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City Council begins hearing testimony on Recommended CC2035 Plan (updated 9/15/17)

Hearing continued until September 20 (see updated schedule below).

On Thursday, September 7, City Council held its first public hearing on the Central City 2035 Plan. The hearing began with a brief presentation by City staff about the project schedule and the relationship to the Comprehensive Plan

Then Mayor Ted Wheeler introduced a package of amendments that was published on August 29. He highlighted two amendments, including his suggestion that Council reconsider whether the Salmon Springs view of Mt Hood should be protected. He also described a proposed amendment to expand the view corridor from the Japanese Garden. Commissioner Amanda Fritz followed with a summary of her amendment to lower heights at the Morrison Bridgehead. Finally, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly offered two amendments: one increasing the required ecoroof coverage on buildings from 60 to 100 percent and the other to rezone an area on the northwest end of the Central City riverfront from residential to commercial to enable active use of an existing but unused dock.

Invited testimony
Council then heard testimony from four city commissioners: Thuy Tu, Forestry Commission; Kristen Minor, Landmarks Commission; Julie Livingston, Design Commission; and, Andre Baugh, Planning and Sustainability Commission. After that, the Mayor opened testimony from the public.

About 140 people signed up to testify on the CC2035 Plan, and Commissioners heard from roughly 50 of them. Around 5 p.m., Council closed testimony on the main components of the Plan so they could hear testimony about early implementation of height and FAR on the U.S. Post Office site.

Those who signed up to testify but were not heard on September 7 will be called to testify at the next hearing on September 14 after Council hears testimony during hearings #3 and #4 (see schedule below).


September 14, 2 – 5:30 p.m.

September 15 (updated)

  • 5 p.m. – Written record closed for New Chinatown / Japantown Historic District Design Guidelines and scenic and environmental resources outside the Central City

September 20, 3 p.m., time certain (updated)

  • Final hearing on main CC2035 package

September 22, 5 p.m. (updated)

  • Written record closed on main CC2035 package

September 28 (updated)

  • 3 p.m., time certain – U.S. Post Office Early Implementation hearing
  • 4 p.m., time certain – New Chinatown / Japantown Historic Guidelines

October 18

  • 2 p.m., time certain – Council amendments about the main components of the plan (more information to come)

November 2

  • 2 p.m., time certain –  Scenic / environmental outside the Central City and the main components of the plan (more information to come)

December 6   

  • 2 p.m., time certain – Council session (if needed)

January 18, 2018

  • 2 p.m., time certain – Council hearing on amendments (amendments package to be published prior to the hearing)

March 2018 (anticipated)

  • Council vote (The CC2035 vote must follow the Comprehensive Plan effective date, which is currently anticipated to be March 2018) 

April 2018 (anticipated)

  • Effective date for CC2035 (30 days after the Council vote)

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.

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

Portland’s Central City about to get a new plan

City Council to consider comments on CC2035; testify in person, in writing or via the interactive Map App.

As the Central City absorbs 30 percent of the city’s population growth and welcomes more than 50,000 new jobs, we’ll need more housing and urban amenities like parks, shops and places to eat. We’ll need more office space as well as space for innovators and makers. We’ll need more and better access to the river, a tree canopy and energy-efficient buildings. And we’ll need new and easier ways to get around, whether by car, bike, rail, bus or trail.

Because people who live, work and play in urban areas need access to all these things.

We’re ready for growth and change.

Over the past several years, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has been working with community members, property owners, architects and builders, renter and affordable housing advocates, communities of color and other stakeholders to develop a new long range plan for the Central City. The goal is to prepare the urban core for the change to come and ensure that the heart of the city supports healthy, prosperous, resilient and equitable outcomes for all.  

More than 8,000 Portlanders contributed to the CC2035 planning process. And now it’s time for City Council to hear from you.

We invite you to read the plan. Maybe not the whole thing; it’s six volumes with multiple parts! But here are some topics you might find interesting:

Like what you see/read? Think the plan needs to be improved? 

Tell City Council what you think.
You can testify on the CC2035 Plan in person at a public hearing on Thursday, September 7 at 2 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue.

Can’t do that? There are several other ways you can share your feedback.

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.

Email: You may email your testimony to Be sure to state “CC2035 Testimony” in the subject line.

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

See your and other's testimony online via the Testimony Reader. Note that it may take 10 to 14 days for staff to enter testimony submitted by U.S. Mail, email or pdf. Testimony submitted via the Map App will show up instantaneously.  

Questions about the plan?
Call the CC2035 hotline at 503-823-4286 or send us an email at

The Top 10 things to know about the CC2035 Plan

New long-range plan for Portland’s urban core has something for everyone — even the birds and the trees.

Portland’s city center is about to get a makeover. As City Council prepares to consider the Central City 2035 Plan and related public testimony, here are the key takeaways from more than seven years of planning — with input from over 8,000 community members. 

#10. Jobs and housing growth

Over the next 20 years, the Central City will grow by 163 percent, from 23,000 to 60,500 households. Jobs will also increase — from 123,000 to 174,000 (41 percent). So where will all those new people live and work? Through allowed increases in density, especially at key station areas in the Central Eastside and Transit Mall, CC2035 lays the groundwork for 37,500 new housing units and 51,000 new jobs.

#9. Ups and downs of height

Taller buildings mean more square feet for offices and housing. Through a bonus and transfer system, CC2035 will allow developers to gain extra height in areas like the Transit Mall, Morrison and Hawthorne bridgeheads, South Pearl and Lloyd District — when they provide a public benefit like affordable housing. To protect scenic views and historic districts, some decreases in building height are also proposed.

#8. Making what’s old resilient for tomorrow

The Central City is full of wonderful old buildings, many of which are constructed of unreinforced masonry (brick) and would likely not survive a major earthquake. CC2035 offers a revised floor area ratio transfer program to incentivize the rehabilitation and seismic update of designated historic resources.

#7. Addressing the river

Until now, Portland’s smaller rivers and streams have received more protection than the Willamette. With CC2035, we’ll care for the city’s signature physical feature with the same level of attention by doubling the width of the river setback and applying a river environmental overlay zone to “avoid, minimize and mitigate” for impacts to natural resources.

#6. Caring for the trees

Along with the Willamette running through the city center, Portland is renowned for its tree canopy (nearly 38 percent of the total land area). But some portions of the city center, like the Central Eastside, lack trees and the cooling effects of their shade. CC2035 includes targets for all districts to increase tree canopy. This will help cool the air, manage stormwater runoff, increase habitat for birds and other critters while creating a more pleasant streetscape.  

#5. The Green Loop

And speaking of green, one of the CC2035 “big ideas” is the Green Loop, a six-mile linear park that connects neighborhoods all over Portland to Central City attractions. Think Sunday Parkways every day, offering people of all ages and abilities a new way to experience the urban core. A 21st-century public works project, the loop will support thousands of new housing units and jobs along with a growing community of walkers, bikers, rollers and strollers.

#4. Green buildings

With CC2035, the Central City’s buildings will be greener, too, ensuring a more biophilic, resilient Portland. New regulations will require certain buildings to seek green certification (e.g., LEED or Green Globes) and install ecoroofs for air cooling and stormwater management, as well as bird-safe window treatments to help prevent bird strikes. 

#3. Freighters, makers and employment land acres

The Central Eastside and Clinton Triangle have been the most dynamic and evolving part of the Central City. Over the past decade, this area has been an economic development success story, with more than 17,000 jobs in an expanding range of industries. CC2035 aims to protect the character of the Central Eastside with strategies to balance the needs of traditional and new uses within the district.

#2. More places to eat and rent things on the riverfront

CC2035 opens up parks and open spaces to a few small retail venues like refreshment stands and rental kiosks. So you’ll be able to rent a kayak while eating ice cream at Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, for instance.

#1. Community input

And, finally, number one. You, the people of Portland. CC2035 would not have been possible without the thousands of community members who provided input on the plan, served on advisory committees, attended public events, participated in charrettes and expressed their love and concern for our city center. This plan is for you and the many others yet to come.

So take a peek. It’s big, comprising six volumes — and the volumes have parts! But you’ll see more of what’s in store for the urban core over the next 25 years.

Read the Central City 2035 Recommended Plan

Pick the volume or chapter that interests you and then tell City Council what you think. Public hearings are scheduled for September 7, but you can comment on the map app, via email or send a letter any time between now and then.

Find out more about how to testify on the CC2035 Plan.