City wide issues

Comp Plan October update


Portland's Comprehensive Plan Update E-News


October 2014

Portlanders pack the meeting room for first Comp Plan hearing
Public hearings on Proposed Draft begin
On September 23, Portlanders packed the Planning and Sustainability Commission meeting room for the first public hearing on the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan. More than 50 people testified to the 11-member advisory commission.
Individuals and groups gave oral and written testimony on topics ranging from protecting West Hayden Island and promoting jobs in the working harbor to concerns about infill development and petitioning for a delay in the comment period.
Chair André Baugh told the audience the commission would not be debating the issues at the hearings — only listening to public feedback. Several worksessions have been scheduled for the PSC to review testimony and deliberate over the major decision points. The first one will be on November 18 at 6 p.m. Check the PSC calendar for details. As with public hearings, the worksessions are open to the public, but no testimony will be taken during these meetings.
Second hearing at Parkrose High School tonight (Tuesday)
The second public hearing will be tonight, October 14, from 5 to 9 p.m. at Parkrose High School. Staff will be on hand to answer questions and assist community members with providing testimony. Spanish language speakers and Language Line services will also be available to support Portlanders who are more comfortable speaking a language other than English.

Comp Plan Update hearings
Mixed Use Zones Project to share initial concepts
The draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan proposes a growth management strategy featuring centers and corridors. Bustling and vibrant hubs like Hollywood and St Johns, as well as busy boulevards such as Barbur and 82nd Ave (a future concept pictured above), are already zoned to accommodate more people and jobs. But the proposed plan affirms that focusing population and job growth in places with shops, restaurants, services and access to good transit is good for people as well as sound planning policy and practice.
Most of our centers and corridors are in areas that are zoned at least partially for mixed use development. But not all centers and corridors are alike. We need to refine the mixed use regulations to more sensitively accommodate the needs of the community while simplifying the code. 
The Mixed Use Zones Project is an early implementation project of the Comprehensive Plan Update. But staff have already been working with a project advisory committee, conducting neighborhood walkabouts and holding roundtable discussions with businesses, developers and designers. Feedback from this process has informed a very preliminary conceptual framework for code updates. 
In early November, the project team will hold an open house to share these initial ideas. Dates, times and locations are still being worked out, so check the project website for more information: 

MUZ Project
Mayor Charlie Hales attends September CIC meeting
On September 24, the CPU Community Involvement Committee welcomed Mayor Hales for the first hour of their quarterly meeting. After introductions, the Mayor offered his thanks for the valuable guidance the committee has provided the Portland Plan and now the Comprehensive Plan Update. He said the update was critical because “growth  and development will continue as people gravitate to cities all over the world, including Portland.”
“We need to shape the city in a thoughtful way,” he said, “especially in East Portland where there’s been a disconnect between zoning and planning patterns.” He emphasized the importance of engaging the community to build a serious understanding of good design and called the Mixed Use Zones (MUZ) Project a top priority. “We need to be explicit about what we want and don’t want” in these areas of growth and change, he remarked.
MUZ Project Manager Barry Manning then gave an overview of the project and community involvement efforts so far, including neighborhood walks and roundtable discussions. In early November, the project team will hold an open house to share initial concept for zoning updates (see story above). 
Staff from the Comprehensive Plan Helpline reported on call center activity since its formation in July. Since then, they have responded to more than 1,200 inquiries from callers who received a mailer about how the new land use map proposes changes to the development potential of their property.
The committee talked about the need to address residents’ fears and confusion about proposed land use designations and how those map changes fit together with the MUZ Project and Institutional Zoning Project currently underway. 
Members heard updates about recent work with organizations advocating for communities of color and under-represented groups, such as renters. As the official public involvement advisory body for the Comprehensive Plan Update, the CIC has been a consistent and strong advocate for inclusive community engagement.
Finally, the CIC discussed the upcoming briefing to the Planning and Sustainability Commission, where a few members will share feedback on recent public involvement efforts and outcomes. The briefing will be on Tuesday, November 18 at 6 p.m. at 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 2500A. Check the PSC calendar for exact starting time. 

Dear Al
Question: I recently received a mailer from the City of Portland saying proposed land use changes could affect the value of my property. Will these changes increase my property taxes.
Answer: The short answer is, “probably not.” The key point is that the Comprehensive Plan says what you can do with your land, not what you have to do with your land. The plan is focused on the future.
Your property taxes, on the other hand, are based on what you have already done with your land, not on what you theoretically could do with your land. Taxes are focused on existing conditions.
For improved property (or property that has been developed or built upon), consider two neighbors living side-by-side on lots of equal size. One neighbor lives in the smallest house allowed by the plan and the other the largest. All other things being equal, the neighbor with the big house pays more taxes. The neighbor with the small house has remaining development potential, but what this owner “could do” is not taxable because it doesn’t count as an improvement. The upshot is that property taxes reward people who under-use their land. BTW, property tax rules are set in the state constitution.
Vacant land is already “under-used” as much as possible, so development potential can play more of a role in taxation. Let’s take the example of a vacant parcel that can be divided into two buildable lots. If the Comprehensive Plan Map changes and that same parcel can now be divided into three or four lots, property taxes will increase — but only when the land is subdivided.
Comprehensive Plan changes do not automatically trigger tax increases; it is the actual use of new development opportunities provided by the plan that raises taxes.
In summary, the new Comprehensive Plan will be nuetral on existing buildings. If an owner is content with the present level of improvements, the plan won’t change the tax bill. On the other hand, should an owner use new development allowances — that will increase taxes. Those new taxes result from the owner’s choice to develop; development that was allowed by the plan, but not required by the plan.
If you want to know more, the Oregon Department of Revenue has a good article: (the section on “property events” is particularly helpful).



Planning and Sustainability Commission Hearing on the Draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan
Tuesday, October 14, 5 – 9 p.m.
Parkrose High School

12003 NE Shaver Street, Student Center

Mixed Use Zones Project Advisory Committee
Wednesday, October 15, 4 – 6 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 2500

Planning and Sustainability Commission Hearing on the Draft 2035 Comprehensive Pla
Tuesday, October 28, 5 – 9 p.m.
Portland Community College SE Campus, Community Hall

2305 SE 82nd Ave

Planning and Sustainability Commission Hearing on the Draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan
Tuesday, November 4, 5 – 9 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 2500

Planning and Sustainability Commission Hearing on the Draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan
Tuesday, November 18, 6 – 9 p.m.
1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 2500




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