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Updates to Residential and Open Space zones ready for public review

If you’ve been following the Comprehensive Plan Update, you know there are a lot of maps involved. Some maps convey background information. Some display a picture of the future. For instance, the Comprehensive Plan Map shows how and where the city will grow and change to accommodate our children, grandchildren and newcomers over the next 20 years. The City’s Zoning Map, on the other hand, has a regulatory role: It tells us how land can be used and what can be built on any given property today.

New maps out for public review

The recently released Residential and Open Space Zoning Map Update proposal is the newest set of maps available for public review. Most proposed Zoning Map changes correspond to changes on Portland’s draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan Map. These include more than 1,700 additional acres of Open Space zoning on publicly owned lands. They also synchronize with changes in residential density that have been proposed to acknowledge areas of natural hazard risk, infrastructure constraints or limitations to urban services.

Zoning Review Areas

In addition, the proposed Zoning Map update addresses areas where the existing Comprehensive Plan Map (drawn in 1980) anticipated greater residential density than the zoning currently allows. Staff evaluated each area (called Zoning Review Areas) against criteria to determine whether it is now timely and appropriate to match the zoning with the previously established Comp Plan designations. For most of the ZRAs, this would mean a change from R5 to R2.5. Criteria included factors such as infrastructure (e.g., sidewalks), proximity to transit and amenities, what’s already built, and whether individual applications for Zoning Map amendments have been approved.

Read the Residential and Open Space Zoning Update Proposed Draft

View proposed Zoning Map changes in the Map App

Testify on the Residential and Open Space Zoning Map Update at a Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) hearing on: 

Tuesday, April 12 at 12:30 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A

Check the PSC calendar to confirm the date, time and location one week prior to the scheduled hearing.

The PSC also invites testimony on this proposal in writing through April 12, 2016, via:

  • Map App: Testify on specific proposals by location through the Map App
  • Email:
  • U.S. Mail: Planning and Sustainability Commission, c/o City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201, Attn: Res/OS testimony

How does the Proposed Draft of the Zoning Map relate to the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan Map, which is still being reviewed by City Council?

Cities in Oregon are required to base their zoning maps (which indicate which development standards are applied to a property) off of a long-term Comprehensive Plan land use map (or Comp Plan Map). The PSC approved a Recommended Draft of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan Map (with new land use designations) in August 2015, and that draft is currently being reviewed by City Council after several months of public testimony and hearings.

Next Steps

After the April 12 PSC hearing on the Residential and Open Space Zoning Update, Commissioners will make a tentative recommendation on April 26. Then all the proposed zoning update projects (Mixed Use, Institutional, Employment, and Residential and Open Space) will be combined into one zoning map (or "composite"). The PSC is scheduled to consider this composite map in Summer 2016. Please consult the PSC calendar for upcoming date(s) to provide additional testimony on the “Composite Zoning Map.”

Composite Zoning Map

If there are changes to Residential zoning to reflect City Council amendments to Comp Plan designations, these will be incorporated into the Composite Zoning Map. And there will subsequently be another chance for property owners and the general public to provide testimony to the PSC about it.

For more information, visit the project website at or call the Comprehensive Plan Helpline at 503-823-0195.