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Planning and Sustainability

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Have you received a City of Portland notice in the mail about your single-family home?

Here’s what it means and what you can do.

Welcome to the Residential Infill Project online “customer service” page. We’re glad you’re here.

  • Perhaps you received a notice in the mail that looks like this, and you’re not sure exactly what it means.  
  • Or maybe you heard about proposed rules that would govern new development in residential neighborhoods from a friend or neighbor, and you’re concerned.
  • Or you want to find out how these proposals would address the housing shortage.
  • Or you care about what new houses in your neighborhood look and feel like.
  • Or some or all the above.

You are not alone! Owners of more than 135,000 properties recently received the mailing pictured above from the City of Portland. This is required by state law whenever a change in the zoning could affect the value of a property — up or down. Your address was pulled from the County Assessor’s Office.

First things first

First thing to know is that these changes are proposals — not the law. We hope you’ll learn more about them and tell the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) what you think. Any new rules must be adopted by City Council before they become effective. And before adoption, they are refined and changed based on public testimony, as well as PSC and City Council amendments.

Second, these proposals do not require you to sell your house or do anything to your property or home. They would only apply if you add to your existing house or build a new unit on your land.

If or when you do, the proposal would allow more housing units to be built in residential neighborhoods, but only if they conform to new limits on size and scale.

Here’s a simple summary of the proposed new rules.

We’re here to help

This is complicated stuff. So, we want to help you understand the proposals and how they may affect you and your property. You can:

  • Call the Helpline at 503-823-0195. Friendly staff will look up your address and tell you how the proposals would affect your property.
  • Come to a drop-in session in your neighborhood for one-on-one consulting with a planner. We’ve scheduled them all over town for your convenience.
  • Look up your address on the Map App to find out what rules apply now and what could be proposed.
  • Send us an email at residential.infill@portlandoregon.gov, and a knowledgeable person will respond.

More questions? Consult our FAQs.

Then share your feedback with the Planning and Sustainability Commission via the Map App or in person at a public hearing

Renters matter too

You don’t have to be a property owner to weigh in on these proposals. Renters are also affected by the housing shortage and the lack of housing options. So, look and imagine how these changes might affect how you live in and experience Portland. Then share your thoughts with the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Again, you’re not alone

Many people are feeling a sense of rapid change in their neighborhoods and throughout the city. As we spoke with hundreds of Portlanders around the city over the past two years, we heard that people want to take care of and improve their neighborhoods as the city grows.

They want more opportunities to live in complete neighborhoods — and not just for themselves. For their parents, so they can age in place. For their children so they can afford to live in the city they grew up in. For the teachers, nurses, grocery clerks and firefighters who contribute to our communities. And the many newcomers who are moving here every day.

So, we’re revisiting the rules that shape our residential neighborhoods to create opportunities for more people to enjoy the benefits of these vibrant communities. Alone, a zoning change won’t solve our housing crisis. 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.

For more information, visit the project website.

Residential Infill Project Proposed Draft to the Planning and Sustainability Commission now ready for public review

Read about new proposals that will govern how our residential neighborhoods grow and evolve; then testify online or in person to the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

As Portlanders, we have an opportunity to update the rules that shape our residential neighborhoods to allow more families and households to live in them — while limiting the construction of very large new houses.

Over the past two years, we had thousands of conversations with hundreds of people. And we heard that Portlanders want to take care of and improve their neighborhoods as the city grows. They want more people to have access to these vibrant residential areas and all the great things they offer — like schools, parks, shops, restaurants and grocery stores.

In response, we’re revisiting the rules that shape our residential neighborhoods so more people can enjoy the benefits of these vibrant neighborhoods. In collaboration with Portlanders from all over the city with many different experiences and perspectives, we’ve created a proposal that allows more housing units to be built in residential neighborhoods, but only if they follow new limits on size and scale.

Review the Residential Infill Project Proposed Draft:


Tell the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) what you think

Via the Map App … by 5 p.m. Friday, May 18

Screen capture of the Map App

Explore the Map App

The Map App is new and improved! In addition to viewing proposed map changes for individual properties, community members (property owners and renters) can now testify directly to the Planning and Sustainability Commission via the Map App. It’s as easy as sending an email. And once you press “submit,” you can see your testimony in the Testimony Reader in real time. You can also read other people’s testimony.

Or mail a letter … letters must be received by Friday, May 18
Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission
Residential Infill Testimony
1900 SW 4th, Suite 7100
Portland, Oregon 97201


At a public hearing …

You can testify directly to the Planning and Sustainability Commission at two public hearings:

5 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, 2018
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500, Portland, Oregon

5 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, 2018
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500, Portland, Oregon


Learn more about how this proposal might affect your property

The online Map App lets you look up a specific property and see what changes are proposed, but if computers aren’t your thing, you can talk to a planner one-on-one at drop-in hours around town or call our customer service helpline.

Drop-in hours

Stop by and see us at a nearby library.

Location Date Time Address
St. Johns Library Tuesday, April 17, 2018 5:00 – 7:00 p.m.  7510 N Charleston Ave.
Midland Library Thursday, April 19, 2018 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.  805 SE 122nd Ave
North Portland Library Thursday, April 26, 2018 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.   512 N Killingsworth St.
Hollywood Library Monday, April 30, 2018 3:30 – 5:30 p.m.  4040 NE Tillamook St.
Woodstock Library Tuesday, May 1, 2018 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.   6008 SE 49th Ave.
Hillsdale Library Thursday, May 3, 2018 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.   1525 SW Sunset Blvd.

Helpline

We’re ready for your questions. Call 503-823-0195. Interpretation services available.

languages

Email

Or email us at residential.infill@portlandoregon.gov with your questions and a knowledgeable person will respond to you. 


Next Steps

After the PSC hears public testimony and the “record is closed” (no more testimony – written or oral – is accepted), the PSC will hold work sessions in May and June to discuss the testimony and develop any amendments they want to make to the proposals before they vote on their recommendations to the City Council. Council is expected to hold public hearings on the PSC’s Recommended Draft this Fall.

For more information, visit the project website.

What are people saying about the Residential Infill Project Discussion Draft?

More than 700 individuals and 46 organizations submitted comments on proposed code and map changes for single-dwelling neighborhoods.

Portlanders had a lot to share with City staff during the public review of the Residential Infill Project Discussion Draft (October 3 through November 30, 2017):

  • 433 people submitted 3,425 comments through the online and paper comment forms.
  • Community members sent 249 emails.
  • Staff received 46 letters from nonprofits and advocacy groups, public sector agencies and commissions, for-profit housing developers, business interests, neighborhood associations and district coalitions.
  • The lobby exhibit in the 1900 Development Services Building resulted in 36 comments.

Staff read and categorized all the comments and prepared a What We Heard Summary Report, which is now available on the project website. The report identifies key themes from all the comments, including:

  • Housing affordability.
  • How the “a” alternative housing opportunity overlay is mapped.
  • The displacement risk analysis.
  • Proposed regulations for cottage clusters.
  • Visitability standards to promote age-friendly housing.
  • Incentives to protect historic resources.

document cover

Read the Residential Infill Project What We Heard Summary Report

In addition to this report, the full text of all the comments can be found in the appendices, which include:

  • Appendix A: Comment Form Responses
  • Appendix B: Emails and Letters from Individuals
  • Appendix C: BPS Lobby Exhibit Written Comments
  • Appendix D: Letters from Organizations

How will comments on the Discussion Draft be used?

These comments will guide staff as they make refinements to the Discussion Draft proposals and develop a Proposed Draft for the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) to consider next spring.

The first public hearing is tentatively scheduled for May 8, 2018. At this hearing, Portlanders will be able to give their formal testimony to the PSC on the Proposed Draft, which will be available to the public at least 30 days prior to the PSC hearing.

After hearing testimony from community members, the PSC will make recommendations to City Council, which will also hold public hearings (on the PSC’s Recommended Draft) later this fall. After considering testimony and deliberating, Council will vote to adopt the final package of map and code amendments.

What is this project about?

In response to community concerns about demolitions and the scale of new homes, as well as the supply of housing in Portland, the Residential Infill Project is updating Portland’s single-dwelling zoning rules to better meet the changing housing needs of current and future residents. The project addresses three topic areas: scale of houses, housing opportunity and narrow lots.

Want more information?

Email or speak with a team member directly:

And visit the website at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/infill.

Public review period of Residential Infill Project Discussion Draft closes

Comments on code and map changes will be summarized in a report to be posted in January 2018.

Over the eight-week period between October 4 through November 30, the Residential Infill Project Discussion Draft was available for public review. Thanks to all who took the time to learn about the proposals and share their feedback with staff.

How will comments on the Discussion Draft be used?

Comments received will guide staff as they make refinements to the Discussion Draft proposals and develop a Proposed Draft for the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) to consider next spring. Portlanders will be able to give their formal testimony to the PSC on the Proposed Draft at that time. After hearing testimony from community members, the PSC will make recommendations to City Council, which will also hold public hearings (on the PSC’s Recommended Draft). After considering testimony and deliberating, Council will vote to adopt the final package of map and code amendments.

What's next?

Staff is currently reading and categorizing all the comments received and preparing a summary report. Look for the What We Heard Summary Report on the project website by early January. In addition to this report, all the comments in their entirety will be posted on the website.

What is this project about?

In response to community concerns about demolitions and the scale of new homes, as well as the supply of housing in Portland, the Residential Infill Project is updating Portland’s single-dwelling zoning rules to better meet the changing housing needs of current and future residents. The project addresses three topic areas: scale of houses, housing opportunity and narrow lots.

Want more information?

Email: residential.infill@portlandoregon.gov

Or speak with a team member directly:

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

And visit the website at www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/infill.

Still time to comment on the Residential Infill Project amendments

Public comment period for the Discussion Draft extended to Thursday, November 30

Since the release of the Residential Infill Project Discussion Draft, dozens of community members have attended the kick-off meeting, one of the five drop-in office hours or any of the various meetings staff have been attending since the proposals were published on Oct. 3, 2017. This outreach period is focused on familiarizing community members with the detailed amendments in preparation for the Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council hearings next year.

We have heard that the November 20 date is making it more difficult to prepare feedback due to the timing of several organizations’ monthly meeting schedules. So we're extending the comment deadline to the end of the month (November 30) to give people more time read the draft proposals and submit their comments. Please note: This is not the last chance to be heard; formal public hearings will be held with the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) in the winter and City Council in the spring of next year.

Review the Discussion Draft materials

The Residential Infill Project Discussion Draft materials include:

  • Project summary – 8-page color summary of the 12 proposals of the Discussion Draft with maps and illustrations
  • Volume 1: Staff Report and Map Amendments – includes project overview and introduction, analysis of proposals, as well as the methodology for creating the Housing Opportunity Overlay – the new ‘a’ overlay
  • Volume 2: Zoning Code Amendments – the actual regulations
  • Volume 3: Appendices – includes Guidance from the Comprehensive Plan, FAR Background, R2.5 Catalog, Visitability Best Practices, Map Refinements, and Historically Narrow Lot Background 

Parcel-specific information that shows which amendments will affect individual properties is available through the Map App – an interactive online map.

How to comment

Comments are due by November 30, 2017.

You may submit comments on the Discussion Draft in several ways:  

City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Attn: Residential Infill Project
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100
Portland, OR 97201

How will my comments be used?

Comments on the Residential Infill Project Discussion Draft will be directed to City staff, who will use the feedback as they develop a proposal for the PSC. This Proposed Draft will be considered by the PSC early next year, and Portlanders will be able to give formal testimony on the Proposed Draft at that time.

For more information

Please contact: