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Definitions of Current and Proposed Designations

Proposed Comprehensive Plan Designations

Open Space

This designation is intended for lands that serve a recreational, public open space, or ecological function, or provide visual relief. Lands in this designation are primarily publicly owned but can be in private ownership. Lands intended for the Open Space designation include parks, public plazas, natural areas, scenic lands, golf courses, cemeteries, and large water bodies. The corresponding zone is OS.

Farm and Forest

This designation is intended for agricultural and forested areas far from centers and corridors, where urban public services are extremely limited or absent, and future investment in public services are not planned. Areas within this designation generally have multiple significant development constraints that pose health and safety risks. The designation can be used where larger lot sizes are necessary to enable on-site sanitary or stormwater disposal. Agriculture, forestry and very low-density single-dwelling residential will be the primary uses. The maximum density is generally 1 unit per 2 acres. The corresponding zone is RF.

Single-Dwelling — 20,000

This designation is intended for areas far from centers and corridors where urban public services are extremely limited or absent, and future investments in public services are not planned. Areas within the designation generally have multiple significant development constraints that pose health and safety risks. Agriculture, forestry, and very low-density single-dwelling residential will be the primary uses. The maximum density will range from 1 unit per 2 acres to 2.2 units per acre. The corresponding zones are RF and R20. RF is often used where larger lot sizes are necessary to enable on-site sanitary or stormwater disposal.

Single-Dwelling — 10,000

This designation is intended for areas far from centers and corridors where urban public services are available or planned but complete local street networks or transit service is limited. This designation is also intended for areas where ecological resources or public health and safety considerations warrant lower densities. Areas within this designation generally have development constraints, but the constraints can be managed through appropriate design during the subdivision process. Single-dwelling residential will be the primary use. The maximum density is generally 4.4 units per acre. The corresponding zone is R10.

Single-Dwelling — 7,000

This designation is intended for areas near, but not adjacent to, centers and corridors where urban public services are available or planned but complete local street networks or transit service is limited. This designation is also intended for areas where urban public services, generally including complete local street networks and access to frequent transit, are available or planned, but the development pattern is predominantly built-out at 7,000 square feet or more per dwelling unit. Areas within this designation generally have only minor development constraints. Single-dwelling residential will be the primary use. The maximum density is generally 6.2 units per acre. The corresponding zone is R7.

Single-Dwelling — 5,000

This designation is Portland’s most common pattern of single-dwelling development, particularly in the city’s inner neighborhoods. It is intended for areas near, in, and along centers and corridors where urban public services, generally including complete local street networks and access to frequent transit, are available or planned. Areas within this designation generally have few or very limited development constraints. Single-dwelling residential will be the primary use. The maximum density is generally 8.7 units per acre. The corresponding zone is R5.

Single-Dwelling — 2,500

This designation allows a mix of housing types that are single-dwelling in character. This designation is intended for areas near, in, and along centers and corridors where urban public services, generally including complete local street networks and access to frequent transit, are available or planned. Areas within this designation generally do not have development constraints. The maximum density is generally 17.4 units per acre. The corresponding zone is R2.5.

Multi-Dwelling — 3,000

This designation allows a mix of housing types, including multi-dwelling structures, in a manner similar to the scale of development anticipated within the Attached Single-Dwelling designation. This designation is intended for areas near, in, and along centers and corridors where urban public services, generally including complete local street networks and access to frequent transit, are available or planned. Areas within this designation generally do not have development constraints, and may include larger development sites. The maximum density is generally 14.5 units per acre, but may go up to 21 units per acre in some situations. The corresponding zone is R3.

Multi-Dwelling — 2,000

This designation allows multi-dwelling development mixed with single-dwelling housing types but at a scale greater than for single-dwelling residential. This designation is intended for areas near, in, and along centers and corridors where urban public services, generally including complete local street networks and access to frequent transit, are available or planned. Areas within this designation generally do not have development constraints. The maximum density is generally 21.8 units per acre, but may be as much as 32 units per acre in some situations. The corresponding zone is R2.

Multi-Dwelling — 1,000

The designation continues a common development pattern for medium density apartments. The scale of development is intended to reflect the allowed densities while being compatible with nearby single-dwelling residential. This designation is intended for areas near, in, and along centers and corridors where urban public services, generally including complete local street networks and access to frequent transit, are available or planned. Areas within this designation generally do not have development constraints. The maximum density is generally 43 units per acre, but may be as much as 65 units per acre in some situations. The corresponding zone is R1.

High-Density Multi-Dwelling

This designation is intended for the Central City, Gateway Regional Center, town centers, and station areas where a residential focus is desired and urban public services including access to high-capacity transit, very frequent bus service or streetcar service are available or planned. This designation is intended to allow high-density multi-dwelling structures at an urban scale. Maximum density is based on a floor-area-ratio, not on a unit-per-square-foot basis. Densities will range from 80 to 125 units per acre. The corresponding zone is RH.

Central Residential

This designation allows the highest density and most intensely developed multi-dwelling structures. Limited commercial uses are also allowed as part of new development. The designation is intended for the Central City and Gateway Regional Center where urban public services are available or planned including access to high-capacity transit, very frequent bus service, or streetcar service. Development will generally be oriented to pedestrians. Maximum density is based on a floor area ratio, not on a units-per-square-foot basis. Densities allowed exceed 100 units per acre. The corresponding zone is RX.

Mixed-Use — Dispersed

Note: The Mixed Use Zoning Project may revise the mixed-use designations, and will result in new corresponding zones. This designation allows mixed use, multi-dwelling, or commercial development that are small in scale, have little impact, and provide services for the nearby residential areas. Development will be similar in scale to nearby residential development to promote compatibility with the surrounding area. This designation is intended for areas where urban public services are available or planned. Areas within this designation are generally small nodes, rather than large areas or corridors. The corresponding zones are Neighborhood Commercial 1 (CN1), Neighborhood Commercial 2 (CN2), Office Commercial 1 (CO1), Office Commercial 2 (CO2), Mixed Commercial/Residential (CM), and Storefront Commercial (CS).

Mixed-Use — Neighborhood

Note: The Mixed Use Zoning Project may revise the mixed-use designations, and will result in new corresponding zones. This designation promotes mixed-use development in neighborhood centers and along neighborhood corridors to preserve or cultivate locally serving commercial areas with a storefront character. This designation is intended for areas where urban public services, generally including complete local street networks and access to frequent transit, are available or planned, and development constraints do not exist. Areas within this designation are generally pedestrian-oriented, predominantly built-up at low- to mid-rise scale, often with buildings close to and oriented towards the sidewalk. The corresponding zones are Neighborhood Commercial 1 (CN1), Neighborhood Commercial 2 (CN2), Office Commercial 1 (CO1), Office Commercial 2 (CO2), Mixed Commercial/Residential (CM), Storefront Commercial (CS), and General Commercial (CG).

Mixed Use — Civic Corridor

Note: The Mixed Use Zoning Project may revise the mixed-use designations, and will result in new corresponding zones. This designation allows for transit-supportive densities of commercial, residential, and employment uses, including a full range of housing, retail, and service businesses with a local or regional market. This designation is intended for areas along key civic corridors where urban public services are available or planned including access to high-capacity transit, frequent bus service, or streetcar service. The Civic Corridor designation is applied along some of the City’s busiest, widest, and most prominent streets. As the city grows, these corridors also need to become places that can succeed as attractive locations for more intense, mixed-use development. They need to become places that are attractive and safe for pedestrians while continuing to play a major role in the City’s transportation system. Civic Corridors, as redevelopment occurs, are also expected to achieve a high level of environmental performance and design. The corresponding zones are Neighborhood Commercial 1 (CN1), Neighborhood Commercial 2 (CN2), Office Commercial 1 (CO1), Office Commercial 2 (CO2), Mixed Commercial/Residential (CM), Storefront Commercial (CS), General Commercial (CG), and Central Employment (EX).

Mixed Use — Urban Center

Note: The Mixed Use Zoning Project may revise the mixed-use designations, and will result in new corresponding zones. This designation is intended for areas that are close to the Central City and within Town Centers where urban public services are available or planned including access to high-capacity transit, very frequent bus service, or streetcar service. The designation allows a broad range of commercial and employment uses, public services, and a wide range of housing options. Areas within this designation are generally mixed-use and very urban in character. Development will be pedestrian-oriented with a strong emphasis on design and street level activity, and will range from low- to mid-rise in scale. The range of zones and development scale associated with this designation are intended to allow for more intense development in core areas of centers and corridors and near transit stations, while providing transitions to adjacent residential areas. The corresponding zones are Neighborhood Commercial 1 (CN1), Neighborhood Commercial 2 (CN2), Office Commercial 1 (CO1), Office Commercial 2 (CO2); Mixed Commercial/Residential (CM), Storefront Commercial (CS), General Commercial (CG), Central Employment (EX), and Central Commercial (CX).

Central Commercial

This designation is intended to provide for commercial development within Portland’s Central City and Gateway Regional Center. A broad range of uses is allowed to reflect Portland’s role as a commercial, cultural, and governmental center. Development is intended to be very intense with high building coverage, large buildings, and buildings placed close together along a pedestrian-oriented, safe, and attractive streetscape. The corresponding zone is Central Commercial (CX).

Central Employment

The designation allows for a full range of residential, commercial, and light-industrial uses. This designation is intended to provide for mixed-use areas within the Central City and Gateway Regional Center where urban public services are available or planned including access to high-capacity transit or streetcar service. The intensity of development will be higher than in other mixed-use land designations. The corresponding zone is Central Employment (EX).

Mixed Employment

This designation encourages a wide variety of office, creative services, manufacturing, distribution, traded sector, and other light-industrial employment opportunities, typically in a low-rise, flex-space development pattern. Most employment uses are allowed but limited in impact by the small lot size and adjacency to residential neighborhoods. Retail uses are allowed but are limited in intensity so as to maintain adequate employment development opportunities. Residential uses are not allowed to reserve land for employment uses, to prevent conflicts with the other uses, and to limit the proximity of residents to truck traffic and other impacts. The corresponding zones are General Employment 1 (EG1), General Employment 2 (EG2), and Neighborhood Employment (EN).

Institutional Campus

This designation is intended for large institutional campuses that are centers of employment and serve a population from a larger area than the neighborhood or neighborhoods in which the campus is located. This designation is intended for areas where urban public services are available or planned. This designation includes medical centers, colleges, schools, and universities. A variety of other uses are allowed, including residential, to support the mission of the campus. Neighborhood-serving commercial uses and other services are also encouraged. The designation is intended to foster the growth of the institution while enhancing the livability of surrounding residential neighborhoods and the viability of nearby business areas. Corresponding zones are Institutional Residential (IR), Central Employment (EX), Campus Institution 1 (CI1), and Campus Institution 2 (CI2).

Industrial Sanctuary

This designation is intended to reserve areas that are attractive for manufacturing and distribution operations and encourage the growth of industrial activities in the parts of the city where important freight and distribution infrastructure exists, including navigable rivers, airports, railways, and pipelines. A full range of industrial uses are permitted and encouraged. Nonindustrial uses are significantly restricted to facilitate freight mobility, retain market feasibility for industrial development, prevent land use conflicts, reduce human exposure to freight traffic and potential air quality, noise, and pedestrian safety impacts, and to preserve land for sustained industrial use. The corresponding zones are General Industrial 1 (IG1), General Industrial 2 (IG2), and Heavy Industrial (IH).

West Hayden Island Urban Services Area

This designation is intended to provide for a combination of open space and deep water marine industrial uses in anticipation of future annexation, infrastructure extension, and rezoning. This designation implements Metro’s Urban Growth Management Functional Plan. The interim zoning before annexation will be Multnomah County Multiple Use Forest (MUF). The implementing zoning after annexation will be Open Space (OS) and Heavy Industrial (IH).

Current Comprehensive Plan Designations

Open Space

This designation is intended for lands that serve an open space function, primarily public lands, but also some private areas. Lands intended for open space designation include parks, natural areas, golf courses, and cemeteries. The corresponding zone is OS.

Farm and Forest

This designation is intended for agricultural and forested areas in the city which are presently deficient in public services. Agriculture, forestry and extremely low density single-dwelling residential will be the primary uses. The maximum density is generally one unit per two acres. The corresponding zone is RF.

Limited Single-Dwelling

This designation is intended for areas with long term service limitations and significant development constraints. Single-dwelling residential will be the primary use. The maximum density is generally 2.2 units per acre. The corresponding zone is R20.

Low Density Single-Dwelling

This designation is intended for areas with public services but which are subject to significant development constraints. Single-dwelling residential will be the primary use. The maximum density is generally 4.4 units per acre. The corresponding zone is R10.

Medium Density Single-Dwelling.

This designation is intended for areas with adequate public services but minor development constraints. Single-dwelling residential will be the primary use. The maximum density is generally 6.2 units per acre. The corresponding zone is R7.

High Density Single-Dwelling.

This designation continues Portland’s most common pattern of single-dwelling development. It is intended for areas with good public services and no development constraints. Single-dwelling residential will be the primary use. The maximum density is generally 8.7 units per acre. The corresponding zone is R5.

Attached Residential

This designation is intended for areas with complete public services and without development constraints. It allows a mixture of housing types of a single-dwelling character, including attached houses. Allowed densities for attached houses are higher than for detached housing. The maximum density is generally 17.4 units per acre for attached housing. To allow the fulfillment of these densities, the allowed scale of these projects should be allowed to be greater than for other single-dwelling housing structure types. The corresponding zone is R2.5.

Townhouse Multi-Dwelling

This designation is intended for areas with good public services, no development constraints, and larger development sites. It permits a mixture of housing types of a single-dwelling character including multi-dwelling structures which also have this character. The maximum density is generally 14.5 units per acre, but may go up to 21 units per acre in some situations. The allowed scale of development is similar to that for attached single-dwelling housing. The corresponding zone is R3.

Low Density Multi-Dwelling

This designation continues a common development pattern for low density multi-dwelling mixed with single-dwelling housing types. It is intended for areas with good public services and no development constraints. It may be used on larger development sites, or on smaller sites near arterials, transit service, or commercial areas. The maximum density is generally 21.8 units per acre, but may go up to 32 units per acre in some situations. The allowed scale of the development is greater than for single-dwelling housing. The corresponding zone is R2.

Medium Density Multi-Dwelling

This designation continues a common development pattern for medium density apartments. It is intended for areas with good public services, including being well served by transit, and no development constraints. It may be used for lands near arterials, transit streets, or commercial areas. The maximum density is generally 43 units per acre, but may go up to 65 units per acre in some situations. The scale of the development is intended to reflect the allowed densities while being compatible with nearby single-dwelling areas. The corresponding zone is R1.

High Density Multi-Dwelling

This designation allows high density multi-dwelling structures and structures of an intense scale. It is intended for areas with good public services including transit, no development constraints, and a close proximity to commercial areas. Maximum density is based on a floor area ratio, not on a units per square foot basis. Densities will range from 80 to 125 units per acre. The corresponding zone is RH.

Central Residential

This designation allows the highest density and most intensely developed multi-dwelling structures. Limited amounts of commercial uses are also allowed as part of new development. The designation is intended for the most built-up parts of the city which have the highest levels of public services. Development will generally be oriented to pedestrians. Maximum density is based on a floor area ratio, not on a units per square foot basis. Densities allowed exceed 100 units per acre. The corresponding zone is RX. The Design overlay zone will be applied in conjunction with the RX zone.

Institutional Campus

This designation is intended for large institutional campuses that serve a population from a larger area than the neighborhood or neighborhoods in which the campus is located. Institutions eligible for the institutional campus designation include medical centers, colleges, schools and universities. Uses allowed within an area with the institutional campus designation are those that are part of the institution, accessory to the institution and/or are associated with the mission of the campus. The designation, in concert with an approved impact mitigation plan, is intended to foster the growth of the institution while ensuring the continued livability of surrounding residential neighborhoods and the viability of nearby business areas. A key aspect of the institutional campus designation is the establishment of a campus growth boundary as part of the impact mitigation plan. The area carrying an institutional campus designation reflects the maximum area that the institution is allowed to develop on under the City’s Comprehensive Plan.

Two or more institutions located together may be considered a campus and receive the institutional campus designation if they share a common impact mitigation plan. Expansion of the institution beyond the area designated as an institutional campus requires a comprehensive plan amendment and an update of the campus impact mitigation plan. The corresponding zone is IR (Institutional Residential).

Neighborhood Commercial

This designation is intended to allow neighborhood-oriented commercial uses in and adjacent to residential areas. In more densely developed neighborhoods, development should be oriented to pedestrians. In less densely developed neighborhoods, development may be more auto-oriented. In both cases, the allowed intensity of development is low to maintain compatibility with the residential areas, and development is oriented to pedestrians, bicycles, and transit where high quality transit service is available. The corresponding zones are Neighborhood Commercial 1 (CN1) and Neighborhood Commercial 2 (CN2).

Office Commercial

This designation is intended for situations where a range of office uses may be appropriate, but not a broader spectrum of commercial uses. It is intended for low intensity development on small sites in or near residential areas, and for low and medium intensity developments near arterial streets. The corresponding zones are Office Commercial 1 (CO1) and Office Commercial 2 (CO2).

Urban Commercial

This designation is intended for more developed parts of the city near relatively dense residential areas. A full range of retail, service, and business uses are allowed serving a local and a larger market area. It is intended primarily for areas which are served by transit. Development should have a strong orientation to pedestrians. It is also intended to allow commercial development in some areas while maintaining housing opportunities. The corresponding zones are Mixed Commercial/Residential (CM) and Storefront Commercial (CS).

General Commercial

This designation allows a full range of commercial uses having a local or regional market. Development will mostly have an auto-orientation, but along streets where high quality transit service is available, development will also be oriented to pedestrians, bicycles, and transit. It is intended for arterial streets and to be used for developing areas and for larger, older areas which already have an auto-oriented development style. The corresponding zone is General Commercial (CG).

Central Commercial

This designation is intended to be the city’s most physically intense commercial designation. The have the highest designation is intended for the most developed parts of the city which levels of public services. It allows a full range of commercial uses. The designation encourages development that is supportive of a pedestrian orientation. The corresponding zone is CX. The Design overlay zone will be applied in conjunction with the CX zone.

Mixed Employment

This designation is intended for areas where a wide variety of employment opportunities are encouraged in an industrial-type setting. Industrial uses are allowed with few limitations. Commercial uses are allowed, but are limited in intensity so as to not overburden public services and to maintain adequate industrial development opportunities. Residential development is restricted to prevent conflicts with the other uses. The corresponding zones are General Employment 1 (EG1) and General Employment 2 (EG2).

Central Employment

This designation is intended to provide for mixed-use areas in an overall industrial-type setting. The designation is intended for very developed parts of the city which have the highest levels of public services. It allows a full range of industrial and commercial uses. Residential uses are allowed but should be compatible with the surrounding nonresidential development. The intensity of development will be higher than in other employment designations and most commercial designations. The corresponding zone is EX. The Design overlay zone will be applied in conjunction with the EX zone.

Industrial Sanctuary

This designation is intended for areas where City policy is to reserve land for existing and future industrial development. A full range of industrial uses are permitted and encouraged. Nonindustrial uses are limited to prevent land use conflicts and to preserve land for industry. The corresponding zones are General Industrial 1 (IG1), General Industrial 2 (IG2), and Heavy Industrial (IH).