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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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BPS News: Proposal To Improve Process of Minor Home Improvements in City’s Historic and Conservation Districts Ready for Review

Discussion Draft Available for Public Comment and Landmarks Commission

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 20, 2012

CONTACT

Jay Sugnet
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
503-823-5869
jay.sugnet@portlandoregon.gov
 
Tim Heron
Portland Bureau of Development Services
503-823-7726
tim.heron@portlandoregon.gov

Proposal To Improve Process of Minor Home Improvements in City’s Historic and Conservation Districts Ready for Review

Discussion Draft Available for Public Comment and Landmarks Commission

PORTLAND, Ore. - Last summer, the City Council convened the Historic Resources Code Improvement Project (HRCIP) and commissioned the bureaus of Planning and Sustainability, and Development Services to address issues around historic design review to address community concerns about the process.
 
In September, the City published an Issues and Options Paper to start a community conversation about possible regulatory changes to be considered during this project. Staff met with the Historic Landmarks Commission, the Planning and Sustainability Commission and other community members to get feedback on the draft issues and options. Based on this input and continuing community conversations, staff created a discussion draft with detailed code amendments.
 
The HRCIP Discussion Draft is now available for public review and comment. The draft will inform a discussion with the Historic Landmarks Commission at a public hearing.
 
Landmarks Commission Public Hearing
Historic Resources Code Improvement Project Discussion Draft
Dec. 10, 2012, 1:30 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue Building, 2500A
Testify in person or send your comments directly to jay.sugnet@portlandoregon.gov.
 
After the Historic Landmarks Commission hearing, staff will incorporate input from the public and the Landmarks Commission and prepare a Bureau of Planning and Sustainability recommendation to the Planning and Sustainability Commission. A hearing is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 22, 2013, in the evening. City Council will then hold a hearing as early as February.
 
For more information about the project and how to get involved, please visit the project website at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/58976 or call 503-823-5869.
 
Background
In the city’s National Historic and Conservation Districts most exterior work on buildings, as well as all new construction, are subject to Historic Design Review. Both property owners and historic preservation advocates are concerned about the cost and time involved, as well as the impacts on historic preservation efforts.
 
While minor maintenance and repair are currently exempt from review, fees for small home remodeling projects, can cost up to $900; in some cases, the fees can be more than the cost of the job itself. And even though the design review process provides for flexibility and public dialogue, it can take as long as 6-8 weeks.
 
As a result, some property owners decide to make exterior home improvements without going through historic design review, while others decide not to make improvements at all.
 
The overall purpose of this project is to reassess when historic design review is necessary and appropriate.
 

Project staff have been collecting data to assess the impact of different options, engaging with the community to get their feedback, drafting code amendments and coordinating with the Bureau of Development Services, Historic Landmarks Commission and the Development Review Advisory Committee.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is committed to providing equal access to information and hearings. If you need special accommodation, please call 503-823-7700, the City’s TTY at 503-823-6868, or the Oregon relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.
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About the Historic Resources Code Improvement Project

Over an 8-month public process, this project will propose amendments to the Zoning Code to make it easier for property owners to make minor home improvements in the City’s historic and conservation districts. For more information, please visit the project website at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/58976. If you would like to receive monthly project updates, please visit the website and click on the “stay informed” button. 


About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

Through partnerships and collaboration, BPS develops innovative and practical solutions to create and enhance a prosperous, educated, healthy and equitable city. The bureau provides: Citywide strategic and comprehensive land use planning; neighborhood, district, economic, historic and environmental research, planning and urban design; policy and services to advance energy efficiency, green building, waste reduction, composting and recycling, solar and renewable energy use, and local sustainable food production; as well as actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. For more information, visit www.portlandoregon.gov/bps.


My Portland Plan: Active Transportation Gradually Becoming the Preferred Commute Choice for Portlanders

In Portland, about 40 percent of workers commute without driving alone

Portlanders are increasingly choosing to take transit, walk or ride a bike to work. A fair number are even bypassing the commute altogether and working from home. By including workers who carpool, about 40 percent of workers are getting to work without driving alone in a car.

In 1990, 68 percent of commuters drove alone to work. By 2000, that number was down to 64 percent. As of 2011, less than 60 percent of Portland workers are driving alone to work, whereas the regional average is above 70 percent, and the national average is over 75 percent.

2011 Portland (City Only) Commuting Characteristics

 Commute mode-split chart

Source: 2009-2011 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimate.

For Portland, the steady decline in driving alone to work — about 4 percent per decade — can, in part, be attributed to better infrastructure that makes it easier for people to choose active transportation options.

Most notably, from 1990 to 2010 commuting by bicycle increased from 1 percent to 6 percent. In 1996, fewer than 150 miles of bikeway facilities existed in the city. By 2008,Portlandhad more than 300 miles of bikeways.

While walking stayed relatively the same during that period (around 5 percent), transit use increased from 10 to 12 percent. And working from home more than doubled, from 3 percent to 7 percent.

While the City continues to make progress, its goal is for 70 percent of commuters to either take transit, bike, walk, telecommute or carpool in the next two to three decades.

This is a daunting challenge, but it is possible. Some cities are already there. We can learn from them and find inspiration in what they’ve done not only to address sustainable transport — but equitable mobility as well.

From Berlin to Beijing, Copenhagen to Curitiba, Bogota to Zurich, Dresden to Shanghai, Barcelona to Paris, and even New York City to Amsterdam — all of these cities have urban forms and transportation systems that cultivate a way of living that makes it easier to get around in ways other than by private automobile.

For Portland to do the same, we would do well to study, and perhaps even apply, some of their tools and programs. These actions increase social capital and improve overall mobility and access for all while reducing greenhouse gases. 

BPS News: Celebrate a low-waste year with these green holiday ideas

The City of Portland announces the one-year anniversary of curbside composting and shares holiday waste reduction tips

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 4, 2012

CONTACT

Jocelyn Boudreaux
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Office: 503-823-3660 Cell: 503-453-9410
jocelyn.boudreaux@portlandoregon.gov

Celebrate a low-waste year with these green holiday ideas

The City of Portland announces the one-year anniversary of curbside composting and shares holiday waste reduction tips

PORTLAND, Ore. – This holiday season marks the one-year anniversary of Portland’s new Curbside Collection Service. The new service includes the addition of food scraps along with yard debris to the green Portland Composts! roll cart, and the switch to every-other-week garbage pick-up. The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) has collected data on the new Curbside Collection Service over the past year and the results are impressive. 

One Year of Curbside Composting
BPS will present a full one-year report on the Curbside Collection Service to Portland City Council on December 5, 2012. Highlights from the report include:

  • Portland households are throwing away almost 40 percent less garbage.
  • The amount of yard debris plus food scraps collected for composting has nearly tripled.
  • Close to 80 percent of Portland households are including food scraps in their green composting roll cart.
  • Portlanders continue to be fantastic recyclers. Eighty-five percent of all recyclable materials are placed in the blue recycling roll cart.

“Portland residents have really stepped up to the plate with curbside composting and it shows in the 40 percent reduction in garbage,” said Mayor Sam Adams. “It’s an achievement that will inspire other cities and one we can feel really proud of.”

To view the full one-year anniversary Curbside Collection Service report, find helpful information on your collection schedule, sign up for weekly email collection reminders and more, visit www.portlandcomposts.com.

Low-Waste Holidays
With all the festive meals, activities and gifts that accompany the holiday season, now is a great time to learn even more ways to save space in your garbage container, reduce waste and make composting easy.

Include the Food!
Make composting simple and accessible:

  • Place recycling and kitchen compost containers in plain sight for guests. You can line the kitchen compost container with newspaper, a paper bag or an approved compostable liner to keep it tidy.
  • Keep your kitchen container handy during food preparation, while scraping plates after meals and when you clean the fridge of leftovers. Remember that all food can be included at the curb, even meat and bones.
  • Ask friends and family to bring their own food containers to take holiday meal leftovers.

Extra Holiday Garbage
After all the holiday entertaining and gift giving, your household may have extra garbage. You can set out an extra bag on your collection day for $5. Extra garbage must be 32 gallons or smaller and weigh 55 lbs. or less. Renters should arrange with landlords to authorize extra garbage collection.

Holiday Tree Composting
Trees up to six feet tall can be put out at the curb on your collection day for $4.50. You may put tree trunks and branches less than 36 inches long and four inches in diameter in your green Portland Composts! roll cart.

You can also arrange with a nonprofit organization to collect your tree. Call Metro’s recycling hotline at 503-234-3000 for drop-off or pick-up information.

Green Holiday Gift Giving
BPS’s Be Resourceful program provides eco-friendly holiday tips to help you Save More and Live More this holiday season. Visit www.resourcefulpdx.com for ideas of gifts of experience and resources for local crafts and holiday décor.

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About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)
Through partnerships and collaboration, BPS develops innovative and practical solutions to create and enhance a prosperous, educated, healthy and equitable city. The bureau provides: Citywide strategic and comprehensive land use planning; neighborhood, district, economic, historic and environmental research, planning and urban design; policy and services to advance energy efficiency, green building, waste reduction, composting and recycling, solar and renewable energy use, and local sustainable food production; as well as actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. For more information, visit www.portlandonline.com/bps.

BPS News: What to do with holiday packaging

How to sort, reuse, donate and recycle your gift wrap

When the gift-giving frenzy is over, we are often left with piles of gift bags, wrapping paper, boxes and other packaging. Here are some tips for sorting the wrapping rather than letting it all go to waste.

Reuse or donate

Gift bags, durable ribbons and bows, boxes or other packaging materials in good condition (including wrapping paper) can be used again. Under-the-bed storage boxes or other durable containers can make storage easy and convenient. If you’d rather not store gift packaging, you may donate to SCRAP for creative reuse.

Recycle

Some gift wrap items can be recycled at the curb, including:

  • Wrapping paper without glitter or other shiny coatings.
  • Tissue paper.
  • Cardboard boxes.
  • Other holiday items like cards, envelopes, catalogs, paper product packaging, notecards and instruction manuals.

Toss the rest

After sorting out the reusable and recyclable items, the remaining items should go in curbside garbage (or to a non-curbside recycling facility, if applicable):

  • Shiny or glittery wrapping.
  • Bows, ribbon and gift bags that can’t be reused.
  • Hard plastic product packaging, packing peanuts and styrofoam blocks (these items may be recycled at a non-curbside facility).

If your household has extra garbage, you can set out extra bags on your collection day for $5 each. Extra garbage must be 32 gallons or smaller and weigh 55 lbs. or less. Renters should arrange with landlords to authorize extra garbage collection.

Use the Curbside Collection E-schedule to find your pickup schedule, sign up for weekly reminders and look up your garbage and recycling company.

For additional curbside collection information, visit our Residential Service website.