Thursday, February 1, 2018

Mayor Wheeler Weighing Additional Incentives to Encourage Multifamily Development

Building permit applications have fallen off a cliff since inclusionary zoning requirements went into effect in February 2017. Now, the Portland Mercury reports that Mayor Ted Wheeler is planning to introduce an ordinance in March that would offer additional incentives to developers to encourage more building, particularly in the center city. Only 12 buildings subject to inclusionary zoning are currently being planned in the city, and none of those are west of the Willamette River. Commissioner Nick Fish argues that it is too soon to say whether the slowdown in permitting activity is due to inclusionary zoning, as other factors may be impacting Portland's development market, but professionals involved in development such as Kurt Schultz of SERA Architects argue that the sudden drop off in activity is highly unusual. Wheeler has indicated that his incentive proposal could include height and density increases as well as tax breaks, but the details of the plan have not yet been released. Read more.

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