Monday, November 11, 2019

City Council Finishes Public Hearing on Better Housing by Design; Written Testimony Accepted Through Nov. 21st

A Notice from the City of Portland:

Better Housing by Design E-UPDATE: November 8, 2019

City Council finishes public hearing on Better Housing by Design proposals – will consider amendments on November 21

City Council finished hearing public testimony on the Better Housing by Design Recommended Draft on Wednesday, November 6, 2019. The public hearing started at 2 p.m. and lasted until 5 p.m. 42 people provided testimony during the three-hour hearing. Much of the testimony was on draft amendments requested by City commissioners. A lot of testimony was about whether or not to limit development bonuses for affordable housing based on transit access. There was also a lot of testimony regarding parking exemptions for affordable housing, and a broad range of perspectives were shared on proposals related to historic preservation.

If you missed this hearing, you can view a video of the hearing here. In total, community members have contributed over 250 pieces of written or verbal testimony on the Better Housing by Design proposals.

Written testimony will continue to be accepted through November 21, 2019. You can provide testimony on the broader Recommended Draft proposals, as well as on the draft amendments. Please see below for information on how to submit testimony.

Next Up – Amendments

City Council will discuss and vote on potential amendments to the Recommended Draft on November 21, 2019, starting at 3:45 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. The amendments they will consider include those previously requested by commissioners (see below), as well as any new amendment requests that may emerge from commissioners’ consideration of recent public testimony. Any revisions to the list of draft amendments will be posted online prior to the November 21 session. The public is welcome to attend the November 21 City Council session on the amendments, although this will not be a public hearing.

Learn about the draft amendments

  • A table summarizing the draft amendments requested by commissioners (as of November 5) can be found here.
  • The full amendments package with complete code language and commentary is here.
  • Updates to the list of potential BHD amendments will be posted here: 

These potential BHD amendments include:

  • Amendments to the Deeper Housing Affordability Bonus to provide options for affordable ownership housing.
  • Expanded exemptions from minimum parking requirements for projects providing affordable housing.
  • Limitations on using development bonuses on sites where historic buildings have been demolished in the multi-dwelling and mixed-use zones.
  • Prohibitions on using development bonuses on sites more than a 1,500-foot walking distance of frequent-service transit.
  • Disallowing 100-foot building height in the RM4 zone in historic districts.
  • Requirements for large sites to include indoor common areas, such as community or recreation rooms.
  • Zone changes in the King’s Hill Historic District to reduce allowed building scale.

How to Testify

Written testimony will continue to be accepted through November 21, 2019 (you must include your name and address):

Use the Map App:
Select Better Housing by Design and click on the "Testify" button. Testifying in the Map App is as easy as sending an email. And once you press “submit,” you can see your testimony in the Testimony Reader in real time. You can also read other people’s testimony.

By U.S. Mail:
City Council
Better Housing by Design Testimony
1221 SW Fourth Avenue, Room 130
Portland, Oregon 97204

Links to Recommended Draft documents:
Recommended Draft Summary - Short summary of the Recommended Draft’s major proposals
Volume 1: Staff Report - Summary and analysis of Recommended Draft Zoning Code and Map amendments
Volume 2: Zoning Code Amendments – Recommended Draft Zoning Code and Comprehensive Plan full text and commentary
Volume 3: Additional Zoning Code Amendments – Zoning Code amendments updating other chapters for consistency

Citywide maps showing the Recommended Draft Zoning Map and Comprehensive Plan Map can be viewed here:
Map of Recommended Draft Zoning
Map of Recommended Draft Comprehensive Plan Designations 

Learn about how the Recommended Draft multi-dwelling zoning changes will affect specific properties by using the online Map App:
Select Better Housing by Design and enter an address to learn about the proposed zoning for a property.

You can find all the Recommended Draft material online at: 
Draft BHD amendments material: 

For more information 

Project website:
Bill Cunningham, Project Manager, 503-823-4203

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7700 or use City TTY 503-823-6868, or Oregon Relay Service 711. 503-823-7700.

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