TRN 1.22- Infill Development on Streets with an Existing Sidewalk Corridor

TRN 1.22 establishes the situations in which the City will accept the existing sidewalk configuration as the standard for the block length. This page is intended to explain the policy in a step by step manner to assist property owners in determining if this policy applies to their property.

On this page

Overview

The City has a policy called TRN 1.22- Infill Development on Streets with an Existing Sidewalk Corridor.  TRN 1.22 establishes the situations in which the City will accept the existing sidewalk configuration as the standard for the block length.  The full text of the policy without explanation can be accessed on the City Auditor’s website here.  
 

When does this policy apply?

This policy only applies when properties are being developed AND have met one of the two triggers requiring public improvements. 

Why does the City have this policy?

The vast majority of the City of Portland’s roads and sidewalks were built through private land development.  In the early days of Oregon, there were few regulations on land development.  Later, when regulations did come into effect, they varied widely between Cities and Counties.  Many of the streets in Portland were built either before standards existed or were originally built to County standards before being annexed to the City. 

As a result of this history, sidewalk configurations vary widely throughout the City.  Some streets have no sidewalks at all, some have 6-foot curb tight sidewalks, and some have sidewalks separated from the street with a planter strip containing street trees.  The widths of the planter strips vary from 3-feet up to as much as 18-feet depending on the street.

The City has four standard sidewalk configurations that apply in different situations based on how many people are expected to use the sidewalk.  All of the standard sidewalk configurations call for concrete sidewalks that are at least 6-feet wide and which are separated from the curb to allow room for street trees, street lights, signs, and other street furnishings.  In some cases, the existing sidewalks do not meet the City’s current standards but may be close enough that asking a property owner to remove the sidewalk and rebuild it to current standards does not make sense.  For example, if most of the sidewalks on the block were built with a very large furnishing zone, asking one property owner to put the sidewalk in the standard location would mean it does not line up with the rest of the sidewalks on the block. 

TRN 1.22 is the City’s policy regarding when a property owner may retain the existing sidewalk configuration instead of building or rebuilding the sidewalk to the City’s current standard.   There are seven parts to figuring out if a property meets TRN 1.22.  There are also exemptions for flag lots, Planned Unit Developments, and Existing Sidewalks Which Exceed City Standards. 

The Seven Part Test of TRN 1.22

There are seven parts to figuring out if a property meets TRN 1.22.  For the purposes of making this website easier to use, the parts have been rearranged from the order presented in TRN 1.22.  The items which disqualify most sites have been moved to the top of the list.

Part 1
The site must be zoned R1, R2, R3, R2.5, R5, R7, R10, R-20, RF, IH, IG1, or IG2.  You may look up the site’s zoning at www.portlandmaps.com.

Please note:  The recent adoption of the new multi-dwelling zones replaced the R1, R2, and R3 zones with zones named RM1 and RM2.  TRN 1.22 has not yet been formally updated to reflect the new zones. 

Part 2
The site must not be located within a Pedestrian District.

Click here to access an interactive map of Transportation System Plan classifications.  Please note the layer manager on the top left allows you to select which layers are visible.  The Pedestrian District district layer is under the heading Pedestrian Classes.

Part 3
The street must be classified in the City’s Transportation System Plan as a Local Service Traffic Street and Local Service Walkway. 

Please note:  The recent adoption of PedPDX lead to new walkway classifications.  TRN 1.22 has not yet been formally updated to reflect these new classifications.  For a chart showing what new classifications equate to “Local Service Walkway” please visit the Transportation System Plan page.

Click here to access an interactive map of Transportation System Plan classifications.  Please note the layer manager on the top left allows you to select which layers are visible.  These include traffic classification and pedestrian classification.

Part 4
-The existing sidewalk must be built to within 1-foot of the pedestrian through zone standard which applies to the frontage;  OR
-In the case of a curb-tight sidewalk configuration, the sidewalk width is a minimum of 6-feet and the utility poles are behind the sidewalk. 

To determine the pedestrian through zone standards which applies to the frontage, please visit our Sidewalks page.  You may also contact PBOT staff in person in the Development Services Center or by calling 503-823-7002, Option 3.   Leave a message and staff will return your call.

Part 5
-The existing furnishing zone, including the curb, is at least 3-feet wide; OR
-Where a minimum 6-foot width curb tight sidewalk exists, there are no current or anticipated furnishings within the sidewalk. 

Furnishings include signs, utility poles, and fire hydrants. 

You may measure in the field to determine how wide the improvements are.  Alternatively, PBOT has many parts of the City mapped with what are believed to be the widths of the various components of the sidewalk corridor.  If you would like to verify what improvements PBOT’s mapping shows for the block face, contact PBOT staff in person in the Development Services Center or by calling 503-823-7002, Option 3.   Leave a message and staff will return your call.

Part 6
The sidewalk corridor is the same configuration for the full length of the block (intersection to intersection) along the side of the street upon which the property is located.

You may measure field verify this information for your site.  Alternatively, PBOT has many parts of the City mapped with what are believed to be the widths of the various components of the sidewalk corridor.  If you would like to verify what improvements PBOT’s mapping shows for the block face, contact PBOT staff in person in the Development Services Center or by calling 503-823-7002, Option 3.   Leave a message and staff will return your call.

Part 7
Any building permit must be in conformance with Land Use decisions made for the site. 

To check the land use history for a site, please visit the Development Services Center and ask to speak to a land use planner.  You may also call the zoning hotline at 503-823-7526.

Other Exemptions

If your site does not meet one part of the seven part test, there are an additional three exemptions which may qualify the property to retain the existing sidewalk configuration.

  • Sidewalks which exceed the City’s current standard
    Properties with existing sidewalk configurations that exceed current corridor requirements will be accepted as the standard sidewalk configuration for the property and will not require modification. 

    Example:  The City’s current standard requires an 11-foot sidewalk corridor consisting of a 0.5-foot curb, 4-ft furnishing zone, 6-ft sidewalk and 0.5-ft frontage zone.  The existing sidewalk corridor is 12-feet overall and each individual element meets or exceeds the requirements.  There is a 0.5-ft curb, 5-ft furnishing zone, 6-ft sidewalk, and 0.5-ft frontage zone.  This sidewalk corridor exceeds the requirements and is accepted as the standard and does not need to be modified.
     
  • Flag Lots
    As determined by PBOT staff, typical frontage improvements for residential development on existing flag lots with a pole width of less than 25-feet may not be required where frontage improvements do not exist or meet standards on the lot immediately adjacent to the pole and there is not an established curb/sidewalk pattern along the block.
     
  • Planned Unit Development
    New single family homes on vacant lots within existing Planned Unit Developments in which at least 90% of the homes have been built may be constructed with improvements consistent with the established improvements within the development in lieu of typical frontage requirements.  To determine if your site is part of a Planned Unit Development, please visit the Development Services Center and ask to speak to a land use planner.  You may also call the zoning hotline at 503-823-7526.

Contact

PBOT Development Review General Information