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Design Overlay Zone Assessment (DOZA) Final Report ready for public review and City Council hearing

The Design Overlay Zone Assessment (DOZA) project has reached its final stage, and the consultant’s recommendations are now published in a full-length report. The project team will present the DOZA results (or “findings”) and recommendations to City Council on April 26, and the community is invited to give their testimony during a public hearing at that time.

Read the report

In addition to the Final Report, summary sheets of the project are available. The report features recommendations to improve the d-overlay zone process and tools, including the Community Design Standards, Community Design Guidelines and the Central City Fundamental Design Guidelines.

It also includes work from all stages of the project: research of peer cities and findings gleaned from stakeholder interviews, online questionnaires, and evaluation of built projects.  

Comments on draft recommendations were gathered from a public open house and online questionnaire in addition to workshops with the Design Commission, Planning and Sustainability Commission, and staff in spring 2017. Feedback from all stakeholders helped to shape the final report.

What’s next?

On April 13 at 1:30 p.m. the project team will present the Final Report to the Design Commission at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A. Please check the Design Commission website to verify the scheduled time prior to the date.

Staff will brief the Planning and Sustainability Commission on April 25 at 5 p.m. at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 2500A. Please check the PSC website to confirm date, time and agenda, or to watch the meeting live.

On April 26, City Council will hold a public hearing on the Final Report, scheduled at 3 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 1221 SW 4th Avenue. City Council will be taking testimony at the hearing. Please check the agenda the Friday before the hearing to confirm the date and time. You may also email written testimony to the Council Clerk at CCTestimony@portlandoregon.gov or send to 1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 130, Portland, OR 97204. Written testimony must be received by the time of the hearing and must include your name and address.

Many of the recommendations for improving the design review process are already underway. Other recommendations, specifically those that require a legislative process, such as adjusting the review thresholds and rewriting design standards and guidelines, will require more time and public input.

Following the April hearing at Council, BDS and BPS will finalize a work plan to proceed with the consultant’s recommendations.

Background

The DOZA project was initiated by the Bureaus of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) and Development Services (BDS) to improve Portland’s d-overlay zone. An independent consultant team, led by the Seattle office of Portland-based Walker Macy, was enlisted to assess the processes and tools of the design overlay zone (d-overlay).

The d-overlay is intended to achieve high-quality design for new buildings within areas of growth, as well as places with special architectural, cultural or scenic value.