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Recap of the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission Briefing (3/22/16) – Mixed Use Zones Project, Proposed Draft

The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission was briefed on the Mixed Use Zones Project on March 22, 2016.

The Proposed Draft of the Mixed Use Zones Project was released on March 22, 2016. Project staff gave a presentation to the Planning and Sustainability Commission that same day. Commissioners learned about proposed zoning and code changes in commercial zones that would address community concerns about the scale of new development, transitions to adjacent neighborhoods and the need for more affordable housing.

Watch the staff presentation:

Download a copy of the presentation:

Download the Mixed Use Zones Project Proposed Draft Zoning Code and Map Amendments report:

Upcoming public hearing

The Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold a public hearing and take testimony on the proposal on May 10, 2016, 12:30 p.m. at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500. Check the PSC Calendar to confirm the date, time and location. 

More details about the project and how to testify:  

Miscellaneous Zoning Code and Map Amendment Package Discussion Draft Released

Public invited to comment on proposals for a variety of zoning code and map changes

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has published a Discussion Draft of a series of proposed Zoning Code and Zoning Map amendments to implement new 2035 Comprehensive Plan policies or otherwise respond to Council direction. The miscellaneous code and map amendments considered in this proposal respond to a variety of issues not otherwise addressed in other Early Implementation Projects (e.g., Mixed Use Zones, Campus Institutions, Employment Land, Residential and Open Space Zoning Map), which have been presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Specific amendments proposed in the Miscellaneous Zoning Code and Map amendment package will:

  1. Allow retail plant nurseries as a conditional use in residential zones.
  2. Preserve rights to one house on lots that were buildable prior to down-zoning as part of the City’s natural hazard mitigation strategy.
  3. Amend multi-dwelling residential zone maximum FAR map (Map 120-17) to include several properties located in close-in Southwest Portland, which changed designations on the 2035 Comprehensive Plan Map.
  4. Allow established office uses in historic buildings to continue in the R5 zone as an incentive to preserve historic resources.
  5. Amend the Guild’s Lake Industrial Sanctuary plan district to limit office uses and expand the area where these limits apply.
  6. Address school district enrollment capacity during Zoning Map amendments, land divisions, and planned developments in a district that has a school facility plan.
  7. Delete requirement for addressing “no-net-loss of housing” policies for quasi-judicial Comprehensive Plan Map amendments and Zoning Map changes.
  8. Update the trail alignments designation on the Zoning Map to correspond to the Major Public Trail alignment adopted in the 2035 Comprehensive Plan.

Learn more about the project background and proposed Zoning Code text and map amendments on the project website.

Next Steps

Comments on the proposed amendments will be accepted through Friday, May 20, after which staff will consider the input received and prepare an amended Proposed Draft for consideration by the Planning and Sustainability Commission at a public hearing tentatively scheduled for July 26, 2016.

For additional information please contact John Cole, Project Manager at or 503-823-3475.

Comprehensive Plan testimony accepted until April 27

City Council continues hearing on Commissioner-sponsored amendments

After another public hearing on potential City Council amendments to the Draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan on April 20, 2016, Commissioners decided to continue hearing testimony until Wednesday, April 27. More than 75 people testified at the hearing, which had been continued from April 14. The most frequently cited items included policies related to open data, middle housing, anti-displacement and historic preservation. The Council also received a large number of comments about the proposed conversion of Broadmoor Golf Course to industrial land, Eastmoreland zoning designations and many other proposed Comp Plan Map changes.

At the end of the April 20 hearing, there were more than 50 people who had signed up but didn't have an opportunity to testify. The Council agreed to continue the hearing on April 27 at 2 p.m. in City Council Chambers. Oral testimony on April 27 will be limited to those signed up to speak on April 20 who were not able to testify that day.

Written testimony about the potential Council amendments will be accepted until 5 p.m. on April 27. Comments can be sent via email to, submitted online via the Map App, mailed to the Council Clerk (1221 SW Fourth Ave., Room 130, Portland OR 97204), or delivered to the Council Clerk during the hearing on April 27. 

The Council closed oral testimony on the Economic Opportunities Analysis (EOA), and other related supporting documents. Written comments on those documents will continue to be accepted until Friday April 22 at 5 p.m.

The Council will begin voting to accept or reject the potential amendments on April 28 and May 11. The final vote on the City’s new 2035 Comprehensive Plan is expected in June 2016.

Final City Council hearing on Comp Plan amendments on April 20

First City Council hearing on Commissioner-sponsored amendments draws crowd

On Thursday, April 14, Portland City Council held its first public hearing on a set of amendments to the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan. The amendments were “sponsored” by the Commissioners based on public testimony on the Recommended Draft plan as well as their own interests and concerns.

More than 100 Portlanders showed up to share their feedback on the amendments with City Council. Testimony focused on topics ranging from open data, the proposed conversion of Broadmoor golf course to industrial land, and other proposed Comp Plan Map changes. A significant portion of the testimony was about the “middle housing” concept, an amendment sponsored by Mayor Charlie Hales.

The final scheduled hearing on the Comp Plan amendments is Wednesday, April 20 from 2 to 5 p.m. in Council Chambers, City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Ave. Please check the Auditor’s website for more information and to confirm details. People interested in providing testimony may begin signing up one hour before the hearing. Testimony is limited to two minutes per person.

Next Steps

At the end of the hearing, the Mayor will close the hearing and testimony (unless it is extended), and Council will begin work sessions on the Comp Plan amendments the following week on April 28. Final vote on the City’s new Comprehensive Plan is expected in June 2016. 


New regulations for Commercial/Mixed Use zones will include incentives for affordable housing and improve transitions into neighborhoods

Portlanders invited to testify on Mixed Use Zone Proposed Draft at public hearing on May 10

Last month, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability released a Proposed Draft for the Mixed Use Zones (MUZ) Project.

These zoning changes for mixed use and commercial areas will make it easier to develop more vibrant places, increase housing choices, enable businesses to thrive, and help meet the daily needs of nearby residents. The MUZ project will make the commerical/mixed use zoning code easier to understand, ensure new mixed use/commercial buildings fit in better with surrounding neighborhoods, and more effectively encourage new development to include things the community values, like affordable housing.

The project proposes four new commercial zones with varying scales:

  • CM1: 35 feet (three stories)
  • CM2: 45 – 55 feet (four to five stories)
  • CM3: 65 – 75 feet (six to seven stories)
  • CE: 45 feet (four stories)

These four new zones would:

  • Provide incentives for public benefits (affordable housing and affordable commercial space) through bonuses that earn additional floor area.
  • Ensure active ground floor uses, such as retail, in the core commercial areas of centers.
  • Reduce building mass by articulating large façades and limiting building length.
  • Improve transitions to neighboring residential areas through a height “step down.”
  • Address commercial-residential conflicts through landscaping and setbacks.
  • Require neighborhood notification of most new development.

Read the Mixed Use Zones Proposed Draft; then testify to the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Planning and Sustainability Commission Public Hearing

Mixed Use Zone Proposed Draft
Tuesday, May 10, 2016, 12:30 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A

Check the PSC Calendar one week prior to the scheduled hearing to confirm the date, time and location. Learn how to testify to the PSC; read Tips for Effective Testimony.

The PSC also invites testimony on this proposal through May 10, 2016, in writing:

  • Via the Map App: Testify on specific proposals by location through the Map App.
  • By Email:
  • By U.S. Mail:
    Planning and Sustainability Commission
    City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
    1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201
    Attn: Mixed Use Zones testimony

Have questions?

Review the Mixed Use Zones FAQs to see if we’ve already answered your questions. If not, please call the Comprehensive Plan Update Helpline at 503-823-0195. We’re here to help!