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City Council to hold public hearings on long range plan for the Central City

Public invited to testify on the Central City 2035 Plan on September 7 and 14.

Pioneer Square, Tom McCall Waterfront Park, Old Town/Chinatown, Big Pink, Tilikum Crossing, OMSI, the Central Eastside, Eastbank Esplanade, Lloyd Center, Lower Albina, the Post Office site, the Pearl, Goose Hollow, West End, Downtown, PSU and South Waterfront.

What do all these different places have in common?

Answer: They’re all in the geography known as Portland’s Central City. And each neighborhood, bridge, building or place owes its existence or its current manifestation to a land use plan.

The power of planning
Portland’s 1972 Downtown Plan is so old it was created on a typewriter. But it sparked the resurgence of the urban core as the economic and cultural center of the city, spurring public and private investment. The plan laid the groundwork for the transit mall, defined the retail and office cores, recognized the role of historic structures and areas as defining places – and gave us Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

Bud Clark was mayor of Portland and Earl Blumenauer was commissioner of public works when the 1988 Central City Plan was published. This plan recommitted the community to a strong downtown and an expanded Central City that included the Lloyd and Central Eastside districts across the river. The plan emphasized economic growth but also called for significant residential development.

Today, the Central City has become the largest “neighborhood” in the region with the densest concentration of housing, jobs, cultural attractions – and social services. Over the next 20 years, the area will gain 38,000 households (or 56,000 residents) and 51,000 new jobs. So, it’s time for a new plan to prepare for all this new growth.

The next 20 years …
City planners have been working on the CC2035 Plan for about seven years, starting with the Concept Plan and followed by N/NE, West and SE quadrant plans, a river working group, the Central City Scenic Resource Protection Plan, the Central Reach Natural Resources Protection Plan and a bonus study with the Housing bureau to create a system to prioritize affordable housing. More than 8,000 Portlanders have contributed to the plan in working groups and advisory committees, neighborhood associations and district coalitions, advocacy groups and community organizations, meetings with staff and commissioners, and through written and oral testimony.

The CC2035 Plan will provide a new policy framework to guide growth and development in the Portland’s core over the next 20 years. See the highlights of the plan.

Now it is before City Council for public hearings and a vote to adopt the plan. Council will consider public testimony on the Recommended Draft Central City 2035 Plan (CC2035) at two hearings in September. Community members are invited to testify at these hearings, which will be held at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave. in Downtown Portland.

Different aspects of the multi-volume plan will be considered by Council at different dates and times.

Public Hearing #1

Volume 1: Goals and Policies; Volume 2A, Part 1: Central City Plan DistrictVolume 2A, Part 2: Willamette River and TrailsVolume 2B: Transportation System Plan Amendments; Volume 3A: Scenic Resources Protection Plan; Volume 3B: Willamette River Central Reach Natural Resources Protection PlanVolume 5A: Implementation – Performance Targets and Action Plans; Volume 5B: Implementation – Green Loop; Draft Council Amendments

September 7, 2017

2 p.m., time certain

Council will hear public testimony on the plan’s goals and policies, as well as proposed changes to the zoning code, zoning mapsTransportation System Plan, and other planning documents that implement the CC2035 policies. Council will also take testimony on the CC2035 Plan action charts and the Green Loop, a proposed Central City linear park.

Council will also take testimony on a package of amendments to the Recommended Draft CC2035 Plan offered by the Mayor and other Commissioners. The amendments document will be updated prior to the hearing.

Public Hearing #2

U.S. Postal Service Site

September 7, 2017

4:30 p.m., time certain

Commissioners will consider early implementation of CC2035 Recommended Draft increases to the maximum height and floor area limits on the US. Postal Service (USPS) site, located in the Pearl District. Early implementation is needed because of City funding contingencies and Prosper Portland’s need to begin marketing the site ahead of the anticipated March 2018 effective date of the CC2035 Plan.

Public Hearing #3

New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District Design Guidelines

September 14, 2017

2 p.m., time certain

Council will hear testimony on the Recommended Draft New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District Design Guidelines. The new guidelines will serve as approval criteria for addition, alteration and new construction projects within the historic district. Note that any carryover testimony from the September 7 hearing will be heard prior to testimony on the guidelines.

Public Hearing #4

2:45 p.m., time certain

Council will hear testimony on CC2035 plan-related amendments to environmental and scenic resource regulations that apply outside the Central City. A new standard is proposed for view corridors located in the scenic (s) overlay, which would allow tree and vegetation trimming and removal through a standard instead of environmental review.

See the entire Recommended Draft CC2035 package

How to Testify

Individuals will have two minutes to speak and may sign up to testify starting at 1 p.m. on both September 7 and 14. Sign-up is first come, first served. Each person in line can sign up for one 2-minute testimony slot.

You may also testify in writing or through the MapApp.

And you can now review your and other’s testimony through the Testimony Reader.

What happens after the hearings?

Following the public hearings (likely on September 15), Mayor Ted Wheeler will “close the public record” (i.e., oral and written testimony will no longer be taken). Council will then deliberate on the plan at one or more additional sessions. Commissioners may introduce new amendments based on public testimony.

A final vote on the CC2035 Plan is anticipated in early 2018. The plan will become effective potentially in March, after the 2035 Comprehensive Plan is acknowledged by the State of Oregon.

Final votes on the USPS site height and FAR amendments and the Recommended Draft New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District Design Guidelines, which are on a faster timeline, are anticipated in late September 2017.

New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District Design Guidelines Headed to City Council September 14

If adopted, the guidelines will serve as approval criteria for addition, alteration and new construction projects in Portland’s 10-block New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District.

The Portland City Council will hold a public hearing on the possible adoption of the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District Design Guidelines at 2:00 p.m. on September 14. At this hearing, the Council wiImagell consider the adoption of draft historic district design guidelines recommended by the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission earlier this year. If adopted, the guidelines will serve as approval criteria for addition, alteration and new construction projects in Portland’s 10-block New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District.

Developed by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Prosper Portland, a 10-member stakeholder advisory committee and the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission, the recommended design guidelines celebrate the cultural and ethnic history of New Chinatown/Japantown by providing clear direction to design teams working within the historic district. Specific guidelines range from requiring the use of durable, high-quality materials and finishes to the integration of horizontally-oriented balconies on buildings new and old. 

The full draft recommended design guidelines are available for download.

How to Provide Testimony

The Portland City Council will consider the Recommended Draft New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District Design Guidelines at a public hearing on September 14, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers, located at 1221 SW 4th Avenue. Additional hearings may be scheduled, and Council maImagey hear testimony on elements of the related Central City 2035 Plan prior to the design guidelines being heard. Please confirm dates and times by checking the City Council calendar one week in advance.

In addition to attending a hearing, there are several other ways to provide testimony to the Portland City Council:

Email: Include “Historic District Design Guidelines Testimony” in the subject line and include your full name and mailing address.

By U.S. Mail: Brandon Spencer-Hartle, 1900 SW Fourth Ave., Suite 7100, Portland OR, 97201. Attn: Historic District Design Guidelines Testimony.


Project Background

ImageThe New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District is bound by NW Glisan Street to the north, NW 3rd Avenue on the east, West Burnside Street to the south, and NW 5th Avenue to the west. Primary architectural styles include Italianate, 20th Century Commercial, and Moderne. The 10-block historic district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989 because of the area’s significance in Chinese and Japanese culture, commerce and architecture during the 1880 to 1943 period. The historic district design guidelines were developed to replace the more general River District Design Guidelines as approval criteria for alteration, addition and new construction projects in the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District. 

DOZA: From Assessment to Amendments

City kicks off projects to implement recommendations for improving the design overlay zone

While the acronym for the project has stayed the same, “DOZA” is transitioning from the Design Overlay Zone Assessment to a series of Design Overlay Zone Amendments, which will update the City’s codes, standards and guidelines related to the design overlay zone.

In 2016, the Bureaus of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) and Development Services (BDS) hired a consultant team to assess the City’s design overlay zone (d-overlay). The result was The Design Overlay Zone Assessment, which included a set of findings and recommendations to improve the process and tools that implement the d-overlay. City Council voted to accept the report in April 2017.

Now, BPS and BDS are ready to put those recommendations into action with the Design Overlay Zone Amendments (DOZA) package, which comprises three projects:

  1. DOZA Process. This project will amend the Zoning Code to update how the design overlay works. It will include adjusting the thresholds for Design Review, improving public notice requirements and realigning the City’s Design Review process with the applicants’ design process. These updates will go into effect in summer 2018.
  2. DOZA Tools. This project will rewrite two primary tools used to implement the design overlay:  the objective design standards and discretionary design guidelines. We’ll seek input from the public and work with a consultant to write the new Objective Design Standards and Discretionary Design Guidelines, which are expected to be finalized in summer 2019.
  3. DOZA Administration. This project is an ongoing effort to make the Design Review process more efficient through internal changes at BDS. Examples include increasing staff capacity, managing Design Commission meetings more effectively, and using new tools to facilitate Commission deliberation.

Next Steps

The public Discussion Draft of the DOZA Process project will be released in November 2017. The draft will be available on the project website and staff will be holding several public outreach meetings and an event to seek public input.


Contact DOZA Coordinator Kathryn Hartinger at (503) 823-9714 or

CC2035 testimony now visible via online “Testimony Reader”

New online tool allows community members to see testimony on searchable platform.

In response to community desires for greater transparency around land use issues, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has created a new tool that allows the public to see all testimony on land use plans, and then search and sort by topic, location, testifier and other criteria.

In 2013, BPS released the first Map App for the Comprehensive Plan Update, which allowed people to see multiple layers of maps on top of one another. Later versions of the Map App, allowed community members to enter formal testimony directly into the Map App by clicking on a property, area or project. Along with testimony received by email, U.S. Mail and in front of the Planning and Sustainability Commission, it was “geocoded,” tagged by topic and put into a database.

Tech Services Team does it again

But the database wasn’t easy for the public to use, and community members wanted to see what others were saying about specific policies or map and code changes. So our Tech Service Team set to work on the next version of the Map App: a way to show testimony in real time (if entered via the Map App) that is searchable and sortable.

Called the Testimony Reader, it’s now available for viewing testimony on the CC2035 Recommended Draft from you and others. Testimony that is submitted via the Map App will immediately show up in the Reader, but email, regular mail and in-person (video) testimony will be entered manually and could take up to 10 days to show up.

Public testimony is presented in the reader “as is.” Testimony can be searched, filtered, starred or organized into personal lists. Sign in with your account for additional features.

See your and other's testimony online via the Testimony Reader.

You can explore the following categories within the Recommended Draft CC2035 Plan (the public record is open):

Submit your testimony on CC2035

If you haven’t submitted your testimony yet and you want to see it in the Reader, here’s how you can do it:

  1. Map App: Submit public testimony to City Council via the interactive Map App. Select a specific property or geography and use the online feedback form to submit your testimony.
  2. Email: You may email your testimony to Be sure to state “CC2035 Testimony” in the subject line.
  3. U.S. Mail: Or mail the Central City team at:

Central City 2035
1900 Southwest 4th Avenue #7100
Portland, OR 97201

Learn more about how to testify

Read the CC2035 Recommended Draft

PSC News: August 22, 2017 Meeting Recap

Deconstruction Program Update — briefing; Historic Resources Program Update; Historic Preservation Code — briefing


  • Deconstruction Program Update — briefing
  • Historic Resources Program Update; Historic Preservation Code — briefing

Meeting files

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

For background information, see the PSC website at, call 503-823-7700 or email

Meeting playback on Channel 30 are scheduled to start the Friday following the meeting. Starting times may occur earlier for meetings over three hours long, and meetings may be shown at additional times as scheduling requires.

Channel 30 (closed-caption)
Friday at 3 p.m. | Sunday at 7:00 a.m. | Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.


The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access and will make reasonable accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or provide other services. When possible, please contact us at least three (3) business days before the meeting at 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868 or Oregon Relay Service 711.

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