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Learn about what is currently happening with the Central City 2035 project. Read meeting announcements and summaries, as well as other recent happenings.


Now through May 31, the public is invited to comment on an inventory of some of Portland’s favorite vistas of the Central City

Take a look at Portland’s iconic views and viewpoints in the updated Central City Scenic Resources Inventory; then tell the City what you think

Where do you take your out-of-town visitors to show off Portland? Up to the Washington Park Rose Garden to take in the sweeping, panoramic views of the skyline and Mt Hood? Maybe you head downtown for a stroll along the waterfront or South Park Blocks. Or take a ride on the Aerial Tram to OHSU for views of the many bridges over the Willamette River, special buildings and scenic landmarks.

Scenic resources like these help define the character of the Central City and shape the image of Portland and the region.

To help preserve these visual treasures, Portland manages an inventory of public views, viewpoints and other scenic resources within and of the Central City. At 25-years-old, the Central City portion of the Scenic Resources Inventory (CCSRI) is getting a refresh as part of the update of the Central City Plan.

Take a Look
The public is invited to review the draft CCSRI to help ensure that all Central City scenic resources are included in the inventory. Did we get them all? Did we miss something? Take a look and tell us what you think.

Public comments on the CCSRI are welcome through May 31, 2015.

How to Comment
Visit the project website for more information about the draft Central City Scenic Resources Inventory and to read or download specific chapters of the draft inventory.

Then share your feedback on the draft inventory using this online form.

Comments are also accepted by …

  • Phone: 503-823-7831
  • Email to: mindy.brooks@portlandoregon.gov
  • Postal mail to:

Mindy Brooks
City of Portland
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
1900 SW 4th Ave., Suite 7100
Portland, OR 97201

Comments on the draft CCSRI are due by May 31, 2015.

Background and next steps
Last summer we asked the public to nominate their favorite views and viewpoints in the Central City. Those that met a set of criteria were added to the list of existing views and viewpoints from the 1989 inventory as well as new scenic resources identified in the field. Staff then put them in a database and subjected each view and viewpoint to rigorous analysis by a team of independent reviewers.
The resulting draft CCSRI includes a mix of scenic resources, including 152 views from 144 viewpoints, 15 view streets, 6 scenic corridors, 22 visual focal points and 5 scenic sites.

The purpose of the CCSRI is to provide useful information on the location and quality of existing public scenic resources in and around Portland’s Central City. The inventory includes descriptions, evaluations, photos and maps of public views and viewpoints, scenic corridors, view streets, visual focal points and scenic sites located in the Central City inventory area. The inventory does not make recommendations about which scenic resources should be protected.

Scenic resources in Portland have been protected over the past 30 years through various plans and regulations, including the 1983 Terwilliger Parkway Corridor Plan, 1987 Willamette Greenway Plan and 1991 Scenic Resources Protection Plan.

SE Quadrant Virtual Open House – CLOSED

Materials from the recent SE Quadrant Plan virtual open house that ended on March 20th

Following the February 19th open house at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, all materials from the event were posted online along with a comment  form to provide feedback on staff proposals. This “virtual” open house is now closed, and the comment form removed, but you can still access the materials below. A written summary of the open house starts on page 2 of the packet for Stakeholder Advisory Committee Meeting #14. If you have comments or questions about the SE Quadrant Plan or planning process in general, please contact email Derek Dauphin or call 503-823-5869.

Picture of physical open house on February 19th

Now you can share the experience of the February 19 open house at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center.

Welcome to the SE Quadrant Virtual Open House! We’re glad you came.

Perhaps you’re a business owner in the Central Eastside Industrial District. Maybe you pass through the district on your way to and from downtown. Or just like to visit to enjoy the food, drink and creative energy of the area. Any way you experience it, there’s no denying this part of Portland is bustling with activity: new development and businesses; more bikes, cars and trucks; and increased attention and interest from near and far.

The SE Quadrant planning effort is harnessing all of that energy into a new long-range plan for the area. The plan will help ensure that this unique part of the city evolves the way Portlanders want it to.

So far we’ve heard that people want to preserve the character of the area with its historic warehouses and protect its unique role as an industrial sanctuary and business incubator. But they also recognize that as the area grows and changes, it creates pressure on the streets and transportation system to accommodate more trucks, cars and even bikes. And then there’s its relationship to the river, which provides opportunities for greater access to this beloved natural resource, recreation, and even arts and culture.

So get comfy and explore the proposals below. Then tell us what you think with the comment form.

As you look at the proposals that follow, keep in mind that most of the SE Quadrant is an industrial sanctuary and has long served as an incubator for small businesses. A key goal of the new plan is to maintain this sanctuary while allowing for new industrial businesses and increased employment density.

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Land for Jobs

The Central Eastside is experiencing a period of extensive growth and renewal. But without new regulatory tools, the Central City will not be able to keep up with the demand for employment land. Staff land use proposals tweak the existing zoning to allow for more dense employment in the Central Eastside, including the new station areas along the MAX Orange Line due to open in September 2015.

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Staff are also preparing a new industrial disclosure statement that would inform people and businesses moving into the area about the characteristics (noise, fumes, trucks) common to the district. The disclosure would make it clear that the City of Portland would not enforce complaints against lawful activity within the district.


Historic Resources

Proposals also call for recognizing the historic character of much of the Central Eastside, particularly along historic main streets such as Morrison Street.

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Urban design

Potential conflicts between different kinds of businesses and uses — particularly residential, retail and industrial areas — are addressed through urban design. These proposals seek to clarify how areas with different zoning can co-exist.

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Transportation, parking, freight

Another area of concern is the already limited parking in the district. With more jobs and residents coming to the district, congestion on the streets will affect the ability of businesses to move freight. These proposals address concerns about traffic and congestion by applying a wide set of tools.

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Other proposals would help reduce conflicts between trucks and other types of traveling to and through the district. By making some routes that are less important to freight more attractive for bicycles and pedestrians, trucks and bikes will be less likely to get in each other’s way.

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Green Loop

A concept for a bicycle and pedestrian loop is proposed for the Central City. This “Green Loop” would be a key north-south route in the Central Eastside, connecting to the South Waterfront and downtown via the new Tilikum Crossing bridge. The eastside leg would include an I-84 pedestrian/bicycle bridge. What factors should be considered in picking a route, considering some initial data showing how loading and intersections could impact design?

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Open space

Staff responded to concerns about the lack of open space and green infrastructure such as trees. Due to the industrial nature of the district, areas for employees and residents to gather and relax will likely be near the most intense employment or residential development. The exception would be at the waterfront where there may be new park-like areas and enhanced habitat.

poster    poster    


The Willamette River and Riverfront

Staff presented a strategy for the Willamette River and riverfront which includes restoring and enhancing habitat, enlivening key locations with new activities and uses, and improving recreation options such as swimming and boating. This strategy is closely linked with all of the other concepts in the district; open space linkages, economic development and transportation alternatives are important components of the strategy along the riverfront.

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Next Steps

Input from the open house, the Stakeholder Advisory Committee and other Central Eastside stakeholders will help shape the Public Review Draft of the SE Quadrant Plan to be released in late April. In late May/June, the Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold public hearings on the Proposed Draft, followed by City Council hearings on the plan in summer/early fall of 2015.

List of all posters

Introduction

Proposals

Proposal for New Multnomah County Health Department Headquarters in Old Town/Chinatown Subject of Public Hearing on April 28

Portlanders invited to review and testify on proposed height increase that would allow the County to consolidate Health Department administrative services in one building

Map showing Old Town/Chinatown site of proposed Multnomah County Health BuildingThe Multnomah County Health Department serves the county’s 748,000 residents, providing essential public health services, including direct medical and dental services, environmental health services, public health investigation and reporting, and chronic and communicable disease prevention. However, the County’s Health Department administrative facilities in downtown Portland are under-sized and functionally obsolete, and department functions are spread across multiple buildings throughout the county.

So the County is proposing to construct a new headquarters facility for its Health Department on a half-block site in Old Town/Chinatown. The new building would concentrate most of the County’s health-related administrative departments and include some direct-service functions.

Extra height required

The site selected for the proposed facility is the eastern portion of Block U, located on NW 6th Ave, between NW Hoyt and NW Irving streets, within the River District of the Central City (see map). The new building would require an estimated 120,000 to 150,000 square feet and would stand between 105 and 150 feet in height. While the density entitlement (with bonuses) for the site is sufficient for the proposed building, the height allowance (75 feet) is not.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is proposing to raise the height on Block U to a maximum of 150 feet to accommodate this proposal. This would be done by increasing the base height from 75 to 105 feet and making the site eligible for an additional 45 feet of bonus height. This could be earned through the use of floor area ratio (FAR) bonuses in exchange for providing various public benefits. The public is invited to testify on the proposed height increase at a public hearing with the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Public Hearing on Multnomah County Health Department Building

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission
Tuesday, April 28, 2015, 3 p.m.*
1900 SW 4th Avenue, 2nd Floor, Room 2500A

* Please check the PSC calendar or call (503) 823-7700 one week prior to hearing for scheduled time of this agenda item

Instructions on submitting testimony:https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/383906.

Download the proposal (including graphics and ESEE analysis update): https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/article/524773 

Next Steps

A City Council public hearing to consider the recommendations of the Planning and Sustainability Commission on this proposal is anticipated in early June 2015. For more information, visit the project website or contact Nicholas Starin at nicholas.starin@portlandoregon.gov or by phone at (503) 823-5837.

 

Portland City Council Adopts West Quadrant Plan

Long-range plan for the west side of the Central City provides direction for economic activity and growth, access to the Willamette River and an exciting urban waterfront, habitat restoration, more housing diversity and livability

On March 5, 2015, the Portland City Council voted to adopt the West Quadrant Plan, which sets direction for a long-range plan for Central City districts west of the Willamette River, including Downtown, the West End, Goose Hollow, the Pearl, Old Town/Chinatown, South Waterfront and South Downtown/University. 


“This plan welcomes change, growth and development, but also seeks to preserve character, livability and important historic and environmental resources,” said Mayor Charlie Hales at the start of the second public hearing on the West Quadrant Plan Recommended Draft. “The plan lays out a detailed and balanced roadmap and builds on the successes and key directions from the 1972 Downtown Plan and 1988 Central City Plans.”


Commissioners discuss proposed amendments to the West Quadrant PlanAt the first public hearing on the West Quadrant Plan on February 4, Council received oral and written communications from more than 100 people. At the March 5 hearing, about a dozen Portlanders testified on amendments to the plan, which were introduced by Mayor Hales, Commissioners Fritz and Novick, and City planners. The package included amendments for habitat restoration, Waterfront Park, the Greenway Trail, bridgehead heights, the Pearl District Waterfront and Goose Hollow Residential Overlays.

Waterfront Park, housing bonuses and Pearl District Greenway top issues

The liveliest discussions between commissioners were around updating the master plan for Waterfront Park — with Commissioner Fritz passionately advocating for resources to go to unmet park needs in East Portland — and height bonuses for affordable housing along the Pearl District Waterfront.

The vote to adopt was four to one, with Fritz the single nay vote. “We haven’t gotten to the right endpoint with the Pearl Greenway and Waterfront Park,” she explained.

Commissioner Saltzman, a strong affordable housing advocate, noted, “There’s nothing to be ashamed of about height. I see it as an opportunity for more affordable housing. We’ll be coming back in May with more information about bonuses and affordable housing, and I feel good we’ll get those bonuses in time.”

All the commissioners acknowledged the tremendous amount of work on the part of the project Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the Planning and Sustainability Commission, community members who participated in the process and testified to City Council, and City bureaus who collaborated to craft the plan.


“So much of what the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability does is act as the nexus; bringing together the best ideas of the community and other bureaus’ work,” said BPS Director Susan Anderson. “Staff have had hundreds of conversations with residents, businesses and our bureau partners to develop this plan.”


Thanking his fellow commissioners for their willingness to work through every detail of the plan, Mayor Hales acknowledged “the amazing thoughtful community testimony. Reflecting on my work here and around the country, I don’t think we understand how high caliber the work is here in Portland. … Good work is being done here.”

Other features of the plan

The West Quadrant Plan aims to improve livability, stimulate economic development, and increase connections and access in and around the Central City with the Green Loop, a 10-mile walking and biking open space path. The plan also includes actions to activate the waterfront and restore habitat in the Willamette River for fish, wildlife and people. And it ensures a more resilient Central City in response to global environmental changes and challenges.

Next steps

By adopting the plan, Council approved specific policy directions for the West Quadrant. Now staff will begin writing the code to implement the plan, which will be rolled up into the Central City 2035 Plan, along with the N/NE Quadrant Plan (completed in 2012) and the SE Quadrant Plan (in progress), and submitted to City Council in 2016 as the first amendment to the 2035 Comprehensive Plan. 

City Commissioners, Bureau Staff Propose Amendments to the Recommended Draft West Quadrant Plan

Public invited to testify on the amendments at March 5, 2015, City Council Hearing

Amendments to the Recommended Draft of the West Quadrant Plan that were proposed by Mayor Hales, Commissioners Fritz and Novick, and city planners will be the focus of a second hearing on March 5, 2015, at 2 p.m., time certain.

The public is welcome to testify on any amendments included in the list. Please reference the Amendment # (far left column) in testimony.

Public Hearing on Proposed Amendments, West Quadrant Plan

Testimony Welcome
March 5, 2015, 2 p.m.
Portland City Council
Council Chambers (City Hall, 2nd Floor)
1221 SW 4th Ave

How to Give Testimony

You can share your feedback on the plan with City Council in several ways. Note that written testimony must be received by the time of the hearing and must include your name and address.

  1. Testify in person at the hearing. 
  2. Submit written testimony
    Attn: Council Clerk
    1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 140
    Portland, OR 97204 
  3. FAX or Email comments to 503-823-4571 or Karla.Moore-Love@portlandoregon.gov.

Download Council Documents