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Summary Meeting Notes: June 28, 2012 Residential Development and Compatibility PEG

June 28, 2012 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Attendees: Matt Davis, John Gibbon, Anyeley Hallova, Michael Hayes, Gabe Headrick, Rodney Jennings, Gordon Jones, Rod Merrick, Erika Palmer, Stanley Penkin, Samuel Rodriguez, Emily Sandy, Eli Spevak, Irma Valdez; Barry Manning, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) staff lead, BPS staff: Debbie Bischoff, Joan Frederiksen, Chris Scarzello, Deborah Stein, Matt Wickstrom, Deb Meihoff, facilitator

View the original agenda, including materials, for this meeting.

Welcome and overview (4:00 p.m.)

Presenter: Deb Meihoff, facilitator

Summary: Review meeting objectives and flow, PEG meeting ground rules, process recap.

  • Role of the PEG members is multi-faceted: to act as a think-tank for best practices, listen to ideas and feedback from the general public (those not sitting on the PEG), and provide expert feedback to staff on draft policies.
  • All PEGs are using the same charter; discussion among members during meetings is very important, as it will help to frame the policy choices and identify areas of consensus.
  • If PEG members wish to communicate with the entire group between meetings, emails or phone calls should be directed to Deb, facilitator, and/or copied toBarry Manning, the lead staff for this PEG. They will compile and distribute group communications.


Introductions and interests (4:15 p.m.)

Presenter: PEG Members

Summary: PEG members introduced themselves and provided residential development and compatibility ideas and issues that most interest them. Below is a compilation of the responses, grouped by general theme.

Implementation elements

  • Use of tools and incentives for private development
  • Concern with tax abated development - impacts on city revenues
  • SDC and permitting fees create barriers to good development
  • Impacts of design standards on financial feasibility
  • Use of funding incentives and getting the highest level of effectiveness
  • Financial tools are being used for a narrow range of affordability, only low income - we are losing the middle and there are no financing tools available to keep a diversity of residents in the city


  • Many neighborhoods haven’t had quality development - this is true citywide
  • Quality, size, density; particularly new development in single-family areas

Clarity of rules and regulations

  • Lack of public understanding on size, scale, density allowed in their neighborhoods
  • Exceptions in the R5, single-family zone
  • Clarity of regulations, impacts of design review (currently sends mixed messages)

Concurrency / integration with facilities and services

  • Concurrency provisions of adequate public facilities with new development and increased densities
  • More integrated access to services - get to the 5-minute neighborhood
  • Quality housing with convenient access [Portland Plan strategy H16]
  • Connections to the transportation network

Diversity of housing types and compatibility - looking to the future and demographic changes

  • Lack of compatibility of new housing within existing neighborhoods, especially true with multi-family dwellings
  • Design, affordability, and access to services and amenities
  • Compatibility issues with development adjacent to or within historic districts and single-family areas
  • Ability to accommodate new architectural design and densities into established areas
  • Compatibility of new residential, especially the ‘middle’ between single-family and large multi-family dwelling types; need good design and affordability
  • Remove obstacles to smaller homes - accessory dwelling units (ADUs), alley lots, etc.
  • Varied ways to accommodate small household market demand
  • Policy that supports housing demand of the future
  • Concern with concentrated pockets of low income housing; not necessarily available throughout the city
  • Housing for persons with limited mobility and seniors that allow them to live independently [Portland Plan strategy H17]
  • Preserve distinctive character of neighborhoods [Portland Plan]


  • Connections between residential locations and health
  • Site planning that promotes healthy, active lifestyles - easy to walk or bike to work, school, amenities


  • Would like equity woven throughout the comprehensive plan process


Charge of the Residential Development and Compatibility PEG (4:45 p.m.)

Presenter:Barry Manning, Bureau of Planning and Sustainability


  • Overview of the comprehensive plan contents and purpose/process for the update. Existing residential development and compatibility policies are somewhat vague and scattered throughout the comprehensive plan.
  • Introduction of the community-identified residential development topics and issues that this PEG is expected to cover over the course of the year.

Meeting handout and presentation:


Group Discussion, Q&A (5:25 p.m.)

Facilitator: Deb Meihoff

Summary: Through the discussion PEG members provided topics they would like to have addressed in the comprehensive plan update (in addition to those issues outlined under ‘Introductions’ above).

  • Policies that support building innovations / flexibility for changing technologies or building methods.
  • Policies that set up use of more or different implementation tools for innovation, quality, and financial feasibility; System Development Charges (SDC’s) scaled to the size of the structure; lot aggregation as an incentive for quality development
  • Continued, and possibly greater, support for home-based businesses
  • Policy support for Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) development
  • Need to look at off-street parking minimum requirements
  • Policy considerations that impact or interplay with housing affordability: location of zoning/housing types; interaction between fees and design and between prescriptive design standards and affordability
  • Policies related to design standards: new development in historic neighborhoods; balance of public decision-making and objective standards that meet community expectations/quality development; available use of planned unit development (PUD) or master plan design processes; the standards of when and where design review is applied; expectations of building inspection/enforcement of design standards; policies that go beyond the one-size-fits-all approach of the current community design standards
  • Relationship of housing to parks or open space; needs to respond to conditions and opportunities differently in different parts of the city
  • Policies that guide development to meet greater community objectives - often a mismatch between community desires and what gets built under the development standards
  • Bigger-picture policy that addresses what the community wants the city to look like while we are growing and expanding; consider the types of policies that work with form-based zoning codes
  • Need to consider unintended consequences, such as gentrification or lack of affordability for a diverse range of incomes - model or test likely policy outcomes
  • Need to consider the time and money it will take to implement policies - balance expectations
  • Consider moving PEG meetings to other locations throughout the city to make the meetings more available to the public before a discussion draft is released.


  • Respond to PEG requests for additional policy work topics, in coordination with other PEG work plans and future implementation work. Amend future PEG agenda topics as necessary.
  • Work with PEG members to determine ability to move meetings to other locations throughout the City, so a greater number of community members can attend.


Public Comment (5:50 p.m.)

  • Jim Brown, community member, addressed the PEG and requested specific consideration of residential compatibility in National Historic Districts, local conservation districts, and older, unregistered neighborhoods. His experience has been that problems arise through application of the Community Design Standards in historic neighborhoods, specifically with height and setback allowances, as well as solar access issues.


For more information, please contact either Barry ManningBureau of Planning and Sustainability at 503-823-7965 or or Deb Meihoff, Facilitator at 503-358-3404 or