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Planning and Sustainability Commission decision on West Hayden Island

Freighter on Willamette RiverSince City Council directed the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to develop a concept plan for annexingWestHaydenIsland, staff have strived to develop a proposal that meets the multiple objectives of human, environmental and economic health for the island, the city and the region.

The amended proposal is now before the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC), which has held several public hearings and work sessions over the past six months to consider the details. The proposal includes a draft intergovernmental agreement (IGA) between the City and the Port as well as land use and transportation plans for the island.

On May 28 the PSC assessed concerns raised during the previous public hearing, as well as written testimony they received from the public and other agencies. Topics included:

  • Environmental and floodplain mitigation.
  • Funding for parks improvements and health mitigation.
  • Fish and wildlife impacts.
  • Noise and air quality impacts to neighborhoods.
  • Traffic impacts.
  • Amendment procedures for the IGA.

At the end of the meeting, commissioners directed staff to make final amendments to the proposal. 

The bureau will release an updated version of the WHI draft proposal the week of June 17. Then the PSC will hold another work session on July 9 at 12:30 p.m. to make a recommendation to City Council, which will likely hold a final hearing on the project later this year. If adopted, the plan for WHI would annex the site into the City limits, and zone 500+ acres as open space and slightly under 300 acres for future marine terminal development. 

The Portland Plan Connection

With Resolution 36805, City Council directed BPS to bring a WHI annexation proposal to them for consideration, indicating that an agreement should holistically address environmental, economic and community needs. The current April 2013 draft attempts to satisfy Portlanders’ expectations for environmental quality and livability, as well as economic prosperity, as expressed through the adopted Portland Plan. If successful, the proposed annexation agreement can create opportunities to:

  • Add a significant asset to the regional network of open space, increasing access to nature and recreation while adding hundreds of acres of forest planting and restoration.
  • Solidify Portland’s role as a trade gateway, consistent with the City’s adopted Economic Development Plan and the Regional Export Strategy.
  • Create much-needed family wage job opportunities in North Portland, strengthening the middle class and addressing issues of economic equity.
  • Generate $18-$30 million in new tax revenue to local and state government, annually.
  • Bring new parks and recreational opportunities to Hayden Island, a park-deficient neighborhood.
  • Make a significant investment in housing conditions for low-income residents of Hayden Island.
  • Help make Hayden Island a more walkable community by making a significant investment in North Hayden Island Drive.

To help address community concerns about noise and air quality impacts to neighborhood, the plan incorporates a Health Analysis.

Relationship to the Comprehensive Plan Update

The Economic Opportunities Analysis, prepared and adopted as part of the Comprehensive Plan Update, reveals a shortage of industrial land supply (635 acres) to meet projected employment growth over the next 25 years. If annexed into the City of Portland, the proposed 300 acres of marine industrial land on West Hayden Island would reduce that shortage by nearly half. Industrial land is unique for the type of manufacturing jobs it can generate — well-paying jobs that increase job opportunities for low income communities and minorities.

As the City works to meet its industrial land needs, the Comprehensive Plan Update process will also assess the impacts of public policy decisions and investments on human health and equity to ensure livability for all.

For more information about West Hayden Island and upcoming dates, please visit the WHI website.