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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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Central City 2035 Update: Recap of April 4 work session and votes on amendments

City Council votes to increase height on Block 33 in New Chinatown/Japantown and holds hearing on additional minor amendments

On April 4, 2018, City Council continued its work on the CC2035 Plan with a vote on Block 33 (between NW Couch and Davis, and 4th and 5th Avenues) in New Chinatown/Japantown. Commissioners had a lengthy discussion about various potential amendments. Ultimately, they voted 4 to 1 to support a base height of 125 feet with the ability to earn bonus height up to 160 feet on the western half block. In order to access the bonus height, the applicant will be required to use the affordable housing bonus. 

City Council also held a public hearing on a final list of potential minor amendments related to bird-safe glazing adjacent to ecoroofs, historic resource transfers and height limits in the North Pearl. They closed the oral hearing on these minor amendments but welcome written comments until April 11 at 4:30 p.m. 

On Wednesday April 11 at 4:30 p.m. time certain, Council is expected to vote on the remaining amendments. Read the related memo.

More effective processes for design review are available for public consideration

Portlanders invited to give feedback on the Design Overlay Zone Amendments (DOZA) Process Discussion Draft through June 1.

doza-coverThe quality of building design matters for a growing city. And the rules and processes to ensure good, human-centered design for our most populated, growing and vibrant places is important for the entire community.

So, these rules need to be evaluated and updated periodically. The Design Overlay Zones Amendments projects — DOZA Process and DOZA Tools — do just that; they hit the reset button on the rules for Portland’s Design overlay zone (the d-overlay) and design review program. 

The DOZA Process Discussion Draft is now ready for review; a DOZA Tools Concept Report will be released in early May 2018.

Read the DOZA Process Discussion Draft.

What’s in the DOZA Process Discussion Draft?

DOZA Process proposes ways to make the design review process more efficient, predictable and transparent. The project proposes amendments to the Zoning Code that work in conjunction with ongoing administrative improvements being led by the Bureau of Development Services. BDS implements the City’s design review program through the development review process.

The DOZA Process proposes to:

  1. Revise the purpose statement for the Design overlay zone and related design chapters to reflect the direction of the new Comprehensive Plan.
  2. Clarify that floor area ratio (FAR) cannot be reduced as a condition of design review approval.
  3. In the Gateway plan district, allow smaller projects to use Community Design Standards as an alternative to a design review.
  4. Align the Type III design review and historic resource review process with an applicant’s design process by allowing phased submittals of materials, requiring early design conferences and ensuring focused commission deliberations and decision-making.
  5. Update the rules related to Design Commission membership to allow landscape architects as industry technical experts, and clarify that the public-at-large member is independent of these industries.

Portlanders are invited to learn more about the Discussion Draft and give their feedback in the coming weeks. This public outreach period is focused on familiarizing community members with the detailed code amendments in preparation for the Planning and Sustainability Commission and subsequent City Council hearings later this year.

Upcoming events

Community members are invited to an open house on May 9 to learn about the proposals, as well as the DOZA Tools Concept Report. Project staff will be available to answer questions about the draft changes to improve design review in Portland.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018, 5 – 7:30 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500 (2nd floor)
TriMet: Multiple bus, MAX and streetcar lines

Staff will also be meeting with community groups and others to share information about the project to answer questions. If your group is interested in a presentation, please contact Kathryn Hartinger at or (503) 823-9714.

How to comment

Comments are due by Friday, June 1, 2018. Send comments to Phil Nameny, DOZA Process Project Manager.

City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Attn: DOZA Process
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100
Portland, OR  97201

Next steps

Your comments on the Discussion Draft will be considered as we develop a DOZA Process Proposed Draft, scheduled for release in August 2018. The Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold public hearings on the Proposed Draft in September and October, make their amendments and vote to recommend a revised draft to City Council in December.

For more information, please visit the Design Overlay Zone Amendments website.

Growing Green Air

2018 Earth Day Plant Giveaway

 plants  planting  planting  holding plant

Inspired by the work of BDS employee Brandon Rogers, the Citywide Green Team would like to give you your own baby plant during April 2018. It’s a small way for us to thank you for your sustainability efforts each and every day. The only catch: you need to promise to water it.

Where to find your plant

Planting stations can be found in locations around the City. Get one while supplies last or get on the waiting list. Spider plants grow quickly so you won’t have to wait long.

City Hall – Contact: Susan Barr, Janine Gates, or Heather Saby

Congress Center – Contact: Bill Crawford, Ethan Cirmo

Columbia Square – Contact: Icie Ta

400 SW 6th Avenue and Pioneer Tower – Contact: Elena Estrada or Pam Mavis

1900 SW 4th Avenue – Contact: Brandon Rogers (BDS) or Kyenne Williams (BPS)

North Kerby Yard – Contact: Tawnya Harris (CityFleet) or Rich Grant (PBOT)

WasteWater Treatment Plant – Contact: David Olsav

Why keep indoor plants?

Your baby plant will be doing its small part to improve our indoor air quality by absorbing commonly found air pollutants like benzene and formaldehyde. Eliminating harmful pollutants in our air is a key City environmental performance objective. See how we're doing at

This Sustainability Hero inspired us to find a way to bring everyone a plant

Headshot“Plants bring people together in really interesting ways. People connect on a personal level and come alive,” explains Brandon Rogers, a city planner with the Bureau of Development Services. Brandon has been giving plants to his colleagues at the City in what is both a social experiment and an effort to improve indoor air quality.

In the spring of 2017, Brandon was walking around the offices when he noticed some particularly healthy spider plants with hundreds of little babies ready to be rooted. So, Brandon did just that and started giving them away. Soon he purchased pots and soil and even found a free surplus AV cart at PSU which he set up as a mobile plant station.

Brandon’s project has really taken root, helped along by Kate Green, Green Team member and colleague. They’ve given away 100 plants and counting! For Brandon, it is satisfying to see how caring for plants is social and relaxing. And he's happy knowing that indoor plants, especially spider plants, clean the air, removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzine. His advice to others: “Follow your heart. Start small. Share your ideas with others and collaborate.”

In his personal life, Brandon has also made some big changes. In 2012, after reading a book on food production, he became a vegan. Brandon wanted to minimize animal suffering and reduce his carbon footprint. He recalls that at first it was very hard. “About two weeks in I dreamed of a six-foot high pile of sliced tri tip covered in cheddar cheese.” By now, though, Brandon sleeps easy and feels great about his food choices.