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The latest news about RICAP 6, including the current workplan and list of potential amendments.

RICAP 7 Workplan of Issues Released

Planning & Sustainability Commission will hold hearing on staff's proposed workplan

BPS staff have released the next workplan for the group of issues to be analyzed under the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Pacakage or RICAP for short. The RICAP 7 workplan is a list of 44 issues that staff will research over the next several months. Simlar to past RICAPs, the subject matter of the items in RICAP 7 is diverse and covers a wide variety of sections in the City's zoning code.  While most items are technical fixes to the code to improve clarity and readability, some items may have a minor effect on exisiting policy. These include issues involving processes for minor changes following design review approval, restricting concurrent pre-application with land use submittals, clarifying the definition of household living uses as related to disabled individuals, evaluating height measurement methodologies, and clarifying the Ladd's Addition District Street Tree Guidelines

The workplan will be reviewed by the Planning and Sustainabilty Commission at their public hearing on August 26 at 6:00PM. 

If the research determines that a code amendment is needed, these amendments will be sent out for public review and hearings during the first half of 2015. 

View the RICAP 7 Workplan

View the RICAP 7 Workplan - Appendix of eligible items

View the RICAP 7 Workplan Hearing Notice

RICAP 6 wraps up

Short-Term Rental Regulations Adopted on July 30 for houses

Following a work session on June 24, and two subsequent hearings on July 2 and July 23, City Council unanimously adopted the new rules that will allow a resident to rent up to two bedrooms in their house, attached house, duplex, manufactured home, or accessory dwelling unit to overnight guests with a low-cost permit. Such rentals will not be allowed in multi-dwelling structures, such as apartments and condos, but will be addressed by Council later this year. These new short-term rental rules will go into effect on August 29. The Bureau of Development Services website will soon offer more information about the process and how to apply for a permit.


City Council puts finishing touches on short-term rental regulations

Multifamily apartments and condos to be addressed later this year

At the July 2 meeting, City Council heard public testimony and made amendments to the proposed accessory short-term rental regulations.

The new regulations will allow residents to rent up to two bedrooms to overnight guests through a simple permit, rather than the more involved conditional use process. Short-term rentals will be allowed in single-dwelling units, such as houses and duplexes. Multi-dwelling structures, such as apartments and condos, will be addressed by Council later this year.

Following several hours of testimony, Council moved the accessory short-term rental package forward with the following changes:

  • Inspection by Bureau of Development Services will be required with the initial application and every 6 years thereafter, or with a change in ownership. The amendment allows for self-certification for the intervening semi-annual renewals.
  • Require carbon monoxide detectors, where carbon monoxide sources are present.
  • Require that the resident reside in the dwelling unit at least 9 months of the year.
  • Allow the resident to appoint a designee to operate the accessory short-term rental.
  • Require the permit number to be in all advertisements and in the dwelling unit.
  • Require Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to return with a monitoring report in September 2016.

Council will reconvene on July 23 to vote on the final package of regulations. Amended code language and explanatory commentary will be available July 18 for public review and will be posted on the project website If you would like a copy mailed to you, please contact Julia Gisler at 503.823.7624 or

City Council Work Session on Short-Term Rental Issues Covers a Lot of Ground

Public hearing will continue on July 2 at 2 p.m.

On June 24, City Council held a work session to discuss short-term rental regulations included in the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Program (RICAP) 6 package. Commissioners listened to hours of testimony at a June 4public hearing on the proposed zoning code amendments. They continued the hearing to July 2 to hear additional viewpoints and deliberate over potential refinements to the proposed rules.

Short-term rentals, most commonly provided through websites like Airbnb and VRBO, are on the rise in Portland and around the country. Council asked the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to look at revising the zoning code to more accurately reflect community trends and needs.

During the work session, commissioners discussed a number of permitting issues with staff, such as:

  • Scope and frequency of inspections.
  • Whether nonresidents could operate a short-term rental.
  • Whether the host needed to be present while guests were at the house.

Council also contemplated what types of short-term rentals could qualify for a simpler and less costly permit, including:

  • Dedicated vacation rentals (homes where there is no long-term resident).
  • Three-bedroom facilities (as opposed to the current two-room threshold).
  • Multi-dwelling units (e.g., apartments and condominiums).

Taxing mechanisms and impacts on affordable housing were also discussed.

No decisions or changes to the proposed rules were made. Council will reconvene on Tuesday, July 2 at 2 p.m. to listen to more testimony and deliberate before making a final decision.

The remaining items in RICAP 6, including revisions to cell tower regulations, temporary activities and more, were passed unanimously at the June 4 hearing. They become effective on July 11.

City Council Passes Majority of RICAP 6 to Second Reading

Short-term rental regulations still being debated; public hearing to be continued

On June 4, City Council chambers were packed with people hoping to testify on the Planning and Sustainability Commission’s (PSC) recommendation for the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package 6, or RICAP 6 for short. 

After short presentations by staff and PSC Commissioner Katherine Schultz on the code amendments, Mayor Hales opened the hearing to the 78 people who had signed up to testify on the new short-term rental regulations. Much of the initial testimony came from current short-term rental operators for Airbnb and other vacation rental sites. But many people, including neighborhood activists, did not have time to speak. So commissioners voted to extend the hearing for the short-term rental proposal to July 2.

Questions arose about full-house vacation rentals, short-term rentals within apartments and condos, and the effect of short-term rentals on affordable housing. After three hours of testimony, Council decided that additional discussion and a follow-up hearing would be needed on the short-term rental amendments and agreed to the following: 

  • Schedule a work session with staff for June 24 at 10 a.m. to discuss the short-term rental issues.
  • Hold a second hearing on July 2 starting at 2 p.m. to allow more people to testify on the proposal and any subsequent revisions.
  • Forward the remainder of the regulatory amendments from RICAP 6 to a second reading on June 11 because these items did not generate any testimony or changes in the proposal.

Please check the RICAP calendar for additional information on the upcoming events.  For other updates to the short-term rental proposal, please check the RICAP Web Page.