top of page

Portland Zoning Code: Change is a-Coming

In this post, we cover two zoning code update projects underway with the City of Portland, as part of the Citywide Comprehensive Plan updates. Both projects bring changes small and large to how our city handles residential projects for both single and multifamily properties. We offer a synopsis below, but don’t worry, we won’t get too wonky! If you want to know more about how these changes might affect you, you can contact us, and we’ll crack the code for you!

Residential Infill Project for Single Family Properties

The City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has been working on a zoning code update that applies to single family infill development standards in zones R20, R10, R5 and R2.5.t. The Residential Infill Project (RIP), commonly referred to by the acronym RIP, was intended to address the challenge created by a growing , aging population, a trend toward smaller household sizes, and greater infill development.

RIP will make adjustments to the allowed sizes and heights of new homes and additions and increase the # of units allowed on some properties, including considering allowing a second ADU. . It will Changes will also allow for more flexibility in either building new 2 and 3 unit structures or renovating existing homes into duplexes and triplexes.

Better Housing by Design Project for Multifamily Properties

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is also in the process of updating the city’s multifamily residential zones. This project, called “Better Housing by Design,” will revise development standards in zones R3, R2, R1 and RH.

Better Housing by Design will introduce a number of new changes to Portland zoning code, including:

  • new open space and sustainable design requirements, increase in # of units allowed by applying new form based density requirements to replace maximum unit counts

  • new open space requirements

  • adjustments to building setbacks from the street, and setback requirements

  • height reductions in some areas

The city is currently taking concepts developed in this report and translating them into specific changes to the multifamily housing zoning code. Changes to the code are expected to go into effect in either late 2018 or early 2019..

Constructive Form attended stakeholder advisory group meetings for these projects, and we are closely monitoring the coming changes to the code. We are also aware that a number of our clients own property in the areas where change is proposed. We are prepared to talking to our clients about these changes’ impacts on their property, and to can help you explore your options for redevelopment either prior to or after they go into affect.

Recent Posts
bottom of page