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Lent Elementary celebrates solar on Earth Day

BPS recognizes Solar Forward donors for contributions to Lent Elementary solar array.

Lent Elementary Solar Education

Educators know that solar energy systems are powerful teaching tools for school-aged children. Solar is a visible demonstration of science in service of sustainability. This is why the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Portland Public Schools partnered to install a 10-kilowatt solar electric system on the rooftop of the Oliver P. Lent Elementary School music building.

On April 22, dozens of children, parents and educators gathered in the garden next to the music building to celebrate Earth Day and the power of the sun. Jesse Hunter, science teacher, garden educator and overall force for sustainability at Lent Elementary, welcomed the crowd and kicked off the festivities. A group of music students entertained the crowd with songs. Kyle Diesner, BPS, was on hand to present the school community with a commemorative plaque recognizing all the Solar Forward founders and donors.

Jeff Hamman, Energy Specialist at Portland Public Schools, told the crowd, “We know that this solar system combined with all the other great initiatives that are taking place here at Lent School will help provide unique learning opportunities and demonstrate to our students and the community our commitment to being both good citizens and environmental stewards.”

Lent Elementary Solar Panel

The Lent Elementary solar array is the second of three systems installed under Solar Forward, a pilot effort by BPS to test crowdsourcing for community-based renewable energy projects. The other two arrays are located at Portland Parks and Recreation’s Southwest Community Center and at Hacienda Community Development Corporation’s Ortiz Center.

 

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.

SE Quadrant Virtual Open House – CLOSED

Materials from the recent SE Quadrant Plan virtual open house that ended on March 20th

Following the February 19th open house at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, all materials from the event were posted online along with a comment  form to provide feedback on staff proposals. This “virtual” open house is now closed, and the comment form removed, but you can still access the materials below. A written summary of the open house starts on page 2 of the packet for Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting #14. If you have comments or questions about the SE Quadrant Plan or planning process in general, please contact email Derek Dauphin or call 503-823-5869.

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?

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Open space

Staff responded to concerns about the lack of open space and green infrastructure such as trees. 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 Willamette River and Riverfront

Staff presented a strategy for the Willamette River and riverfront which includes restoring and enhancing habitat, enlivening key locations with new activities and uses, and improving recreation options such as swimming and boating. This strategy is closely linked with all of the other concepts in the district; open space linkages, economic development and transportation alternatives are important components of the strategy along the riverfront.

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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

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.

Take a Walk on the Riverside, the Central Eastside’s that is, on July 22

Join City planners, river enthusiasts and other community members as they stroll along the Willamette’s edge, imagining the future of the Central City’s waterfront

You’re invited to a summer’s eve river walk on July 22. City staff and others interested in improving river habitat, boating and other activities in the Central Reach will tour and discuss key locations along the Central Eastside’s riverfront area.SEQ Walking Tour Map

Meet at the PCC Climb Center Auditorium, 1626 SE Waters Ave, at 5 p.m. for an overview before heading down to the river. Staff will pose specific questions and record comments that will inform development of the Central City 2035 Plan, which includes the Southeast Quadrant Plan and River Plan / Central Reach.

We’ll be stopping at the following locations along the way:

1. Madison Dock (Fire Station) & Plaza area
2. Holman Dock area
3. OMSI area
4. End of Caruthers Street
5. Willamette Greenway Trail connection

Bring a water bottle; light snacks will be provided. Come support the river!

For more information, contact Debbie Bischoff at Debbie.bischoff@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-6946.