Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland Water Bureau

From forest to faucet, we deliver the best drinking water in the world.

Customer Service: 503-823-7770


More Contact Info

Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project: Public Comment Period Open & Hearing Scheduled

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.

Public Comment Period Open for Type III Historic Resource Review Application
The public is now invited to review and submit comments to the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) on the Water Bureau’s Type III Historic Resource Review Land Use application.

Public comments can be e-mailed to BDS Planner II Hillary Adam, mailed to the below address, or mailed to the Historic Landmarks Commission at 1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 4500, Portland, OR 97201. Please reference Land Use Review number LU 15-169671 HR in any communications.

Hillary Adam
Land Use Services, Bureau of Development Services
RE: LU 15-169671 HR
1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 4500
Portland, OR 97201

A courtesy copy of the application and subsequent updates submitted to BDS is posted on the Water Bureau’s project webpage. Note that BDS maintains the official application record which tracks updates and revisions over time.

Testify at Public Hearing
A public hearing before the Historic Landmarks Commission is scheduled for Monday, August 10, 2015, at 1:30 p.m. on the second floor of 1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Conference Room 2500A. During the hearing, the Commission will listen to public testimony, evaluate the Water Bureau’s Type III Historic Resource Review Land Use application, and review the BDS staff report.  The decision of the Landmarks Commission can be appealed to City Council.

In May 2015, the Water Bureau submitted a Type III Historic Resource Review application and a Type III Conditional Use, Environmental, and Tree Reviews application to the BDS for the proposed Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project.

On June 30, 2015, BDS deemed the Type III Historic Resource Review application complete and issued a “Request for Response.” The Request for Response officially opened the public comment period and set a date for a public hearing, both of which provide opportunities for comment and feedback before a final land use decision is rendered.

The Type III Historic Resource Review application describes historic preservation and rehabilitation actions and proposes construction of a covered reservoir, reflecting pools, lowland habitat area/bioswale, and walkways.

These features, which are generally described in the Type IV Land Use Review (LUR) application approved in June 2015, will offer the public enhanced access to the new surface water features and classically-designed gatehouses, dams, and related structures.

The Type III Conditional Use, Environmental, and Tree Reviews application is also considered complete. Both BDS and the Water Bureau will provide notification when the comment period opens and the date is set for the public hearing in front of the Land Use Hearing Officer.

For more information on the Type III LUR process, visit the BDS website

Project Details
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 basin and the slope west of it are needed to provide landslide abatement; the slope will be restored to its pre-reservoir condition. Reservoir 4 will be disconnected from the public drinking water system and a lowland habitat area/bioswale and a reflecting pool are also proposed in the Reservoir 4 basin. Work will primarily be within the Historic District. The project addresses major reservoir issues, including recurrent landslide damage, compliance with federal law, seismic vulnerability, and deterioration of the 120 year-old structures.

Next Steps
Before work permits are issued or construction begins, both the Type III Historic Resource Review and the Type III Conditional Use, Environmental, and Tree Review applications must be approved. The applications are a result of a robust public involvement process that included multiple public open houses and nine Community Sounding Board meetings that guided design for the required visible features of the Washington Park project.

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 or. Visit the Bureau of Development Services’ website or call 503-823-7300 for more information on the land use review application process.

Lindsay Wochnick
Public Information


Please review our Code of Conduct rules before posting a comment to this site. Your comment will be visible to site administrators only.

Submit a Comment
Name (optional)
E-mail (optional)
 Remember Info Yes   No
Spam Prevention In the Pacific Northwest, what state is Portland in?