The 13-block section of 82nd Avenue between Southeast Harrison and Alder Streets is set for a zoning change to non-residential as part of the city’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan draft. STAFF/2015

The 13-block section of 82nd Avenue between Southeast Harrison and Alder Streets is set for a zoning change to non-residential as part of the city’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan draft.

Residents, business owners and members of the public concerned about proposed changes to the employment zone and mixed-use zone along 82nd Avenue may testify at a Community Forum Oct. 10. Participants will also hear explanations from city staff and elected officials about what those zone changes might mean for the future of the heavily traveled roadway.

The forum will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at Jade/APANO Multicultural Space on the corner of Southeast 82nd Avenue and Division Street, across from Portland Community College. The 82nd Avenue Improvement Coalition, the Jade District and the 82nd Avenue of Roses Business Association host the forum.

The forum focuses on two projects outlined in the city’s 2035 Comprehensive Plan draft, the long-range plan on which the city bases its land use, zoning and transportation planning for the next 20 years.

Representatives from the city’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability will explain the projects and collect testimony on people’s thoughts and opinions. The bureau is still developing the zoning language for the plan, so public input is crucial.

The coalition is also inviting representatives from the mayor’s office, State Senator Michael Dembrow and State Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer, among other officials.

The main project for discussion is the newly proposed 13-block employment zone on 82nd Avenue between Southeast Harrison and Alder Streets. The zoning along that stretch of the busy 82nd Avenue is now commercial—many used car lots—and a few residential homes, but over time, as the few houses are sold, it would be changed to non-residential, according to Brian Wong, chair of the 82nd Avenue Improvement Coalition.

“Of course, a lot of people are concerned about that because they’re living there now, remodeling and doing other projects,” Wong said. “We’re going to talk about the transitioning of that area from partial residential over to employment and how that is done so people can have an understanding that they’re not going to lose their home. The city will have time to explain that process and what the benefits are for those living there now.”

The proposed employment zone would extend three or four lots beyond 82nd Avenue, a distance of about one-fourth to one-half block. The actual conversion of that section to non-residential, with developers constructing businesses where homes once stood, might take 50 years or longer, Wong explained.

“There will have to be a market … to occur before developers would want to go in there and buy those homes and convert them over to the employment zone,” Wong said. “Someone has to buy the property and redevelop it into that kind of facility.”

At the forum, officials will also seek testimony about the mixed-use corridor zoning, which would allow more housing to be built along 82nd Avenue, making it easier to develop commercial and residential mixed-use zoning.

“There are several zoning areas along 82nd, and you could go one block to the next and they could be slightly different,” Wong said. “So they’re just trying to make that more consistent by standardized zoning along 82nd, just to streamline it. It doesn’t fundamentally change what’s already allowed there.”

Wong noted city officials would also like to hear what community members envision along 82nd Avenue, what kind of buildings should be constructed there and what concerns people might voice about parking.

“Is there a lot of concern about what the buildings will look like?” Wong asked. “If I live behind a tall building on 82nd Avenue, what will I be looking at, what will be the buffers to the neighborhood?”

After receiving public testimony on various sections of the plan, the city council plans to adopt the final Plan sometime in the near future, which could be anywhere from three months to a year or more, Wong speculated.

The city will be mailing postcards to residents who own property along the affected areas on 82nd Avenue. The coalition plans to advertise the forum on the cards, as well as sending out mailings, talking to neighborhood associations and posting announcements on social media.

The 82nd Avenue Coalition meets the fourth Monday of each month at 7 pm at the Lumberyard Bike Park, 2700 N.E. 82nd Ave.

All meetings are open to the public. The next meeting is Monday, Sept. 28.

For more information, call Wong at 971-221-4718, or email him at