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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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Have you received a City of Portland notice in the mail about your single-family home?

Here’s what it means and what you can do.

Welcome to the Residential Infill Project online “customer service” page. We’re glad you’re here.

  • Perhaps you received a notice in the mail that looks like this, and you’re not sure exactly what it means.  
  • Or maybe you heard about proposed rules that would govern new development in residential neighborhoods from a friend or neighbor, and you’re concerned.
  • Or you want to find out how these proposals would address the housing shortage.
  • Or you care about what new houses in your neighborhood look and feel like.
  • Or some or all the above.

You are not alone! Owners of more than 135,000 properties recently received the mailing pictured above from the City of Portland. This is required by state law whenever a change in the zoning could affect the value of a property — up or down. Your address was pulled from the County Assessor’s Office.

First things first

First thing to know is that these changes are proposals — not the law. We hope you’ll learn more about them and tell the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) what you think. Any new rules must be adopted by City Council before they become effective. And before adoption, they are refined and changed based on public testimony, as well as PSC and City Council amendments.

Second, these proposals do not require you to sell your house or do anything to your property or home. They would only apply if you add to your existing house or build a new unit on your land.

If or when you do, the proposal would allow more housing units to be built in residential neighborhoods, but only if they conform to new limits on size and scale.

Here’s a simple summary of the proposed new rules.

We’re here to help

This is complicated stuff. So, we want to help you understand the proposals and how they may affect you and your property. You can:

  • Call the Helpline at 503-823-0195. Friendly staff will look up your address and tell you how the proposals would affect your property.
  • Come to a drop-in session in your neighborhood for one-on-one consulting with a planner. We’ve scheduled them all over town for your convenience.
  • Look up your address on the Map App to find out what rules apply now and what could be proposed.
  • Send us an email at residential.infill@portlandoregon.gov, and a knowledgeable person will respond.

More questions? Consult our FAQs.

Then share your feedback with the Planning and Sustainability Commission via the Map App or in person at a public hearing

Renters matter too

You don’t have to be a property owner to weigh in on these proposals. Renters are also affected by the housing shortage and the lack of housing options. So, look and imagine how these changes might affect how you live in and experience Portland. Then share your thoughts with the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Again, you’re not alone

Many people are feeling a sense of rapid change in their neighborhoods and throughout the city. As we spoke with hundreds of Portlanders around the city over the past two years, we heard that people want to take care of and improve their neighborhoods as the city grows.

They want more opportunities to live in complete neighborhoods — and not just for themselves. For their parents, so they can age in place. For their children so they can afford to live in the city they grew up in. For the teachers, nurses, grocery clerks and firefighters who contribute to our communities. And the many newcomers who are moving here every day.

So, we’re revisiting the rules that shape our residential neighborhoods to create opportunities for more people to enjoy the benefits of these vibrant communities. Alone, a zoning change won’t solve our housing crisis. But the rules that govern what types of housing are allowed in our neighborhoods affect not just how they look and feel — but who can live in them as well.

For more information, visit the project website.

Builder’s mission is to increase the supply of ADUs so more people can have an affordable place to live

Holly Huntley, owner of environs, has built 17 ADUs in Portland … so far! And more on the way.

Holly Huntley

Meet Holly Huntley, general contractor and owner of environs, a small construction company that specializes in building ADUs, or accessory dwelling units. Holly is working to fill the housing shortage with small, affordable and accessible units in single-family neighborhoods.

“I love that I get to be a tiny part of the solution around creating more living spaces in our urban environment,” she says.

Of the 17 ADUs she has built, six have been for people moving to Portland to live next to their children and grandchildren and/or to receive support as they enter a different phase of life. These ADUs have “visitability” features like wider doors and larger bathrooms to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. “This makes things easier for current occupants and increases a limited inventory of homes that are designed with universal usership in mind,” says Huntley. 

Another six of the ADUs were built for homeowners who moved into the ADU and rented out their main house to reduce their housing costs and provide additional income from long-term rentals. Another handful stayed in their home and rented the ADU.

Allowing and encouraging homeowners to maximize their most important investment is vital to the success of our community.

Says Huntley, “Only one of the ADUs I’ve built has entered the short-term rental market — which was not the original intent and not the future plan.”

As she worked with her clients, several common goals emerged: to make better use of their property; create a healthy, efficient home for themselves; provide a long-term rental unit at a fair rate; and secure housing costs for themselves. 

“I am fortunate to be able to work with people in my community who have similar beliefs around what our neighborhoods should be doing and providing,” she muses. “We need more and varied types of housing, and ADUs as urban infill meet a valuable fraction of this need. Allowing and encouraging homeowners to maximize their most important investment is vital to the success of our community. While it is rooted in housing, the impact goes well beyond shelter.”

Ask the Curbside Hotline Operator: What can I do about people putting stuff in my curbside collection containers?

Remove garbage, recycling and compost containers from the curb within 24 hours of pick-up

Collection containers at the curb

What can I do about people putting stuff in my curbside collection containers?

The best way to discourage this is to keep your roll carts out of sight on non-collection days. Actually, residents should remove their empty roll carts, garbage containers and glass recycling bins from the curb within 24 hours of pick-up.

Leaving containers out creates potential hazards for pedestrians and vehicles. And can encourage passers-by to use a container that’s close to them at the time of need (dog poop bags, anyone!?) instead of carrying items to their own containers or using a public trash can.

Find details about service options and container set-out information.

Have a question for our Curbside Hotline Operator?
Submit your question online or call 503-823-7202.

Need help remembering garbage day?
Sign up for free email reminders at www.garbagedayreminders.com.

Thank you for helping to keep our neighborhoods clean and safe!

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.

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 www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/scg-dashboard.

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.