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The latest news about Regulatory Improvement projects.


Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package 8 (RICAP 8) Recommended Draft ready for public review and testimony

Public invited to testify at City Council at public hearing in February on a variety of issues, including land divisions, property line adjustments, heritage trees, Tree Code enforcement and root protection zones.

Portland’s Zoning Code is updated regularly through the Regulatory Improvement Process. The latest package of amendments (or improvements) to the code are included in the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package (RICAP 8) Recommended Draft, which contains 43 items being evaluated for possible regulatory improvement.

Amendments are recommended for Title 33, Planning and Zoning, and Title 11, Trees.  The report contains 20 minor policy items that will address a variety of issues, including land divisions, property line adjustments, heritage trees, enforcement and root protection zones. 

City Council will hold a public hearing on February 15, 2017. Portlanders are invited to attend and testify on any of the items contained in Recommended Draft.

City Council Hearing on RICAP 8
February 15, 2017 at 3 p.m.
City Hall, Council Chambers
1221 SW 4th Avenue

City Council also invites testimony on the Recommended Draft through February 15, 2017, in writing:

  • By Email: Email testimony with “RICAP 8” in the subject line to CCTestimony@portlandoregon.gov. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address.
  • By U.S. Mail:
    City Council, re: RICAP 8
    1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 130
    Portland, OR  97204

Questions?
Contact Kathryn Hartinger at Kathryn.hartinger@portlandoregon.gov or by phone at (503) 823-9714.

About the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Packages (RICAPs)

The Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Packages continually update and improve City building and land use regulations to encourage desirable development. Changing community needs, new laws and court rulings, technological advances, and shifting perceptions require an ongoing process to ensure that the City’s regulations meet the needs of current and future residents.

Portlanders contribute to this process by making suggestions through the Regulatory Improvement Requests Database. Staff review this input, along with feedback from other City staff and stakeholders, to create a list of possible code amendments. These “packages” are released about once a year for public review and the workplan is adopted by the Planning and Sustainability Commission at a public hearing. An initial “proposed draft” is presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission for their consideration. After holding hearings and considering testimony, they forward a “recommended draft” to City Council for hearings and adoption.

Proposed Draft of the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package 8 (RICAP 8) Now Available

Public invited to read and testify on the Proposed Draft of RICAP 8; Urban Forestry and Planning and Sustainability Commissions to hold public hearings in December

The RICAP 8 Proposed Draft contains 51 items being evaluated for possible regulatory improvement. Changes are proposed for Title 33, Planning and Zoning, and Title 11, Trees.  The report contains 23 minor policy items that will address a variety of issues, including land divisions, lot confirmations, property line adjustments, Heritage Trees, enforcement and root protection zones. 

The Urban Forestry Commission (UFC) will hold a public hearing December 7, 2016 on items related to Title 11, Trees (Items 34-51). The Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) will hold a public hearing December 13, 2016 on the entire package. The public is welcome to attend and testify on the Proposed Draft, at one or both of these hearings. Details are below.

Urban Forestry Commission Hearing
December 7, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A

The UFC also invites testimony on this proposal through December 7, 2016 in writing:

  • By Email: Email testimony with “RICAP8” in the subject line to brian.landoe@portlandoregon.gov. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address.
  • By U.S. Mail:
    Urban Forestry Commission
    Urban Forestry Headquarters
    10910 N Denver Ave, Portland, OR 97217

Planning and Sustainability Commission Hearing
December 13, 2016 at 12:30 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A

The PSC also invites testimony on this proposal through December 13, 2016 in writing:

  • By Email: Email your comments with “RICAP8” in the subject line to psc@portlandoregon.gov. Be sure to include your full name and mailing address.
  • 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

Questions?
Contact Kathryn Hartinger at Kathryn.hartinger@portlandoregon.gov or by phone at (503) 823-9714.

About the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Packages (RICAPs)

The Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Packages continually update and improve City building and land use regulations to encourage desirable development. Changing community needs, new laws and court rulings, technological advances, and shifting perceptions require an ongoing process to ensure that the City’s regulations meet the needs of current and future residents.


RICAP 8 Discussion Draft is now available for public review and comment

Code improvements address land divisions, property line adjustments, trees, removal of Historic Resource Inventory listings and more

Portland’s Zoning Code is anything but static. Public input, new land use plans and policies, and code updates ensure that the City’s regulations meet the needs of current and future residents.

A new package of code amendments is now ready for public review and comment. The regulatory improvement code amendment package (RICAP) 8 Discussion Draft contains 49 items that are being evaluated for possible regulatory improvement. The scope of RICAP 8 was shaped by community requests submitted via the Regulatory Improvement Request (RIR) Database and/or identified by City staff as needing resolution.

Read the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Project (RICAP) 8 Discussion Draft

Summary of Potential Amendments

Many of the items in the RICAP 8 Discussion Draft reflect simple code corrections or clarifications to ensure that regulations are implemented consistently with the original policy intent. Ten items resulted in no proposed amendment after Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff researched and analyzed the issue. The remaining items include either minor policy or more substantive changes.

Highlights include:

  • Creation of a 120-day delay for the removal of ranked structures from the Historic Resource Inventory.
  • Clarification of how water features, like drainageways and wetlands, should be defined and protected in land divisions.
  • Reduction of the ability to create lot lines in land divisions and property line adjustments that are not straight.
  • Increase in flexibility for some loading standards on local service streets.
  • Clarification on how tree protection requirements apply when a portion of the root protection zone extends onto an adjacent property or right-of-way.
  • Increase in the allowable fine for unlawful damage or removal of a Heritage Tree on private property.
  • Addition of authority for the City to levy liens and utilize other mechanisms for unpaid fees tied to tree code violations.

The comment period for the Discussion Draft ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, October 14, 2016.

Please submit comments by mail to 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201, Attn: RICAP 8; by FAX: 503-823-7800; or by email

Next Steps

Staff will consider comments on the Discussion Draft to create a Proposed Draft, which will be presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) at a public hearing in December 2016. The PSC will consider public testimony and then forward a recommendation to City Council for consideration and additional public review before final adoption next year.

Background

Regulatory improvement code amendment packages are intended to continually update and improve City building and land use regulations. RICAPs address technical matters and clarifications or refine existing adopted policy, typically in a one-year revolving work plan. 

City Council Approves Accessory Structures Zoning Code Update

Code Amendments will be effective on Jan. 1, 2016

On Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015, Portland City Council voted 4-1 to accept the Planning and Sustainability Commission's recommendation on the Accessory Structures Zoning Code Update project without any amendments. The Council did not take a vote on the amendment proposed by Commissioner Fritz, keeping the package as it was initially submitted at their hearing on November 12.  

The code amendments are effective 30 days after approval, which falls on January 1, 2016.  The first day that the Development Services Center will be open after the effective date will be Monday January 4, 2016.

The Recommended Draft includes all of the approved changes to the zoning code.

Commissioner Fritz Proposes Amendment to Accessory Structures Code Project

Change would affect Accessory Dwelling Units in R7, R5, and R2.5 zones

Commissioner Fritz has submitted an amendment to the Planning & Sustainability's Recommended Draft on the Accessory Structures Zoning Code Update project. The amendment was submitted on Tuesday, November 17, 2015, prior to the Council's second reading and vote on the ordinance, which was initially scheduled for November 18, 2015.

The amendment removes the ability for smaller accessory dwelling units (ADUs) to be placed within the side and rear setbacks in the R7, R5, and R2.5 zones. The amendment does not affect other covered accessory structures such as garages, sheds, workshops or other living spaces that don't provide independent living facilities.

The City Council has postponed their vote on the amendment and the full package of code changes until December 2, 2015 at 9:45 a.m. In the interim, testimony can be sent to the City Council through the Council Clerks office at CCTestimony@portlandoregon.gov.

View the Council Amendment

View the Recommended Draft