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City Council poised to adopt Central City 2035

Council to consider a few final amendments and prepare for final adoption

At 2:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, City Council will begin the final adoption process for CC2035. While some of the actions Commissioners take will be primarily procedural, they will also consider a few final amendments to the long-range plan for the Central City.

Most of the amendments are minor and technical items that staff identified while preparing the final documents; however, one amendment is to increase height and FAR in the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District.

Read the amendments and the Revised Recommended Draft:  

How did we get here?

The CC2035 Plan has been under development for several years. This is the final step in a public process that involved thousands of Portlanders. The new plan is built on foundational studies and interim plans, including:

  • A Concept Plan
  • Individual plans for the N/NE, West and SE quadrants of the Central City
  • A Bonus and Transfer study
  • The Natural Resource and Scenic Resource Inventory
  • The Willamette Greenway Inventory
  • The Willamette River Urban Design Concept, which led to the development of a Swimming Study and the Eastbank Riverfront Plan. 

Numbers to note

Here are some “fun facts” for the final CC2035 planning process:

  • The Planning and Sustainability Commission held two public hearings and 12 work sessions.  
  • City Council held seven public hearings and 14 meetings/worksessions.
  • In all, more than 1,600 people testified or submitted written testimony on both the Proposed (760 people) and Recommended (972 people) drafts of the Plan.

This background information and public input served as guidance for the development of the Central City 2035 Plan as it evolved over several iterations:  

  • CC2035 Discussion Draft (published February 2016)
  • CC2035 Proposed Draft (published June 2016)
  • CC2035 Recommended Draft (published June 2017)
  • CC2035 Revised Recommended Draft (published May 2018)

This final Revised Recommended Draft incorporates the amendments that City Council made to the plan since they began their review in September 2017.

Here’s the vote!

City Council will be voting to adopt the following documents as they prepare to vote to adopt CC2035 on May 24:

Volume 1: Goals and Policies
The long-range vision for the Central City.

Volume 2A: Zoning Code and Map Amendments
Regulations to implement the plan.

Volume 2B: Transportation System Plan Amendments
Transportation-related policies, performance targets, and street classification maps.

Volume 3A: Scenic Resources Protection Plan
Scenic inventory, analysis and results.

Volume 3B: Willamette River Central Reach Natural Resources Protection Plan (no amendments)
Natural Resource Inventory for the Willamette River Central Reach.

Volume 4: Background Materials (no amendments)
Prior plans and research provided for reference.

Volume 5: Implementation Plan
The City's targets and the actions it will take to implement the Plan.

Volume 6: Public Involvement (no amendments)
Information about the public involvement process that gave rise to the Recommended Draft.

Next Steps

At 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 6, City Council will take their final vote to adopt the plan. (Cheers!) This new plan and all its associated regulations are expected to go into effect on July 9, 2018.

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.

Height

  • 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.

Transportation

  • 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.   

Central City 2035 Update: Recap of April 4 work session and votes on amendments

City Council votes to increase height on Block 33 in New Chinatown/Japantown and holds hearing on additional minor amendments

On April 4, 2018, City Council continued its work on the CC2035 Plan with a vote on Block 33 (between NW Couch and Davis, and 4th and 5th Avenues) in New Chinatown/Japantown. Commissioners had a lengthy discussion about various potential amendments. Ultimately, they voted 4 to 1 to support a base height of 125 feet with the ability to earn bonus height up to 160 feet on the western half block. In order to access the bonus height, the applicant will be required to use the affordable housing bonus. 

City Council also held a public hearing on a final list of potential minor amendments related to bird-safe glazing adjacent to ecoroofs, historic resource transfers and height limits in the North Pearl. They closed the oral hearing on these minor amendments but welcome written comments until April 11 at 4:30 p.m. 

On Wednesday April 11 at 4:30 p.m. time certain, Council is expected to vote on the remaining amendments. Read the related memo.

City Council to consider existing and new amendments to CC2035 Plan on March 22, 2018

With decisions on these amendments, the Plan will move to a final vote on May 24.

On March 22, the Portland City Council will continue its work on the CC2035 Plan beginning at 2 p.m. time certain. While some of the items on the agenda have been discussed multiple times, there will be two new amendments related to public school sites in the Central City as well as a motion to reconsider the RiverPlace amendments that were voted on March 7, 2018.

Order of business for the session and I. Portland Public Schools amendments:

On March 22, Mayor Ted Wheeler will introduce amendments regarding access to and parking on public school sites in the Central City. These amendments are being introduced because Lincoln High School is in the midst of their redevelopment process, and certain aspects of CC2035 could prevent the school from redeveloping in a way that works for the school.

If there is a second to the Mayor’s amendments, Council will open a public hearing and take testimony on the amendments. Any written testimony on those amendments must be submitted before the close of the public hearing because Council will vote on those amendments once testimony closes.

II. Vote on amendments heard on January 18 (Amendments Report) and January 18 (Additional Amendments) and March 7 (New Amendments
City Council will vote on a variety of amendments that were the subject of public hearings on January 18 and March 7 but have not yet been voted on. The amendments cover the view from the I-84 overpass, the view of Mt Adams from Upper Hall, and how to measure "top of bank" (of the riverbank) under structures, among other things.

III. Reconsider and vote on RiverPlace
Commissioner Eudaly indicated that she intends to propose a motion for reconsideration of the RiverPlace Height and Tower Orientation amendments that were voted down on March 7. Because there was public testimony on the RiverPlace amendments on January 18, there will not be any additional public testimony on that item on March 22.

Next Steps

After the March 22 City Council session, project staff plan to prepare a Revised Recommended Draft (based on City Council’s Amendments) and publish it no later than May 17, 2018. On May 24, 2018, at 2:30 p.m., time certain, City Council is expected to vote to adopt the Revised Recommended Draft CC2035 Plan. The final reading is expected to take place one week later. The expected effective date is July 9, 2018.

Deadline for written testimony on the CC2035 Plan extended to Monday, January 22 at noon

Community members encouraged to send their testimony via email or deliver in person to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Yesterday, January 18, 2018, the Portland City Council held a public hearing on their draft amendments to the Central City 2035 Plan. Roughly 70 people testified in person on these amendments to the new long-range plan.

At Commissioner Fritz’s suggestions, Council agreed to extend the deadline for written testimony – on the amendments only – until noon on Monday, January 22, 2018. Testifiers may submit their testimony by email or in person. 

  • Email: cc2035@portlandoregon.gov
  • In person: Portland City Council c/o Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, 1900 SW 4th Ave., Suite 7100, Portland, Oregon 97201 Attn: CC2035 Testimony

Read the Amendments Report and the Additional Amendments. (Note: Written testimony will only be taken on Council amendments.)

Vote on amendments moved to March 7 at 2 p.m.

Commissioners originally were scheduled to vote on their amendments to the CC2035 Plan on March 8, 2018, at 2 p.m. That vote has moved up one day; Council will now vote on the amendments at 2 p.m. on March 7.

The final vote on the entire plan is scheduled for May 24, 2018, at 2:30 p.m.