Mayor and commissioners’ vote marks final City Council action on the Comprehensive Plan UpdateRead More…
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After a unanimous vote on July 28, 2015, Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) formally sent its Recommended Draft of the Comprehensive Plan to City Council. PSC Chair André Baugh summed up the Commission’s recommendation in a September 14 letter to Council, stating:
Adopting a new Comprehensive Plan is a once-in-a-generation opportunity. This Plan will shape the future of Portland by giving direction to land use, development and public facility investment decisions between now and 2035.
The Recommended Plan includes a vision statement and guiding principles, goals and policies, a land use map, and a list of significant projects. The Plan addresses standard land use and growth topics like urban form, housing, environment, economy and transportation. … [I]t also expands the traditional view of a comprehensive plan to include topics such as equity, technology and public health.
Portland’s last Comprehensive Plan was adopted in 1980. It laid the groundwork for one of the best transportation systems in the country and helped develop a vibrant Central City. Since then the city’s population has doubled and become more diverse. We need more housing and jobs for new residents, access to good transit and amenities for all Portlanders — especially in East Portland — and a healthy and resilient environment.
Excerpts from the PSC’s letter include statements about:
Residential Growth Strategy
The heart of the residential strategy is to build more complete communities. This means well-designed growth in centers and on corridors that serve surrounding neighborhoods. We seek complete communities that can benefit Portlanders through improved walkability and safety, expanded housing choices, stronger business districts, and full return on our investments in transit through compact development. This does not mean that the goal for complete communities means all places will be the same. The strategy is not “one-size-fits-all.” It is intended to build on the existing variety among neighborhoods, corridors and centers.
Economic Growth Strategy
The Commission put significant energy into understanding and debating issues related to employment land supply. We made several conclusions that are built into the Recommended Plan:
Housing Affordability Challenge
The city has enough land zoned and served with infrastructure to accommodate expected residential growth. … However, the current national and local challenges to affordability, housing choice, and equity in public services shaped the Recommended Plan:
… The Plan includes several “big moves” in transportation that we would like to highlight:
The new Comprehensive Plan includes many policies regarding improving fish and wildlife habitat, protecting the city’s biodiversity, preventing incremental environmental degradation, and ensuring ecosystem resilience.
Equity and Inclusion
The Recommended Plan features policies that bring a focus on increasing equity into how we grow, shape and invest in Portland’s future. It includes equity as one of the five guiding principles of the Plan. It is built on the premise that we must consider the combined effect of Comprehensive Plan elements, such as housing, economy and transportation, could have on the opportunities, stability and health of households. It incorporates the use of environmental justice considerations into future decision making.
The Plan also includes a significant overhaul of the public involvement program.
Noting that the Recommended Plan was designed to make Portland more prosperous, healthy, equitable and resilient, the PSC urged City Council to keep in mind the following measurable goals for progress by 2035, as described in the adopted 2012 Portland Plan:
City Council will hold its first public hearing on the Recommended Draft on November 19, 2015, at 3 p.m. in Council Chambers. Additional hearings will be held in December. Portlanders are invited to view the Recommended Draft and comment online via the Map App, by letter or email, or in person at a hearing.