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Phone: 503-823-7300


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Adopted administrative rule gives clearer guidance on when major public trail improvements are required


July 13, 2018

Contact: Emily Sandy, (503) 823-7828

Adopted Administrative Rule Gives Clearer Guidance on when
Major Public Trail Improvements are Required

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. Previously, City staff determined if the improvements were required by evaluating the impact on a case by case basis, evaluating transportation impact studies and other data as part of the development review process.

The new administrative rule provides transparency and certainty to owners of affected properties when planning development. It also reduces 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.

Generally, the larger a development and the more intense the use, more likely 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 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, which was 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 applies city-wide to all properties with a major public trail designation. Subsequently, direct notice was provided to property owners with a major public trail designation, and a public hearing was held on June 27, 2018.

This adopted administrative rule is effective on July 10, 2018.

Please note that this process could change over time and this page may not contain the most up-to-date information.

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