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Learn about what is currently happening with the Central City 2035 project. Read meeting announcements and summaries, as well as other recent happenings.


Recommended Draft Southeast Quadrant Plan Gets Nine Thumbs Up

Planning and Sustainability Commission votes to send the plan to City Council; public invited to testify at public hearing on July 8

OMSI Station Area

The OMSI Station Area wedged between the Willamette River and the OR-99 viaduct was a key topic at the recent Planning and Sustainability Commission work session. Photo courtesy of TriMet.

On June 9, 2015, after holding a briefing, public hearing and work session, the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission voted unanimously to recommend that City Council adopt the Southeast Quadrant Plan. During briefings and work sessions from April through early June, commissioners worked with Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff to revise the draft, including policies and actions to:

  • Support the growth of existing and new industrial businesses throughout the district.
  • Strengthen Willamette River-related policies that enhance habitat, increase public access and support climate change adaptation goals.
  • Strengthen tree canopy and public open space strategies.
  • Establish a pilot program in response to existing parking needs to allow existing privately owned parking facilities to be “shared” by district businesses and residents.
  • Allow OMSI Station Area property owners to retain their ability to develop housing if stringent conditions are met, such as addressing impacts to adjacent industrial businesses and on the transportation system.

Portlanders can testify at a public hearing on this new plan to help the Central Eastside thrive as a 21st-century employment district and transit hub, with cultural attractions and access to the Willamette River.

On July 8, 2015, City Council will hold a public hearing on a non-binding resolution to adopt the Southeast Quadrant Plan. The adopted plan will be integrated with the N/NE and West Quadrant plans and other input into a Central City 2035 Plan, which will then be the subject of public hearings before both the Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council in 2016.

The public is invited to testify on the SE Quadrant Recommended Draft at the City Council hearing.

Public Hearing, Southeast Quadrant Plan – Testimony Welcome

July 8, 2015, 3 p.m.
Portland City Council
Council Chambers (City Hall, 2nd Floor) 
1221 SW 4th Avenue

How to give testimony

You can share your feedback on the plan with City Council in several ways:

  1. Testify in person at the hearing (see details below)

  2. Submit written testimony
    Attn: Council Clerk
    1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 140
    Portland, OR 97204

  3. FAX or Email comments to 503-823-4571 or cctestimony@portlandoregon.gov. Written testimony must be received by the time of the hearing and must include your name and address.

Guidance for testifying in person

  • Arrive early to sign up and get instructions on how testimony will be heard.
  • The normal allotted time to testify is 3 minutes, however, it may be necessary to limit the time to 2 minutes or less if there are many people.
  • Testifiers can provide the City Councilors with printed materials. Please provide 8 copies.
  • Testifiers are allowed to show PowerPoint presentations or other slides but they must use the laptop provided at the testimony table, advance their own slides, and it has to be done within their allotted 2-3 minutes. It’s helpful if you submit files before the meeting as there is usually not enough time to load it and get a copy for the record once public testimony begins.

Download council documents

Southeast Quadrant Plan – Recommended Draft

The plan is provided as a large ~28 MB file and divided into chapters. The same material can be found in both. If you are having trouble downloading the larger file, please try downloading the individual sections.

Background

The SE Quadrant Plan includes goals, policies and actions that will guide growth and development in the Central Eastside over the next 20 years. This area includes the Central Eastside Industrial District, East Portland Grand Ave Historic District, new OMSI and Clinton MAX station areas and the Eastside Riverfront.

The plan proposes changes to land use regulations and the transportation system to strengthen the industrial sanctuary. It will also increase employment densities, encourage investment, protect historic resources, establish more amenities for employees and residents, and help minimize conflicts between industrial and other operations.

The plan has been endorsed by the SE Quadrant Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee after 14 meetings, multiple subcommittee meetings, tours, neighborhood association meetings and two open house events.

SE Quadrant Plan Proposed Draft Ready for Review; Public Hearing with the Planning and Sustainability Commission Scheduled for May 26

New long-range plan for the Central Eastside focuses on employment growth, activating new station areas and fostering research and innovation

Proposed Draft SE Quadrant Plan Cover

Portland’s Central Eastside is a vital part of the Central City. With a combination of large industrial spaces, lower commercial rents than the Central City or South Waterfront, and a soon-to-be unique transportation nexus with the opening of Tilikum Crossing, the district is attracting large and small businesses alike. The area is also becoming a popular place for eating, drinking and recreating.  

The draft SE Quadrant Plan proposes to preserve the industrial sanctuary while expanding the definition of industrial employment and land, activate the new station areas around the new Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Line, and foster an already emerging research and development industry developing on both sides of the river around OHSU and OMSI. The new plan is designed to help the Central Eastside thrive as a 21st century inner city employment district and transit hub, with cultural attractions and access to natural resources like the Willamette River.  

The public is invited to view the Proposed Draft SE Quadrant Plan and provide testimony to the Planning and Sustainability Commission in writing or at a hearing on May 26.

Planning and Sustainability Commission Public Hearing

Tuesday, May 26, 2015, 3 p.m. (check the PSC calendar one week prior to confirm time)
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A

To learn how to testify, please read Tips for Effective Testimony.

The SE Quadrant Plan will set direction for changes in regulations that will be developed in the next year. Property owners can review the plan and provide testimony if they want to support or oppose a proposal in the draft plan.

Background

The SE Quadrant Plan Proposed Draft includes goals, policies and actions that will direct growth in the eastern areas of the Central City over the next 20 years. This area includes the Central Eastside Industrial District, East Portland Grand Ave Historic District, new OMSI and Clinton MAX station areas and the Eastside Riverfront.

The plan proposes changes to land use regulations and the transportation system to strengthen the industrial sanctuary while increasing employment densities, encouraging investment, protecting historic resources, establishing more amenities for employees and residents, and managing conflicts between industrial and other operations.

This proposed draft has been endorsed by the project’s Stakeholder Advisory Committee following 14 meetings, multiple subcommittee meetings, tours, neighborhood association meetings and two open house events.

Next Steps

Following the public hearing in May, the PSC will hold a work session on June 9 to formulate its recommendation to City Council (remember to check the PSC calendar one week prior to the meeting to confirm). The project will then go before the Portland City Council for adoption by resolution.

This is an interim step in the Central City 2035 (CC2035) plan process. In 2016, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will begin the public hearing process to adopt the final detailed CC2035 plan. Specific recommendations outlined in the SE Quadrant Plan will be integrated with recommendations from the N/NE Quadrant and West Quadrant Plans and adopted by ordinance as part of the CC2035 at that time.

Now through May 31, the public is invited to comment on an inventory of some of Portland’s favorite vistas of the Central City

Take a look at Portland’s iconic views and viewpoints in the updated Central City Scenic Resources Inventory; then tell the City what you think

Where do you take your out-of-town visitors to show off Portland? Up to the Washington Park Rose Garden to take in the sweeping, panoramic views of the skyline and Mt Hood? Maybe you head downtown for a stroll along the waterfront or South Park Blocks. Or take a ride on the Aerial Tram to OHSU for views of the many bridges over the Willamette River, special buildings and scenic landmarks.

Scenic resources like these help define the character of the Central City and shape the image of Portland and the region.

To help preserve these visual treasures, Portland manages an inventory of public views, viewpoints and other scenic resources within and of the Central City. At 25-years-old, the Central City portion of the Scenic Resources Inventory (CCSRI) is getting a refresh as part of the update of the Central City Plan.

Take a Look
The public is invited to review the draft CCSRI to help ensure that all Central City scenic resources are included in the inventory. Did we get them all? Did we miss something? Take a look and tell us what you think.

Public comments on the CCSRI are welcome through May 31, 2015.

How to Comment
Visit the project website for more information about the draft Central City Scenic Resources Inventory and to read or download specific chapters of the draft inventory.

Then share your feedback on the draft inventory using this online form.

Comments are also accepted by …

  • Phone: 503-823-7831
  • Email to: mindy.brooks@portlandoregon.gov
  • Postal mail to:

Mindy Brooks
City of Portland
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
1900 SW 4th Ave., Suite 7100
Portland, OR 97201

Comments on the draft CCSRI are due by May 31, 2015.

Background and next steps
Last summer we asked the public to nominate their favorite views and viewpoints in the Central City. Those that met a set of criteria were added to the list of existing views and viewpoints from the 1989 inventory as well as new scenic resources identified in the field. Staff then put them in a database and subjected each view and viewpoint to rigorous analysis by a team of independent reviewers.
The resulting draft CCSRI includes a mix of scenic resources, including 152 views from 144 viewpoints, 15 view streets, 6 scenic corridors, 22 visual focal points and 5 scenic sites.

The purpose of the CCSRI is to provide useful information on the location and quality of existing public scenic resources in and around Portland’s Central City. The inventory includes descriptions, evaluations, photos and maps of public views and viewpoints, scenic corridors, view streets, visual focal points and scenic sites located in the Central City inventory area. The inventory does not make recommendations about which scenic resources should be protected.

Scenic resources in Portland have been protected over the past 30 years through various plans and regulations, including the 1983 Terwilliger Parkway Corridor Plan, 1987 Willamette Greenway Plan and 1991 Scenic Resources Protection Plan.

Proposal for New Multnomah County Health Department Headquarters in Old Town/Chinatown Subject of Public Hearing on April 28

Portlanders invited to review and testify on proposed height increase that would allow the County to consolidate Health Department administrative services in one building

Map showing Old Town/Chinatown site of proposed Multnomah County Health BuildingThe Multnomah County Health Department serves the county’s 748,000 residents, providing essential public health services, including direct medical and dental services, environmental health services, public health investigation and reporting, and chronic and communicable disease prevention. However, the County’s Health Department administrative facilities in downtown Portland are under-sized and functionally obsolete, and department functions are spread across multiple buildings throughout the county.

So the County is proposing to construct a new headquarters facility for its Health Department on a half-block site in Old Town/Chinatown. The new building would concentrate most of the County’s health-related administrative departments and include some direct-service functions.

Extra height required

The site selected for the proposed facility is the eastern portion of Block U, located on NW 6th Ave, between NW Hoyt and NW Irving streets, within the River District of the Central City (see map). The new building would require an estimated 120,000 to 150,000 square feet and would stand between 105 and 150 feet in height. While the density entitlement (with bonuses) for the site is sufficient for the proposed building, the height allowance (75 feet) is not.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is proposing to raise the height on Block U to a maximum of 150 feet to accommodate this proposal. This would be done by increasing the base height from 75 to 105 feet and making the site eligible for an additional 45 feet of bonus height. This could be earned through the use of floor area ratio (FAR) bonuses in exchange for providing various public benefits. The public is invited to testify on the proposed height increase at a public hearing with the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Public Hearing on Multnomah County Health Department Building

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission
Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 3 p.m.*
1900 SW 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Room 2500A

* Please check the PSC calendar or call (503) 823-7700 one week prior to hearing for scheduled time of this agenda item

Instructions on submitting testimony:https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/383906.

Download the proposal (including graphics and ESEE analysis update): https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/524773 

Next Steps

A City Council public hearing to consider the recommendations of the Planning and Sustainability Commission on this proposal is anticipated in early June 2015. For more information, visit the project website or contact Nicholas Starin at nicholas.starin@portlandoregon.gov or by phone at (503) 823-5837.

 

Portland City Council Adopts West Quadrant Plan

Long-range plan for the west side of the Central City provides direction for economic activity and growth, access to the Willamette River and an exciting urban waterfront, habitat restoration, more housing diversity and livability

On March 5, 2015, the Portland City Council voted to adopt the West Quadrant Plan, which sets direction for a long-range plan for Central City districts west of the Willamette River, including Downtown, the West End, Goose Hollow, the Pearl, Old Town/Chinatown, South Waterfront and South Downtown/University. 


“This plan welcomes change, growth and development, but also seeks to preserve character, livability and important historic and environmental resources,” said Mayor Charlie Hales at the start of the second public hearing on the West Quadrant Plan Recommended Draft. “The plan lays out a detailed and balanced roadmap and builds on the successes and key directions from the 1972 Downtown Plan and 1988 Central City Plans.”


Commissioners discuss proposed amendments to the West Quadrant PlanAt the first public hearing on the West Quadrant Plan on February 4, Council received oral and written communications from more than 100 people. At the March 5 hearing, about a dozen Portlanders testified on amendments to the plan, which were introduced by Mayor Hales, Commissioners Fritz and Novick, and City planners. The package included amendments for habitat restoration, Waterfront Park, the Greenway Trail, bridgehead heights, the Pearl District Waterfront and Goose Hollow Residential Overlays.

Waterfront Park, housing bonuses and Pearl District Greenway top issues

The liveliest discussions between commissioners were around updating the master plan for Waterfront Park — with Commissioner Fritz passionately advocating for resources to go to unmet park needs in East Portland — and height bonuses for affordable housing along the Pearl District Waterfront.

The vote to adopt was four to one, with Fritz the single nay vote. “We haven’t gotten to the right endpoint with the Pearl Greenway and Waterfront Park,” she explained.

Commissioner Saltzman, a strong affordable housing advocate, noted, “There’s nothing to be ashamed of about height. I see it as an opportunity for more affordable housing. We’ll be coming back in May with more information about bonuses and affordable housing, and I feel good we’ll get those bonuses in time.”

All the commissioners acknowledged the tremendous amount of work on the part of the project Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the Planning and Sustainability Commission, community members who participated in the process and testified to City Council, and City bureaus who collaborated to craft the plan.


“So much of what the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability does is act as the nexus; bringing together the best ideas of the community and other bureaus’ work,” said BPS Director Susan Anderson. “Staff have had hundreds of conversations with residents, businesses and our bureau partners to develop this plan.”


Thanking his fellow commissioners for their willingness to work through every detail of the plan, Mayor Hales acknowledged “the amazing thoughtful community testimony. Reflecting on my work here and around the country, I don’t think we understand how high caliber the work is here in Portland. … Good work is being done here.”

Other features of the plan

The West Quadrant Plan aims to improve livability, stimulate economic development, and increase connections and access in and around the Central City with the Green Loop, a 10-mile walking and biking open space path. The plan also includes actions to activate the waterfront and restore habitat in the Willamette River for fish, wildlife and people. And it ensures a more resilient Central City in response to global environmental changes and challenges.

Next steps

By adopting the plan, Council approved specific policy directions for the West Quadrant. Now staff will begin writing the code to implement the plan, which will be rolled up into the Central City 2035 Plan, along with the N/NE Quadrant Plan (completed in 2012) and the SE Quadrant Plan (in progress), and submitted to City Council in 2016 as the first amendment to the 2035 Comprehensive Plan.