Summary of deliberations and agenda for Council discussions re: new long-range plan for the Central CityRead More…
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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.
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.
After considering public testimony during multiple work sessions, the Planning and Sustainability Commission votes to recommend plan for the future of Portland's urban core
On May 23, 2017, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) met for the ninth and last Central City 2035 work session. But before taking a vote on the plan, Commissioners worked though several final amendments:
Final PSC vote on the CC2035 Plan
The Commission voted 9 to 1 to support the plan and move it forward to City Council. Commissioner Smith voted no because of the Broadway Wielder Transportation System Plan (TSP) project and made it clear that his “no” vote should not be misinterpreted as opposition to any other part of the plan.
Project staff expect to release the CC2035 Recommended Draft to City Council on June 19, 2016. The public will have the summer to review the plan and prepare comments to City Council through the fall.
Mark your calendar for a public hearing on the plan on September 7 at 2 p.m. in Council Chambers. But be sure to check the project calendar for any change to dates and times.
The Planning and Sustainability Commission prepares for final vote on the Central City 2035 Plan on May 23.
On April 11, 2017, the Planning and Sustainability Commission met for the seventh CC2035 work session. Commissioners discussed floor area ratio (FAR) for new development in the Central City when Inclusionary Housing is triggered. They also reviewed a policy amendment to support freeway capping and a standard for temporary swimming platforms in the Willamette River.
Floor area ratio and Inclusionary Housing
Projects that trigger the Inclusionary Housing requirements earn bonus floor area to help offset the cost of building affordable housing. Commissioners and staff discussed three options for calculating the bonus FAR by project. The PSC supported staff’s recommendation. Read more about the options and PSC’s recommendation (click "Download").
Floating platforms in the river
Staff presented a new standard for temporary swimming platforms in the Willamette. These platforms would be anchored offshore for the river swimming season, then removed and stored during the colder months. The PSC had questions about the allowed uses on the docks and who would be permitted to install them. Staff will return to the PSC to discuss this further at their May 23 meeting.
Last PSC work session and final vote (Note the new temporary location: CH2M Building Lincoln Room: 2020 SW 4th Ave, first floor)
The final planned PSC work session will be on May 23. Project staff will ask the Commission to take a final vote on the entire CC2035 Plan package as amended and forward it on to City Council as their Recommended Draft. Three discussion items will proceed the final vote including:
The next and last Planning and Sustainability Commission work session is scheduled for April 11
After a June 2016 public release, a multi-evening summer public hearing process and seven work sessions through the fall and winter, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) will hold its final work session about the city’s new plan for Portland’s urban core.
On April 11 the PSC will finish its discussion about how floor area ratio (FAR) is allocated when inclusionary housing is triggered, especially on large multi-block sites. The Commission discussed this topic at length on March 14 and asked staff to do some additional analysis for them to consider.
The PSC will also talk about a proposed standard for temporary swimming platforms. These platforms would be anchored off shore for the river swimming season and then removed and stored.
The meeting materials for these topics are available here.
Coming up: The vote!
On May 23 the Commission will vote on the final CC2035 Plan as amended.
Please check the PSC calendar to confirm dates, times and other details prior to the event. You can also view the work session (streamed live or recorded) on the BPS YouTube channel. For more information about the work sessions, please visit the CC2035 PSC work session overview page.
Meeting playbacks 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.
The PSC reviews final issues about the bonus and transfer system
On March 14, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) met for the seventh work session on the Central City 2035 Plan. The focus was on amendments related to the bonus and transfer system, FAR and height, and the master plan provision.
They first discussed needed changes to the bonus and transfer system in the Central City in light of the Inclusionary Housing program that went into effect on Feb. 1, 2017. Staff presented a revised bonus and transfer system that would prioritize two affordable housing bonuses and a few specialized bonuses specific to the riverfront, the South Waterfront Greenway and industrial uses in the Central Eastside. It would also expand the historic resource transfer to require seismic upgrades but also provide additional floor area to historic properties to help support the cost of these upgrades. A new transfer within a subdistrict will also be created.
While they supported most of the proposed amendments, they asked staff to bring back a refinement to the affordable housing bonus and how it’s calculated and implemented for projects that trigger inclusionary housing. Staff will return with an amendment for discussion on April 11.
The project team also brought proposals forward to increase floor area ratio (FAR) and height in the North Pearl and Riverplace. The idea is to make these key redevelopment sites eligible for a better inclusionary housing incentive package and help ensure the production of more residential development and affordable housing. Commissioners agreed to increase FAR from 4:1 to 5:1 in the North Pearl and Riverplace area. However, they did not support capping the currently unlimited heights in the North Pearl at 350 feet.
Finally, the Commission tentatively approved updates to how a master plan site is defined in the code so that multiple sites within a master plan boundary are considered one site.
The next work session is scheduled for April 11. The final work session is now scheduled for May 23, when the PSC is expected to vote to recommend the CC2035 Plan to City Council. Watch for updates about both meetings.