, addressing a variety of situations.
  • Help prevent risk to public health and safety in areas with high natural hazard risk, infrastructure constraints, and/or limited urban services.
  • Address David Douglas School District school capacity constraints by reducing zoning potential until the district can accommodate increased enrollment.
  • Rectify various situations, including nonconforming density and split-zone sites.

New Open Space zones also acknowledge publicly owned lands that are either now or in the future intended for public open space use.

View the interactive map of changes being considered and submit comments directly on the Map App. Please submit comments or questions on the Discussion Draft by Monday, December 21, 2015.

Additionally, you can send comments via email or letter:



City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Attn: Residential and Open Space Zones
1900 SW 4th Ave., Suite 7100
Portland, OR  97201

For more information, visit the project website at Or call the Comprehensive Plan Helpline at 503-823-0195.