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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.

SE Quadrant SAC Discusses Land Use Direction for the Central Eastside

Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) meets on January 16

The Southeast Quadrant Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) process continues with the exploration of land use issues in the district. Discussion regarding industrial lands, the mix of uses, and desired character of subareas will all be a part of the 3rd SAC meeting on January 16th. See the meeting packet for a more detailed agenda and background materials. The 4th SAC meeting will be a continuation of the land use discussion, as well as an introduction to transportation issues.

The next two SAC meetings have been scheduled:

  • SAC Meeting #3: Thurs, Jan. 16, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., Location: Multnomah County Offices, 501 SE Hawthorne, Room 315
  • SAC Meeting #4: Thurs, Feb. 6, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., Location: Multnomah County Offices, 501 SE Hawthorne, Room 315

All SAC meetings are open to the public and will include public comment periods. Meeting packets are posted approximately one week before meetings on the SAC Documents page. Stay tuned for more information about other topics being discussed by the SAC and other public events as the process moves forward.

 

Central Reach Workshop Summary now available

Report captures ideas from Willamette River Central Reach public workshop

In December, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability solicited public input on how to improve and enhance the Willamette River area in downtown Portland. Staff summarized the ideas generated over the two-day workshop in a report, which includes several concept maps.

Download the Willamette River Central Reach Workshop Summary Report

At the workshop, more than 70 participants discussed how to ensure a robust river economy, environmentally healthy river and vibrant waterfront districts along the Willamette River in the Central City. In addition to a written summary of the event and comments received, the report contains three illustrations representing emerging themes from the each topic area, such as denoting major riverfront activity hubs, human access to/in the river with habitat areas, and commercial and recreational boat mooring locations.

Next Steps

Project staff will present the report and results of the Central Reach Workshop at both the West Quadrant and SE Quadrant Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) meetings, on January 21 and March 6, respectively. An Urban Design Concept for the Willamette River Central Reach that builds on many sources including workshop results will also be presented to the West Quadrant SAC.

Other Opportunities to Comment

A draft urban design concept plan map for the Central Reach will be posted on the Central City 2035 (CC2035) website in late January. It will depict overarching and specific place-based aspirations for the central riverfront area. This concept will be a guide for the future and for the development of implementing policies and strategies and regulations related to the Central Reach and the Central City overall. Comments on the concept plan may be given at the SAC meetings or through written comments to Debbie Bischoff at debbie.bischoff@portlandoregon.gov.

This information is currently being used to inform draft policies and action items for Westside neighborhoods that abut the river. Public review opportunities for the West Quadrant policies will be available in the next few months. The Central Reach Working Group (CRWG), which will continue meeting in the next few months, is an open-membership group and anyone can attend and comment on the draft concept at the CRWG meetings or contact Debbie Bischoff at Debbie.Bischoff@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-6946.
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River Planners and Advocates Come Together Around the Central Reach

Participants discussed how to ensure a robust river economy, environmentally healthy river and vibrant waterfront districts along the Willamette River in the Central City.

More than 70 people participated in a two-day open workshop focused on improving the Willamette riverfront area in the Central City on Dec. 4 and 5. The results of the facilitated discussions and open houses will help staff develop a Central Reach Urban Design Concept, which will be incorporated into the Central City 2035 planning effort and the update to the Willamette Greenway Plan.

If you weren’t able to attend the workshop and would like to learn more or provide comments, the presentation, maps and workshop questionnaires are available on the Workshop Summary Page. Community comments are welcome through December 20.

Based on feedback from each session, it’s clear that Portlanders want to see more activities, uses and people engaged in the riverfront area. An overarching theme is to increase human access to the water for recreation, transportation and enjoyment. People view Tom McCall Waterfront Park as a major place for transformation. Think small commercial uses, cultural and historical attractions, and recreation, including an urban beach for swimming. On the east side, the OMSI area has great potential to be an emerging waterfront district with the new light rail station and pedestrian/bike bridge over the river. Expanding this area with new cafes, cultural and historical attractions like a maritime museum, a boat school and increased boat access could make this a popular destination for the region.

workshop photoParticipants also talked about making the Downtown riverfront area more recognizable as the city’s primary gathering place.  As such the area could bring people together through a variety of land- and water-based activities that reflect the history, culture and natural environment. Commercial boating would become more prolific with cruise, excursion and river transit opportunities converging downtown. Clusters of uses such as retail, recreation, entertainment and other businesses could form destination points that add vibrancy to the waterfront. Key focus areas include the Rose Quarter/Convention Center, OMSI and the light rail station under construction, and Waterfront Park.

Maintaining and improving habitat areas for fish, birds and other wildlife by enhancing river banks with native vegetation and maintaining in-water shallow habitat is a priority, especially in key areas in the Central Reach. The Hawthorne Bowl riverfront area could be reconfigured to support both swimming and fish migration habitat because these activities occur at different times of the year. Also, creating habitat wildlife corridors throughout the Central City will allow birds and other species to safely move through downtown and benefit humans. Finally, Waterfront Park could be a place where part of the seawall is replaced with a steps lined with native vegetation down to the river for easy access to swim, paddle or simply splash in the water.

The Willamette River’s Central Reach is poised to become much more of a playground for all Portlanders and visitors to the Central City. Find out more by visiting the project website or contact Debbie Bischoff for more information.

SE Quadrant Stakeholder Advisory Committee Process Up and Running!

Next two SAC meetings scheduled

The Southeast Quadrant Plan Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) met for the first time on November 20th. The 30 members of the SAC had a chance to familiarize themselves with the project and get to know other members of this diverse group of stakeholders.

Now it is time to present the existing conditions and issues to be considered as part of the planning process. During the second SAC meeting on December 12, staff will present the existing conditions in regards to economic, land use and transportation issues within the quadrant. The SAC will then have time to discuss what they see as key issues for the plan to address regarding these topics. View the meeting packet for the agenda and other background materials.

The next two SAC meetings have been scheduled:

  • SAC Meeting #2: Thurs, December 12, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
  • SAC Meeting #3: Thurs, January 16, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

Both meetings will be held at Multnomah County Offices, 501 SE Hawthorne, Room 315.

All SAC meetings are open to the public and will include public comment periods. Meeting packets are posted approximately one week before meetings on the SAC Documents page. Stay tuned for more information about topics being discussed by the SAC and other public events as the process moves forward.

Willamette River Central Reach Workshop Schedule Agenda

Mark your calendars for some or all of the offerings at this two-day event focused on the river in the Central City

We hope you can join staff and other community members in lively conversations about the future of the Willamette River in the Central City area. Come to one or more of the sessions on December 4 and 5 or drop in at one of the designated times to share your thoughts for a successful riverfront area in the heart of Portland.

Waterfront diagram

Willamette River Central Reach Workshop
December 4–5, 2013
1900 SW 4th Ave, Room 7A

 

Agenda

Workshop Purpose

  • To holistically examine issues and opportunities related to the Willamette River in the Central City, building upon work and comments received to date.

Desired Outcome

  • Develop a Willamette River concept layer to fold into the Central City 2035 (CC2035) planning processes, including revisions to the overall Central City and Willamette Greenway plans and code.
Date Time Event
December 4 7:30–9:30 a.m. Robust River Economy Topic Discussion
Exploring how and where to support and enhance existing and future in-water and rivers-edge businesses   
  10–11:30 a.m. Public drop-in Time
  11:30–1:30 a.m.

Healthy River Topic Discussion

Exploring the integration of habitat restoration with uses, including recreation, boating and development

  1:30–2 p.m. Public drop-in Time
  4–5 p.m. Public drop-in Time
  5–8 p.m. Vibrant Riverfront Districts Topic Discussion
Exploring ways to enliven the riverfront through connections/access, culture/history, attractions and open spaces, and nearby development 
December 5 4–5 p.m. Open House to Showcase Workshop Materials from December 4
  5–7 p.m. Facilitated Conversation Integrating All Topics

Light refreshments will be served at all events. 

For more information on the CRWG and the December 4 and 5 Willamette River Central Reach Workshop, please contact Debbie Bischoff at debbie.bischoff@portlandoregon.gov or 503.823.6946. 

To help ensure equal access to City programs, services and activities, the City of Portland will reasonably modify policies/procedures and provide auxiliary aids/services to persons with disabilities. Call 503-823-7700 with such requests.

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