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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

1810 SW 5th Ave, Suite 710, Portland, OR 97201

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Comprehensive Plan Map

The Comprehensive Plan Map establishes the land use designations for all land within Portland’s Urban Services Boundary. Descriptions of each designation are found in Chapter 10 of the plan.

What is the difference between the Comprehensive Plan Map and the Zoning Map?

Both depict how land can be used and developed over time, using a set of “designations” and “zones” (shown as colors on the maps). Both show broad categories of uses, such as residential, mixed use, industrial, employment and open space. They also convey information about the scale of future development (the type and size of buildings).

The Comprehensive Plan Map is about the future…
The Comprehensive Plan Map depicts a long-term vision of how and where the city will grow and change over the next 20 years (through 2035) to accommodate expected population and job growth.

The Zoning Map is about what is allowed today…
Decisions about Comprehensive Plan designations directly guide subsequent decisions about zoning.  Chapter 10 of the Comprehensive Plan includes a list of zoning designations that correspond to each of the land use designations in the plan.  The City’s Zoning Map tells us how land can be used and what can be built on any given property today. Zones are more specific than the Comprehensive Plan designations and come with a set of rules (included in the City’s Zoning Code) that clarify what uses are allowed (e.g., residences, businesses, manufacturing), and how buildings may be developed or changed (e.g., maximum heights and required setbacks from property lines).

The Comp Plan Map and the Zoning Map are like a leader and a follower. The plan map is the leading map and the zone map is the following map. The zone map can “catch up” to the plan map, but it can’t go past it.

Can the Comprehensive Plan Map be changed?

Yes, Comprehensive Plan Map Amendments can occur in two ways. City Council is the decision-maker for both kinds of changes.

  • Legislative changes. The Planning and Sustainability Commission can recommend changes as part of a large-scale citywide or area-specific plan or study. Legislative changes are managed by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.
  • Quasi-judicial changes. Changes to individual properties can be requested through the Bureau of Development Services. Information about quasi-judicial Comprehensive Plan Map Amendments is found on the BDS website.