Portland’s Central City 2035 Plan sent back to City Council for amendments

News article

New amendments to the plan address Court of Appeals ruling; City Council to hold a public hearing at a date to be announced.

Published

On March 16, 2020, the Oregon Court of Appeals remanded the Central City 2035 Plan, a new land use, transportation and environmental plan to manage growth and development in Portland’s urban core. City Council must now readopt the plan to address the items identified in the Court’s ruling.   

Why is the Central City 2035 Plan being readopted?   

City Council adopted Central City 2035 in June 2018, and the plan went into effect in July 2018. The plan was appealed to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) and then to the Court of Appeals. LUBA found, and the Court of Appeals agreed, that City Council’s findings were not adequate to show that changes in allowed heights in the New Chinatown/Japantown Historic District complied with Comprehensive Plan policy 4.48, which call for: 

"… Continuity with established patterns. Encourage development that fills in vacant and underutilized gaps within the established urban fabric, while preserving and complementing historic resource.…"

According to the Court of Appeal’s final order, the City will need to readopt CC2035 with changes to address this Comprehensive Plan policy.  

What is included in the Central City 2035 Plan (2018)? 

The plan includes an overhaul of the development bonus and transfer system that prioritizes affordable housing and historic preservation in the Central City. It allows higher densities along the transit mall and at the bridgeheads as well as adjust height limits in historic districts and public view corridors. The plan incorporates new land use tools that help protect, provide access to, and activate the Willamette River area. The plan also includes new green building requirements as well as new transportation projects that will make it easier to walk, bike and use transit in the Central City.   

Next Steps 

City Council will set a public hearing date to readopt the CC2035 Plan.  As soon as the hearing date is set, project staff will notify stakeholders and post documents on the project website.