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Posted on: October 28, 2020

Council to Hold Hearing on Final Revised Land Use Code


On Monday, November 9, the Portland City Council will hold a public hearing on Phase I of the City’s ReCode initiative, the City’s effort to streamline, modernize, and update its land use code to reflect the goals of the City’s comprehensive plan (Portland’s Plan 2030). The effort is the first rewriting of the City’s Land Use Code in more than 50 years.

Over the last two years, the City’s Department of Planning & Urban Development has focused on Phase I of the ReCode effort, transforming the existing land use code into a more legible and user-friendly document. Phase I has involved extensive reformatting, restructuring, and updating of the existing code, as well as a concerted look at streamlining and rationalizing particular areas of existing policy, including the city’s Accessory Dwelling Unit, off-street parking, and sign provisions. The result is a well-organized new code, using tables and graphics, that will increase predictability and clarity for users of the code. It will also pave the way for Phase II of the Recode process, which will involve carefully examining the code in light of policy goals expressed through Portland’s Plan, and rewriting the policy in the code to better align with that vision

Phase I delivers an entirely new land use code and organizational and cosmetic revisions to zoning height overlay maps, developed with the direction of the City Council’s Ad Hoc ReCode Committee and the Planning Board, with input from various city departments and the numerous members of the public who provided input on the process and the new code.  The Planning Board began its review of the revised land use code under Phase I in November of 2019, and has spent the last year considering the ReCode in a series of public workshops, followed by a hearing in late July, where they unanimously recommended adoption of the new code to the City Council. The Council hearing comes on the heels of two Council workshops held in October.

In order to facilitate public feedback, the City has developed an interactive online civic engagement tool. Members of the public can read the final draft of ReCode Phase I and leave comments directly in the document, as well as see comments from others. 

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