Portland’s Zoning Code is anything but static. Public input, new land use plans and policies, and code updates ensure that the City’s regulations meet the needs of current and future residents.
A new package of code amendments is now ready for public review and comment. The regulatory improvement code amendment package (RICAP) 8 Discussion Draft contains 49 items that are being evaluated for possible regulatory improvement. The scope of RICAP 8 was shaped by community requests submitted via the Regulatory Improvement Request (RIR) Database and/or identified by City staff as needing resolution.
Summary of Potential Amendments
Many of the items in the RICAP 8 Discussion Draft reflect simple code corrections or clarifications to ensure that regulations are implemented consistently with the original policy intent. Ten items resulted in no proposed amendment after Bureau of Planning and Sustainability staff researched and analyzed the issue. The remaining items include either minor policy or more substantive changes.
- Creation of a 120-day delay for the removal of ranked structures from the Historic Resource Inventory.
- Clarification of how water features, like drainageways and wetlands, should be defined and protected in land divisions.
- Reduction of the ability to create lot lines in land divisions and property line adjustments that are not straight.
- Increase in flexibility for some loading standards on local service streets.
- Clarification on how tree protection requirements apply when a portion of the root protection zone extends onto an adjacent property or right-of-way.
- Increase in the allowable fine for unlawful damage or removal of a Heritage Tree on private property.
- Addition of authority for the City to levy liens and utilize other mechanisms for unpaid fees tied to tree code violations.
The comment period for the Discussion Draft ends at 5 p.m. on Friday, October 14, 2016.
Please submit comments by mail to 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201, Attn: RICAP 8; by FAX: 503-823-7800; or by email.
Staff will consider comments on the Discussion Draft to create a Proposed Draft, which will be presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) at a public hearing in December 2016. The PSC will consider public testimony and then forward a recommendation to City Council for consideration and additional public review before final adoption next year.
Regulatory improvement code amendment packages are intended to continually update and improve City building and land use regulations. RICAPs address technical matters and clarifications or refine existing adopted policy, typically in a one-year revolving work plan.