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Parking and Willamette River subject of upcoming Planning and Sustainability Commission work session on Central City 2035 Plan

When you think of Portland, what comes to mind?

Downtown? Bridges? Views of Mt Hood? Great places to eat, drink and play?

Well, the Central City’s got all that and more, and the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) is reviewing proposals to make it even better.

Since considering testimony on the Central City 2035 Plan Proposed Draft at public hearings in July and August, project staff and the PSC have been diving deeper into the Plan’s key topics.

On Wednesday, November 16 at 5 p.m., the Commission will hold their second work session on the CC2035 Plan. At their first meeting in September, they discussed building heights in historic districts and scenic view corridors. The second work session will give Commissioners a chance to wrap up the discussion about building heights. Then they will move on to a range of river-related topics and the parking code.

Willamette River

Dragon

Home to fish, birds and wildlife ― including threatened and endangered Chinook, Coho and chum salmon as well as steelhead and bull trout ― the Willamette River is also a signature attraction for residents and visitors. People of all ages enjoy the recreational spaces, trails, swimming areas and boating opportunities the river and riverfront provide. And the river is also a transportation corridor, moving cargo and people throughout Portland and the region.

The Plan includes proposals to allow new activities in parks and open spaces close to and around the river. It also proposes to support expanded use of the docks, promote in-water activities, and orient businesses and residences toward the river, while protecting and enhancing the environment.

During the upcoming work session, the PSC will focus on the regulations that govern public and private property along the river. They will also discuss swimming and vegetation.

Parking Code

Parking structure and MAX train

In 2015 the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) convened a 30-member Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) to oversee the update of the transportation policies for the Central City. Based on input from this project, the Proposed Draft CC2035 Plan includes an update to the Parking Code to improve parking predictability, reduce costly parking reviews, limit new parking and surface lots, and allow shared parking.

PBOT’s SAC met several times to review recommendations related to parking ratios. One of the first SAC recommendations was to continue to not require new and rehabilitated buildings to build parking. The SAC also endorsed adjusting maximum parking ratios in all Central City districts downward to reflect investments in transit, bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure.

At their public hearings in July and August, the PSC heard a number of comments about these parking limits and new regulations. At the work session, they will review these issues and learn more about how the parking ratios were derived.

Remaining building height topics

Downtown Portland skyline

During the public hearings, the PSC heard from members of the public and property owners about increasing or reducing allowed building heights in many different parts of the Central City. At the first work session, the Commissioners took action on heights within scenic view corridors and most of the historic districts. At the upcoming session they will discuss other proposed height amendments.

Please check the PSC calendar to confirm dates, times and other details prior to the event. You can also view the work session on the BPS YouTube channel.

For more information about the work sessions, please visit the PSC work sessions and hearing page.