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Phone: 503-823-7300


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Proposed Administrative Rule Would Offer Clearer Guidance on Requirements for Major Public Trail Improvements


May 25, 2018
Contact: Emily Sandy, (503) 823-7828

Proposed Administrative Rule Would Offer Clearer Guidance on
Requirements for Major Public Trail Improvements

If you apply to develop or redevelop one of more than 550 properties with a major public trail designation on the City of Portland’s Official Zoning Map, you may be required to grant an easement and make trail improvements as part of your project. This requirement has existed for years as part of the Zoning Code (Chapter 33.272). The extent of the easement and trail improvements must be in proportion to the transportation impacts of the proposed development, a constitutional principle known as rough proportionality. Currently, City staff determine the extent of improvements by evaluating the impact on a case by case basis, evaluating transportation impact studies and other data as part of the development review process.

A proposed administrative rule would provide transparency and certainty to owners of affected properties when planning development. It would also reduce the time spent evaluating the impact of the development. It does this by setting a consistent methodology for determining rough proportionality and therefore whether applicants are required to grant an easement and construct major public trail improvements, and to what extent.

Generally, the larger a development and the more intense the use, more improvements will be required. On the other hand, a proposal that consists of one or a few dwellings is unlikely to require major public trail easement dedication or construction due to its relatively low impact.

The proposed administrative rule has been in the works for quite some time by various City bureaus, and has been available to the public as exhibits to drafts of the 2035 Central City Plan. The Plan is expected to be adopted by Portland City Council on June 6, 2018, and effective July 9, 2018. The Plan directed BDS to adopt and implement the administrative rule. Although it was drafted through the Central City Planning process, the rule would apply city-wide to all properties with a major public trail designation. The current draft of the administrative rule is essentially the same as the previous drafts, except that it has been updated to include data from the most recent professionally accepted rates of trip generation.

BDS has notified owners of properties with a major public trail designation by mail. To find out if your property is affected, please look for it on the Official Zoning Map and check to see if it touches a line of stars with “major public trail” on it.

If you wish to learn more about the proposed administrative rule, we encourage you to read the draft and attend our public hearing:

Date:               Wednesday, June 27, 2018
Time:              3:30 p.m.
Location:        1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500 C (2nd floor)

Copies of the draft administrative rule will be available at the public hearing. They will also be available during normal business hours, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., on the 5th floor of the building.

Comments will be accepted in person at the hearing or in writing. Written comments will be accepted until 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. You can also submit written comments by email to Emily Sandy at BDS

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