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The City of Portland, Oregon

City Budget Office

The Capital Planning Process

The Capital Planning Process - An Overview

Three regulatory requirements drive the capital planning process. The Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) require cities to develop and keep public facilities plans to ensure long-term maintenance of facilities and systems. These long-term plans also help the City plan financially for ongoing maintenance. This would be similar to having a 5-year or 10-year plan for keeping your house or your car in good repair.
The second and third regulations which control capital improvements for the City are the City's Comprehensive Plan and established City Council priorities.
There are public facilities plans in place for each of the major capital bureaus - Environmental Services, Water Works, Transportation, Parks & Recreation, Fire & Rescue, Police, and General Services.
The Comprehensive Plan has six goals directly related to capital improvement planning - goals 3-6 and goals 8 and 11. Goal 3 is for the preservation of stability and diversity in the City's neighborhoods. Goal 4 is to provide a diversity of housing types to meet the needs of Portland's households. Goal 5 is to foster economic devlopment. Goal 6 is for protecting the publc rights-of-way and transportation system. Goal 8 is to maintain and improve the environment. And Goal 11 is to provide public facilities to support planned land use patterns and densities.
The following process objectives are also at the heart of capital planning in Portland:
  • Coordination among City bureaus
  • Capital resources allocated to the highest priority projects
  • Assessment of short and long-term impacts of project including rates, debt and revenue
  • Consistency with legally required capital public facilities plans