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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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Persistence pays off for two of BPS’ own

Lauren Norris and Leesha Posey are nominated for the 2018 WE Persist award.

Editor’s note: The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is staffed with some very special people. Our employees are full of passion and good ideas. They work hard and have fun while they’re doing it. This month we’re featuring two exceptional women on the “S” (sustainability) side of the bureau.

Leesha Posey and Lauren Norris are special kinds of pillars in the community, ensuring that communities of color and underserved Portlanders understand and benefit from sustainable practices.

Recently, they were nominated by a jury of their peers for the City of Portland’s 2018 Women’s Empowerment (WE) Persist award. In conjunction with Women’s History Month, this year’s annual honor recognized “standout” women who have inspired others in their persistence against discrimination faced by women in the workplace.

Inspiring Lauren

Lauren NorrisIn her role coordinating the Master Recycler program, Lauren’s effect on Master Recycler volunteers is clear. Glowingly, one of her nominators wrote, “Lauren works tirelessly to diversify the ‘environmental’ movement. [She] is creating an environment for all individuals, especially [those] who are often not seen at the table.” 

Lauren is honored to have been nominated with so many other “wonder women” who are doing exceptional work on behalf of the City. Her goal is to ensure that reducing consumption is done collaboratively so that communities of color and low-income communities are co-creators of sustainable practices.

“We can also ensure that we create equitable avenues for wealth building by creating safe, living wage jobs in recycling and reuse,” she says.

She is enthusiastic about working with a new group of volunteers, the Master Recyclers of Color. This new cohort is poised to have an even greater influence on citywide sustainability practices.

“The group is working on community building, but they are also identifying ways to provide more access to sustainability ideas, practices and projects to underserved communities,” said Lauren.

Impactful Leesha

Leesha (on the right in photo) has also had a positive influence on the people she works with in her role as a program specialist for BPS’ Sustainability at Work program.

“Leesha is an exceptional person,” wrote one of Posey’s nominators. “She uses her time/skills to uplift the voices of black and brown individuals … and believes in the career mobility of all women and individuals of color.”

“Creating the Master Recyclers of Color program allowed me to shake the feeling of being the “only one’” she mused. “But it also provides a space for folks to get together and network, share, vent and build. Lauren has been so supportive of the group and its possibilities.”

Said Leesha, “This award affirms that I had some impact – no matter how small – on someone, and that means the world to me. It definitely confirms that our work is meaningful to people and inspires me moving forward.”

Good work ladies! BPS is proud of you!

In a unanimous vote, Portland City Council approves new rate for residential garbage, recycling and compost service

Effective May 1, 2018, the new rate addresses higher operating costs for Portland’s 12 franchised garbage and recycling companies.

After a thorough annual review of system costs, the Portland City Council has approved 2018-19 rates for residential garbage, recycling, and composting service at single-family homes and smallplexes up to four units. The monthly bill for the average Portland household will increase by about $2.55 starting May 1, 2018.

The rate increase is needed to cover higher costs for recycling, labor, fuel and garbage disposal. In particular, new quality standards for recycled materials sold to international manufacturers require local recycling facilities to hire additional workers.

It is still important to follow Portland’s recycling list. The City of Portland will re-evaluate the rates in Spring 2019.


  • Property owners of residential (1-4 unit) rental properties are required to set up and pay for service for tenants.



City Council completes amendments to Central City 2035 Plan

Commissioners finalize decisions on dozens of amendments to the Plan; prepare to vote to adopt the new long-range plan for the city center.

On April 11, 2018, City Council wrapped up their discussion of amendments to the Central City 2035 Plan. They approved dozens of amendments, many of which were minor and technical.

Review the amendments and Council decisions on each one

Key decisions

Some of the most significant decisions by Commissioners are described below.


  • Increase the bonus height at RiverPlace from 125 feet to 325 feet.
  • Restore heights in Old Town Chinatown from 350 feet to 460 feet along NW 5th to Broadway.
  • Increase height on the western half of Block 33 in Chinatown/Japantown from the PSC-recommended height of 125 feet to 160 feet.
  • Retain the PSC’s proposed height increase at Morrison Bridgehead.

Floor Area Ratios (FAR)

  • Allow the transfer of floor area from Open Space zones
  • Initiate a study to analyze options for increasing bonus floor area that new projects can earn

Scenic View Corridors

  • Retain the PSC’s decision to not protect the view of Mt Hood from Salmon Springs and allow taller buildings in the Central Eastside.
  • Eliminate the view of Mt Adams from Upper Hall.
  • Relocate the viewpoint of the Central City from I-84.
  • Retain the PSC’s proposal to increase the height along Jefferson toward the Vista Bridge from 30 – 45 feet to 75 feet.

Green Buildings

  • Modify the eco roof standard to require that 100 percent of the rooftop must be in eco roof, but exempt up to 40 percent for other development such as mechanical equipment, solar panels and common outdoor areas.
  • Hold a public hearing to consider two new administrative rules that are necessary to implement CC2035: one for low carbon buildings and one for bird-safe glazing. 

Willamette River

  • Retain the guidance for how to measure top of bank, which is where the riverbank levels off around and under structures such as docks.
  • Modify the river setback regulations for historic buildings that were constructed prior to the setback regulations.


  • Exempt Central City public school sites from the superblock regulation, allowing them to design spaces and accessways to address safety and security concerns.
  • Support the I-5 Rose Quarter action. Add direction for the City to ensure that all elements from the I-5 Broadway/Weidler Facility Plan are implemented and integrated with other City and community-led efforts in the area.

Next steps

Now that City Council’s work on amendments is complete, staff will prepare a Revised Recommended Central City 2035 Plan that reflects the amendments made over the past eight months. Staff will release these documents in mid-May.

Council is expected to vote to adopt CC2035 on May 24 2:30 p.m. and take a final vote on June 6. Following that, Council will hold a hearing to consider two new administrative rules necessary to implement CC2035 (see Green Buildings above).  

CC2035 is expected to effective on July 9, 2018.   

Make a stop at Portland’s annual event for hard-to-recycle items

Turn in prescription drugs, documents and electronics for shredding and recycling.

Saturday, April 28, 2018 marks a prescription drug disposal and shred event in Portland. Drive up and drop off your unwanted or expired prescription drugs and sensitive documents. Drugs will be safely incinerated and documents will be securely shredded on site. The event is from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m., or earlier if the trucks fill to capacity. Location: 4735 East Burnside Street in Portland.

Acceptable items for prescription drug disposal event: Prescription medications and samples, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, pet medications, medicated ointments, and liquid medication in leak proof containers.

Items not accepted: Thermometers, sharps, syringes, IV bags, bloody or infectious waste, hydrogen peroxide, aerosol cans, inhalers, EpiPen’s. To dispose of sharps, contact Metro at 503-234-3000 or

prescription bottleshredded papercell phonebattery

Acceptable items for shred event: Up to two grocery bags of documents.

Items not accepted: Cardboard or three ring binders.

Acceptable items for electronics destruction and recycling: There are many items that are accepted at the event so review the full list online.

Items not accepted: Items containing Freon (e.g. refrigerator. Freezer, most water coolers), fire extinguisher, mercury containing devices (e.g. thermostat, ionization smoke detectors), PCB ballasts, Styrofoam, and wood.

Give back! Sunshine Division donation barrels will be available for donations of canned food, dry pasta, and gently-used clothing for needy families. Tax deduction forms will be provided.

Interested in other cleanup events?
Contact the Curbside Hotline at 503-823-7202 to find a Community Collection Event near you.

Equitable housing strategy will create more housing choices and opportunities in the SW Corridor

A draft of the strategy will be shared at a community-led event on May 13; come learn about transit and housing issues.

The Portland Metro area’s transit system is expanding to better connect the SW Corridor with the rest of the region — during a housing crisis. The current crisis and lack of transportation options in the corridor are hindering people’s quality of life in the area. These conditions also create obstacles to achieving the region’s long-range growth plans.

The multibillion-dollar investment in light rail will attract additional investments in housing, providing an opportunity to address this housing crisis and the long-standing racial disparities and underlying income inequality that exacerbate it. As the region prepares to invest in light rail along Highway 99 in SW Portland (or Barbur Blvd) and through downtown Tigard, it's the right time to take advantage of this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

A vision of equitable growth must reflect the realities of the current housing crisis while also planting the seeds for a future where everyone can reach their true potential. Where people have the capacity to strengthen their communities and determine their own future and that of their neighborhoods.

Fulfilling the promise of complete communities with housing choices and opportunity

Over the past year, the cities of Portland and Tigard and their community partners have been planning for more housing choices and opportunity in the SW Corridor. The result is a discussion draft of an equitable housing strategy for the SW Corridor. The goals of the strategy are to:

  1. Commit early financial resources to address the near-term housing crisis and long-term needs.
  2. Prevent residential and cultural displacement.
  3. Increase choices for new homes for all household types and incomes.

Read the SW Corridor Equitable Housing Strategy Discussion Draft

Project staff and partners will present this draft to the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission on May 8 at 4 p.m. A proposed draft will then be submitted to Portland and Tigard city councils this summer. 

Community-led event offers chance to learn more about transit and housing issues

As part of the review process, community-based organizations participating in the development of the SW Corridor Equitable Housing Strategy are hosting a community meeting in May for residents of SW Portland and Tigard. Come learn more about transit and housing issues along the corridor so that you can be informed and engaged as decisions are being made. Free food, childcare as well as Somali and Spanish interpretation will be provided.

  • Where: Markham Elementary School
  • When: Sunday May 13, 2018
  • Time: 4 – 7 p.m.
  • More info: or 503-460-9702 x129

The SW Corridor Equity and Housing Advisory Group has guided the development of the strategy over the past year. Their final meeting is June 7 from 1– 3 p.m. at the Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 1900 SW 4th Ave, 7th floor.

For more project information visit the project website or contact Ryan Curren, 503-823-4574,