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Comprehensive Plan Update Community Workshop Recap and Survey

Thanks to everyone who joined us at the Comprehensive Plan Update Community Workshops throughout the city during the past few weeks. Roughly 350 Portlanders came out to the seven events, engaging with City staff and fellow community members in the general sessions, open houses and breakout sessions. The breakout sessions, especially, engaged participants through interactive exercises and conversations about infrastructure equity, growth scenarios, watershed health, transportation and industrial land supply.

See the information boards about each Comprehensive Plan chapter and the breakout sessions.

Policy Survey and Online Commenting
These are issues that are top of mind for the Comprehensive Plan Update team and others who have been deeply involved in the process, including the Policy Expert Groups, whose members also attended the workshops. Some questions have a variety of valid answers and these have been included in a policy survey. Staff are using some of these questions to prompt useful discussions in group settings and help educate Portlanders about the range of issues. The answers will give the City valuable input about the community’s preferences and opinions.

So far, more than 200 people have filled out the survey online and to date the respondents are more diverse than the population at large. Another 200 have submitted comments via an online feedback form, correspondence and talking with City staff. 

The online survey is open until May 1, and we’d like to hit the 500 mark. Don’t miss your chance to help us carve a path forward on some of the stickiest land use, economic development, environmental health, housing and infrastructure investment issues.

Take the survey here (about specific issues) or make an online comment here (general or other comments).

Community Feedback on the Workshops
Feedback from the workshops indicated that many people felt they had learned something new and appreciated the opportunity to have in-depth discussions with staff and get their questions answered. But others noted the lack of diversity of the participants and not enough publicity to get the word out about the community events. People also want to know what will happen with their feedback and what the next steps are — and, of course, how the updated Comprehensive Plan will affect their neighborhood. A community feedback summary report on the workshops and survey will be available in June.

Other Outreach Efforts and Next Steps
The community workshops were the main outreach effort for the Working Draft Part 1, but there are still several ways to get involved and share your ideas about the future of Portland. In addition to the online survey, staff are meeting with three to six community groups a week, and will soon start tabling at communitywide events (e.g., Sunday Parkways, Portland Parks Summer Concert Series, street fairs and community fairs) in the spring and summer. Feedback from the community during this time will help guide refinements to the draft goals and policies in Part 1 and determine the direction for next steps in the process. 

Coming next: Working Draft Part 2. This will include a set of maps and project lists for transportation and other infrastructure investments to implement the policy direction in the updated Comprehensive Plan. To prepare Working Draft Part 2, the City’s District Liaisons will be talking with stakeholders during the spring to gather district-specific information, comments, preferences and ideas to help develop draft maps and connect the policies with geographically specific mapping possibilities. For more information, please contact your District Liaison or call 503-823-7700.

Part 2 of the Comprehensive Plan Working Draft will be published in mid-summer. It will include a series of maps (including an updated Urban Design Framework, land use designations, etc.) and first drafts of the Citywide System Plan, including infrastructure project lists.

In early Fall, the City will hold another series of community workshops focused on mapping questions and infrastructure choices. The goal is to refine the maps and infrastructure plans based on fall workshop input and publish a Proposed Draft Comprehensive Plan Map in December 2013. The proposed draft will then go before the Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council consideration and discussion in early 2014.

So stay tuned and keep those comments coming!