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BPS E-News: New zoning along SE 122nd Ave will improve livability, economic vitality in outer SE Portland

The SE 122nd Avenue corridor is poised to receive an infusion of commercial development that will better serve the residents in the area. That’s because City Council recently expressed their commitment to improving the quality of life for East Portland residents by adopting the SE 122nd Avenue Rezoning Project. A recommendation from the East Portland Action Plan (EPAP) and an outgrowth of the SE 122nd Avenue Study: A Pilot Project of the Portland Plan, the rezoning project included changes to the Comprehensive Plan Map and Zone Map to increase neighborhood-serving commercial activity and employment opportunities along the major north-south corridor east of I-205.

The result of more than a year of collaboration between the City and the Project Advisory Group, the project will result in 17 acres of new neighborhood-serving commercially zoned property and 5 acres of property designated for additional commercial development by the Comprehensive Plan, after specific traffic safety issues are addressed at Powell Blvd.

These land use changes have been advocated strongly by the EPAP and other community members throughout the planning process and represent an important step toward providing additional businesses and amenities in an otherwise underserved part of the city. They also support the Portland Plan’s Economic Prosperity and Affordability Strategy, which seeks to expand economic opportunities for Portlanders, and the Healthy Connected City Strategy, which promotes complete and vibrant neighborhood centers and corridors.

City Council received testimony from community members who spoke about the City’s larger responsibility to East Portlandon issues ranging from infrastructure funding to poverty eradication strategies. Some additional revisions to the City’s home business regulations and multi-family residential design standards were touched on in the Staff Report, which would address some of these concerns but were beyond the scope of this project. These issues are being carried forward into the larger Comprehensive Plan Update process currently underway.