Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

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

More Contact Info

Portlanders tell the Planning and Sustainability Commission what they think about Better Housing by Design proposals for higher density housing

More than 30 people testified at a June 12 public hearing; written testimony on proposals to improve the design and livability of multi-dwelling housing accepted until 5 p.m., Monday, June 25.

The Better Housing by Design project is updating the rules that govern new development of Portland’s multi-family housing, such as apartment buildings, fourplexes and courtyard housing. The goal is to encourage better design and livability of these higher density housing types.

On June 12, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) held a public hearing on proposed changes to the multi-dwelling zoning code. At the hearing, 32 community members testified on the proposals. The PSC has also received more than 150 pieces of written testimony to date.

Most of the testimony has been about development density and parking. You can view public testimony on the BHD Proposed Draft via the Testimony Reader.

The PSC welcomes written testimony until Monday, June 25.

Submit written testimony to the PSC by 5 p.m. Monday, June 25 via:

Map App: Click the “Testify” button 

U.S. Mail (letters must be received by June 25):

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission
Better Housing Testimony
1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100
Portland, OR 97201 

Next Steps: Work Sessions

The PSC will conduct work sessions on the proposals in August and September (specific dates to be determined). At these meetings, there will be no public testimony, as Commissioners will 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).

To view past PSC meetings on the Better Housing by Design Proposed Draft:

Links to the Better Housing by Design Proposed Draft documents:

You can find all the Proposed Draft material online at: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/76925

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. 

Public hearing on new rules for multi-family housing on June 12 at PCC Southeast

The Planning and Sustainability Commission wants to hear from you! Testify in person or in writing about proposals to make apartment living safer and healthier.

The Better Housing by Design Proposed Draft has been available for public review since May 11. It includes new rules to guide how new apartments and other larger residential buildings are built.

Major topics addressed by the project include:

  • Greater housing options and affordability to meet more housing needs.
  • Outdoor spaces and green elements for children to play, gardening and outdoor gatherings.
  • Building design that helps create pedestrian-friendly streets and respects neighborhood character.
  • East Portland design standards and street connections that respond to the area’s distinct.

Now the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) will hold a public hearing on the Proposed Draft. This is your chance to tell the Commission what you like and think could be improved about the proposed zoning changes for higher density housing development.

How to testify on the Better Housing by Design proposals at the public hearing

On Tuesday, June 12, starting at 5 p.m., the PSC will hear testimony from community members about the Better Housing by Design Proposed Draft. The Commission is committed to effective public involvement and is looking forward to hearing from you. Here’s everything you need to know about how to testify in person at the hearing:

  • Commissioners will hear testimony on June 12 starting at 5 p.m.
  • The hearing will be at Portland Community College Southeast Campus, Community Hall Annex (located at the western end of the campus along SE Division), 2305 SE 82nd Avenue. Look for the signs we’ll have put up to help guide you. See map at left for details (building COMX).
  • Project staff will be on hand starting at 4 p.m. to help people sign up to testify.

 One spot in line = One two-minute testimony slot

  • Signing up for someone else – If you are signing up for someone else, you’ll need to get in line again for each person.
  • 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 by June 25 at 5 p.m. Letters can be sent to:

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission 
Better Housing Testimony
1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100
Portland, OR 97201

Better Housing by Design Proposed Draft documents:

See more Proposed Draft materials.

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.

Better Housing by Design testimony (written) deadline extended to Monday, June 25 at 5 p.m.

Testify to the Planning and Sustainability Commission on proposed new rules to improve higher density living in person or in writing.

The Better Housing by Design project is proposing new rules to make housing in Portland’s multi-dwelling zones more livable, healthy and connected to other streets and transit.

To give community members more time to consider the proposals, the date for submitting written testimony on the Better Housing by Design Proposed Draft has been extended to Monday, June 25 at 5 p.m. The Planning and Sustainability public hearing for the Proposed Draft remains scheduled for Tuesday, June 12

You can submit written testimony to the Planning and Sustainability Commission by June 25, 2018, at 5 p.m.

TESTIFY IN WRITING

Via the Map App: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/mapapp

Select Better Housing by Design and click on the "Testify" button. Testifying in the Map App is 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.

By U.S. Mail:

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission
Better Housing by Design Testimony
1900 SW 4th, Suite 7100
Portland, Oregon 97201

TESTIFY IN PERSON

Or testify directly to the Planning and Sustainability Commission at the public hearing:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 5 p.m.
PCC Southeast Campus, Community Hall Annex
2305 SE 82nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PROPOSED DRAFT

Read the Proposed Draft documents.

Learn about specific properties by using the online Map App. Enter an address to learn about the proposed zoning for a property (the proposals only affect properties that already have multi-dwelling zoning).

Questions?

We’re ready to help. Call 503-823-0195. Interpretation services available. You can also e-mail staff at betterhousing@portlandoregon.gov or visit the project website: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/betterhousing.

Better Housing by Design aims to make apartment living better in Portland

Learn about proposals to improve the livability of apartments and other higher density buildings, then testify to the Planning and Sustainability Commission.

The Better Housing by Design project is updating the rules that guide how new apartments and other larger residential buildings are built. These medium- to high-density residential zones provide opportunities for new housing to better meet the needs of a growing Portland.

The proposed new rules will create more housing choices for households of all ages, incomes and sizes. They will also ensure that new buildings are healthier, more livable and better connected to streets, shops, parks, schools and other amenities.

Major topics addressed by the project include:

  • Greater housing options and affordability to meet more housing needs.
  • Outdoor spaces and green elements for children to play, gardening and outdoor gatherings.
  • Building design that helps create pedestrian-friendly streets and respects neighborhood character.
  • East Portland design standards and street connections that respond to the area’s distinct needs.

 

Review the Better Housing by Design Proposed Draft:

Additional Proposed Draft documents will be available by June 2nd, including:

  • Volume 3: Additional Zoning Code Amendments (minor code amendments that provide consistency among zoning code chapters, eliminate redundant regulations, and update references to the multi-dwelling zones)
  • Appendix G: Better Housing by Design – Displacement Risk Analysis
  • Appendix H: Connected Centers Street Plan

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

Via the Map App …

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.

At a public hearing …

You can testify directly to the Planning and Sustainability Commission at a public hearing:

Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 5 p.m.
PCC Southeast Campus, Community Hall Annex
2305 SE 82nd Ave Portland, Oregon

Or send a letter by June 25, 2018, to …

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission
Better Housing by Design
1900 SW 4th, Suite 7100 
Portland, Oregon 97201.


Helpline

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

languages


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 a work session 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 summer.

For more information, visit the project website

Have you received a City of Portland notice in the mail?

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

Welcome to the Better Housing by Design 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 change the zoning for apartment buildings and other higher density residential buildings.
  • Or both.

You are not alone! Some 33,629 property owners received the mailing pictured at right 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 land or do anything to your property.

We’re here to help

We want to help you understand the proposal and how it 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 proposal would affect your property.
  • 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 betterhousing@portlandoregon.gov, and a knowledgeable person will respond.

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.

Current and proposed Comprehensive Plan and Zoning Designation Names

Current Com Plan Name Current Zone New Comp Plan Name & Abbreviation New Zone
Multi-Dwelling – 3,000
Multi-Dwelling – 2,000
R3
R2
Multi-Dwelling – Neighborhood (MD-N) RM1 (Residential Multi-Dwelling 1)
Multi-Dwelling – 1,000 R1 Multi-Dwelling – Corridor (MD-c) RM2 (Residential Multi-Dwelling 2)
High-Density Multi-Dwelling RH Multi-Dwelling – Urban Center (MD-U) RM3 (Residential Multi-Dwelling 3)
RM4 (Residential Multi-Dwelling 4)
Central Residential RX Central Residential (RX) RX (Central Residential)
  1. Comprehensive Plan designations, such as "Multi-Dwelling – Neighborhood," represent the long-term intended use for properties.
  2. Zoning designations, such as "RM1," include specific rules for the type of development and the size of features of buildings that are allowed on a property. The multi-dwelling zones are intended for a wide variety of residential development, including multi-family buildings.

Summary of the proposed multi-dwelling zones

Comparison of current and proposed development standards

For more information, visit the project website.