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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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Neighborhood contact code updates under Council review

City Council is deliberating updates to the way people learn about new building projects in their neighborhoods.

On March 6, 2019, the Portland City Council considered the Neighborhood Contact Code Update Recommended Draft at a public hearing. The proposed changes to the Zoning Code would allow more people to get early information about large building projects in places where they live, work and visit.

Commissioners heard testimony from six people and discussed the project. Testifiers spoke about how they have seen the existing code requirement play out in their neighborhoods and what they would like to see the proposal change.

Council closed the testimony record and is considering the verbal and written testimony. Commissioners will propose and discuss amendments, then hold a final vote on the revised draft at a future meeting, tentatively scheduled for April 11.

After adoption, the code changes are expected to take effect in late 2019 or early 2020.

Watch a video of the hearing and/or read the public testimony submitted on this draft.

Improvements to neighborhood notification about new development on their way to City Council

Read and comment on the Neighborhood Contact Code Update Recommended Draft; testify in person on March 6 at 2 p.m.

The Neighborhood Contact Code Update Project proposes changes to the City’s Zoning Code (Title 33) that will make it easier for more people to learn about new construction of larger buildings. These requirements offer a way for people who live and work in or visit a neighborhood to learn about upcoming development projects early on.

The proposals have been reviewed and revised by the Planning and Sustainability Commission, and a new draft (the Recommended Draft) has been released for review by City Council.

Review the Neighborhood Contact Code Update Recommended Draft

You can testify to City Council in person at an upcoming public hearing.

City Council Public Hearing
Neighborhood Contact Code Update
March 6 at 2 p.m.
Council Chambers, City Hall
1221 SW 4th Avenue

What’s in the Recommended Draft?

The recommended proposals would:

  • For projects adding more than 10,000 square feet of new building space, require large signs on the development site with summary information about the project, posted 35 days before the building permit or Land Use Review application is submitted. This applies in most zones.
  • For projects adding more than 25,000 square feet of new building, require a public meeting to share information. This also applies in most zones.
  • Shift responsibility for noticing the affected parties (via sign and at a meeting) from the neighborhood association to the project applicant.

Review draft signage and other notices

The appendix of the Recommended Draft contains draft examples of materials that the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) will develop to support implementation of code changes. BDS staff will continue to revise these materials, but they are not part of the zoning code changes being proposed.

Tell City Council what you think of the proposed new requirements

You can testify directly to City Council in person (see public hearing information above) or in writing via:

It’s as easy as sending an email. Just click or tap the big "Testify" button and complete the online form. Once you press “submit,” you can read your testimony in the Testimony Reader in real time. You can also read other people’s testimony.

  • U.S. Mail

Send your letter to:

Portland City Council
c/o Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Neighborhood Contact Testimony
1900 SW 4th, Suite 7100
Portland, Oregon 97201

Written testimony will be received until Tuesday, March 6 at the end of the hearing.

Questions?

Visit the project website, call 503-823-7728 or email sara.wright@portlandoregon.gov.

Updates to neighborhood contact code requirements revised by PSC, heading to City Council

Commissioners make amendments to staff proposals, including requiring online access to neighborhood contact information provided by developers.

On the heels of the newly adopted 2035 Comprehensive Plan, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability created the Neighborhood Contact Code Update Project. This project is intended to make information more available to more people more consistently about new large buildings in their neighborhoods.

On August 14, 2018, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) deliberated on proposed changes to the current Neighborhood Contact zoning code requirements. These draft rules are intended to help people learn about new development where they live, work and visit. Watch the PSC discussion on our YouTube channel (conversation starts at 9:10).

What are the changes?

The current code generally requires that developers of some new projects send a certified letter to the relevant neighborhood association. The letter is required to offer an informational meeting to the neighborhood group.

The proposed changes would require that developers for projects:

Adding more than 10,000 square feet

  • Post a sign onsite with a summary of the project and contact information for the developer.
  • Send an informational email to NA, district coalition, business association and school district by email.

 

Adding more than 25,000 square feet

In addition to the sign and email described above, hold a public informational meeting. The project developer, not the neighborhood association, is responsible for ensuring the meeting takes place.

The proposal includes other changes, including allowing the applicant to contact the neighborhood association, district coalition, business association and school district by email or mail instead of certified mail.

Public testimony

The PSC heard from seven people during a public hearing earlier in the summer and received 29 pieces of written testimony.

Testifiers made the case for changes to the proposed zoning code amendments, which the Commission considered in developing revisions to the document. Testifiers shared their experiences with neighborhood contact meetings, their preferences for information availability and what they thought should be changed in the proposal.

Testifiers’ desired changes were sometimes conflicting: Some testifiers argued that the triggers for notice should be increased or decreased; others that neighborhood associations should retain control of the meetings – or not.

The written and verbal testimony can be reviewed in the Testimony Reader.

PSC action and next steps

After reviewing the testimony and discussing the proposals, the PSC presented their proposals to change the zoning code amendments. Commissioner Chris Smith proposed more detail to the requirements for meeting logistics. He also proposed a requirement that the Bureau of Development Services provide online access to neighborhood contact information provided by developers. The Commission also approved staff amendments and a proposal by Commissioner Michelle Rudd to revise references to “the community” to “members of the community.”

The document will be revised by staff to incorporate the amendments and released to City Council as the “Recommended Draft.” City Council will review the proposal and hear public testimony in the fall or winter, followed by a vote to adopt the changes to the zoning code.

Questions? Learn more

Planning and Sustainability Commission holds a public hearing on the Neighborhood Contact Code Update project

Learn more about the August 14, 2018 Planning and Sustainability Commission hearing about the Neighborhood Contact Code Update Proposed Draft

The Planning and Sustainability Commission held a public hearing on the Proposed Draft of the Neighborhood Contact Code Update project on Tuesday, August 14. Seven people testified, adding to the testimony submitted previously in writing. Commissioners asked clarifying questions of staff and brought up some ideas for amendments they might want to propose.

Want to learn more about what happened at the hearing?

Want to testify to the Planning and Sustainability Commission?
Written testimony (submitted through the Map App or delivered in hard copy to the BPS office will be accepted through 5 p.m on Friday, August 17.

What’s next?
The Planning and Sustainability Commission is scheduled to hold a work session and recommendation on the Neighborhood Contact Code Update on August 28th. During that meeting, commissioners are expected to propose and discuss amendments, and vote to adopt an amended draft of the code changes. There will be no public testimony, but the meeting is public.

Questions? Contact Sara Wright at 503-823-7288 or sara.wright@portlandoregon.gov .

Learn about new development early on with proposed neighborhood contact requirements

Review the Neighborhood Contact Code Update Proposed Draft; then testify on proposed new rules for informing the public about new construction in their neighborhoods.

During the development of Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan, Portlanders expressed a need to know earlier when new development was coming to their neighborhoods. Too often, they said, the first time they became aware that a new building was going up was when demolition began or the backhoes arrived.

As a follow-on project of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability convened the Neighborhood Contact Code Update Project.

A Proposed Draft has been released for public review and testimony, which you can review and weigh in on.

The Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold a public hearing on August 14, when community members can share their testimony in person. The PSC is also accepting written testimony via the Map App until 5 p.m. on Friday, August 17.

What’s in the Proposed Draft?

The Neighborhood Contact Code Update Project is reviewing requirements about how project developers engage with the public. These requirements offer a way for people who live and work in or visit a neighborhood to learn about new development projects early on.

Some of the highlights of the proposal include:

  • Require onsite signs with summary information about the project, posted 35 days before the building permit or Land Use Review application is submitted. This applies for projects adding more than 10,000 square feet of new building.
  • Allow notice to be sent using email or mail rather than requiring certified mail.
  • Require a public informational meeting about projects adding more than 25,000 square feet of new building.

The appendix of the Proposed Draft contains draft examples of materials that the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) will develop to support implementation of code changes. BDS staff will continue to revise these materials, but they are not part of the zoning code changes being proposed. If you have questions about the proposal, contact Sara Wright at 503-823-7728.

Tell the PSC what you think of the proposed new requirements

You can testify directly to the Planning and Sustainability Commission via the Map App from now until August 17 at 5 p.m. 

Testify online via the Map App

It’s as easy as sending an email. Just click or tap the big "Testify" button and complete the online form. Once you press “submit,” you can read your testimony in the Testimony Reader in real time. You can also read other people’s testimony.

Via U.S. Mail

Send your letter to:

Planning and Sustainability Commission
Neighborhood Contact Testimony
1900 SW 4th, Suite 7100
Portland, Oregon 97201

In person at the public hearing

Tuesday, August 14, 12:30 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500
Portland, Oregon

Questions?

Visit the project website, call 503-823-7728 or email sara.wright@portlandoregon.gov.