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Recap of October 13 City Council Hearing on Comp Plan Recommended Early Implementation Package

Commissioners hear testimony from more than 60 Portlanders about public trail alignments, zoning changes in Northwest Portland and more

On October 13, 2016, City Council held the second of two public hearings on the Comprehensive Plan Recommended Early Implementation Package. More than 60 Portlanders testified in front of commissioners, including a dozen or so people who had signed up but were unable to testify at the previous hearing on October 6. Mayor Charlie Hales left the written testimony period open until 8 a.m. Monday, October 17 to give Portlanders a few more days to submit testimony via email, letter or the Map App. 

What did people talk about at the hearings?

Testimony provided on October 13 addressed a variety of topics, including parking, major public trail alignments, parcel-specific zoning requests, height reductions for future development in some historic districts in Northwest Portland, and Transportation System Plan Street Design Classifications.

Find out more about the October 6 hearing, including watching the video of the hearing.

Next Steps

Over the next two months, City Council will hold a couple of work sessions and a final hearing before adopting the Recommended Early Implementation Package. Next up is a work session on October 25 to consider public testimony, discuss specific topics and prepare amendments. These amendments will be “sponsored” by Commissioners, based on public testimony on the Recommended Early Implementation Package as well as their own interests and concerns.

On November 17 City Council will hold the last public hearing on the City’s new Comp Plan to accept testimony on the amendments. Council will discuss that testimony during a work session on November 22, and a final vote on the Recommended Early Implementation Package will take place in December.

City Council Work Session
Recommended Early Implementation Package
Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 9 a.m.
City Hall Council Chambers
1221 SW 4th Avenue

City Council Public Hearing
Amendments to Recommended Early Implementation Package
Thursday, November 17, 2016, 2 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers
1221 SW 4th Avenue

Watch City Council meetings live or at your convenience online.

Please check the Auditor’s website for more information about how to testify and to confirm details.


Call the Comp Plan Helpline at 503-823-0195.

Residential Infill Project Concept Report now available; City Council public hearings scheduled for November 9 and 16

Proposals will reduce the scale of houses and help create more housing choices in Portland's single-dwelling neighborhoods

In response to community concerns related to new infill development, housing affordability and compatibility, demolitions, and the need for more housing choices in Portland’s single-dwelling neighborhoods, City Council directed the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) to undertake the Residential Infill Project (RIP) in August 2015.

Two online questionnaires and two months of public review later, project staff have released the RIP Concept Report for City Council to consider before directing staff to write implementing code.

The report recommendations are at a concept level and reflect hundreds of conversations with stakeholders and community members. The recommended concepts will:

  • Reduce the size of houses based on lot size and zone.
  • Apply a Housing Opportunity Overlay Zone in areas with good access to services, jobs and transportation options and other amenities. Within this new overlay zone, allow more housing types (duplexes, triplexes on corners, additional ADUs) and rezone historically narrow lots to R2.5.
  • Increase flexibility for cottage clusters.
  • Provide incentives for retaining existing houses.
  • Revise parking rules for houses on narrow lots.
  • Concept report cover

Read the Residential Infill Concept Report 

Download a four-page handout that summarizes the recommendations

Copies of the report are also available at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability at 1900 SW 4th Ave., 7th floor, or can be mailed to you if you call 503-823-7700. 

What has changed from the RIP Discussion Draft proposals?

The most significant changes to the proposals are:

1)      Change to scale of housing: In addition to lot size, differentiate by zone when calculating the
         allowable size of house.

2)      Changes to housing choice:

  • Establish a Housing Opportunity Overlay Zone to be applied where additional housing types will be allowed;
  • Revise the study boundary of where to apply the Housing Opportunity Overlay Zone to include more amenity-rich areas and exclude David Douglas School District.    
  • Require design controls for projects with more units than currently allowed by the base zone; and
  • Create new incentives to retain existing houses.

3)      Change to historically narrow lots: Rezone to R2.5 to reflect lot size.

Planning and Sustainability Commission Briefing
Project staff will brief the Planning and Sustainability Commission on the Concept Report on October 25, 2016, at 4 p.m., at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, 2500A (no testimony will be taken). You can watch the briefing on the BPS YouTube channel.

Please check the PSC calendar prior to the event to confirm date, time and details

City Council Briefing and Public Hearings
Next month staff will give City Council a briefing on the recommended concepts. After the briefing Council will hold public hearings, followed by a vote by resolution giving staff direction to develop Zoning Code language and Zoning Maps that will implement the concepts they approve.

November 1, 9:30 a.m.                 
Briefing (no public testimony)

November 9, 2 p.m. (time certain)           
Public hearing

November 16, 2 p.m. (time certain)
Public hearing; deliberation/vote, if time allows

All meetings will be held in Council Chambers at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue. The public hearings will be broadcast live at

How do I testify at City Council?
You may testify in person by signing up when you arrive. Check the Council agenda prior to the hearing to confirm the item is still scheduled.

You may also testify on the recommended concept in writing:

Via U.S. Mail: 1221 SW Fourth Ave. Room 130, Portland, Oregon 97204

Via email:

Written testimony must be received by the time of the last hearing on November 16 and must include your name and address. 

To learn more about past events and outreach efforts that helped shape the recommended concepts, please review the following documents:

Next Steps
In November, City Council is expected to give staff direction to develop Zoning Code language that will implement the recommended concepts. The code development process will begin in 2017 and include a Discussion Draft public review period, followed by PSC hearings before going back to City Council for public hearings and a final decision.

For more information, visit the project website at

Or contact project staff:

Morgan Tracy, Project Manager,, 503-823-6879
Julia Gisler, Public Involvement,, 503-823-7624

Updated information about the Task 5 Implementation Projects at City Council

Written testimony deadline extended; work sessions will follow

Portland City Council completed the second of two public hearings on the Recommended Draft of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan Early Implementation Package on October 13.

City Council has held the record open for written testimony through 8:00 a.m. on Monday, October 17. 

To testify:

  • Email: with subject line "Comprehensive Plan Implementation"
  • Via the Map AppTestify about specific properties or transportation proposals through the Map App.

Council will next hold work sessions to discuss proposed amendments. They are expected to make their final recommendation in the next month.

For more information, visit the project web page:  

PSC News: October 25, 2016 Meeting Information and Documents

Residential Infill Project — briefing; Inclusionary Housing Zoning Code Project — hearing


  • Residential Infill Project — briefing
  • Inclusionary Housing Zoning Code Project — hearing**

** Testimony will be taken for this agenda item. Testimony will be limited to 2 minutes per person and may be changed at the Chair's discretion.

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at

How is the Off-road Cycling Master Plan project identifying potential off-road cycling sites?

The site screening process is a key part of planning for a citywide network of places to ride a bicycle off-road.

The site screening process is a key part of planning for a citywide network of places to ride a bicycle off-road.

This process is underway and is happening in multiple steps:

First, the project team screened out properties that would not be appropriate for off-road cycling for an easily identifiable reason (such as properties that were very small, incredibly steep, fully developed, predominantly wetland, or designated as industrial land or archaeologically significant).

Next, the team categorized remaining sites as potentially suitable for off-road cycling trails, parks, both, or neither, based on considerations like slope, size, and the extent of existing natural areas.

As a third step, the project team, the Project Advisory Committee, and agency partners will identify initial sites that might offer good opportunities to provide a connected network of diverse off-road cycling experiences. This step will also consider important factors like:

  • Existing regulatory restrictions that prevent or limit recreational use.
  • Community priorities and other guidance established in existing master and management plans.
  • Environmental factors, such as habitat, soils, and waterways.
  • Other existing or planned recreational facilities on the property.

The final step will combine community knowledge and feedback with on-the-ground site assessments. 

As part of a broader community engagement strategy, community members will be able to explore and comment on all potential off-road cycling sites via an online interactive map. Sites that were screened out in previous steps will also be displayed and identified as such. Community members will be asked to help shape the plan by voicing their priorities for Portland’s parks and trails; commenting on potential sites; identifying ways to create a varied off-road cycling system that meets community needs; and noting potential management opportunities or challenges that should be explored further.

Specialists in environmental conservation and off-road cycling facility design will also complete field assessments of potential sites that have unique features or challenges. They will confirm suitability for the types of riding experiences proposed based on environmental conditions and other site-specific factors.