Up for Review and Comment – the New Draft Comprehensive Plan

By Don MacGillivray


Portland residents are invited to view and comment on elements of a long-range plan to direct growth and change over the next twenty years. Draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan may be viewed at: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/pdxcompplan.

The Comprehensive Plan, a state-mandated blueprint for future growth (not to be confused with the Central City 2035 Plan above), will help guide the City to leverage new investments and development.

The Draft Plan is made up of three parts which together will influence land use and infrastructure funding decisions in Portland:

Goals and Policies – Long-term aspirations for Portland and the work that needed to achieve them.

Maps – Land use designations for growth, development, and conservation.

• Significant Projects – Planned infrastructure projects for transportation, sewer, and water needs.

This draft plan will keep most of the city as it is. The emphasis of the Plan will be on creating healthy, connected, and safe neighborhoods with a substantial amount of growth in population.

This will create more density in and around downtown and neighborhood commercial corridors.

Among the key aspects of the Plan’s proposal is a change in how commercial zones are labeled. Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Liaison Marty Stockton told neighborhood association landuse chairs at a recent Southeast Uplift  meeting that calling these zones mixed use will help clarify what is actually happening in neighborhoods where there is a combination of businesses and residents along corridors like Division Street.

What the comp plan does not do, according to one neighborhood land use chair, is address the preservation of neighborhood character.

The new Proposed Draft of the Portland Comprehensive Plan was released on July 21, the first update since 1980 when Portland’s population was 220,000 less than it is today.

Much of the growth then was due to the annexation of the Columbia Ridge area of East Multnomah County, but today’s plan will not benefit from the ability to grow geographically.

Portland is relabeling its land use designations on the Plan Map to include “mixed use” so they more accurately reflect the areas allowing multiple uses including residential, commercial, and employment.

“Mixed use” refers to a healthy blend of shops, restaurants, housing and other services within a convenient and walkable distance from neighborhood homes.

Last month, nearly 17,000 commercial property owners along the mixed-use corridors received a mailer explaining these proposed changes. The map puts future jobs and housing in the activity corridors and commercial centers decreasing the need to drive for daily shopping to save energy and money.

The City promises that zoning code revisions will address design issues that often arise with new development, such as: building size, scale, design, articulation, and the contextual relationship of new buildings.

It is expected the Plan and zoning code will address parking issues, preserve significant historic buildings, provide scaled transitions to low-density residential areas, create incentives for open space, and encourage a housing mix of various household types, lifestyles and incomes while promoting affordability,.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has set up a helpline at 503.823.0195 to answer questions about proposed land use and zone changes to specific properties, as well as the Plan Update and the Mixed-Use Zones Project.

For more information about the Mixed Use Zones Project visit the project website at: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/mixeduse

In SE the streets of Sandy, Glisan, Burnside, Belmont, Hawthorne, Division, and Powell will be neighborhood corridors. Designating places as centers and corridors will guide future public investments in infrastructure and services to better support these places as they grow and change.

The Plan will address the Master Planning process for Portland’s fifteen dispersed institutional campuses including: hospitals, universities and colleges. This will change the review process for campus development proposals since their growth often extends into Portland’s neighborhoods.

The City invites the public to review the Draft 2035 Plan and give feedback and suggestions. View and comment on the Map App. an interactive online mapping tool or send e-mails and letters to PSC, 1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201-5380.

Public hearings will be held from late September through early November 2014 for the public to tell the Planning and Sustainability Commission what is desirable, what is flawed, and what should be changed.

After considering the testimony and revising the Proposed Plan, PSC will submit a recommended Plan to City Council in the spring of 2015 for review and adoption.

Up for Review and Comment – the New Draft Comprehensive Plan

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