Portland, OR Residential Infill update

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Got an update from the city on the proposed Residential Infill Program including some updates and some links that I wanted to pass on:

What is this project about?

Residential Infill Project is updating Portland’s single-dwelling zoning rules to better meet the changing housing needs of current and future residents. The project addresses increasing the range of available housing options while limiting the size of buildings and improving building design. For more information visit the project website at: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/infill

PSC begins review of the Revised Proposed Draft of the Residential Infill Project

Last September, the PSC gave project staff direction to revise the Residential Infill Proposed Draft to reflect their possible amendments. The commissioners wanted to see how their suggested changes could affect the proposal overall. At a PSC meeting on February 12, staff will brief the commission on the Revised Proposed Draft, which incorporates their possible amendments. The briefing will be followed by PSC work sessions, with a vote on their recommendations to City Council anticipated in March.

Key Changes from the Proposed Draft

  • Increase additional housing options to include up to four units (fourplexes) on both corner and non-corner lots.
  • Allow additional housing options in all R2.5, R5 and R7 (single-dwelling) zones except:
    • Areas with flood or landslide hazards or significant natural resources. These areas, designated by a new “z” Constrained Sites overlay zone, will retain existing regulations for corner duplexes or one accessory dwelling unit with a house.
    • Lots that do not meet minimum lot sizes for three or four units (R2.5 = 3,200 sq ft; R5 = 4,500 sq ft; R7 = 5,000 sq ft)
    • Infrastructure constraints, including lack of paved streets, sewer or water service.
  • Increase the allowed size (FAR) for duplexes and triplexes (no increase for a fourplex). Examples on an R5 (5,000 sq ft lot):
    • 2,500 sq ft – house (same as Proposed Draft)
      3,000 sq ft – building with two units
    • 3,500 sq ft – building with three or four units
  • Bonus FAR for keeping an existing house or for providing one affordable unit at 80% MFI.
  • Allow historically narrow lots in R5 to be built with a pair of attached houses.
  • Eliminate minimum parking requirements.

The following Revised Proposed Draft reports have been posted on the project website.

Appendices that have not been revised can be found here.

Explore the Map App. Parcel-specific information is available through an updated Map App that reflects the revised mapping proposals.

PSC Upcoming Meetings on the Revised Proposed Draft (Please confirm the date and time on the agenda one week prior by visiting the PSC calendar)

  • Tuesday, February 12 – Briefing: Revised Proposed Draft (RIP is on agenda from 2 to 4 p.m.).Staff will walk the Commission through their revised proposals to see how their tentative amendments work together as a package.
  • Tuesday, February 26 and Tuesday, March 12: Work Sessions and Possible Vote

When will the public get to weigh in on these amendments?

The PSC’s possible amendments took into consideration the public testimony they received last spring on the Proposed Draft of the Residential Infill Project. They are anticipating making their recommendations to the City Council in March. The public will be able to provide testimony on these recommendations to City Council as part of their review — anticipated in summer 2019.

Want more information on the PSC’s work sessions and proposed changes?

The dates of the eight PSC work sessions and accompanying materials are posted on the project website under Planning and Sustainability Commission Materials. All PSC meetings are streamed live, and past meetings may be viewed at Portland BPS YouTube channel.

I am impressed @Mathew Wray , Thank you for compiling this for us here on BP. I will definitely be following the outcome. I didn't know the meetings had been recorded and available to the public, which is very informative. Thanks again,

Thank you Mathew. I like the narrow lot multiple house idea. How about 3 units on a 33x100? Liking the adjustment to the setback rules where they coincide with existing buildings.

Glad it's helpful for you!

I'm happy to see some changes allowing for more fourplexes on non-corner lots. 

I feel like I have to give a little credit to the city. It's weird to say that out loud! I'm glad they're not bowing (at least yet) to the NIMBY crowd. If the city is going to take extreme measures on landlords at least they're looking at making large changes to zoning to improve density. 

It's back to the supply and demand issue...I'm hoping that over time it will increase the housing stock in Portland. But, if it doesn't improve or it doesn't dent supply enough, then I see property values continuing to climb so really it's a win for the industry either way. 


@Mathew Wray Thanks for compiling this! Will you be at any of the upcoming meetings?

Thanks @Caleb Webster ...I likely won't go to the two working sessions in February but I've got them on my calendar to live stream (they have a youtube channel) so I'll be able to keep an ear open during the parts that I'm interested. Keeps me informed and also helps me miss out on traffic!!

@Mathew Wray Did you listen in on yesterday's meeting? Exciting stuff! Looking forward to brainstorming with other local investors about how to maximize this new opportunity. 

@Caleb Webster

I did not! I had a client in who wanted to see a property ASAP and write an offer so I made that a priority instead. 

I'm headed to New Orleans on Friday and will be able to watch the replay on YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/bpswebteam/videos) while I'm traveling. 

Glad that you gained from it...I really think it's shaping up to be a win for landlords/developers/investors...and the city! 

Very excited about this.

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