Land Use

The Bridlemile Land Use Committee tracks issues related to land use that may impact the Bridlemile neighborhood.

If you would like to know more about any of these issues or have questions about something you see going on that isn't listed, please contact Committee Chair Claire Coleman-Evans at  

For issues related to other areas in southwest Portland, contact the Southwest Neighborhoods Land Use Committee.

City of Portland Development Services

Public notices and agendas for land use reviews, hearings, pre-application conferences and decisions.

Notices are posted on the postmark date of the snail mail notice or the day after. Proposal notices are taken down on the deadline date for comment. Hearing notices are taken down on the date of the hearing. Occasionally, they will post a decision if they think it is of great interest.

Building permits and cases (including landuse reviews) for a given property can be found at Portland Maps. Enter the project address, then click on the "Permits/Cases" link to see a list of permits and cases filed for the project.

About Land Use Reviews (LURs) When a individual property owner or developer wants to build or subdivide a lot in a non-standard way, a Land Use Review is filed. The city notifies the neighbors and neighborhood association of the proposal, the cities initial analysis, one or more hearings, and a deadline for comments. When you get a notice, read it right away; the deadline for when your comments are due is often very short. For more information about the LUR, and to get answers to your questions use one or more of the following resources:

  1. The LUR planning representative listed on the LUR
  2. The Applicant(s) Representative listed on the LUR
  3. Visit the Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. Land Use Committee web page
  4. Claire Coleman-Evans,, 503-292-4377, BNA Land Use Chair pro tem
  5. Other neighbors of the property in question.
  6. Title 33 and other sections of the Portland Zoning Code.

A. Carefully read the proposal and review any sections of the Zoning Code referenced on the LUR.
B1. Check that zoning, setbacks (both of the proposed and surrounding properties), and other sections of the planning code are met correctly by the proposal. E.g. in one case involving a substandard lot, the planner had missed the fact neighboring houses were built on the property line, and under the substandard lot code the proposed house had to accomodate for the missing setbacks of its neighbors in addition to meeting its own setback requirements.
B2. Sometimes the LUR planning representative will NOT have visited the site of the proposal. And therefore may not be aware of errors in the application submitted. It is therefore in your best interest to verify the facts are as they appear on the LUR notice; and to immediately bring any descrepancies to the attention of the LUR planning representative. E.g. Locations and sizes of trees. The locations and heights of buildings on the neighboring properties; they may have made additions not noted on the plans submitted. Any other variances that have already occured on the neighboring properties.
C. Find out how the other neighbors of the property feel about the proposal.
D. Talk with applicant and or their representative regarding why they are asking for the variances and what other options they may have already considered and or rejected.
E. Put yourself in their place, and think how you might solve their problem differently if possible.

You have basically two avenues of responding to the proposals in the LUR:

1. The LUR planning representative has to weigh whether or not the variance(s) asked for still meet the "intent" of the code(s) involved. It is therefore very important in your comments to the LUR planning that you point out how the asked for variances are or are NOT meeting the intention of the codes. Simply saying you are against or for the proposal will NOT help your case, you must show how it meets or violates the intent of the applicable codes.
2. Negotiating with the Applicant and or their Representative. Always strive to keep on good and cordial terms with the applicant and their representative. There are many possible avenues of negotiating with them that could lead to a proposal that will meet both your and their needs and desires. This especially true when the LUR is decided in their favor. An example: A developer wanted to put some row houses on a piece of property, after talking with the neighbors, some of the neighbors banded together and bought part of the property, and the developer built fewer detached homes instead (the developer got the profits he sought and the neighbors got the setbacks and housing type they desired). This is why putting yourself in their place, and looking for solutions that will meet both your needs is so very important. You may come up with solutions that they did not see. If the proposed solution invovles more expense consider offering to pay part of the cost or services, and be sure to have a written contract! Think outside the box! Although all the above is about "fighting" a LUR, the inverse of most of the above also applies when you are trying to get an LUR passed by the city and your neighbors.

Finally never underestimate the value of having and being good neighbors!  If you would like the Bridlemile Neighborhood Association to comment and/or write a letter regarding a particular LUR please contact: Claire Colemen-Evans,


The Bridlemile Neighborhood Association has been notified of the following development, remodeling, or other land use proposals.

Beaverton-Hillsdale Hwy. at SW 43rd Ave.​
application deemed incomplete

4338 SW 58th Ave.
Lot line adjustment and tree removal to prepare for four homesites –
comments due 3/8/2016

4021 SW Seymour Ct.
Remodeling and addition to existing home – permits pending


Demolitions header


Full or partial demolitions of structures require a city permit and notification to the surrounding neighbors. Bridlemile residents have expressed concerns about the loss of affordable housing, infill incompatibility, loss of trees, exposure to asbestos, lead, and other hazardous materials, and other concerns related to demolitions.

Please contact BNA land use chair Claire Coleman-Evans if you are proposing or learn about demolition activity in Bridlemile. Search the site address on PortlandMaps to see the status of any permits issued.

Currently we are tracking these demolitions:

United Neighbors for Reform Demolition/Development Resolution

November 1, 2014
To: All Portland Neighborhood Associations
From: United Neighborhoods for Reform

In response to the increasing trend in demolitions of single-family homes, a coalition of Portland neighborhoods, United Neighborhoods for Reform (UNR), has developed the attached resolution to be presented to the Portland City Council by mid-December 2014.

We seek your neighborhood association’s endorsement of this resolution.

This resolution is the result of several neighborhood summits representing 21 neighborhoods and many committee meetings to develop petition language. Discussion covered issues including demolition and the size of replacement houses, loss of affordable housing, impact of lot splitting on many neighborhoods, and exposure to asbestos and lead resulting from demolitions.

In addition to the summits, approximately 2,200 Portland-area residents have signed the online petition to limit demolitions. An online survey has been completed by 460 people. Of those responding, 84% oppose the current rate of demolitions and 91% support changes to city code and policies to limit demolitions and the size of replacement housing.

After collecting neighborhood association endorsements we will take this resolution to City Council as early as mid-December. We also ask you to be part of a huge turnout at the City Council meeting to support these changes (date to be announced).

Please discuss this resolution with your neighborhood association. Send an email reply by December 12, 2014, to tell us whether your association supports the resolution to:

State in your email response:

Yes, our neighborhood supports the UNR resolution regarding demolition and development in Portland.
No, our neighborhood does not support the UNR resolution regarding demolition and development in Portland.

Also in your email include:

Name and phone number of neighborhood association representative sending the email.

If you would like a UNR representative to present the resolution at your neighborhood association meeting, contact Margaret Davis by email at manaobooks(at sign) .

Thank you for your consideration and support,

United Neighborhoods for Reform
Comments suggestion welcome.



From: Richard U’Ren and Annette Jolin. We are Northwest District Association members and residents

Re: Opposition to Demolition of Historic Ballow* & Wright Building at 1727 NW Hoyt Street

We are asking for your support in opposing the demolition of a historic building. The building, which is also referred to as the Buck-Prager building, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing resource in the Alphabet Historic District in Northwest Portland. A public hearing concerning the demolition will be held before the Portland Historic Landmarks Commission on November 17, 2014.

The Ballow & Wright building, constructed in 1918, was originally occupied by the Portland Women’s Hospital and later the Oregon College of Art & Craft. It is a handsome two-story brick building. Its demolition is intended to allow for the construction of a six-story, 82 unit apartment building.

We are opposed to the demolition for several reasons. First, granting the demolition of a historic contributing building to allow an apartment building eases the path to the destruction of other historic resources in the city, i.e. it sets a precedent with likely harmful consequences for historic preservation efforts all over Portland, including your neighborhood. Second, the construction of a six-story apartment building on the site is incompatible, in terms of scale, form, and character, with the surrounding homes. These homes, built in the last two decades of the 19th century, define two of the more picturesque streets in Portland. A large, out-of-scale apartment building sandwiched between these two streets would seriously compromise the unique historic appearance of the area.

The Northwest District Association strongly opposes the demolition of the Ballow & Wright building and has sent a letter to the mayor, the city commissioners, and the Historic Landmarks Commission detailing their reasons. At the pre-application conference, the Portland Bureau of Development staff was very emphatic in stating that the proposal was unlikely to meet the approval criteria for demolition. The City Council has approved the demolition of a contributing resource only once, and that was done to provide valuable public services for the needy (Blanchet House), a factor irrelevant in this case. A feature article in the current issue of the NW Examiner shows some of the 49 neighbors who signed a petition in opposition to the demolition. Please see:

A letter from you supporting our position would be very helpful. We are reluctant to send out a model form letter that supports our position, believing that individualized letters will have more weight with the Commission. The third paragraph above, which mentions the reasons for our opposition to the demolition and the building project, should help, though.
Mail your letter to:

Bureau of Development Services
Historic Landmarks Commission
1900 SW Fourth Avenue, Suite 5000
Portland, OR 97201

Alternatively you can fax the letter to 503/823-5630 or email it to Please send your letter as soon as possible. To be considered it must be in the hands of the Commission when the hearing commences at 1:30 pm on November 17, 2014.

It would be helpful if you could also send an electronic copy of your letter to us at Should you have questions about this request, you can email us at the above address or call us at 503.225.9992 or 503.816.5957.
Thank you for your support.

*In some documents the spelling is Ballou & Wright.



A link to a video that was produced by the ReBuilding Center that talks about deconstruction as an alternative to mechanized demolition:



A link to a video from Central Northeast Neighbors: Demolition, Residential Infill, and Housing Affordability in Portland Neighborhoods


Bridlemile Neighborhood Association Vision Statement

SW Community Plan

In the 1990's the City of Portland undertook a multi-year process, called the SW Community Plan, to update the zoning of SW Portland. Many neighborhoods worked on creating Neighborhood Plans which expressed the zoning and other improvements they wanted to see in their neighborhoods. Because Bridlemile split out from Bridlemile/Robert Gray neighborhood (which became Hillsdale) late in the process Bridlemile was not allowed to do a full blown Neighborhood Plan but only a Vision Statement which the BNA spent a number of meetings working on and approved. Bridlemile Neighborhood Association Vision Statement w/Addendum: BNAVSwAd.pdf, 24KB 24KB/11 pages


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