Land Use Committee

 The Land Use Committee is a standing committee of the Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. board. It's comprised of neighborhood association representatives and other land use advocates who come together monthly to track and respond to the many land use and planning issues in southwest Portland.  From infill and demolitions to new development and design reviews, tree preservation to affordable housing, comprehensive planning to zoning changes, committee topics cover a wide range of issues that impact the character and livability of the area. 

Next Meeting:

Topic: SWNI Land Use Committee meeting
Time: Dec 22nd, 2020 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)


Chair Gary Runde,
SWNI staff, John Tappero,
SWNI Land Use Committee Google Group: 


Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

Full November 2020 Update

Continued from April SWNI News Land Use Committee article...

Housing Rulemaking Advisory Committee Members:

To date, the Infrastructure-Based Time Extension Request Technical Advisory Committee (IBTER TAC) has met three
times and made significant progress. Included in this packet is also the most recent memo regarding transportation
IBTER applications, with an associated set of discussion questions. This memorandum is to provide an update thus
far on draft key parameters and concepts that have been developed with the assistance of the IBTERTAC. The first
set of parameters are based on language within HB 2001, the second are additional parameters and concepts discussed by the TAC.

Parameters established by HB 2001:
1. The purpose of the IBTER application is for a local government to gain approval for a delay in the
enactment of middle housing provisions that would otherwise be required by Section 3 of HB 2001, based
on an identified infrastructure constraint within a defined area where additional dwelling units would
exacerbate an existing or anticipated service deficiency that is occurring or may occur by December 31,
2023. Otherwise, required middle housing provisions must be applied in unconstrained areas within the
local government’s jurisdiction.

2. Types of infrastructure that may pose a constraint in relation to the provision of middle housing are
limited to water, sewer, storm drainage, or transportation services (see next paragraph for update on transportation). 
3. IBTER applications must relate only to “specific areas where the local government has identified water,
sewer, storm drainage, or transportation services that are either significantly deficient or are expected to
be significantly deficient before December 31, 2023...”
4. IBTER applications must include a plan of actions that will remedy the deficiency in those services.
5. Time extensions for the application of middle housing allowances in these areas may not extend beyond
the date that the local government intends to correct the deficiency.
6. IBTER applications from large cities (cities greater than 25,000 population or cities within Portland Metro

with population greater than 1,000 and urbanized portions of Portland Metro counties) are due June 30, 2022


Residential Infill Project (RIP)

What: Updating the rules that shape Portland’s residential neighborhoods, so more people can live in them, while limiting the construction of very large new houses

Status: The March 12 City Council hearing on potential amendments to the RIP Recommended Draft was cancelled to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The hearing has not been rescheduled at this time. Notice of the rescheduled hearing date will be sent at least 14 days prior to the hearing and will include instructions on ways to testify. Information will also be posted on the project website when more is known.

Following work sessions on January 29 and February 12, City Council directed staff to develop specific code amendment proposals for seven topics. These include:

  1. Changes to align the proposals with recently adopted projects for consistency.
  2. Changes to align duplex allowances with state mandates in HB2001.
  3. Changes to respond to the SB 534 requirement to recognize certain substandard platted lots.
  4. Creating a combined process for lot consolidations and property line adjustments.
  5. No zoning code amendment proposed.
  6. Provisions for a “Deeper Affordability Bonus.”
  7. Historic Resource Demolition Disincentive.

Each of the amendment packages includes a description of the amendment, a table listing the particular sections of code that are proposed to be amended, followed by the specific revised code language and explanatory commentary. The draft text of the full amendment packages is  available under “Amendment Packages for City Council’s Consideration” on the project documents page.

 The public record has been reopened and extended for written testimony regarding these amendments only. Testimony must be received before the close of the public hearing, which has not been scheduled at this time. You can submit written testimony:

City Council

Residential Infill Project Testimony
1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 130
Portland, OR 97204

 Be sure to include “Residential Infill Project Testimony” to ensure it is routed to the right place.

 You can view the zoning proposals for individual properties by using the project Map App. You can also sign up to receive project email updates by filling out this quick form.

 Next opportunity to engage: City Council will hold a public hearing and a work session on the amendments only and subsequently vote on them. A vote to adopt the entire RIP package is TBD. Please check the RIP website and/or the Council calendar to confirm dates and times of hearings.

 Contact: Morgan Tracy, 503-823-6879,


Upcoming Opportunities to engage

River Plan / South Reach PSC work sessions are open to the public, but public testimony is not taken. A public hearing with testimony on design recommendations for South Portland / Macadam plan district area will be set for the Design Commission in April or May. City Council will hold a public hearing on the River Plan / South Reach Recommended Draft in Summer 2020.

Environmental Overlay Zone Map Correction Project The Planning and Sustainability Commission will hold public hearings in May 2020.  Notice of hearings will be sent to all affected properties.

Expanding Opportunities for Affordable Housing The Recommended Draft will be released in early April, and public testimony will open again at that time. The project will be heard before City Council on May 14, 2020 (time to be determined).

Design Overlay Zone Amendments Project (DOZA) The two commissions continue to hold work sessions on the staff proposal through May 2020 before making their recommendations. The Recommended Draft is anticipated to be released in late Summer 2020, with a City Council hearing to follow.

West Portland Town Center Plan Portlanders are invited to review the three growth concepts for the West Portland Town Center and take an online survey. The April CAG meeting date is being rescheduled due to COVID-19 closures. See project event page for updates. CAG meetings are open to the public and past materials are available online.

CORONAVIRUS IMPACTS: Please be aware that public meetings are being cancelled or rescheduled for public health and safety, so be sure to check project calendars for meeting updates and other information.


Useful Resources

A special thank you to Bureau of Planning and Sustainability representatives Joan Frederiksen and Sarah Wright for presenting the ABC's of Land Use Training

Session 1 provided an Overview of  Zoning, Permits and Work of City Agencies

  • What is land use? Why does it matter?
  • Bureaus that manage land use in Portland. Who handles aspects of land use (code compliance, building permits, land use reviews, etc.) and how do they overlap?
  • What is zoning? How does zoning affect my neighborhood?
  • How to read a zoning map. How to read the zoning code.
  • What is a land use review? What is a building permit?
  • When can the community influence the development process?
  • Quasi-judicial vs. legislative processes.

Training Material:

Glossary of Land Use Terms

Land Use Zones Summary

Land Use Summary of Procedure Types

Table of Land Use Review Process Requirements

Land Use Resources and Contacts

ONI Neighborhood Association Map

Session 2 Land Use Reviews and Land Division. Will build upon Session 1 training, built to provide community member with the tools necessary to effectively address land use issues within your community. 


Committee Resources

SWNI Land Use Committee 2019-2020 Action Plan

Access to the following communication tools is restricted to the SWNI Land Use Committee Google Group members:

SWNI Land Use Committee Google Group

Land Use Committee Google Drive

Public Meeting Archives

View the Land Use Committee PUBLIC Meeting Documents archives on Google Drive.