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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

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Johnson Creek and Outer Southeast Portland: Updated Environmental Overlay Zone Map ready for review

Second draft map of corrected ezones for the Johnson Creek watershed and outer Southeast Portland are ready for community/neighborhood review.

Ezones are a tool that City planners use to protect Portland’s important natural resources — like streams, floodplains, wetlands, forests and steep slopes. These natural resources are woven throughout all of Portland in neighborhoods, commercial districts and industrial areas. The resources are home to fish and wildlife, are places where people go to recreate and relax, and provide important functions like reducing air temperature, improving air quality, managing stormwater and flooding and reducing risks of landslides.

Getting it right

Last summer, staff shared the first draft of corrected ezones for the Johnson Creek Watershed and the outer east areas of Portland south of I-84. Planners discussed the updates with residents at six neighborhood meetings, conducted more than three dozen site visits and held two drop-in hours.

Based on their analysis and public input, staff refined the location of ezones for the Johnson Creek area and its tributaries, as well as southeast buttes, including Mt Tabor and Kelly Butte.

The second draft of the ezone maps are available on the Ezone Review Map.

Many property owners that received a site visit should be able to see changes to the draft ezones on their properties.

Postcards in the mail

The second draft also includes some new properties. After revising the mapping protocols to better reflect previously adopted plans, 45 new properties were included in the ezones.

If your property is proposed for remapping, a postcard is in the mail. Please use the Ezone Review Map to see the corrected ezone boundaries.

How do I use the map?

Request a site visit

If you currently have an ezone on your property or you think you are getting one through this project, you can request a free site visit from BPS staff. Staff use site visits to verify data on the location of natural resources and correct errors in our draft ezone maps.

If you would like to request a site visit, or if you have any questions or concerns about the ezone mapping on your site, please:

Staff can provide more detailed ezone and natural resource maps for individual sites by request.

For more information

Visit the website: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/e-zone
Email: ezone@portlandoregon.gov
Call: 503-823-4225

Are you in an “Ezone”? Are the natural resources on your property protected?

Find out at one-on-one drop-in sessions and with an online map app.

Here in Portland, we’re lucky to have two major rivers, lots of streams and wetlands, as well as an abundant tree canopy – and wildlife. 

One of the ways the City of Portland protects these features is through overlay zones, which limit certain uses and activities in environmentally sensitive areas. Environmental Overlay Zones – or Ezones – protect streams, wetlands and wildlife habitat, as well as minimize risk of damage to homes from natural hazards, including landslides, flooding and wildfires. They also reduce the effects of climate change, such as rising air temperature, thus contributing to a healthy and livable city.

Updating the ezones

It’s been roughly 20 years since the Ezones were mapped across the city. Since then, streams have shifted their course, new development has occurred, and technology has improved so much that we can more accurately identify the environmentally sensitive areas that need protecting.

The Environmental Overlay Zone (Ezone) Map Correction Project has just released a draft map that reflects those new conditions and information. Now, Portlanders can find out if and how their property may be affected by any changes through this project.

We are starting the Ezone update in Southeast Portland (planning for the Columbia Slough and Columbia River will commence in winter 2018/19, with the West Hills to follow in late 2019). 

Learn more at Woodstock Library on August 29 and September 27

Staff from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will be on hand at two drop-in sessions for properties in the Johnson Creek Watershed, Mt. Tabor, and other buttes and open space areas south of I-84. They will be able to answer questions about properties in the Ezone using an online map.  

Stop by the Woodstock Library, located at 6008 SE 29th Avenue, on:

Project staff will also be making presentations at various neighborhood associations in the affected areas. Please consult the calendar for more information.

Postcards in the mail

SE Portland residents affected by these changes received an informational postcard. However, this does not necessarily mean that the changes to the Ezone boundaries will directly affect your individual property. That decision will be made through this planning process.

Project staff will send postcards to affected properties in the Columbia Slough and West Hills when they turn their attention to those areas.  

Existing conditions report

To help understand this project and why Ezones are important, please consult the DRAFT Existing Conditions Report. The report describes the:

  1. Existing environmental overlay zones.
  2. Plans that originally applied to the existing overlay zones.
  3. Natural Resources Inventory (2014), which will be used to correct the overlay zone boundaries.

Review the Existing Conditions Report.

For more information

Have questions or concerns? You can:

"Rightsizing" Portland's environmental overlay zones

Portlanders are invited to review draft remapped environmental overlay zones and attend neighborhood meetings in August and September.

The City of Portland has been protecting rivers, streams, wetlands, forests, wildlife habitat, flood areas and steep slopes for more than 30 years. But advances in technology since 1989 have created a mismatch between the mapped environmental overlay zones and the actual location of natural resource features on the ground. The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is going to fix that!

What's an ezone?

How will this affect you?

This project may adjust environmental overlay zones on as many as 15,000 properties in Portland. We expect the overlay zones on many of these properties will only change slightly. Some properties will have an expanded e-zone; others may have a reduced overlay zone.

You can view a map of the overlay zones, find your property and determine what kinds of environmental protections apply.

How do I use the map app?

Project schedule

The Ezone Map Correction Project is starting in the Johnson Creek Watershed area and Outer East (south of I-84) this summer (2018). Staff are available for site visits to individual properties.

Learn more about your property 

Project staff will also be attending neighborhood meetings in August and September to talk with residents and answer questions. Look for a meeting near you on the project calendar.

Next steps

Assessment of the Columbia Slough and Columbia River will start in winter 2018-19, followed by the Northwest Hills in summer 2019 and Southwest Hills in spring 2020.

For more information

  • Website: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/76989
    Email: ezone@portlandoregon.gov
    Phone: 503-823-4225