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Charter, Code and Policies

City of Portland

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17.15.010 Scope and Purposes.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 181322, 182652, 184756 and 188619, effective January 1, 2018.)

A.  New development within the City of Portland contributes to the need for capacity increases for roads, multi-modal transportation and related transportation improvements, to enable new development to take advantage of transit systems and, therefore, new development should contribute to the funding for such capacity increasing improvements.  This SDC will fund a portion of the needed capacity increases for arterial, boulevard and collector roads, multi-modal transportation improvements and associated bus and transit improvements, sidewalks, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, street lighting and stormwater drainage  and treatment facilities, and other public facilities specified in the City of Portland Transportation System Plan.

B.  ORS 223.297 through 223.314 grant the City authority to impose a SDC to equitably spread the costs of essential capacity increasing capital improvements to new development.

C.  The SDC is incurred upon application to develop property for a specific use or at a specific density.  The decision regarding uses, densities, and/or intensities causes direct and proportional changes in the amount of the incurred charge.  This SDC is separate from other fees provided by law or imposed as a condition of development.  It is a fee for service because it contemplates a development’s receipt of transportation services based upon the nature of that development.

D.  The SDC imposed by this Chapter is not a tax on property or on a property owner as a direct consequence of ownership of property within the meaning of Section 11b, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution or legislation implementing that section.  This Chapter does not shift, transfer or convert a government product or service, wholly or partially paid for by ad valorem property taxes, to be paid for by a fee, assessment or other charge, within the meaning of Section 11g, Article XI of the Oregon Constitution.

E.  The funding provided by this Chapter constitutes a mandatory collection method based upon the guidelines set forth in ORS 223.297 through 223.314 to assure the construction of capacity increasing improvements to arterial, boulevard and collector roads as well as to bicycle, pedestrian and transit facilities as contemplated in the Transportation Element of the City Comprehensive Plan, City of Portland Transportation System Plan and the list of projects, referred to as the TSDC Project List, to be funded with money collected under this Chapter. The TSDC Project List is not to be confused with the City of Portland Capital Improvement Program.

F.  This Chapter is intended only to be a financing mechanism for the capacity increases needed for major City traffic and collector streets, multi-modal improvements associated with new development and capacity increasing transportation improvements and does not represent a means to fund maintenance of existing roads.

G.  The City hereby adopts the methodology report and rate study entitled Transportation System Development Charge Update, hereinafter referred to as “City Rate Study,” as well as the North Macadam Overlay Rate Study and the Innovation Quadrant Overlay Project Report and incorporates herein by this reference the assumptions, conclusions and findings in the report which refer to the determination of anticipated costs of capital improvements required to accommodate growth.

H.  The Transportation SDC provided for in this Chapter is designed to help finance the Transportation System facilities listed in the TSDC Project List as a means of ensuring that adequate capacity is maintained in the City’s Transportation System.  However, the City specifically recognizes that the entire project list will likely not receive full funding from the proceeds of this SDC, and it is unlikely that every one of the projects listed will be constructed.  The City recognizes that the projects in the TSDC Project List are not comprehensive, and that construction of other projects not included on the TSDC Project List may also advance the policy objective of maintaining capacity in the City’s Transportation System.

I.  In conjunction with the Transportation System capacity objectives of this Chapter, the City places a high priority on the development of affordable housing.  The development of affordable housing promotes the public purpose of providing quality housing options for families and individuals earning 60 percent or less of the Area Median Income.  Providing an exemption from the Transportation SDC will make it possible to develop more and better affordable housing within the metropolitan area.