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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Residential Infill Project (RIP) keeps rippin' along

Planning and Sustainability Commission is continuing its discussion of proposed new rules for residential development.

Over the past two years, Portlanders around the city have indicated they want to take care of and improve their neighborhoods as the city grows. They want more people to have opportunities to live in complete neighborhoods. And they want more housing choices at different price points ... for their parents, so they can age in place. Their children so they can afford to live in the city they grew up in. For the teachers, and grocery clerks, students and firefighters who contribute to our communities. And the many newcomers who are moving here every day.

Portland's Planning and Sustainability Commission is in the process of considering new rules that would shape our residential neighborhoods. These proposals would allow more housing units to be built in residential neighborhoods, but only if they follow new limits on size and scale.

Read recent media coverage of RIP

Alone, a zoning change won’t solve our housing shortage. But the rules that govern what types of housing are allowed in our neighborhoods affect not just how they look and feel – but who can live in them as well. Together, these new rules will help to restore diversity to our residential neighborhoods by allowing more families and households to live in them, while at the same time limiting the construction of massive new homes.

The PSC has completed five work sessions (see links to YouTube videos below) and has two more scheduled to complete their initial review of RIP proposals. 

Upcoming PSC Work Session

  • Tuesday, August 14 – Meeting starts at 12:30 p.m. (RIP time on agenda 2:30 – 4:30 p.m. | Topic: Narrow Lots)
  • Tuesday, September 11 – Meeting starts at 12:30 p.m. (RIP time on agenda TBA | PSC gives staff final direction on their Proposed Draft amendments)

Please confirm dates, times and agendas one week prior by visiting the PSC Calendar.

Later this fall ... 

Staff will bring back revised code and maps that implement the PSC’s direction. The Commissioners will consider these changes and vote on their recommendations to City Council.

All PSC hearings and meetings are streamed live on the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability YouTube channel.  

Past PSC Work Sessions

You may view past PSC work sessions by clicking “Video” on the top of the YouTube channel home page or via the links provided below. 

Want more information?

Visit the website at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/infill.

Or give us a call:

  • Morgan Tracy, Project Manager, 503-823-6879
  • Julia Gisler, Public Involvement, 503-823-7624

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868, or Oregon Relay Service 711. 503-823-7700.

Zoning watch: Work sessions begin on Residential Infill Project proposed new rules for Portland’s residential neighborhoods

Planning and Sustainability Commission will consider public testimony as they contemplate revisions to the Proposed Draft; watch Commissioners deliberate on BPS YouTube channel.

Over the past two months, Portlanders have reviewed and testified on proposals for new construction in residential neighborhoods. The proposals in the Residential Infill Project Proposed Draft would update the rules for single-dwelling zones to allow more housing options for people’s changing needs while limiting the size of new houses to better fit existing neighborhoods.

The Residential Infill Project Proposed Draft reports were released on April 2, and the Planning and Sustainability Commission heard public testimony at two hearings (May 8 and 15). Commissioners are also reviewing testimony submitted via the online Map App and other written testimony. 

Public input has been robust! The PSC heard from nearly 140 people during the public hearings and received 1,089 written comments. Testimony on the Proposed Draft is no longer being accepted, but you can still review what people said about the proposals. Visit the Map App and read the public testimony.

PSC Work Sessions

The PSC is conducting work sessions on the proposals to prepare their recommendations to the City Council. At these work sessions Commissioners will not hear public testimony. However, staff-prepared work session materials will be posted on the project website so you can follow along.

Three upcoming work sessions are tentatively organized by topic areas: 

Please confirm dates, times and agendas one week prior by visiting the PSC Calendar.

All PSC hearings and meetings are streamed live on the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability YouTube channel.

For more information about the Residential Infill Project

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868, or Oregon Relay Service 711. 503-823-7700.

Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) completes public hearings on the Residential Infill Project; extends written testimony until 5 p.m. Friday, May 18

The PSC hears more than six hours of testimony on May 8 and 15. Nearly 140 people testified on proposed rules for new construction in Portland’s residential neighborhoods.

Over the course of two evenings in May, Portland’s Planning and Sustainability Commission heard 139 people testify on the proposals put forth in the Residential Infill Project Proposed Draft. The commission has “closed” oral testimony but will accept written testimony until Friday, May 18.  

Submit written testimony to the PSC by 5 p.m. Friday, May 18 via:

  • The Map App; click on the “Testify” button
  • U.S. Mail (note: letters must be received by May 18):
    Planning and Sustainability Commission 
    Attn: Residential Infill Project
    1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100
    Portland, OR 97201

Next Steps: Work Sessions

The PSC will conduct several work sessions on the proposals, beginning on May 22. These will likely continue through June. At these meetings there will be no public testimony as Commissioners pose questions to staff and each other, then deliberate on the issues before making a recommendation to City Council.  

All PSC hearings and meetings are streamed live on the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability YouTube channel (click “Video” on the top of the home page for past meetings).

Past PSC meetings on Residential Infill Proposals:

Links to the Residential Infill Project Proposed Draft documents:

All the documents are available on the project website. Hard copies of the Project Summary and Volumes 1 and 2 are available at our office at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, 7th Floor. The bureau receptionist will mail you a copy if you call 503‑823‑7700.

For more information about the Proposed Draft

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868, or Oregon Relay Service 711. 503-823-7700.

How to testify on the Residential Infill Project proposals on May 8 and May 15

Tips for testifying to the Planning and Sustainability Commission

On May 8 and 15, 2018, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) will hear testimony from the public about the Residential Infill Project. The proposals before the Commission would change the rules that shape our residential neighborhoods so that more people can live in them, while limiting the size of very large new houses.

The Commission is committed to effective public involvement and is looking forward to hearing from you. Here are the details on how you can testify in person at the hearings:

  • Commissioners will hear testimony on May 8 and 15, starting at 5 p.m.
  • The hearings will be at 1900 SW 4th Ave, Room 2500A.
  • Project staff will be on hand starting at 3:30 p.m. to help people sign up to testify.

One spot in line = One two-minute testimony slot

  • Signing up for someone else – If a person wants to sign up for someone else, they will need to get in line again.
  • Groups – If several people represent a group and want to testify together, they all need to be there to sign up for their two-minute slot at the same time. Each person in the group will need to wait in line to sign up individually for their two-minute slot.
  • People representing multiple groups – While the Commission encourages individuals to only represent one group, if a person is representing more than one group, they need to stand in line for each testimony slot. They may not sign up for several slots at once. 

Written testimony may be submitted through the Map App or by sending a letter by May 18 to:

Planning and Sustainability Commission 
Attn: Residential Infill Project
1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100
Portland, OR 97201

For more information about the Proposed Draft, please visit the project website at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/infill

Builder’s mission is to increase the supply of ADUs so more people can have an affordable place to live

Holly Huntley, owner of environs, has built 17 ADUs in Portland … so far! And more on the way.

Holly Huntley

Meet Holly Huntley, general contractor and owner of environs, a small construction company that specializes in building ADUs, or accessory dwelling units. Holly is working to fill the housing shortage with small, affordable and accessible units in single-family neighborhoods.

“I love that I get to be a tiny part of the solution around creating more living spaces in our urban environment,” she says.

Of the 17 ADUs she has built, six have been for people moving to Portland to live next to their children and grandchildren and/or to receive support as they enter a different phase of life. These ADUs have “visitability” features like wider doors and larger bathrooms to accommodate wheelchairs and walkers. “This makes things easier for current occupants and increases a limited inventory of homes that are designed with universal usership in mind,” says Huntley. 

Another six of the ADUs were built for homeowners who moved into the ADU and rented out their main house to reduce their housing costs and provide additional income from long-term rentals. Another handful stayed in their home and rented the ADU.

Allowing and encouraging homeowners to maximize their most important investment is vital to the success of our community.

Says Huntley, “Only one of the ADUs I’ve built has entered the short-term rental market — which was not the original intent and not the future plan.”

As she worked with her clients, several common goals emerged: to make better use of their property; create a healthy, efficient home for themselves; provide a long-term rental unit at a fair rate; and secure housing costs for themselves. 

“I am fortunate to be able to work with people in my community who have similar beliefs around what our neighborhoods should be doing and providing,” she muses. “We need more and varied types of housing, and ADUs as urban infill meet a valuable fraction of this need. Allowing and encouraging homeowners to maximize their most important investment is vital to the success of our community. While it is rooted in housing, the impact goes well beyond shelter.”