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 Project: Historic Landmarks Commission Meeting Rescheduled for October 26

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. 


The public meeting before the Historic Landmarks Commission on the Type III Historic Review application for the Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project is rescheduled to 1:30 p.m., Monday, October 26, 2015, at 1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Portland, Oregon.

No public testimony will be taken during this meeting.

Public Meeting Rescheduled
On August 10, 2015, a public hearing was held before the Commission to review the Type III Historic Review application. The Commission listened to public testimony, evaluated the Water Bureau’s Type III Historic Resource Review Land Use application, and reviewed the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) staff report. 

At the conclusion of the hearing, the Commission held the record open for two weeks to receive new evidence, another week to receive responses from all interested parties, and a final week to receive the applicant’s (Water Bureau) rebuttal of evidence in the record. The public record closed September 8, 2015.

The Commission was scheduled to deliberate on the proposal and make a tentative decision at a public meeting on September 14, 2015. This meeting has been rescheduled to October 26, 2015.

The Type III application describes the proposed project’s construction of a covered reservoir, reflecting pools, lowland habitat area/bioswale, and walkways along with historic preservation and rehabilitation actions. These new features will offer the public enhanced access to the surface water features and classically-designed gatehouses, dams, and related structures.

A courtesy copy of the application submitted to Bureau of Development Services (BDS) is posted on the Water Bureau’s website at To view or obtain copies of the official document, contact BDS directly. 

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.

The Washington Park Reservoir Project includes three Land Use Reviews (LUR): 

1. Type IV Demolition Review application: The application proposed the removal of the Weir Building (screen house), portions of lower Reservoir 4’s basin, and upper Reservoir 3’s basin in Washington Park.

2. Type III Historic Review application: The application describes the proposed project’s construction of a covered reservoir, reflecting pools, lowland habitat area/bioswale, and walkways along with historic preservation and rehabilitation actions.        

3. Type III Conditional Use/ Environmental/Tree Reviews application: The application addresses development impacts to the site, park, and surrounding neighborhoods, tree protection, natural-area restoration, and construction and traffic management for the Washington Park Reservoir Improvements Project.

Before work permits are issued or construction begins, all 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. For more information on the Type III and IV LUR processes, visit the BDS website.

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.


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?