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Planning and Sustainability

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Mayor Charlie Hales Commences First Meeting of the Residential Infill Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee

First SAC meeting signals formal launch of the code update project to address infill development in single-dwelling neighborhoods.

On Tuesday, September 15, 2015 the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability convened the kickoff meeting of the 26-member Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) for the Residential Infill Project.

Chief Planner Joe Zehnder thanked SAC members before introducing Mayor Charlie Hales.

“The Residential Infill Project is a top priority of mine, and Portland will be significantly shaped by recommendations made by this SAC,” he addressed the committee. He highlighted local economist Joe Cortright’s assessment that “the U.S. has a city shortage,” which requires innovative solutions that maintain city character and meet growing preferences for urban living. “We need to ensure that as growth happens, it happens in a way that contributes to the livability of our neighborhoods.”

Staff then gave a short project overview covering the land use planning framework and the three project topic areas (scale of houses, alternative housing options, and narrow lot development). Facilitator Anne Pressentin (from EnviroIssues) then led an exercise to identify key background and core values of SAC members as related to residential infill issues. While the SAC represents a variety of interests and geographies, the exercise illustrated many commonalities among the SAC members.

The next Stakeholder Advisory Committee meeting will be held on October 6, 2015, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at 1900 SW 4th Ave., Room 2500. SAC members will review their draft charter and spend most of the meeting talking about scale of houses, learning about the city’s development standards and how they are applied. The public is welcome to attend and offer comments and observations at the end of the meeting.

News release: Mayor Hales Joins Local Businesses to Kick Off Climate Week

The goal: To get at least 50 Portland businesses to join the city in committing to reduce carbon emissions. (Tuesday, SEPT. 22, 2015)

Mayor Hales Joins Local Businesses to Kick Off Climate Week

Mayor Charlie Hales this week announced his Business Climate Challenge. The goal: To get at least 50 Portland businesses to join the city in committing to reduce carbon emissions.Mayor Hales kicks off Climate Week

And several Portland businesses already have stepped up to the challenge, including Elephants Delicatessen, Hopworks Urban Brewery, Indow, Trillium Asset Management, CH2M Hill, Widmer Brothers Brewing and the Moda Health.

The challenge is just one of a package of initiatives driven by the city, or going before City Council for Climate Week, Sept. 21 to 25.

“There’s this notion that the City of Portland is green, but that the business community is opposed,” Hales said. “That might have been true once, but not today. Today, members of our business community share our city’s values of equity and livability.”

One such business is Hopworks Urban Brewery.

“Mayor Hales’ climate challenge strikes at the heart of our mission,” said Christian Ettinger, Brewmaster and Founder of Hopworks. “For eight years we have proven that it is possible to have a sustainable, environmentally conscious business and be profitable. Today we join the Oregon Business Climate Declaration and commit to further examine every inch of our operation, creating efficient processes that lead to reduced environmental impact.”

Susan Anderson, director of the Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, said Climate Week includes a series of events and initiatives hosted in New York City but with a global reach that connects cities, businesses, nations, organizations and individuals to address climate change. The week falls between the Vatican’s climate change summit in July, and the Climate Summit for Local Leaders, part of the Dec. 4 Paris Climate Conference, hosted by Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris, and Michael Bloomberg, the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cities and Climate Change.

Carbon emissions in Portland have declined 14 percent since 1990, well ahead of the national trend. Portland’s experience suggests that cities can reduce emissions as their economies and populations grow.   “Portland’s work on climate is not limited to one week—in fact, it stretches back more than two decades,” Anderson said. “Collectively, we are making some real progress. We also recognize that we have a long way to go.”

Hales, Anderson and other city leaders kicked off the Mayor’s Business Climate Challenge with a Tuesday press conference that includes representatives of a wide array of progressive businesses.

More than 200 Portland businesses—and more than 400 across the state —have signed the Oregon Business Climate Declaration. Portland now is asking businesses to add their names to that list and to take specific steps in their operations to reduce emissions.

Thanks to Portland’s leadership on climate policy, Hales was invited to the Vatican summit in July and to the unveiling of the White House’s Clean Power Plan debut in August.

Portland adopted its Climate Action Plan in 1993 and, this year, updating it with new, ambitious goals. Since 2013, the city’s per capita carbon emissions are 35 percent below 1990 levels. Total carbon emissions are 14 percent below 1990.

Equally importantly, many of the same things that are reducing carbon emissions are creating jobs and making Portland a better place to live. Portland and Multnomah County now have 12,000 clean tech jobs, an increase of 25 percent in the last 15 years. Meanwhile, businesses leaders continue to retrofit their buildings, keeping energy costs down and creating decent jobs.

“We’ve created a city where businesses have an opportunity to grow, to create jobs, to support worker

PSC News: October 13, 2015 Meeting Recap

R/W #7961: NE Sandy Blvd — on consent; Task 5: Employment Zoning Project — briefing


  • R/W ##7961: NE Sandy Blvd — on consent
  • Task 5: Employment Zoning Project — briefing

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at

New Map App makes commenting and testifying on land use and zoning changes easier than ever in new mobile-friendly interface

Enhanced design and user interface created to more clearly communicate technical information about zoning and land use proposals.

The all new Comprehensive Plan Map App was launched earlier this month with the release of the Recommended Draft, offering Portlanders an improved interface and design.  

The app has been completely overhauled, with a fresh look and feel and new interface that performs just as well on mobile devices as on desktop. Portlanders can now submit comments on the Comprehensive Plan’s land use designations, Citywide Systems Plan, Transportation System Plan, as well as Mixed Use Zones and Employment Zoning projects. More project maps, including the Residential and Open Space Zoning Update Project, will come online later this fall.

More accessible, visual content

Users familiar with the original Map App will notice the new version is more visually appealing than its predecessor. A newly designed user interface presents information on land use and zoning proposals in a quick and succinct manner. Visit the Mixed Use Zones Project map, for instance, click or tap on a proposal, and take a look at how the proposed zones are described. You’ll see new visuals and images that summarize zones to make understanding proposed changes easier. Major improvements have also been made to performance, especially on smartphones and tablets, so users can view and comment on proposals from anywhere.

Better commenting experience

The ability to add and view comments and testimony is now in a single place, which is especially nice for mobile users. The comment form offers a lot more information about what kind of feedback you are providing and where it will go. And email confirmations with details about the proposal, what's next, what we will do with your comments or testimony, and what to do if you have questions, are sent to every person who comments or testifies on the Map App.

Behind the scenes with the back end of the Map App

Like the first versions of the Map App, the newest version was created entirely in house. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability’s Technical Services team used a custom database along with Esri’s ArcGIS platform, ArcGIS JavaScript API, Maxbox Studio, Dojo Toolkit and Dojo Bootstrap. In the brief period of time since it was launched, the app has received 18,500 page views.

Says Tech Services Manager Kevin Martin, “The Map App is just one product of a very complex project, but it’s helped us improve our communication and outreach with the public. This version, more than the two previous ones, was less about building a web app and more about creating information and visuals that help Portlanders understand sometimes confusing planning ideas across several platforms.”

If you would like to learn more about how the Map App was developed or report a bug in the app, please send an email to and someone from the web development team will get back to you. Otherwise, enjoy the user experience!