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Planning and Sustainability

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Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

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

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Important information and announcements about the Code Reconciliation Project.

December 12 PSC Work Session on Code Reconciliation Project

The Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) will hold a work session on the Code Reconciliation Project – Proposed Draft at its meeting on December 12 at approximately 1:20 p.m. Check the PSC agenda to confirm the time. 

No additional testimony will be taken on this topic at this meeting; testimony on the project was taken at the October 24, 2017 public hearing. The PSC will also consider additional amendments proposed in the December 5 staff memo.

Public invited to testify on proposed changes to Titles 11, 18, 32 and 33 before commissions and boards at public hearings

Proposed changes to reconcile zoning and other City regulations in Planning and Zoning, Trees, Noise Control and Signs chapters of the Zoning Code.

Portland's new Comprehensive Plan is in the process of being acknowledged by the state. Meanwhile, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) planners are proposing amendments to the Zoning Code and other City titles to synchronize regulations with the 2035 Comprehensive Plan and Inclusionary Housing changes.

The Code Reconciliation Project – Proposed Draft is available for public review and testimony. The Proposed Draft includes amendments to Title 33 (Planning and Zoning), Title 11 (Trees), Title 18 (Noise Control) and Title 32 (Signs and Related Regulations). While many of the changes are primarily technical fixes, there are also changes that may touch on policy issues and affect development allowances.

How to testify

Your testimony on the Proposed Draft changes must be directed to the Commission or Board tasked with considering and approving the amendments, as follows:

Planning and Sustainability Commission – Title 33, Title 32 and Title 11 issues

Testify: October 24, 2017, 5 p.m., CH2M Building: 2020 SW 4th Ave, Lincoln Room (1st floor)
Check the PSC calendar one week before the meeting for exact hearing time for this project.
Write: Attn: PSC Testimony, 1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201
Fax: 503-823-7800
Email: (write “Code Reconciliation Testimony” in the subject line)

Noise Review Board – Title 18 issues only 

Testify: November 8, 2017, 6 p.m., City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Pettygrove Room
Write: 1221 SW 4th Avenue Room 110, Portland, OR 97204
Fax: 503-823-3050 (write “Code Reconciliation Testimony” in the subject line)

Urban Forestry Commission – Title 11 issues only

Testify: November 16, 2017, 8 a.m., City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Lovejoy Room
Write: 1900 SW 4th Ave., Suite 5000 Portland, OR 97201
Email: (write “Code Reconciliation Testimony” in the subject line)


Staff will brief the Commissions and Boards on the following dates, but no testimony will be taken.

Planning and Sustainability Commission
Oct. 10, 2017, 12:30 p.m, 1900 SW 4th Room 2500

Noise Review Board
Oct. 11, 2017, 6 p.m., City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue

Urban Forestry Commission
Oct. 19, 2017, 8 a.m., City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue

Confirm dates, times, and locations of these events in the calendar.

For more information or if you have questions about the Code Reconciliation Project

Visit the project website:

Email staff:

Call: 503-823-0195

Draft changes to reconcile zoning and other City codes available for review

Portlanders invited to consider the Code Reconciliation Project Discussion Draft.

Even though Portland's new Comprehensive Plan is still in the process of being acknowledged by the state, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) planners are moving forward with efforts to implement the new plan in accordance with the new Comp Plan policies, zoning map and code.

Here are some new developments …

The Code Reconciliation Project – Discussion Draft is posted online for public review and comment through August 28, 2017. The draft code amendments, which include changes to Title 33 (Zoning), Title 11 (Trees), Title 18 (Noise Control), and Title 32 (Signs), are primarily technical fixes, but also include a few minor policy issues and changes to development allowances.

Comment welcome

Comments on the Discussion Draft will be directed to BPS staff, who will consider them in developing a Proposed Draft for the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) to consider. The PSC will hold a public hearing and take oral and written public testimony on the Proposed Draft this fall.

You can submit your comments to, via email at, or by mail to the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, Attn: Code Reconciliation Project, 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100, Portland, OR  97201.

For questions or for more information, email, call 503-823-0195, or visit the project website

Project staff are also available to answer your questions in person at drop-in meetings on:

  • Monday, August 7, 2017, 6 – 8 p.m., at Ride Connection, 9955 NE Glisan, Williams Room  
  • Tuesday, August 8, 2017, 5 - 7 p.m., at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Lobby

Neighborhood Contact Requirement – New process and project
The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has separated the Neighborhood Contact Requirement review from the Code Reconciliation Project to give it more time and attention. The new Neighborhood Contact Requirement Project will address ways to create a more effective process that meets the goals of information sharing and early dialogue with the community. A Discussion Draft will be released in the fall. For more information, please visit the new project website.

Online questionnaire closes, hundreds responded
As part of preliminary exploration on neighborhood contact requirements, BPS solicited feedback through an online questionnaire. Responses to this questionnaire will inform possible changes to broaden notification and provide an opportunity for community dialogue for significant projects. We received 540 responses between June 23 and July 9, 2017, and the results of the Neighborhood Contact Questionnaire are available for review.

Updating the Neighborhood Contact process for new development

You can help improve the process for notifying community members/neighbors when new development is proposed.

Would you like to receive more information about proposed new development in commercial centers and corridors? If so, read on.

In Portland’s Commercial zones, when a development is allowed and complies with zoning regulations, community notification about a proposed project is typically not required. However, many participants in the 2035 Comprehensive Plan Update project supported broader information sharing, enhanced notification and early conversations about new development. With new Zoning Code changes effective in 2018, many more development projects in Commercial/Mixed Use zones will potentially be subject to the "Neighborhood Contact" requirement. 

So City planners are now exploring ways to improve the Neighborhood Contact process. And we are looking for community members to share their ideas about what should be done to make it better. If you'd like to be a part of the discussion, please let us know by April 20, 2017, and look for more information from us in May.

How does the Neighborhood Contact process work now?

Neighborhood Contact is currently required only in limited circumstances – such as when community design standards are used or in multi-dwelling zones. When applicable, the process requires applicants or developers of a property to request a meeting with the local neighborhood association by registered or certified mail. The association may then choose to meet with the applicant to discuss development proposals. However, the applicant does not have to make any changes to the proposal based on the comments received at the meeting. If a meeting with the neighborhood is held, the applicant must send a follow-up letter to the association to explain any changes in the proposal before applying for permits.

What are some of the issues to consider and possibly revise?

  • Who is contacted? The existing process notifies only neighborhood associations and district coalition offices. Neighborhoods may choose to meet or not, based on their level of interest. However, many people who live, work, own property or are otherwise interested in the area may not have information about development unless they are engaged in neighborhood associations. And, without some process revisions, neighborhood associations and district coalitions may become overwhelmed with mailed communications and requests to meet.
  • How are people contacted? The code currently requires the notification be sent to neighborhood associations and district coalition offices by registered or certified mail. This presents problems where mail access is limited and/or where volunteers from associations change or are unavailable to share information. Many affected parties and community members are not included in notices and may not be aware of opportunities to meet or share information.
  • What is the purpose and what should the outcome be? The Neighborhood Contact requirement is unclear about what the applicant and other people should expect from the contact itself. The Zoning Code and other communications materials should clarify the purpose of the contact requirement and the expected outcomes.

Who may care about this topic?

  • Property owners and developers in Commercial/Mixed Use zones who may develop their property or make additions to their buildings may be subject to the new rules. 
  • Neighbors and other community members that frequent or live near commercial corridors or centers who are interested in or affected by development.

Next Steps

After gathering the names of interested community members, the project team will engage them in a process to clarify issues and consider ways to improve the process (Spring 2017). Much of this engagement will be done by email, but a meeting may also be held this spring. Any proposed changes to process will be shared broadly with the public for review and feedback in a Discussion Draft (late Spring or Summer 2017).


The intent of the Neighborhood Contact rule is to require people developing a property to informally share information and gather constructive feedback about it with people who live or work in the neighborhood — before construction. The Zoning Code currently requires Neighborhood Contact (33.700) before development may proceed in limited situations such as projects using the Community Design Standards (33.218); development in Multi-Dwelling Residential zones (33.120); and in places such as SE Division Street (33.460).  

As part of the Comprehensive Plan Early Implementation Code Amendments (effective early 2018), the Neighborhood Contact requirement will be expanded to apply to a broader range of projects in Commercial/Mixed Use zones, where much new development is anticipated. 

The Code Reconciliation Project (CRP) review of the Neighborhood Contact requirement will address communications and community dialogue goals as well as consider improvements to the current process. However, it will not change the basic information-sharing intent of the contact requirement or the way development is allowed. Nor will it require applicants to change the proposal based on the input received.

For more information

Contact Barry Manning, project manager, at, or call 503-823-7965.

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