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:
Tuesday, April 20th, 2020
6:30 - 8:30pm
Multnomah Arts Center, Room 4
7688 SW Capitol Hwy.

Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. Land Use Committee usually meets the third Tuesday of the month. Confirm scheduled meetings on the Southwest Neighborhoods Calendar.
Meetings are open to the public and everyone is welcome.

Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

Full March 2020 Update


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: 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 text of the full amendment packages is  available under “Amendment Packages for Council’s March 12 Hearing” on the project documents page

The public record has reopened and been extended for written testimony regarding these amendments only. Testimony must be received by noon on April 9, 2020. 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” so it gets 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: Council will hold a 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

  • City Council
    o   View upcoming City Council agenda items
    o   City Council meetings are usually held in Council Chambers at City Hall, 1221 SW 4th Avenue and are broadcast live.
  • Map AppYou can look at interactive maps, submit testimony during testimony periods, and read submitted testimony through the BPS Map App
  • Portland Maps – Explorer: You can look at existing zoning, building permit, transportation and natural resource information and more on the interactive Explorer map.
    o   Portland Maps Guide
  • ABC's of Land Use

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. 


John Tappero,
Southwest Neighborhoods, Inc. Land Use and Transportation
phone: (503) 823-4592

SWNI Land Use Committee Chair: Gary Runde,
SWNI Land Use Committee members group: 
SWNI Land Use Committee 2019-2020 Action Plan

View meeting archives.