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City Council begins voting on new plan for growth and development in the Central City

On May 24, Commissioners approved changes and technical amendments to the CC2035 Revised Recommended Draft; considered new amendments.

Portland’s City Council moved the Central City 2035 Plan closer to adoption this week. Since the last Council session on the Plan, staff integrated all the decisions that Council made over the last year into a new Revised Recommended Draft and associated ordinances, resolutions and other documentation.

On May 24, Commissioners approved these changes and several technical amendments that staff identified during the final drafting process. 

New Chinatown/Japantown decision

In addition, council voted 3 to 2 to approve a new amendment to change height limits on four and a half blocks in the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District to 200 feet. This amendment included what is known as Block 33, a surface parking lot between NW Couch and Davis between 4th & 5th, and four blocks in the northern part of the district near the Lan Siu Chinese Garden. 

Heights for the western half of Block 33 would increase from a previously approved bonus height of 160 feet to a bonus height of 200 feet. Heights for four northern blocks in the historic district went from a base height of 160 to 200 feet with no opportunity to gain bonus height.

Council’s vote also approved an increase in base FAR from 6:1 to 9:1 for Block 33, if all floors above the ground floor on the western half of the block are developed for residential use.

While preparing for the Council session, staff identified an additional amendment necessary to ensure that a shadow study would be required for any development adjacent to the Lan Siu Chinese Garden. Council will continue their discussion of and vote on this amendment on May 30. 

Read the addendum to amendments document.  

Green Loop rides on

At the end of the day Thursday, Council took a more celebratory tone as they voted on the Green Loop resolution. The Green Loop emerged from the community process that helped create the CC2035 Plan and has engaged the imagination of Portlanders ever since. A six-mile linear park around the Central City, the Green Loop would provide a safe and easy-to-navigate car-free pathway for rollers, strollers and cyclists through the myriad neighborhoods and districts within the Central City.   

Introducing the Green Loop resolution, Mayor Ted Wheeler said it would add to the network of great places in the Central City and integrate with new development on the Post Office site as well as OMSI’s redevelopment of its riverfront campus.

“It will connect Central City destinations and neighborhoods like the Park Blocks, Portland Art Museum, PSU, South Waterfront and the Moda Center,” he said. “And like all great public spaces and parks, it promises to bring Portlanders together to share an exciting new common space.”  

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Susan Anderson, PBOT’s Art Pierce, Go Lloyd’s Transit Program Manager Jenny Taylor and Wade Lange, vice president/regional manager for American Asset Trust, also spoke enthusiastically about the Green Loop.

Watch the video of the Council session and the Green Loop resolution vote. (Green Loop starts at 2:22:15.)

Next Steps

Council will hold another session on May 30 at 10:15 a.m., time certain, to discuss the shadow study amendment. Final vote on the plan is still scheduled for June 6 at 2 p.m., time certain. Plan goes into effect on July 9.

PSC News: June 12, 2018 Meeting Recap

SW Corridor DEIS — Briefing; Better Housing by Design — Hearing; Manufactured Dwelling Park Zoning Project — Hearing / Recommendation

Agenda

  • SW Corridor DEIS — Briefing
  • Better Housing by Design — Hearing
  • Manufactured Dwelling Park Zoning Project — Hearing / Recommendation

Meeting files

An archive of meeting minutes and documents of all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/classification/3687.

For background information, see the PSC website at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/psc, call 503-823-7700 or email psc@portlandoregon.gov.

Meeting playback on Channel 30 are scheduled to start the Friday following the meeting. Starting times may occur earlier for meetings over three hours long, and meetings may be shown at additional times as scheduling requires.

Channel 30 (closed-caption)
Friday at 3 p.m. | Sunday at 7:00 a.m. | Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.

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The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access and will make reasonable accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or provide other services. Please contact us at least three (3) business days before the meeting at 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868 or Oregon Relay Service 711.

503-823-7700: Traducción o interpretación | Chuyển Ngữ hoặc Phiên Dịch | 翻译或传译 | Turjumida ama Fasiraadda | Письменный или устный перевод | Traducere sau Interpretare | Письмовий або усний переклад | 翻訳または通訳 | ການແປພາສາ ຫຼື ການອະທິບາຍ | الترجمة التحريرية أو الشفهية | www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/71701

 

Zoning watch: Work sessions begin on Residential Infill Project proposed new rules for Portland’s residential neighborhoods

Planning and Sustainability Commission will consider public testimony as they contemplate revisions to the Proposed Draft; watch Commissioners deliberate on BPS YouTube channel.

Over the past two months, Portlanders have reviewed and testified on proposals for new construction in residential neighborhoods. The proposals in the Residential Infill Project Proposed Draft would update the rules for single-dwelling zones to allow more housing options for people’s changing needs while limiting the size of new houses to better fit existing neighborhoods.

The Residential Infill Project Proposed Draft reports were released on April 2, and the Planning and Sustainability Commission heard public testimony at two hearings (May 8 and 15). Commissioners are also reviewing testimony submitted via the online Map App and other written testimony. 

Public input has been robust! The PSC heard from nearly 140 people during the public hearings and received 1,089 written comments. Testimony on the Proposed Draft is no longer being accepted, but you can still review what people said about the proposals. Visit the Map App and read the public testimony.

PSC Work Sessions

The PSC is conducting work sessions on the proposals to prepare their recommendations to the City Council. At these work sessions Commissioners will not hear public testimony. However, staff-prepared work session materials will be posted on the project website so you can follow along.

Three upcoming work sessions are tentatively organized by topic areas: 

Please confirm dates, times and agendas one week prior by visiting the PSC Calendar.

All PSC hearings and meetings are streamed live on the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability YouTube channel.

For more information about the Residential Infill Project

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868, or Oregon Relay Service 711. 503-823-7700.

New long-range land use and development plan for the heart of the city poised for adoption

What does the Central City 2035 Plan promise for Portlanders and the region?

Riddle me this … By 2035, what will house 95,000 residents in 64,000 households and provide 174,000 jobs?

Answer: Portland’s Central City. Which will absorb 30 percent of Portland’s population growth and welcome 50,000 new jobs in the next 20 years.

And there’s a plan for how to manage all that growth and development, while making the nearly four square miles of Portland’s urban core more vibrant and active for those who live, work and visit the region’s cultural and economic hub.

It’s called Central City 2035, and the Portland City Council will vote to adopt the plan on Wednesday, June 6 at 2 p.m. Watch it live or later on, when you have the time.

Here are some highlights of the plan:

  • The Green Loop – Perhaps the most transformative idea that came out of the planning process, the Green Loop offers a new way for people to be in the Central City … active, safe and fun. It’s a six-mile linear park for people of all ages and abilities to connect to places and each other all around the Central City. It was the star attraction at 2017 Design Week and is this year’s featured Sunday Parkways route.The Green Loop is quintessentially Portland: natural and urban, creative and entrepreneurial, sustainable and dynamic. It will support businesses, restaurants and stores along the route, while improving access to places where people can get the staples and support they need. And it will reconfirm Portland's commitment to greater access to parks and active transportation. In turn, the Green Loop can become an iconic symbol of a city that values and supports all people: residents, workers, students and visitors of all ages, shapes and sizes, origins and incomes.
  • The River – If the Green Loop circles the heart of the Central City, the Willamette River flows right through the middle of the urban core. It’s a waterway for commerce, a home for fish and wildlife, and a recreator’s dream. CC2035 ensures that it will remain healthy even as access for swimmers, boaters, paddlers and foot danglers increases. The new plan also ensures greater protection for the riverbanks, while allowing for small retail kiosks in strategic locations to serve more people as they enjoy this wonderful natural resource.
  • Central Eastside and the Innovation Quadrant – There’s a lot going on in the southern end of the city center. On both sides of Tilikum Crossing, new buildings are going up on previously fallow land (South Waterfront) and in once sleepy industrial areas (Central Eastside). This part of the Central City is alive with possibilities and potential – to cure diseases, create the next generation of apps, and cultivate new artists and makers. CC2035 has prepared the soil of this Garden of Industrious Eden. And as more businesses and enterprises set up shop in this unique area, more people will be able to work near all the amenities the city center can provide.

Top Ten things to know about CC2035

Good density

The Central City is the densest area in the city and the region. That’s by design. It’s Portland’s largest complete neighborhood, with lots of housing, amenities and transportation options.

It has the densest concentration of:

  • Office space in the region and a range of jobs and employment spaces in different districts ranging from Downtown, Lloyd, South Waterfront and Central Eastside.
  • Regional and cultural attractions in the state, including the Oregon Convention Center, the Moda Center, the Portland Art Museum, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, Providence Park, Keller Auditorium and the Oregon Historical Society.
  • Housing (affordable and market rate) in the region, offering the widest array of housing choices for those with the greatest need. The CC2035 Plan includes a new inclusionary housing bonus that will ensure a percentage of the 37,000 new units expected over the next 20 years will be affordable.
  • Social service facilities in the region, serving many of the most vulnerable Portlanders.

A true 21st century city  

With Council’s adoption of CC2035, Portland’s urban core is poised to continue to be a thriving economic, cultural, educational and recreational hub of the region for the next 20+ years … carrying on the tradition of previous planning efforts. From transforming Harbor Drive into Waterfront Park and a parking garage into Pioneer Square. Or transforming brownfields into The Pearl District and South Waterfront. And connecting the east and west sides of the river with a transit, bike and pedestrian-only bridge.  

Learn more about the legacy of planning in the Central City

Green Loop concept gets the green light from City Council

Commissioners vote unanimously to move the concept for a linear park in the heart of the city forward.

Last Thursday, May 24, 2018, the Portland City Council voted unanimously to endorse a resolution supporting the advancement of the Green Loop. The six-mile linear park around the city center was a “big idea” in the Central City 2035 Plan, which was adopted in full on Wednesday, June 6. The plan goes into effect on July 9, 2018.

As Commissioners prepared to vote, Mayor Ted Wheeler proclaimed, “The Green Loop is a fantastic vision, and I look forward to seeing it – perhaps not completed during my tenure – but I’d certainly like to see it well underway.” He went on to say that the Green Loop is an “extraordinary asset to the city,” and praised the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) staff’s early leadership and advocacy.

“It’s always hard to be the pointy end of the spear,” he acknowledged, “but at the end of the day, everyone will show up and say you were right.”

Commissioner Dan Saltzman called it a visionary project that will connect Portlanders in a way they haven’t been before. “And it will redefine how we keep our residents safe and get around,” he concluded.

What others said

Before voting, Council heard from BPS and PBOT leadership as well as business leaders and advocates for the Green Loop.

Art Pearce, PBOT’s policy, planning and project manager, pointed out how the Green Loop will help the City achieve its Vision Zero goals. “The majority of Portland’s high-crash bicycle intersections are in the Central City as well as some of the high-crash intersections for pedestrians," he stated. “The Green Loop will emphasize those streets, making it a safe and inviting route around the Central City."

Pearce also talked about how the Green Loop can help resolve conflicts between freight trucks, pedestrians and cyclists in and around the Central Eastside.

Susan Anderson, BPS director, emphasized community support and enthusiasm for the Green Loop. "Today,” she began, “we want to focus on a segment of the Green Loop where we think the first projects are likely to happen – in the Rose Quarter and Lloyd District. There are investments already planned for this area, including the Sullivan's Crossing Pedestrian and Bike Bridge. Potential partners such as Go Lloyd, Albina Vision Trust and others make this a really strong candidate as a place to start."

Go Lloyd’s Administrative and Transit Program Manager Jenny Taylor said, "The Green Loop will help create stronger connections to our inner eastside and downtown neighbors; encourage our interested-but-concerned population to choose active transportation; and help make us a safer, healthier and more livable community.

“In addition,” she continued, “by making Lloyd the first neighborhood to receive investment in Green Loop, you get Go Lloyd as a partner in promoting it.... We are prepared to work with the City and all of our partners to make the Green Loop a long-term success for Portland."

Stated Wade Lang, vice president and regional manager of American Assets Trust, "Lloyd is a community … [with] a long history of public/private partnerships. We see value in sharing ideas, listening to stakeholders and brokering compromise to reap the highest public benefit. … The Lloyd community would be willing to work with the City to explore funding strategies and help to make the Green Loop a reality."

Watch the video of the Council session and the Green Loop resolution vote (Green Loop starts at 2:22:15.)

So, what exactly is it?

The Green Loop will be a place for everyone in the heart of the city. Whether on foot, bike or mobility device, people of all ages, abilities and incomes will be able to get to work, go for a jog, shop, eat, rest or meet friends in the park via the Green Loop.

It’s an initiative that will add to the Central City network of great public spaces with formal and informal places integrated with new development like the Broadway Corridor redevelopment of the old Post Office and OMSI’s redevelopment of its riverfront campus.

It can become a recognized and attractive route connecting Central City destinations and neighborhoods like the Park Blocks, the Portland Art Museum, PSU, South Waterfront, the Central Eastside and the Moda Center. Think New York City’s Highline, Atlanta’s Beltline, the Miami Underline or the Indianapolis Cultural Trail.

And, it starts to become a reality in the Lloyd District, with projects like the Sullivan’s Crossing bike and pedestrian bridge over I-84 at NE 11th/12th Avenues.  

Featured attraction

The featured attraction at last year’s Design Week Portland, this year the Green Loop will be the route for Sunday Parkways in the heart of the city. We hope you’ll join us on July 22, 2018, to experience the early days of the Green Loop.

Who knows? Someday you’ll be able to say, “I was there at the beginning.” 

For more information about the Green Loop, please visit our new website. And sign up for e-mail updates as Portlanders move the concept into reality.