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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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West Quadrant: Project Up and Running!

Events in March and upcoming events in April are setting the foundation for the West Quadrant Plan.

The West Quadrant Plan team held three major public events in March. The West Quadrant Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) held its first meeting on March 11 and set the foundation for their work, identifying issues and directions for the West Quadrant. Upcoming meetings in April and May will continue these discussions at the system wide and neighborhood scale. A planning forum and charrette for the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood, held on two consecutive Fridays in the White Stag Building, attracted full houses. Staff is working on a summary of key ideas and concepts from the events which should be available in early May. Similar efforts for Goose Hollow are helping staff to get a running start at the quadrant planning process. Feedback has been enthusiastic and informative.

To kick off the West Quadrant Plan, the project team developed the West Quadrant Reader and an accompanying online survey. A short newspaper-like document outlining issues, opportunities and ideas for Portland’s West Quadrant, the Reader is a starting point for the public conversation about the West Quadrant and will help people give feedback via the online survey. The West Quadrant Issues and Opportunities Survey seeks community input on topics such as housing, transportation and neighborhood services. It is available online through May 10, 2013.

Upcoming April Events

West Quadrant Plan SAC Meeting #2 (link includes meeting materials): Monday, April 1, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Downtown Neighborhood Workshop: Tuesday, April 8, 5:30- 6:30 p.m.

West Quadrant Plan SAC Meeting #3: Monday, April 22, 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. 

For print copies of the West Quadrant Reader or to schedule a presentation about the project to your community groups — or if you have any questions about the West Quadrant Plan, please contact Elisa Hamblin at (503) 823-9714 or via email at

City Council to Hold Public Hearing on Recommended Code Amendments for New Apartments and Parking Minimums

On Thursday, April 4, 2013, City Council will hold a public hearing to consider recommended code amendments for parking minimums for some new apartments.


March 28, 2013


Eden Dabbs
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

PORTLAND, Ore. — On Thursday, April 4, 2013, City Council will hold a public hearing to consider recommended code amendments for parking minimums for some new apartments.

WHEN: April 4, 2013, 2 p.m.

WHERE: City Council Chambers, 1221 SW 4th Avenue

HOW: Portlanders may testify in person at the event. Written testimony can also be submitted to the Council Clerk at 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 140, Portland, OR 97204, or FAX comments to 503-823-4571. Emailed testimony can be sent to Testimony must be received by April 4. Those who send a letter or email must include their name and address, and the letter or email must be received by the time of the hearing.


The Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) held a public hearing regarding new apartments and parking on March 12, 2013. The commissioners heard testimony from a variety of stakeholders and community members on a proposal presented by City staff. Following public testimony and deliberations, the PSC recommended minor changes to the proposal.

In the last year, there has been an increase in new multi-dwelling buildings along commercial streets in Portland's close-in neighborhoods, including projects that do not include off-street parking. These projects are being built under current City policies and Zoning Code provisions. Some community members have reacted with concern about the number of these projects and lack of parking, while others have expressed support for current policy. At the direction of City Council, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff have put together the recommended code amendments, which are focused on creating minimum parking standards for new large multi-unit buildings.

For more information or to read the FAQ, please visit the project web page at

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is committed to providing equal access to information and hearings. If you need special accommodation, please call 503-823-7700, the City’s TTY at 503-823-6868, or the Oregon relay Service at 1-800-735-2900.


The City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), develops innovative and practical solutions to create and enhance a prosperous, educated, healthy and equitable city. The bureau provides: Citywide strategic and comprehensive land use planning; neighborhood, district, economic, historic and environmental research, planning and urban design; policy and services to advance energy efficiency, green building, waste reduction, composting and recycling, solar and renewable energy use, and local sustainable food production; as well as actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. 


PSC News: March 26, 2013 meeting recap and documents

West Hayden Island Draft Plan — work session


  • West Hayden Island work session

Meeting Files:

An archive of meeting minutes and documents from all Planning and Sustainability Commission meetings are available at

My Portland Plan: How is the Portland Plan being implemented through the Comprehensive Plan?

These two long-range plans have overlapping, but distinct, purposes for shaping the future of Portland.

Springwater trail, railroad tracks and the riverRecently, Portland residents have been asking Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) staff what it means to say the Comprehensive Plan is a Portland Plan implementation project. Others wonder why we need the Comprehensive Plan if we have the Portland Plan.

The Portland Plan, which was adopted by the City Council in 2012, is a strategic plan that provides the public and decision-makers a way to evaluate budget requests and proposed projects against citywide goals.

It highlights four focus areas: equity, education, prosperity and health. Each focus area has a strategy, which includes policies to guide how the City approaches work in that area, and a list of potential actions to take over the next five years.

The Portland Plan was adopted by a resolution. Plans adopted by resolutions serve as a guide for future government action and are not legally binding.

The Comprehensive Plan, however, must be adopted by an ordinance; plans adopted by ordinance are binding.

The Comprehensive Plan is a state-mandated plan to prepare for expected population and job growth as well as infrastructure investments. It will also guide the City’s community engagement practices to ensure inclusion, transparency and equity in the decision-making process around key priorities.

Staff used an open-ended and flexible process during the creation of the Portland Plan to gather feedback from thousands of residents to help shape the future direction of our city. The Comprehensive Plan builds on that input, as well as lessons learned about community involvement.

In addition to new, more detailed policies, the draft Comprehensive Plan includes many of the policies from the Portland Plan Guiding Policies. Once adopted, these will all become binding and guide land use, transportation and investment decisions for the next 20 years.

Key concepts from the Portland Plan are incorporated throughout the draft Comprehensive Plan:

  • The Healthy Connected City strategy is a core component of the Urban Design Framework, as well as the Urban Design and Development and Watershed Health and Environment goals and policies.
  • Issues related to freight movement and providing land for traded sector development are addressed in the Economic Development and Transportation goals and policies.
  • Policies that support youth success can be found in the Housing, Economic Development, Urban Design and Development, Public Facilities and Transportation chapters.

As a legally binding policy document, the Comprehensive Plan is an important implementation tool of the Portland Plan. 

From BPS Director Susan Anderson: United Nations chooses Portland to host World Environment Day for the United States

e-newsletter, April 2013

This year, Earth Day in Portland will be celebrated in the spotlight of the United Nations. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has selected Portland as the North American host city for this year’s World Environment Day on June 5, 2013. Established by the UN General Assembly in 1972, World Environment Day is celebrated in more than 120 nations, focusing international attention on environmental issues.

In the 45 days from Earth Day (April 22) to World Environment Day, a variety of public events will celebrate Portland’s leadership in sustainability and green living. The City and UNEP are encouraging community groups, businesses, nonprofit organizations and individuals to join in by organizing or participating in public events during this time. Follow events for UNWED at and on Facebook .

From Portland’s Solarize and energy efficiency programs to our world renowned green building services, green streets and curbside composting and recycling program — which has reduced household garbage by nearly 40 percent — we have a lot to celebrate this year. Hosting the United Nations World Environment Day is a great opportunity to showcase Portland’s story and legacy of leadership to the world.


So how did we get here today?

In the 1990s and 2000s, many new efforts were begun by Portlanders that focused on sustainable building, energy and water efficiency, recycling and waste reduction, biking infrastructure, solar and wind power, stormwater management, and creating walkable, connected neighborhoods.

In 1993, Portland became the first U.S. city to adopt a climate action plan for its entire community. At that time, few Americans cared much about what was then called “global warming.” The focus of the plan was to reduce carbon emissions — but to do it in a way that would help families save money, reduce local air pollution, cut operating costs for businesses, and build more livable, walkable neighborhoods.

The 1993 plan has been updated regularly and has been a success. Per capita carbon emissions are down by more than 25 percent, with total emissions down six percent (below 1990 levels). At the same time, carbon emissions in the United States have increased by about 10 percent.

In response to this increasingly urgent need to shift to a low-carbon economy and community, in 2009 Portland adopted a new Climate Action Plan with a goal of reducing 1990 level emissions by 80 percent. To reach that goal, the City has focused on both innovative and practical solutions in such areas as transportation and land use, energy efficiency, renewable energy and solid waste reduction.

Portland is moving in the right direction, and the gap between Portland’s success and the U.S. average tells a compelling story — that American cities can be both prosperous and reduce carbon emissions.

What’s Next for Portland?

Achieving an 80-percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 remains a very ambitious goal. Proposed new efforts on the horizon include:

  • More bikeways and an additional seven miles of light rail.
  • Enhanced energy efficiency programs.
  • New rules for energy performance disclosure for commercial buildings.
  • More solar and wind power generation.
  • Investments in district-scale energy systems and community-owned solar energy installations.
  • Improved zoning and a new Comprehensive Plan that focuses on creating more healthy, connected neighborhoods.
  • More technical assistance for companies pursuing sustainable operations.
  • The City’s first climate preparedness plan.


Portland’s success relies on its strong partnerships between residents, businesses, nonprofits, academic institutions and other governments. Together these individuals and organizations work to be a catalyst for action, as they continue to seek new partnerships with cities around the world.

This is our chance to shine and our challenge to stay in a leadership position. It’s also a chance for the rest of the cities in the world to push us forward toward greater innovations. How will you celebrate Earth Day?

Susan Anderson

Susan Anderson signature


Bureau of Planning and Sustainability