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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Improving our Surplus Property Policy

February 18, 2015

This morning, Nick was pleased to brief City Council on a new “Surplus Property Policy,” developed by the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Water Bureau.

The new policy increases transparency and accountability, and creates a robust public process for selling public land.

After Nick became Commissioner in charge of our two public utilities in 2013, he learned that the “Freeman Tank” property, a surplus Water Bureau site in Southwest Portland, was being sold to a private developer.  Community members in the Multnomah neighborhood objected – claiming they were not adequately notified of the sale, and were not briefed on the future plans to develop in their neighborhood.

While the Water Bureau followed the City’s then existing policy for surplus property, Nick agreed with neighbors – the policy needed to be strengthened! 

The new policy, developed with significant community input, includes expanded public notices to our local government partners like Metro and Multnomah County, and to neighborhood associations and business associations, ads in community newspapers, and a new “Surplus Property” section on each of our bureaus’ websites. The new BES and Water Bureau sites include photos, detailed information about each surplus site, and information about each site’s status.

This new policy would not have been possible without the thoughtful feedback and recommendations from Moses Ross and fellow neighbors in the Multnomah Neighborhood Association.

Tell us what you think! Review the new policy online, and submit your feedback.  

Policies set for sale of city properties

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune