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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.

Get comfy and take a virtual tour of the Southeast Quadrant open house

Without leaving your home, office or chair, you can view and comment on the latest proposals for land use, parking/transportation, urban design, historic resources, green infrastructure and more in this exciting part of the Central City

Picture of physical open house on February 19th

Now you can share the experience of the February 19 open house at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center.

Welcome to the SE Quadrant Virtual Open House! We’re glad you came.

Perhaps you’re a business owner in the Central Eastside Industrial District. Maybe you pass through the district on your way to and from downtown. Or just like to visit to enjoy the food, drink and creative energy of the area. Any way you experience it, there’s no denying this part of Portland is bustling with activity: new development and businesses; more bikes, cars and trucks; and increased attention and interest from near and far.

The SE Quadrant planning effort is harnessing all of that energy into a new long-range plan for the area. The plan will help ensure that this unique part of the city evolves the way Portlanders want it to.

So far we’ve heard that people want to preserve the character of the area with its historic warehouses and protect its unique role as an industrial sanctuary and business incubator. But they also recognize that as the area grows and changes, it creates pressure on the streets and transportation system to accommodate more trucks, cars and even bikes. And then there’s its relationship to the river, which provides opportunities for greater access to this beloved natural resource, recreation, and even arts and culture.

So get comfy and explore the proposals below. Then tell us what you think with the comment form.

As you look at the proposals that follow, keep in mind that most of the SE Quadrant is an industrial sanctuary and has long served as an incubator for small businesses. A key goal of the new plan is to maintain this sanctuary while allowing for new industrial businesses and increased employment density.

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Land for Jobs

The Central Eastside is experiencing a period of extensive growth and renewal. But without new regulatory tools, the Central City will not be able to keep up with the demand for employment land. Staff land use proposals tweak the existing zoning to allow for more dense employment in the Central Eastside, including the new station areas along the MAX Orange Line due to open in September 2015.

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Staff are also preparing a new industrial disclosure statement that would inform people and businesses moving into the area about the characteristics (noise, fumes, trucks) common to the district. The disclosure would make it clear that the City of Portland would not enforce complaints against lawful activity within the district.


Historic Resources

Proposals also call for recognizing the historic character of much of the Central Eastside, particularly along historic main streets such as Morrison Street.

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Urban design

Potential conflicts between different kinds of businesses and uses — particularly residential, retail and industrial areas — are addressed through urban design. These proposals seek to clarify how areas with different zoning can co-exist.

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Transportation, parking, freight

Another area of concern is the already limited parking in the district. With more jobs and residents coming to the district, congestion on the streets will affect the ability of businesses to move freight. These proposals address concerns about traffic and congestion by applying a wide set of tools.

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Other proposals would help reduce conflicts between trucks and other types of traveling to and through the district. By making some routes that are less important to freight more attractive for bicycles and pedestrians, trucks and bikes will be less likely to get in each other’s way.

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Green Loop

A concept for a bicycle and pedestrian loop is proposed for the Central City. This “Green Loop” would be a key north-south route in the Central Eastside, connecting to the South Waterfront and downtown via the new Tilikum Crossing bridge. The eastside leg would include an I-84 pedestrian/bicycle bridge. What factors should be considered in picking a route, considering some initial data showing how loading and intersections could impact design?

poster    poster


Open space

Finally, staff responded to concerns about the lack of open space, green infrastructure such as trees, and connections and activity along the river. Due to the industrial nature of the district, areas for employees and residents to gather and relax will likely be near the most intense employment or residential development. The exception would be at the waterfront where there may be new park-like areas and enhanced habitat.

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The river

Bringing economic activity to the waterfront is also a key element of the proposals. Public/private partnerships will be required, especially in the areas where the most intense employment or residential development occurs.


What do you think?

Your input is important to us! You can comment on the materials above or tell us what’s missing by Friday, March 20th (approximately 3 weeks). Please use the comment form to send us your input. Bonus: Refer to a specific topic or map/poster to help us incorporate your feedback.

Thank you for your time and help.


Next Steps

Input from the open house, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and other Central Eastside stakeholders will help shape the Public Review Draft of the SE Quadrant Plan to be released in late April. In late May/June, the Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold public hearings on the Proposed Draft, followed by City Council hearings on the plan in summer/early fall of 2015.

List of all posters

Introduction

Proposals

City Commissioners, Bureau Staff Propose Amendments to the Recommended Draft West Quadrant Plan

Public invited to testify on the amendments at March 5, 2015, City Council Hearing

Amendments to the Recommended Draft of the West Quadrant Plan that were proposed by Mayor Hales, Commissioners Fritz and Novick, and city planners will be the focus of a second hearing on March 5, 2015, at 2 p.m., time certain.

The public is welcome to testify on any amendments included in the list. Please reference the Amendment # (far left column) in testimony.

Public Hearing on Proposed Amendments, West Quadrant Plan

Testimony Welcome
March 5, 2015, 2 p.m.
Portland City Council
Council Chambers (City Hall, 2nd Floor)
1221 SW 4th Ave

How to Give Testimony

You can share your feedback on the plan with City Council in several ways. Note that written testimony must be received by the time of the hearing and must include your name and address.

  1. Testify in person at the hearing. 
  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 Karla.Moore-Love@portlandoregon.gov.

Download Council Documents

West Quadrant Plan City Council Hearing on Proposed Amendments Moved to March 5, 2015

Hearing moved to allow additional time for consideration of testimony

The City Council Hearing originally scheduled for February 25 has been moved to Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 2 p.m., time certain.  A great deal of testimony and amendment proposals were received and more time is needed to carefully consider the feedback.

A list of the proposed amendments will be posted to the City Council’s website on Friday, February 27, 2015 and testimony specific to those potential amendments will be taken at the hearing.

The West Quadrant Plan is 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. For more information, please visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/cc2035/westquad.

City Council Holds Public Hearing on Recommended Draft of the West Quadrant Plan

Commissioners hear testimony from nearly 60 Portlanders; support affordable housing goals and actions

The West Quadrant Plan was the focus of a public hearing at City Council on Feb. 4, 2015. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) staff presented the big ideas in the recommended plan, including creating a healthy and vibrant 21st-century urban waterfront, developing a signature 10-mile walking and biking parkway (or Green Loop), encouraging a mix of uses in the quadrant and constructing a model low-carbon Central City.  

Close to 60 community members testified on the Recommended Draft for more than four hours, with much of the testimony focusing on height and density limits in the West End and Goose Hollow.

But affordable housing took center stage when Commissioner Dan Saltzman co-sponsored the resolution to adopt the plan, along with Mayor Charlie Hales. Commissioner Nick Fish also spoke passionately about the need to keep Portland from becoming like San Francisco and other high-cost cities through regulations and programs that would support affordable and workforce housing on the west side of the Central City.

The West Quadrant Plan calls for a mix of housing types and establishes an affordable housing target for 2035. It also addresses the environmental health of the Willamette River and proposes actions to protect historic resources.

In regards to building height, the plan leaves existing limits in much of the quadrant alone. It does, however, propose transfer of development rights for historic buildings in Old Town/Chinatown as well as bonuses that could create incentives for affordable housing, building setbacks for plazas and public space, and other civic amenities.

At one point during the hearing, Commissioner Steve Novick asked staff about the relationship between building height and carbon emissions. BPS Director Susan Anderson pointed out that higher buildings can help create more compact, transit-accessible and amenity-rich communities, which help us reach our climate action goals.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is conducting a study to determine the costs and benefits of bonuses to both the City and developers as well as the financial viability of different types of bonuses. BPS is also working on an updated Scenic Resources Inventory in the city center, which will identify view sheds and corridors worth preserving. Until this work is done, however, no final decisions on height limits or bonuses will be made.

Next Steps

The West Quadrant Plan will be back on the Council agenda in a few weeks. Please check Council agendas to confirm the following:

  • Friday, February 20 (5 p.m.)
    City Council proposed amendments will be posted on the Council website.
     
  • Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 2 p.m., time certain 
    City Council Hearing

After Council votes to adopt the plan by resolution, planners will then begin to consolidate all of the quadrant plans (West, N/NE and SE quadrants) and draft new Zoning Code provisions for a complete Central City 2035 (CC2035) plan. This combined plan and ordinance will then be the subject of hearings before the Planning and Sustainablity Commission and City Council in 2016. Once adopted, CC2035 will become an amendment to the newly adopted Comprehensive Plan.

The West Quadrant Plan is 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. For more information, please visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/cc2035/westquad.

February open house at the rail museum reveals new concepts and plans for the future of the Central Eastside

Portlanders are invited to learn about and share their feedback on the latest developments for the SE Quadrant Plan

One of the challenges of the SE Quadrant Plan is balancing the freight function of the district with additional traffic expected over the next 20 years.

Join the SE Quadrant planning team at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center (ORHC) on February 19 to learn about the future of the Central Eastside. View maps, images and diagrams, and read and comment on the goals, policies and actions that have been developed over the last year and a half. Input from the open house, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and other Central Eastside stakeholders will help shape the SE Quadrant Draft Plan to be released in March.

You’ll be able to learn more and share your ideas about how the plan will:

  • Provide greater flexibility for new industrial uses, activate MAX light rail station areas, and enhance and connect areas of the district.
  • Address parking needs and improve key freight, bicycle and pedestrian corridors.
  • Continue to develop the riverfront as a destination and enhance river habitat.
  • Provide park-like spaces and green infrastructure.

Attendees are invited to explore the exhibits of historic train engines, and Rail Heritage Center staff will be on hand to answer questions. Snacks and refreshments will be provided.

SE Quadrant Open House
Thursday, Feb. 19, 2015, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Oregon Rail Heritage Center, 2250 SE Water Ave
Parking: There is a parking lot available west of SE Water Ave on SE Caruthers Street.