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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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Testify to City Council about the Better Housing by Design project

The Better Housing by Design Recommended Draft has been available for public review since the beginning of August. Now Portland City Council will hold a public hearing on the proposals for improving the design and livability of housing in multi-dwelling zones. This is your chance to tell City Council what you support or think should be changed in the BHD proposals, which include zone changes for new apartments and other multi-family development throughout the city.

October 2 is also the deadline to submit written testimony (see details below). 

How to testify

Testify in person at the City Council public hearing

You may speak for three minutes to City Council, and your testimony will be added to the public record.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019, at 3 p.m.
Council Chambers at City Hall
1221 SW 4th Avenue Portland, Oregon

To confirm the date, time and location, check the Council agenda at

Testify in writing between September 4 and October 2, 2019

You must include your name and address.

Use the Map App:

Select Better Housing by Design and click on the "Testify" button. Testifying in the Map App is as easy as sending an email. And once you press “submit,” you can see your testimony in the Testimony Reader in real time. You can also read other people’s testimony.

By U.S. Mail:

City Council
Better Housing by Design Testimony
1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 130
Portland, Oregon 97204

What happens after the hearing?

In October and November, after testimony closes and following the public hearing, Council will discuss potential changes to the proposals before making their final decision on the code amendments.

Council work session

In advance of the public hearing, staff briefed City Council on the Recommended Draft on Tuesday, September 10.

Watch a video of the work session.  

What’s in the Recommended Draft?

The proposed code changes will help ensure that new development in the multi-dwelling zones better meets the needs of current and future residents and contributes to the positive qualities of the places where they are built.

City Council will consider proposals for zoning code amendments that:

  • Expand housing options with new incentives for affordable housing and by providing more flexibility for the numbers of units on sites.
  • Address needs for residential outdoor space, provide new options for green features, and make parking optional in more situations.
  • Guide the design of new multi-family development so that it contributes to pedestrian-friendly streets and relates to the surrounding neighborhood.
  • Provide design standards specific to East Portland and bring new approaches to creating needed street connections.
  • Make changes to the zoning map and regulations for higher density zones in historic districts to provide incentives for affordable housing while meeting historic preservation goals.

Use the Map App to learn more

Learn about how these zoning changes will affect specific properties by using the online Map App:

Select Better Housing by Design and enter an address to learn about the proposed zoning for a property.

Recommended Draft documents


Citywide maps showing the:

All Recommended Draft resources

For more information

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868, or Oregon Relay Service 711. 503-823-7700.