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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 West Quadrant Plan Goes Before City Council

Planning and Sustainability Commission unanimously recommends plan for future of the area to City Council; public hearing scheduled for Feb. 4, 2015

The future of the Central City’s west side is one step closer to being realized. A new long-range plan to make the area a model of sustainable living, increase business development and employment opportunities, and create greater housing choices for more Portlanders is headed to City Council.

Cover of the Recommended Draft West Quadrant PlanOn Dec. 9, 2014, after holding a public hearing and two work sessions, the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission voted unanimously to recommend that City Council adopt a revised West Quadrant Plan. During briefings and work sessions from September through early December, commissioners worked with Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff to revise several sections of the draft, including policies, actions and/or targets related to affordable housing, environmental protection, livability and the Willamette River.

On Feb. 4, 2015, the City Council will hold a public hearing on a non-binding resolution to adopt the West Quadrant Plan. The content of the adopted plan will be integrated with other elements into a comprehensive Central City 2035 Plan (CC2035), which will 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 Recommended Draft Plan at the City Council hearing.

Public Hearing, West Quadrant Plan – Testimony Welcome
February 4, 2014, 2 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 above)
     
  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. Written testimony must be received by the time of the hearing and must include your name and address.

Download Council Documents

We have heard that some people are having challenges accessing the document at the above link. If the link is not working on your computer, try downloading it here.

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, Pearl, Old Town/Chinatown, South Waterfront and South Downtown/University. This plan will be integrated with the N/NE Quadrant and SE Quadrant plans to become  a comprehensive long-range plan for Portland’s city center, which will be adopted as an amendment to the city’s new Comprehensive Plan.

Planning and Sustainability Commission Recommends West Quadrant Plan to City Council

Affordable housing, Morrison bridgehead, building heights and river restoration discussed

Portland’s Central City offers something for everyone: a wide range of jobs, diverse housing types for different income levels, educational institutions, entertainment and dining options, and retail and recreational experiences. And the area is poised to become a true 21st century global model for low-carbon, sustainable urban development.

The Central City’s west side — or West Quadrant — has the region’s highest concentration of jobs; more than 87,000 in 2010 and 30,000 more expected by 2035. Its seven distinctive districts — from Goose Hollow to Chinatown — are becoming increasingly mixed use, providing residents more choices in new housing options and adding to the district’s vitality. So the goal of the 20-year West Quadrant Plan is to continue the area’s successful evolution as the region’s business, cultural and recreational hub while accommodating a large share of population and job growth within a compact and sustainable urban center. The plan emphasizes continuing economic activity and employment opportunities, increasing access to the river, creating a more exciting urban waterfront, and expanding housing diversity and livability.

Work sessions lead to a PSC recommendation

The West Quadrant Plan reached a big milestone recently when the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) recommended it to the City Council for adoption after a second work session on the Proposed Draft. Staff presented commissioners with more information regarding affordable housing in the Central City, bridgehead heights along the riverfront, building height, and habitat enhancement and restoration along the riverfront. Work session materials, including the presentation, can be found in the Documents Section of the project website.

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) staff offered a working definition for “affordable housing.” Then they explained priorities for housing affordability in the West Quadrant, including supporting greater racial, ethnic and economic diversity as well as housing options; meeting the needs of the lowest income populations; and closing the minority homeownership gap. Staff also provided specific housing targets.

Aerial view of the Morrison bridgeheadThe project team shared potential impacts from increased bridgehead heights along the waterfront, including shadows and wind in Tom McCall Park as well as increased building heights in other West Quadrant districts.

Commissioner Mike Houck raised the issue of increasing habitat restoration in the Willamette River. Staff explained that existing habitat is constrained along the Central Reach because of the seawall on the west side and a railroad and I-5 on the east, so there are few additional restoration sites available. But they agreed that the West Quad Plan should call for at least two to three shallow water restoration areas to conserve and restore fish and wildlife populations.

The PSC requested that BPS explore the potential effects of wind on pedestrians caused by building height along the waterfront as well as housing development bonuses tied to additional building height for both commercial and residential uses.

After reviewing the proposed changes to the plan and discussing the above topics in depth, the commissioners voted unanimously to recommend the West Quadrant Plan to City Council for adoption.

Portland City Council will consider the proposed West Quadrant Plan in January 2015 and adopt the plan by resolution. After that, planners will begin to consolidate all of the quadrant plans and draft new zoning code provisions into a complete Central City 2035 plan. This consolidated plan and ordinance will then be the subject of hearings before the PSC and City Council. Once adopted, CC2035 will become part of the Comprehensive Plan. 

Second Work Session on Proposed West Quadrant Plan on December 9

Affordable housing and Morrison bridgehead to be discussed in greater depth

On December 9, 2014, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) will hold a second work session on the West Quadrant Plan Proposed Draft.

At the first work session, commissioners identified the issues of affordable housing and maximum building height allowances at the Morrison bridgehead as needing further discussion.

Drawing of potential development scenario at the Morrison BridgheadSupporting documents for the December 9 session can be found in the Documents Section of the project website. The packet includes material on housing and bridgehead heights, as well as additional information requested by the PSC related to West End building heights. It also contains a detailed list of proposed revisions to the Proposed Draft released in August.  

Staff from various City bureaus will be available to answer any remaining questions about the Proposed Draft before the commission votes to recommend the plan (with revisions) to City Council for consideration.

The December 9 work session is open to the public, but public testimony will not be taken. Approximately 100 pieces of written testimony were received by staff prior to the closing of the public comment period on October 1, 2014 and forwarded to commissioners. There will be additional opportunities for public comment when the West Quadrant Plan Recommended Draft goes before City Council early next year.

 

Public hearing on West Quadrant Plan draws crowd

Forty community members offer their testimony on the future of the Central City’s west side

Members of the public testify on the West Quadrant PlanOn Sept. 9, 2014, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) welcomed testimony on the West Quadrant Plan Proposed Draft at a public hearing. Central City residents, business owners and other interested individuals packed the room to offer testimony – some supportive, some critical – on the current draft.

Building heights, particularly those in the West End, Pearl District and Old Town/Chinatown were the subject of a majority of the testimony. Many residents from those areas requested significant decreases in height limits – proposed, but mostly existing. Others testified in favor of maintaining and/or strategically increasing heights in some areas of the West Quadrant. Additional subjects of testimony included parking, affordable housing, economic development, historic preservation, equity, bridgehead development and the environment. 

Watch the hearing.

The written record will remain open until Oct. 1, 2014, which means Portlanders can submit testimony in writing until then to psc@portlandoregon.gov.

The Proposed Draft can be found in the Documents Section of the project website. Meeting minutes, written testimony and related documents will be posted to the PSC website when available.

Next steps

A PSC work session on the West Quadrant Plan is scheduled for Oct. 21, 2014. Staff will brief the commissioners on requested information and be available to answer questions as they discuss the Proposed Draft. The work session is open to the public, but testimony will not be taken. The commission may make a recommendation on the Proposed Draft at the conclusion of the work session, or commissioners may ask for another work session if additional time is needed to make a decision.  

Proposed Draft West Quadrant Plan at Planning and Sustainability Commission

Public invited to attend and testify at public hearing on September 9

Soccer fans watch events in Pioneer Square during MLS All Star WeekThe future of Downtown, the West End, Goose Hollow, the Pearl, Old Town/Chinatown, South Waterfront and South Downtown/University is before us. And you can testify about the proposed draft of a long-range plan for the Central City’s west side at an upcoming hearing before the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Over the last year and a half, the West Quadrant Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) worked with interested community members and Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff to develop the West Quadrant Plan, which includes goals, policies and key directions for neighborhoods from the North Pearl to South Waterfront and from Goose Hollow to the riverfront. This plan will guide future growth and development in the area and incorporates fresh ideas from the community to help make the Central City an even more vibrant place to live, work and play.

Public Hearing Details

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission Public Hearing

September 9, 2014
12:30 – 3:15 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Room 2500A

The West Quadrant Project hearing will begin at 12:30 pm. Instructions on submitting testimony: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/383906.

Download the Proposed Draft West Quadrant Plan

Next Steps

Following the public hearing on September 9, the Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold a work session to formulate its recommendation on the West Quadrant Plan on October 21. The project will then go before the Portland City Council for adoption by resolution. Specific recommendations in the West Quadrant Plan will go into effect once the entire Central City 2035 Plan (the update of the 1988 Central City Plan) is complete, expected in 2015.