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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Are you in an “Ezone”? Are the natural resources on your property protected?

Here in Portland, we’re lucky to have two major rivers, lots of streams and wetlands, as well as an abundant tree canopy – and wildlife. 

One of the ways the City of Portland protects these features is through overlay zones, which limit certain uses and activities in environmentally sensitive areas. Environmental Overlay Zones – or Ezones – protect streams, wetlands and wildlife habitat, as well as minimize risk of damage to homes from natural hazards, including landslides, flooding and wildfires. They also reduce the effects of climate change, such as rising air temperature, thus contributing to a healthy and livable city.

Updating the ezones

It’s been roughly 20 years since the Ezones were mapped across the city. Since then, streams have shifted their course, new development has occurred, and technology has improved so much that we can more accurately identify the environmentally sensitive areas that need protecting.

The Environmental Overlay Zone (Ezone) Map Correction Project has just released a draft map that reflects those new conditions and information. Now, Portlanders can find out if and how their property may be affected by any changes through this project.

We are starting the Ezone update in Southeast Portland (planning for the Columbia Slough and Columbia River will commence in winter 2018/19, with the West Hills to follow in late 2019). 

Learn more at Woodstock Library on August 29 and September 27

Staff from the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will be on hand at two drop-in sessions for properties in the Johnson Creek Watershed, Mt. Tabor, and other buttes and open space areas south of I-84. They will be able to answer questions about properties in the Ezone using an online map.  

Stop by the Woodstock Library, located at 6008 SE 29th Avenue, on:

Project staff will also be making presentations at various neighborhood associations in the affected areas. Please consult the calendar for more information.

Postcards in the mail

SE Portland residents affected by these changes received an informational postcard. However, this does not necessarily mean that the changes to the Ezone boundaries will directly affect your individual property. That decision will be made through this planning process.

Project staff will send postcards to affected properties in the Columbia Slough and West Hills when they turn their attention to those areas.  

Existing conditions report

To help understand this project and why Ezones are important, please consult the DRAFT Existing Conditions Report. The report describes the:

  1. Existing environmental overlay zones.
  2. Plans that originally applied to the existing overlay zones.
  3. Natural Resources Inventory (2014), which will be used to correct the overlay zone boundaries.

Review the Existing Conditions Report.

For more information

Have questions or concerns? You can: