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Inclusionary Housing Recommended Draft now available; City Council public hearing scheduled for December 8

City Council will consider adopting an Inclusionary Housing Program as one of the many tools to increase Portland’s affordable housing supply.

City Council will consider a recommendation from the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) to amend the Zoning Code and the Housing Code to implement an Inclusionary Housing program. A work session is scheduled for November 29, followed by a public hearing on December 8.

The Inclusionary Housing zoning code changes create a new mandate for the production of affordable housing. New development with more than 20 units in one building will be required to have a share or portion that is affordable as defined by proposed regulations.

Specifically, the program requires residential development projects to provide housing affordable to households below 80 percent of median family income (MFI) with an alternative option for projects that choose to produce housing for households at 60 percent MFI and below.

The proposed amendments set the percent of all units in a development that must be affordable to meet the terms of the program. Referred to as the “inclusion rate” that must be provided in one of the following ways:

  • On-site. Providing at least 20 percent of the units are affordable to those earning no more than 80 percent MFI, or at least 10 percent of the units are affordable to those earning no more than 60 percent MFI; or
  • Off-site. Either construct new units or dedicate existing units.  If constructing new units, either provide 20% of the total units at 60% MFI, or 10% of the total units at 30% MFI. If dedicating existing units, either provide 25% of the total units at 60% MFI, or 15% of the total units at 30% MFI; or
  • The applicant pays a fee-in-lieu of providing affordable units.

The other zoning code amendments change the base zones of the Central City and Gateway Plan Districts to develop a base Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and bonus FAR to offset some of the cost of compliance with the IH program. The proposed amendments also eliminate the parking minimums for residential development projects close to transit.  The other parts of the Inclusionary Housing Program will be implemented through amendments to Title 30, the Housing Code. These provisions include the incentive packages offered to offset the costs to development and a fee schedule for the in-lieu fee option.

If approved by City Council, all new multi-family or mixed use development with more than 20 units will be subject to these requirements effective as of February 1, 2017.

For more information, read the Inclusionary Housing Zoning Code Project Recommended Draft

City Council Briefing and Public Hearing(s):

The public is invited to testify on the Recommended Draft at the upcoming City Council hearing.

Staff will start the process by providing a briefing to City Council on the Recommended Draft. Council will then hold a public hearing, followed by a vote to adopt the code changes.

November 29, 9:00 a.m. (time certain)
Briefing (no public testimony)

December 8, 2:00 p.m. (time certain)       
Public hearing

All public hearings will be held in Council Chambers at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue. Meetings will be broadcast live at

How do I testify at City Council?
You may testify in person by signing up when you arrive. Check the Council agenda prior to the hearing to confirm the item is still scheduled.

You may also testify on the Recommended Draft in writing:

Via U.S. Mail: 1221 SW Fourth Ave. Room 130, Portland, Oregon 97204


Note: Written testimony must be received by the end of the hearing(s) and must include your name and address. All testimony to City Council is considered public record, and testifiers' name, address and any other information included in the testimony will be posted on the website.

Next steps

After the briefing and public hearing, City Council will vote to adopt the new regulations. Changes to the Zoning Code are anticipated to become effective on February 1, 2017.

For more information, visit the Inclusionary Housing Program website and/or the Inclusionary Housing Zoning Code Project website.


Portland Design Commission reviews preliminary report for Design Overlay Zone Assessment (DOZA) Project

Consultant’s research affirms community support for thoughtful building design but says d-overlay system needs improvement

In May of this year, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, in collaboration with the Bureau of Development Services, hired consultant Walker Macy to lead an independent and comprehensive review of the City’s design (d) overlay zone, including the design review process, tools and results.

By August the consultant team had published the results of their analysis of Portland’s regulations and processes for the d-overlay and how they fit together. They also looked at best practices from other cities, including discretionary design review and the application of nondiscretionary design standards.

Last week, the Walker Macy team shared an Interim Report on the Design Overlay Zone Assessment (DOZA) during a briefing with the Portland Design Commission. The report outlines their findings, based on a review of peer cities, interviews with stakeholders, a public questionnaire and evaluations of example projects. The report also offers preliminary recommendations for improving the processes and tools that implement the d-overlay in the city of Portland. 

What did the consultants learn about design review in Portland?

The consultant team found strong community support for thoughtful design and that Portland is recognized as a national model for creating a livable urban environment through design. However, the current d-overlay system could be improved to make the process more efficient and better align the regulatory tools with today’s design objectives. 

Commercial/mixed use buildings

What are the recommendations for improvement?

Walker Macy made several preliminary recommendations for improving the design review process, including the following:

  • Adjust thresholds for different types of design review to best serve projects at all scales.
  • Update Community Design Standards and Community Design Guidelines to better sync with each other.
  • Reduce the Design Commission’s workload by making the process more efficient.  


At the briefing, the Design Commission engaged in a robust discussion about the report, expressing support for recommendations such as those to consolidate and update the tools and offering the consultants directions for further investigation. Commissioners identified the need to incorporate community voices into the design review process as well as balance the goals of ensuring design quality with serving applicants effectively. 

Next Steps

The DOZA team will release a detailed set of recommendations in early 2017. The public will have an opportunity to weigh in during an open house tentatively planned for February 2017.

 The consultant team will then refine and produce a final report of findings and recommendations and present their work to Design Commission, Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council in spring 2017.

For more information about the Design Overlay Zone Assessment visit our website at or contact Lora Lillard at 503-823-7721 or

How Portlanders can make the most of holiday food scraps

The holiday season often brings more food, festivities and the potential for increased waste. This year, include the food by making sure your holiday food scraps and leftovers end up in the green Portland Composts! roll cart.


Try a few of these simple tips to help make curbside composting easy during the holiday season.

In the kitchen: Store your kitchen compost pail next to your prep area so it’s handy during food preparation. Keep your pail tidy by lining it with newspaper, a paper bag or an approved compostable liner. You can also wrap up food scraps in a piece of newspaper before placing them in your kitchen pail.

Creative uses for Thanksgiving leftovers provides a better option for food you purchased and prepared for others.

To get the most from your bird, make stock with the bones before you compost it. It's easier than you think. By adding water, carrots, onions, celery and perhaps some favorite herbs and spices or even white wine, you can create flavorful stock to freeze for future winter cooking.

Enjoy your leftovers (many holiday foods taste better the second day), make a turkey sandwich, a casserole or get creative with your own concoction!

And when you’ve gotten everything out of your meal, add the turkey bones and any other food left to your green compost roll cart. 

On your pickup day: Set your green compost roll cart on the curb every week, even if it’s not full.  Before you empty your kitchen pail into your green roll cart, try placing a few sheets of newspaper, a paper bag or a pizza box on the bottom of the roll cart to absorb moisture. Even better, you can layer your food with some leaves or yard debris to absorb moisture and odors.

Find more ways to save money and waste less food this holiday at Resourceful PDX.

Is it food? It's compostable!
Get a detailed list of what goes in the green compost roll cart.

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

City Council holds final hearing on the 2035 Comprehensive Plan

Final vote on the City's new long-range plan for growth and development scheduled for December 14.

On Thursday, November 17, 2016, the Portland City Council held a public hearing on their amendments to the 2035 Comprehensive Plan Early Implementation Projects. They heard testimony about the Hayden Island mobile home park, height in the NW Alphabet District, drive-throughs and parking minimums, among other issues. The Commission will discuss the testimony in a special meeting on November 22 at 9 a.m., then vote to adopt the final package on December 14 and December 21.

The Early Implementation Package is the final phase of the Comprehensive Plan Update project. Last year, Council adopted new goals, policies and a land use map to guide growth and development for the next 20 years. Now they are poised to adopt a new Zoning Map and Code.

Learn more about the Early Implementation Package.

Watch the video of the November 17 work session.

Hearings wrap up on Residential Infill Project, but written testimony accepted until November 23

Nearly 120 people testified in person to City Council about proposals that could reduce the scale of new and remodeled houses and help create more housing choices in Portland

City Council heard testimony from 119 people on the Residential Infill Project on November 9 and 16 and received 135 letters about the recommendations in the Concept Report. Next they will discuss the staff recommendations and could propose changes based on what they heard from the public. Commissioners will then vote on a resolution directing project staff to develop Zoning Code language and map changes over the next year, which will implement their approved concepts.

Learn more about the Residential Infill Project Concept Report 


Council has held the record open until November 23 to give Portlanders more time to submit testimony in writing. Testimony must be received by midnight on November 23 and must include your name and address. You may send written comments …

  • Via U.S. Mail: 1221 SW Fourth Ave. Room 130, Portland, Oregon 97204
  • Via email:

Missed the public hearings? Watch videos of past City Council meetings at:  


City Council will deliberate and vote on the recommendations in the RIP Concept Report in early December. Public testimony will not be heard at this time.

December 7, 2016, 10 a.m. (time certain)
Council Chambers at City Hall
1221 SW 4th Avenue

Check the Council agenda prior to the hearing to confirm the item is still scheduled. You may also watch the hearing streamed live on the Auditor's website.


The code development process will begin in 2017 and include a Discussion Draft public review period, followed by Planning and Sustainability Commission hearings before going back to City Council for public hearings and a final decision.

For more information, visit the project website at

Or contact project staff:

Morgan Tracy, Project Manager,, 503-823-6879
Julia Gisler, Public Involvement,, 503-823-7624