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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

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Portland’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan appealed to state Court of Appeals

The Multnomah Neighborhood Association has appealed a State of Oregon decision upholding the new 2035 Comprehensive Plan to the Court of Appeals. The growth plan was adopted by City Council in June 2016, with a delayed effective date to allow time for state review. The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) issued an order in December 2017 approving the plan. In March of 2018, the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) voted to reject six appeals that had been filed to block elements of the plan.

The appeal of the LCDC decision is primarily concerned with the “middle housing policy,” which City Council added to the plan in early 2016. The policy encourages the City to consider zoning decisions to allow more duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, accessory dwelling units and small multi-unit or clustered residential buildings.

The City’s Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) is considering ways to implement the policy through the Residential Infill Project. They have not yet made a recommendation to City Council.  

Portland’s new growth plan went into effect in May. The 20-year plan includes new land use policies, land use maps and zoning, and new public facilities plans. This was the largest overhaul of Portland’s land use plan since the City’s original Comprehensive was adopted in 1980. 

The new appeal does not change the status of the plan, which is already in effect, but it delays state acknowledgement of the plan. The Bureau of Development Services is implementing several additional development review protocols while the plan remains unacknowledged. For example, some development projects are being required to do additional analysis to directly document compliance with state land use while the appeal is being considered. The plan cannot be formally acknowledged by the state until appeals are resolved.