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Summary Meeting Notes: December 13, 2012 Residential Development and Compatibility PEG

December 13, 2012 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

PEG Attendees: Matt Davis, Tamara DeRidder, John Gibbon, Michael Hayes, Gabe Headrick, Rodney Jennings, Gordon Jones, Rod Merrick, Erika Palmer, Stanley Penkin, Emily Sandy, Eli Spevak, Justin Wood 

Staff/Presenters: Barry Manning / Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) PEG lead; Tom Armstrong / BPS

Other Attendees: David Sweet, Linda Nettekoven, Heather Gramp, Benjamin Adrian;  BPS staff: Debbie Bischoff, Spencer Williams, Chris Scarzello

Facilitator: Deb Meihoff, Communitas

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

Key Points and Outcomes

  • Meeting focused on recent studies of Gentrification trends and potential Growth Scenarios being reviewed by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) and as related to residential development policies.
  • January 10 meeting of the RDC PEG will focus on related policy discussions that have happened in the Neighborhood Centers and Economic Development PEGs.
  • February and March meetings of the RDC PEG will be devoted to reviewing and commenting on the working draft of Comprehensive Plan goals and policies, including consideration of equity discussions and gentrification trends.

Welcome, Overview, Introductions 

PEG Process Updates and Feedback 

Presenter:Barry Manning

Summary: The working draft of Comprehensive Plan goals and policies will be released in mid January, likely after the next RDC PEG meeting. Barry reviewed the updated Comprehensive Plan Update process. Community events and surveys will take place in February and March, with refined policies and comprehensive plan maps developed later in the spring and early summer. BPS is still working out how the PEGs might evolve after the policy draft is complete, being mindful of community work needed to be done beyond this summer and of the initial commitment of PEG members to serve for one year. Updates about the ongoing process and opportunities to PEG members to continue service will be presented at future PEG meetings.


Presenter: Tom Armstrong, BPS

Summary: Presentation on the methodology and key findings from the recent BPS study of gentrification and displacement trends in the city of Portland, followed by PEG discussion.

Key issues identified and discussed:

  • Gentrification study is focused on how investments and improvements in communities affect issues of displacement - there is a need to align public improvements with policies and programs.
  • The City has begun to develop methodology to identify areas most susceptible / vulnerable for displacement that will lead to additional work to determine how to address unique neighborhood circumstances.
  • City has a particular focus on areas with ‘deepening disparity’ - those that are experiencing an increase in low-income residents without the commensurate increase in land values. They are still studying the issue to determine the appropriate policy and program response needed.
  • PEG members asked questions and discussed:
    • Recommend the City further review of displacement indicators in a historical context - identify areas that have already gentrified (some, decades ago) in order to understand where they are today and the policies and efforts that led to the displacement.
    • Consideration of potential impacts increased density (with increased land values) and constrained land supply might have on displacement in the future.
    • Balancing the need for public infrastructure improvements in susceptible areas with a package of programs/support to minimize displacement.
    • Need to explore policies supportive of smaller and semi-communal living options that would allow people to affordably stay in improving neighborhoods (boarding houses, single-room / efficiency apartments, shared housing, etc. in single-dwelling as well as multi-dwelling neighborhoods)
    • Need for expanded financial tools to assist with homeowner stability - property tax relief for certain populations (such as those living on fixed incomes), financing for major structural maintenance, etc.
    • The areas where people are moving from and to needs to be more completely studied to determine additional indicators and policy or program responses.

Presentation: Gentrification Study

Growth Scenarios (4:45 p.m. / 30 minutes)

Presenter: Tom Armstrong, BPS

Summary: Presentation of a growth scenario study being conducted by BPS, focused specifically on future needs and potential locations for housing growth.  

Key issues identified and discussed:

  • City currently has zoning capacity for an additional 230,000 households (approx.); population projections for 2035 suggest a need for about 132,000 households in the next 20 years. Roughly 85% of the current residential capacity is in multi-dwelling zoning.
  • Growth scenarios lay out potential patterns for public discussions and future investment decisions - looking at which investments may influence where new residents are likely to locate.  Four different concepts were developed (1. follow current trends, 2. centers-focused, 3. corridor-focused, and 4. Central City-focused) to evaluate how well each scenario would address measures of success as defined in the Portland Plan. BPS also added a performance measure of travel time to employment centers (by number of jobs) to ensure growth patterns are encouraging improved connections between residential areas and employment opportunities. There is currently no performance measure for the equity aspirations outlined in the Portland Plan.
  • Current level of evaluation is showing that growth alone is not enough to adequately meet the measures of success - additional focus and investment will be required to show progress toward performance criteria. This is leading to an assumption of dual priorities: (1) invest to prioritize growth in high performing areas and (2) invest to fill in the gaps of already lagging or low performance areas.
  • PEG members asked questions and discussed:
    • Caution in pushing single-dwelling neighborhoods to the edge of the region, thereby driving up auto use and carbon emissions - look out for unintended consequences.
    • Need to include climate change adaptation factors in modeling the growth scenarios.
    • Need to recognize population and performance drivers in adjacent jurisdictions. For example Washington County has many employment centers near the Portland city limits that should be considered when looking at improving the connections of residential growth with job opportunities.
    • PEG requested that Tom keep the members updated as the dialogue continues and policy options for growth are developed.

Presentation: Growth Scenario Report Preview

PEG Process: Reflections and Looking Ahead

Summary: Group discussed the PEG calendar for early 2013, upcoming agenda topics, and issues that require additional dialogue amongst the PEG. It was decided that the January meeting should remain on the regularly scheduled date (January 10), focusing on crossover policy discussions with Neighborhood Centers and Economic Development (Institutions policy) PEGs in anticipation of the working policy draft. February and March meetings should be devoted to the working draft document and learning more about BPS’s equity review of the working draft. The April meeting will include a presentation of public input gathered through the community-wide events and surveys. May and June meetings will include presentations of Comprehensive Plan mapping. Additional requested topics outlined below will be incorporated into the agendas through June.

PEG members requested time on future agendas to discuss:

  • Revisit equity components of the policies and plan; invite BPS’s equity consultant to present to the PEG the types of issues she uncovered in reviewing the working draft
  • Learn about and discuss the impact of focused internet access (‘hyper-access centers’) - potentially a discussion with the Networks PEG
  • Role of PEG in the future - after initial policy work is complete
  • Role of Neighborhood Associations / land use committees in the future - potentially a discussion with the Community Involvement PEG.
  • Cross-topic discussions with the Neighborhood Centers PEG (tentatively scheduled for the January meeting).
    Follow-up Note: The Neighborhood Centers PEG meets every third Thursday of the month from 8:00 – 10:00 AM - RDC PEG members are invited to attend and listen to the ongoing dialogue of the group.  Agendas and previous meeting notes can be found on the Neighborhood Centers webpage.

Public Comment 
There were no public comments.

Wrap-up, Adjourn 

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