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CC2035 Work Session Recap: March 14 Planning and Sustainability Commission discussion

On March 14, the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) met for the seventh work session on the Central City 2035 Plan. The focus was on amendments related to the bonus and transfer system, FAR and height, and the master plan provision.

Bonuses and Transfers

They first discussed needed changes to the bonus and transfer system in the Central City in light of the Inclusionary Housing program that went into effect on Feb. 1, 2017. Staff presented a revised bonus and transfer system that would prioritize two affordable housing bonuses and a few specialized bonuses specific to the riverfront, the South Waterfront Greenway and industrial uses in the Central Eastside. It would also expand the historic resource transfer to require seismic upgrades but also provide additional floor area to historic properties to help support the cost of these upgrades. A new transfer within a subdistrict will also be created.

While they supported most of the proposed amendments, they asked staff to bring back a refinement to the affordable housing bonus and how it’s calculated and implemented for projects that trigger inclusionary housing. Staff will return with an amendment for discussion on April 11.

Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and Height

The project team also brought proposals forward to increase floor area ratio (FAR) and height in the North Pearl and Riverplace. The idea is to make these key redevelopment sites eligible for a better inclusionary housing incentive package and help ensure the production of more residential development and affordable housing. Commissioners agreed to increase FAR from 4:1 to 5:1 in the North Pearl and Riverplace area. However, they did not support capping the currently unlimited heights in the North Pearl at 350 feet.  

Master Plan Definition

Finally, the Commission tentatively approved updates to how a master plan site is defined in the code so that multiple sites within a master plan boundary are considered one site.

Next Up

The next work session is scheduled for April 11. The final work session is now scheduled for May 23, when the PSC is expected to vote to recommend the CC2035 Plan to City Council. Watch for updates about both meetings.