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State approves Portland's 2035 Comprehensive Plan

On Dec. 5, 2017, the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) issued an order both approving Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan and responding to objections raised against the new plan and associated implementation measures. 

The new comprehensive plan was adopted by the Portland City Council in June of 2016. The plan includes a new policy document, updated land use map designations, and a new Citywide Systems Plan, which includes both a Public Facilities Plan and Transportation System Plan. In December of 2016 Council also adopted a corresponding set of Zoning Code and Zoning Map updates.

In the DLCD press release the agency’s director stated, “Portland is an attractive city with lots of people moving there each year. The city council had to make difficult choices about how to best accommodate the expected growth. Our review found the plan to be consistent with the state’s requirements for efficient, managed use of land.” The agency also noted, “Portland’s plan also includes a focus on equitable decision-making. A new section of the plan includes a commitment to more fully engage both conventional and less traditional communities within the city when considering land use and investment choices.”

Periodic Review provides for objections  

Under Oregon land use law, the state must approve local comprehensive plans for consistency with the Statewide Planning Goals. The new plan was produced under that state mandate called “Periodic Review.” The plan was originally scheduled to take effect on Jan. 1, 2018. This was designed to allow time for the State of Oregon, through the DLCD, to review the plan.

Periodic Review provides opportunities for people who participated in the local planning process to object to state approval. The DLCD then considers objections and issues an order. About a dozen individuals and organizations objected to the adopted plan. Several organizations filed multiple objections.

The DLCD's order invalidated some objections and rejected the remainder. Now, there is another opportunity for people who filed valid, but rejected, objections to request a hearing before the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC). 

Ordinance delays effective date of the plan

Last week City Council passed an ordinance delaying the effective date of the new plan until May 24, 2018, at 1 p.m. to provide time for a possible LCDC hearing. The City will learn if any valid objectors have requested an LCDC hearing by late December.