Customer Service: 503-823-7770
GENERAL INFORMATION: 503-823-7404
In order to comply with federal and state mandates, and ensure a healthy, resilient, and secure water system, the Portland Water Bureau is moving forward with a project to update the Washington Park reservoir site in southwest Portland.
On May 13, the Portland City Council gave unanimous tentative approval on the Portland Water Bureau’s Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project Type IV Land Use Review (LUR) application.
The final decision was rescheduled from Wednesday, June 10.
Members of the public are welcome to attend. However, no public testimony will be heard as the public comment and testimony period closed on May 7. Opportunity for public input included the Historic Landmarks Commission meeting in March 2015 and the City Council hearing in April 2015.
The initial Type IV LUR application proposes the removal of the Weir Building (screen house), portions of lower Reservoir 4’s basin, and upper Reservoir 3’s basin in Washington Park. The gatehouses, dams, and other historic features will be protected and restored.
The Water Bureau’s Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project proposes to build a new below-ground reservoir in the same general footprint as the existing upper Reservoir 3, with a reflecting pool on top.
The lower Reservoir 4 will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland habitat area/bioswale and a reflecting pool will be constructed in the basin. Much of the Reservoir 4 basin and the slope to the west are needed to provide landslide abatement; the slope will be restored to its pre-reservoir condition.
The new below-ground reservoir in the place of Reservoir 3 will be constructed so that it is outside of the moving edge of the landslide, which will help protect it from damage.
The project addresses major reservoir issues, including recurrent landslide damage, compliance with federal law, seismic vulnerability, and deterioration of the 120-year-old structures.
Type III LUR Application Package
In spring 2015, the Water Bureau will submit a second LUR application package that includes two Type III applications:
The LUR package will propose the construction of a new covered reservoir, reflecting pools, lowland habitat area/bioswale, walkways, and historic preservation and rehabilitation actions. The second LUR application process will also include public comment periods and public hearings to ensure public notification and the opportunity to comment before a final land use decision is rendered.
Before work permits are issued or construction begins, all three LUR applications must be approved.
The LUR applications are a result of a robust public involvement process that included multiple public open houses, nine Community Sounding Board meetings that guided design for the required visible features of a new reservoir in Washington Park, five public meetings before the Historic Landmarks Commission, and three City Council hearings.
Additional Information & Contacts
For detailed project information, visit the project webpage or contact Water Bureau Public Information staff at 503-823-3028 or by e-mail. Visit the Bureau of Development Services’ website or call 503-823-7300 for more information on the land use review application process.