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City Council begins work sessions on draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan

Commissioners discussing their amendments in February and March; two hearings on them scheduled for April, vote anticipated in May

On February 2, 2016, City Council discussed several Comprehensive Plan topics in a work session. The discussion focused on the Urban Design Framework, the Division Design Initiative testimony, the concept of “middle housing,” and potential affordable housing bonuses under consideration with the Central City 2035 and Mixed Use Zones projects. This was the second of four planned work sessions to discuss Comprehensive Plan testimony. 

View materials from the work sessions

Commissioners have also now identified potential amendments they are interested in. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) has compiled a tentative amendment list to track requested amendments in a consistent format, as we understand them. Staff believe this reflects each commissioner's intent or interest, but the list should be cited as a BPS staff summary and not quoted as the commissioners’ words.

Read the tentative amendment list

City Council will hold additional work sessions to consider testimony on the goals, policies and land use map, as well as discuss amendments to the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan. An amendments package will be published in mid-March before public hearings on Commissioner-sponsored amendments begin on Tuesday, April 14, 2016.

City Council Work Sessions
City Hall Council Chambers
1221 SW 4th Ave

Tuesday, January 26, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Introduction, public involvement, Economic Opportunity Analysis

Tuesday, February 2, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Centers and Corridors, middle housing, housing affordability

Tuesday, February 23, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.  
Tentative: Nonconforming uses and small commercial nodes, map refinement recommendations, transportation strategy and related policy, transportation projects

Tuesday, March 1, 9:30 – 11:30 a.m.
Tentative: Anti-displacement policy, historic preservation policy, employment and industrial mapping, overview of other selected amendments, Q&A, next steps

Report with compiled commissioner-sponsored amendment proposals will be published by mid-March 2016.

City Council Public Hearings on Commissioner-sponsored Amendments
Thursday, April 14, 6 – 9 p.m.

Wednesday, April 20, 2 – 5 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers
1221 SW 4th Ave

City Council Public Votes on Amendments and Findings

Amendment Vote
Thursday, April 28 at 2:00 p.m. (2 hours)  

Vote on Findings
Wednesday, May 25 at 2:00 p.m. (2 hours)

Final Vote
Wednesday, June 15 at 2:00 p.m. (1 hour)

Please check the City Auditor’s website to confirm dates, times and locations for all hearings.

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

City Council holds five public hearings throughout the city on draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan

More than 230 Portlanders testified on the Comp Plan goals, policies and land use map; even more testify via email and the Map App.

Last August, the Planning and Sustainability Commission formally transmitted the 2035 Comprehensive Plan Recommended Draft to City Council for consideration and public hearings.

After a series of work sessions, the first hearing on November 19, 2015, took place at City Hall, and more than 70 people provided testimony. Council held the next three hearings at community centers throughout the city.

Mittleman Jewish Community Center in Southwest Portland hosted the second hearing on December 3. The following week the third hearing was held at East Portland’s Parkrose High School on December 10. More than 100 Portlanders provided testimony at these two hearings.

After a break for the holidays, Council held what they expected to be a final hearing on January 7, 2016, at Self Enhancement, Inc. (SEI) in Northeast Portland. But commissioners were not able to hear all 120 Portlanders signed up to testify, so they scheduled a fifth hearing back at City Hall on January 13. Council also kept the record open for written testimony until January 15 at 5 p.m. to ensure enough time for all testimony to be received.

In all, City Council heard 235 people testify on the draft 2035 Plan during five public hearings. Portlanders also submitted testimony in writing and via the Map App. All testimony is now online and will soon be available to review in an interactive database.

Read more about the Recommended Draft testimony.

City Council is now conducting work sessions to discuss key issues in and potential amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, such as centers and corridors, mixed use design and form, housing, transportation projects, employment and industrial land, historic preservation and anti-displacement policies.

Read more about the work sessions and commissioners' amendments.


Public testimony on Recommended Draft of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan now online

Public can view more than 2,200 pieces of written and oral testimony to City Council on long-range plan for Portland’s growth and development.

A complete set of public testimony on the Comprehensive Plan Recommended Draft is now online for review. Between August 18, 2015, and January 8, 2016, Portlanders submitted more than 2,200 pieces of written and oral testimony about the draft 2035 Plan to City Council. Testimony was given via:

  • Map App = ~700
  • Email = ~1,100
  • Letters = 80
  • In person/verbal = 235 (at public hearings on November 19, December 3 and 10, 2015, and January 7, 2016)

View the testimony files

Comments covered topics from specific zoning requests for private properties to general comments about the City’s stated goals and policies. Some of the most frequent topics included:

  • Concerns around and/or support for potential zoning adjustments as a result of Center and Corridor designations and the Mixed Use Zones Project (particularly Multnomah Village).
  • Support for the redevelopment of brownfields and the decision to keep the status quo on West Hayden Island.
  • Support for the Division Design Initiative.
  • Concerns related to consideration of the Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA) low forecast.
  • Recommendations and observations regarding the character of residential neighborhoods and commercial areas, including desire for denser development.
  • Concerns around equitable access to housing, affordable housing and the mitigation of further gentrification of certain neighborhoods.
  • Support for the preservation of historic buildings through landmark status or small-scale mixed use developments at 2717 SE 15th Ave.
  • Concerns around the closing of Strohecker grocery store in SW Portland and support for restricted commercial use (1984 land use ordinance no. 155609).
  • Concerns around possible five-story mixed use buildings with no parking around 5250 NE Halsey.
  • Desire for farm property at NE 122nd and Shaver Street (Rossi Farm) to be reclassified as R5 instead of R3.

This testimony is being considered by City Council as they discuss key issues and themes during upcoming Comp Plan work sessions. And soon it will be accessible through an interactive database on the Comprehensive Plan Map App. Once the database is live, Portlanders will be able to view comments by specific properties and sort by topic or issue.

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.