By Don MacGillivray


The City is embarking on its Seventh Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package (RICAP #7).

Those that remember the temporary vacation rentals flap may know the term. The sixth edition of this process was approved and put to bed in July after serious miscalculations with the code modifications like Airbnb.

Edition number seven will have a greater opportunity for the public to review and comment on actions taken to improve the gigantic Portland zoning code and its related regulations.

The public can suggest ways to fine tune the zoning code by simply making a suggestion through letters, calls, and requests to City. City staff and development community are those that use the code frequently and are often the ones making the suggestions.

There is still no firm definition of what items can be included as part of a RICAP package. If it is determined that suggestions are appropriate, they are compiled into a list reviewed periodically to make minor changes and corrections to the zoning code.

In the proposed work-plan, ideas and requests for regulatory improvement are fed into the Regulatory Improvement Request (RIR) database from a variety of sources. Periodically, staff from the Planning and Sustainability (BPS) and Development Services (BDS) Bureaus review the database to select items eligible for inclusion into the next RICAP project. Currently there are 303 suggested code changes on this list.

An identification number is in the list, an item label, a problem statement, and the requested action. It gives a zoning code reference, an evaluation of its complexity, a prioritization, and a cost estimate for implementation.

These issues fall into two groups: technical corrections that are clarifications, and changes to ensure consistency in the code and minor policy items.

In addition to the 37 technical corrections, this work-plan will consider issues involving processes for minor changes including the following: Design Review Exemptions and Triggers, Main Street Corridor and Node Overlays, Family Daycare, Elderly Housing Requirement, Building Height Measurement Issues, Ladd’s Addition District Street Tree Guidelines, and Neighborhood Contact.

A public meeting of the Planning and Sustainability Commission reviewed the RICAP #7 work-plan with comments from the public the last week of August and they will consider the regulatory amendments in Spring 2015.

Until then, items to be changed will be fully researched and vetted.


The link to the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package #7 (RICAP #7) is: 

The link to the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package #7 Appendix is: 

To get a copy of the report mailed to you, call 503.823.7700.

To comment on RICAP #7, write to Planning and Sustainability Commission to 1900 SW Fourth Ave., # 7100, Portland, Oregon 97201, or email comments to 

For more, contact Morgan Tracy, City Planner II, at 503.823.6879 or  email morgan.tracy