Comp Plan Visualizes Portland’s Future

By Don MacGillivray

Today, more than 584,000 people live in Portland which is 200,000 more residents than were here in 1980. By 2035, Portland is expected to grow by nearly 280,000 people within the city boundaries we have today.

Decisions must be made about locations of new housing and new businesses. Portland wants to become a resilient city with a prosperous, healthy, educated and diverse population with everyone involved in decisions affecting their lives.

All Portlanders are invited to learn more about the Working Draft #1 of the Comprehensive Plan and participate in the public workshops in February and March.

There is much work to be done and the public must be involved in additions and changes to this Draft now available at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability(BPS).

Portland’s Comprehensive Plan is a long-range plan to help the City prepare for and manage expected population and employment growth, as well as coordinate major public investments.

It guides the direction for City decision-making on land use, transportation, parks, and other critical topics involved in the livability of Portland.

Framed in broad terms to guide future implementation of parcel-specific zoning, the design of infrastructure, and much of the future public and private development, it sets guidelines for community involvement and influences what private development and public facilities will look like.

The Comprehensive Plan utilizes information from 65 previous plans completed over the last decade and consists of three parts.

Part 1 includes goals and policies, broad statements of long term community values and preferred directions for city development. Part 1 is over 250 pages with 45 goals and 323 policies in 8 chapters.

Part 2 is a set of maps depicting the desired future development pattern and how the city will accommodate growth. The maps show land use designations of the location and intensity of residential, commercial, industrial and recreational land uses.

Part 3 is a list of capital improvement projects for significant public facilities needed to support  future development described in the goals. Part 1 is the current document available for review. Parts 2 and 3 will be available in draft form this summer.

The updated Plan will be reviewed by the Planning and Sustainability Commission and adopted by City Council a year from now. Later phases of the project include development, review and adoption of key implementation measures, such as zoning and code amendments.

Over the next few months, the public and eight different Policy Expert Groups (PEGs) will review and discuss Working Draft Part 1.

Implementation will include a limited set of city code and zoning map amendments, consistent with policies and maps developed earlier in the process.

The notes of the PEG meetings are available for view on the BPS Comprehensive Plan website linked at the end of this article.

At the launch of the project, this website averaged 14,000 visits per month. The PEGs section of the website is averaging 7,000 external (non-City employees) visits a month with Neighborhood Centers and Community Involvement showing the greatest interest.

Two future workshops for Part 1 are located for southeast residents: Thursday, February 28, 5:30 – 8:30 pm at Franklin High School, 5405 SE Woodward St. and Tuesday, March 5, 5 – 8 pm at the PSU Smith Memorial Student Union, 1825 SW Broadway.


For more information contact the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability(BPS) at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100, Portland, Oregon 97201 or call: 503.823.7700. Their website is www.portlandoregon@gov/bps/pdxcompplan and you can email them at


Comp Plan Visualizes Portland’s Future

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