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At their January 26, 2016, work session on Portland’s draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan, City Council indicated their general support for revising the Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA) to incorporate a medium-cargo forecast. The forecast and the EOA are used to determine future land needs for marine terminals in the Portland Harbor. The Comprehensive Plan determines how much of what type of land will be required over the next 20 years to accommodate population and job growth.
During public hearings with City Council on the draft Plan, public testimony on the EOA focused on the cargo forecast and was divided on the issue of whether to use a low- or medium-cargo forecast. Business, labor and agricultural representatives raised concerns that the EOA's low forecast sends a negative message that could discourage harbor reinvestment and affect agricultural and other export markets. Environmental and neighborhood representatives supported the current draft EOA reflecting the balance of industrial and environmental objectives in the draft Plan.
Specifically, the Port of Portland documented several major investments to expand existing marine terminals. These investments substantially expand the Portland Harbor’s existing capacity to meet future growth and have made the medium-cargo forecast scenario a more realistic option that does not rely on the future development of West Hayden Island in the next 20 years.
In response to this City Council direction, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will prepare a revised EOA based on the medium-cargo forecast. This will be published on March 9 in advance of a public hearing with City Council on April 14, 2016. To confirm date, time and location, please visit the City Auditor’s website.