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Planning and Sustainability Commission to hold work sessions on Central City 2035 Proposed Draft, before voting to recommend plan to City Council

Commissioners to discuss topics such as building height, parking, the river, affordable housing bonuses and more

View of Southeast Portland and Mt Hood

On Tuesday, September 27 at 5 p.m., the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) will begin work sessions on the Central City 2035 Plan Proposed Draft. These meetings are designed to help the Commission work through a series of amendments to the Proposed Draft based on public testimony. 

Community members can watch the work sessions on the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s YouTube channel

High rise building with ecoroofIn each work session, the PSC and project staff will focus on the details of the big topics in the CC2035 Plan. Building height, the river, transportation and new tools for historic preservation are just a few of the issues to be covered over the next few months.

Work Session Details

At the first work session on September 27, the Commissioners will spend most of their time on building height as it relates to historic resources, scenic views and more. They will also cover green building design and parking.

While the new plan generally retains the existing height pattern, staff have proposed amendments in some areas to either increase or reduce allowed heights. Based on research about building height in certain areas, staff have made amendments to the Proposed Draft for the Commission to consider. 

Building height

At 123,000 jobs and 23,000 households, Portland’s Central City is the region’s economic and residential hub. Those numbers are expected to increase by 40 percent and 165 percent, respectively, over the next 20 years. 

Downtown Portland skyline

Tall buildings in the Central City are needed to support job and population growth. And by locating the tallest buildings along high-capacity transit lines and bridgeheads, we can accommodate growth more efficiently and improve livability. But the amendments related to building height further "sculpt" the skyline to adjust view corridors and preserve historic resources.

Green building and parking in the Central City

With so much new construction in the Central City, we can emphasize green building design for even lower carbon emissions. In addition to requirements for new development to be registered with LEED and other third-party certifiers, the Plan includes proposals for green roofs and bird-safe glazing (glass) in the building design to ensure sustainable development.

And with so many people living, working and recreating in the Central City, parking must be managed. The CC2035 Plan includes strategies to minimize congestion and proposes investments in bicycle, pedestrian and transit infrastructure for more carbon reductions.

Future Work Sessions

Additional work sessions will cover more Central City 2035 elements.

  • Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, November 16, 2016, 4 p.m.
  • Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 5 p.m.
  • Tuesday, February 28, 2017, 5 p.m.

All work sessions will be held at 1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 2500A. Please check the PSC calendar to confirm time and location prior to each work session.

During the November 16 work session, the PSC will discuss river-related topics, such as river setbacks and required vegetation, as well as proposals for new transportation projects and street designations.

Come the new year, Commissioners will continue their work sessions on January 24, starting with the bonus and transfer system and other remaining topics.

Stay tuned for similar stories on this blog about future work session topics prior to the PSC meetings.

Planning and Sustainability Commission completes public hearings on CC2035

More than 750 Portlanders gave testimony on the new long-range plan for Portland’s urban core; PSC will delve into the details at upcoming series of work sessions

Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) held two 3-hour hearings on July 26 and August 9. A total of 130 Portlanders testified about the Central City 2035 Plan (CC2035) Proposed Draft, and the record is now closed.

Testimony Received

Type of testimony Amount (approximate) Links
Oral testimony 130 July 26, August 9
Written testimony    
Letters 280 July 26, August 9
Map App comments 350 Document with all comments
Total: 760  

What did people talk about at the hearing?

While it’s difficult to summarize hundreds of comments in one set of bullets, there were some common themes, such as:

  • Tools for historic preservation, setting appropriate building height limits and ensuring the compatibility of new buildings with existing character in historic districts.
  • Public view corridors and the impacts to development of maintaining current views.
  • Tools for improving the supply of affordable, family-friendly housing in the Central City, in addition to ongoing work by City bureaus (BPS’s Inclusionary Housing Zoning Code Program and the Housing Bureau’s Inclusionary Housing Program).
  • Different approaches to increasing the stock of low-carbon buildings.
  • Changes to parking requirements for new development.
  • Balancing new bike infrastructure with other modes, such as freight.
  • Requests from property owners and residents for specific changes to zoning, allowed building floor area and height.
  • Costs and benefits related to ecoroofs on new buildings.
  • Ideas about improving recreational access to the river in the Central City.
  • New parks and schools to support increasing populations.

View the videos of both hearings and review the written testimony

Next steps

Don’t worry if you don’t see your topic listed above. Staff and the PSC Commissioners are currently reviewing all comments in preparation for a series of work sessions on September 27, November 16 and January 24, 2017. At the final PSC meeting in January, the Commission is expected to recommend a new draft of the plan to City Council for review in early 2017.

These dates are subject to change. Check the PSC Calendar one week prior to the scheduled meeting to confirm the date, time and location. Staff will publish materials approximately one week prior to each work session.

 

Testimony on the Central City 2035 Plan Proposed Draft extended to Thursday, August 11 at 5 p.m.

Portlanders can submit written testimony on the new plan via the online Map App and email

On Tuesday evening, August 9, 2016, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) closed its public hearing on the Central City 2035 Plan Proposed Draft. More than 140 Portlanders testified during two three-hour sessions (the first hearing was on July 26).

Responding to requests from multiple stakeholders and groups, the PSC will accept written testimony until 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 11. Written testimony on the CC2035 proposal can be submitted:

  • Via the Map App: Testify about specific properties or transportation proposals through the Map App
  • By email: psc@portlandoregon.gov. Be sure to include “CC2035 Plan Testimony” in the subject line and your full name and mailing address.
  • By delivering physical letters to the address below before the 5 p.m. deadline

Planning and Sustainability Commission
City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201
Attn: CC2035 Testimony

Note: All testimony to the PSC is considered public record, and testifiers' name, address and any other information included in the testimony will be posted on the website.

REMINDER: Central City 2035 Plan PSC public hearings continue on Tuesday, August 9 at 5:30 p.m.

Review the recap of July 26 Planning and Sustainability Commission hearing on the CC2035 Plan, then present your testimony on the new long range plan for Portland’s urban core in person or in writing.

Recap of July 26 hearing

The Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) opened public hearings on the Proposed Draft Central City 2035 Plan (CC2035) on July 26. More than 60 people signed up to testify, and over 50 community members have submitted written testimony to date.

Testimony covered a range of topics, including:

  • The need for new structures in historic districts to be compatible with the historic character around them.
  • The importance of protecting public views of surrounding mountains and natural features.
  • Strategies for supporting the creation of low-carbon buildings.
  • Requests from property owners and residents for changes to zoning and allowed building heights.
  • Support for big ideas and projects proposed in the CC2035 Plan such as the Green Loop, which is envisioned to be an open space pedestrian/bicycle path.
  • Comments regarding the proposed changes to parking requirements.

Review documents, presentations and written testimony as well as watch a video of the hearing.

Continued public hearing and testimony opportunities

The PSC will continue the CC2035 public hearing on August 9 at 5:30 p.m. Portlanders can sign-up to provide oral testimony starting at 3:30 p.m. in Room C of the Portland Building. Oral testimony will be limited to two minutes per person and may be changed at the PSC Chair’s discretion.  

Planning and Sustainability Commission Public Hearing on the Central City 2035 Plan
Tuesday, August 9, 5:30 p.m.
The Portland Building 
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room C (2nd floor)

Note: The PSC meeting starts at 4 p.m. with a work session on another project. CC2035 testifiers are welcome to attend the work session, but Commissioners will not take testimony on CC2035 until the hearing opens at or after 5:30 p.m.

The PSC also invites written testimony on the CC2035 proposal through August 9, 2016:

  • Via the Map App: Testify about specific properties or transportation proposals through the Map App.
  • By email: psc@portlandoregon.gov
  • By U.S. Mail: 

Planning and Sustainability Commission
City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201
Attn: CC2035 Testimony

Learn how to testify to the PSC; read Tips for Effective Testimony.

Note: All testimony to the PSC is considered public record, and testifiers' name, address and any other information included in the testimony will be posted on the website.

More information about and proposed amendments to the CC2035 Plan

Since the July 26 hearing, project staff provided the PSC with a memo that updates them on a few topics. These are briefly identified in the bullets below. More details can be found in the memo.

  • TSP maps: At the request of Commissioner Chris Smith, Portland Bureau of Transportation staff have created versions of the Transportation System Plan (TSP) Street Classification Maps, which now include streets outside the Central City boundary. This is intended to show how streets in the Central City connect to the surrounding bike, freight and other street networks outside of the plan district.
  • Corrections to actions: Staff identified discrepancies between transportation studies and projects in Volume 2B and the actions in Volume 5. A corrected version of Volume 5 will be provided for the first PSC work session on September 29, 2016.
  • Disclosures: Updated information about West Quadrant Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee member conflict of interest disclosures.

REMINDER: Public hearings on new plan for the Central City start on July 26

Portlanders invited to testify on the Central City 2035 Plan to the Planning and Sustainability Commission in person or in writing

On Tuesday, July 26, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) will hold the first of two public hearings on the Proposed Draft Central City 2035 Plan. Residents, property owners and other stakeholders will be able to share their input on this long range plan for growth and development along the Willamette River and in the city center for the next 20 years.

Planning and Sustainability Commission Public Hearing
Central City 2035 Plan
Tuesday, July 26, 5 p.m. and August 9, 5:30 p.m.
Portland Building
1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room C

Note: The 5 p.m. time on July 26 is a slight change from the original listing. Also, this location is different from the usual location of PSC meetings.

Learn how to testify to the PSC; read Tips for Effective Testimony.

The PSC also invites testimony on this proposal through August 9, 2016, in writing:

  • Via the Map App: Testify about specific properties or transportation proposals through the Map App.
  • By Email: Email your comments with “CC2035 Testimony” in the subject line to psc@portlandoregon.gov. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address.
  • By U.S. Mail:
    Planning and Sustainability Commission
    City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
    1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

Note: All testimony to the PSC is considered public record, and testifiers’ name, address and any other information included in the testimony will be posted on the website.

Next steps
Following the PSC hearings, the Commission will hold a series of work sessions in the fall to work through specific topics in the CC2035 Plan. Commissioners may propose amendments before forwarding  a Recommended Draft on to City Council.

Have questions?
We’re here to help! Call the Central City Helpline at 503-823-4286 or send an email to cc2035@portlandoregon.gov.

Learn more by visiting the Central City 2035 Plan website and Map App.

If you own property in the Central City and zoning changes have been proposed for it, you should have received a Notice of Proposed Land Use Regulation from the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. If you have questions about how the proposals may affect your property, please contact Central City staff. The PSC will not be able to answer your questions about this notice.