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City Council takes next steps on River Plan

On December 1, 2010, the Portland City Council took the next steps toward making the River Plan a reality for the North Reach of the Willamette River. The River Plan is the first update to the Willamette Greenway Plan in over 20 years. 

The River Plan / North Reach provides certainty for industrial development in the working harbor. It also helps ensure that the location and design of development has the least impact on natural resources and the applicant first avoids, then minimizes and finally mitigates for impacts that occur as a result of the project.  

Industrial stakeholders requested that the River Plan include an option of paying a fee in lieu of environmental mitigation to allow them to maximize on-site development potential. On December 1 City Council accepted a report that outlined how these in-lieu fees would be calculated.

The Bureau of Environmental Services is currently in the process of developing detailed pre-design cost estimates for two river restoration sites (Swan Island beaches and Doane Creek). The final in-lieu fees will be based on these sites and will be the subject of another City Council hearing in spring 2011.   

These optional in-lieu fees will be in place for two years or until a mitigation bank is developed. A mitigation bank manages land for natural resource values and sells credits created by resource enhancement.

At their meeting City Council also approved a conservation easement with the Siltronic Corporation, a mitigation plan for a portion of the University of Portland property and a new effective date of July 1, 2011 for the River Plan / North Reach.  

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is also beginning the update of the River Plan / Central Reach as part of the update of the Central City Plan. For more information on either of these projects please contact Sallie Edmunds: sallie.edmunds@portlandoregon.gov.