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The latest edition of the Portland Curbsider.
Mayor and commissioners’ vote marks final City Council action on the Comprehensive Plan Update
This afternoon, City Council voted unanimously to amend Portland’s Zoning Map, Zoning Code and Transportation System Plan, as well as establish a new Community Involvement Program. These items make up the Recommended Early Implementation Package of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan. With their votes, the Mayor and Commissioners took their last action on the Comprehensive Plan Update.
Portland’s newly adopted 2035 Comprehensive Plan will now go to the state for acknowledgement. In early 2017, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will organize the legislative record and transmit City Council’s decision to the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. Once transmitted, a “Notice of Adoption” will be mailed to all who testified on the Recommended Early Implementation Package.
Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan will tentatively take effect on January 1, 2018, following state acknowledgement.
Call the Comp Plan Helpline at 503-823-0195.
The program will link the production of affordable housing to market-rate housing development by requiring affordable units in new multifamily residential developments.
Commissioners to discuss street classifications and transportation projects; green building regulations; zoning and FAR requests; and Willamette River and environment amendments
On January 10, 2017, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC), will hold its third work session for the Central City 2035 (CC2035) Plan. The agenda includes:
The CC2035 Plan includes Central City-specific amendments to update the Transportation System Plan (TSP), the long-range plan guiding transportation investments in the city. The TSP provides transportation options for residents, employees, visitors and firms doing business in Portland, making it more convenient to walk, bike, take transit — and drive less — while meeting their daily needs.
At their January 10 meeting, the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) staff will present amendments to the Proposed Draft street classifications, transportation studies and transportation projects. A brief primer on each of these TSP elements is included below:
Portland has been a national leader in designing buildings that reduce impacts on the natural environment — both in their construction and their operation. The CC2035 Plan requires developers of new buildings over 50,000 square feet to register for green building certification and submit a checklist of potential green building features as a part of the building review process. By requiring registration, the City seeks to increase the share of new construction that pursues full certification (full certification is not required at this time).
One green building technology that has gained national acceptance by the construction industry is the “green roof” or “ecoroof.” These roofs include soil and plants that help a building handle its stormwater during rainy seasons and reduce the costs of heating and cooling the building throughout the year by insulating the building’s roof. The CC2035 Plan requires new buildings over 20,000 square feet in size to include ecoroofs.
Finally, in 2013 City Council directed staff to establish bird-safe design standards with the goal of reducing the number of bird fatalities due to window strikes. Since the publication of the Proposed Draft on June 20, which included a bird-safe design standard for the Central City, staff have worked with experts to refine the proposal and will present an update to the PSC at their meeting on January 10.
Specific zoning and floor area ratio (FAR) requests
At the July and August PSC hearings, some community groups and property owners advocated for specific changes to the zoning and FAR in the Central City. The zoning requests typically centered around areas such as Providence Park or the Central Eastside riverfront or — in a few cases — focused on specific properties. The FAR requests are primarily requests for increases along the transit mall and station areas. Staff will walk the PSC through these zoning and FAR requests and discuss any potential adjustments to the CC2035 Plan.
The CC2035 Plan includes a number of proposed changes to how the Zoning Code regulates the Willamette Riverfront. First covered at the PSC’s November 16 work session, this topic will continue in January.
The PSC will hold their fourth work session on January 24. The agenda will be posted once it is finalized.
For more information about the work sessions, please visit the PSC work sessions and hearing page.
New mandate will serve as critical tool for increasing Portland’s affordable housing supply
On December 21, City Council voted unanimously to amend Portland’s Zoning Code and Housing Code to implement an Inclusionary Housing (IH) Program. The new program requires all new multifamily or mixed use development with 20 or more units to set aside some of the units as affordable housing. The new rules go into effect on February 1, 2017.
Watch the videos of City Council sessions about the Inclusionary Housing Program (November 29 and December 14).
Acknowledging that the city is experiencing an unprecedented housing affordability crisis, Mayor Charlie Hales said before he voted, “We’ve committed hundreds of millions of dollars to add more affordable units to Portland’s inadequate supply, but the lack of local policy tools to address the issue continues to price renters and low-income families out of their neighborhoods."
"Inclusionary Housing is a big and important step that will add another strategy to help provide more affordable housing in Portland. The program will leverage private development to provide affordable units, helping to create the diverse neighborhoods that Portlanders value, and keep Portland a livable city for all."
What is the Inclusionary Housing Program?
The Council-adopted program requires new multifamily development to provide housing affordable to households below 80 percent of median family income (MFI) or $58,650 for a family of four. The program includes an incentive for projects that provide units for households at 60 percent MFI or $43,980 and below.
Specifically, the program will provide:
New construction of 20 or more units must provide those units on-site, off-site or pay a fee in lieu of constructing affordable units, which will go into an affordable housing fund. An “offsite option” allows developers to comply with the inclusionary requirements by either building new units or dedicating existing units at a site that is near the development site.
Acknowledging the difference between the Central City and the rest of Portland
The IH Program identifies two “inclusion rates” to account for the difference in scale and development costs of multifamily development in the Central City versus the rest of Portland.
In addition to the Title 33 Zoning Code amendments, other parts of the Inclusionary Housing Program will be implemented through revisions 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.
Changes to the Zoning Code and Housing Code will become effective on February 1, 2017.
The Oregon State Legislature passed SB 1533 on March 3, 2016, authorizing local governments to create inclusionary housing programs. Key provisions of SB 1533 established the level of affordability (80 percent MFI), the maximum share (20 percent), and the requirement that local governments provide incentives to offset some of the costs of providing the affordable units.
Under the direction of Commissioner Dan Saltzman, the Portland Housing Bureau led the community discussion on the proposed Inclusionary Housing Program.
In support, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability proposed a set of new Zoning Code regulations to implement the Inclusionary Housing Program consistent with SB1533.