Last month, Portland’s City Council voted unanimously to approve the final version of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) and forward it to the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development for review and approval. Following State approval, the plan returns to Council for adoption and implementation, which is expected by early 2018.

Required by state law, the Comp Plan is the most complete update and overhaul of the city’s land use to date. The plan is intended to provide a guide for rational and organized community growth in Portland for the next 20 years and serves as the framework for the city’s zoning codes, as well as for long-range infrastructure and transportation investments.

Vertical growth, rather than horizontal, has been the guiding concept throughout the process. The Comp Plan is intended to provide housing for 260,000 new Portland residents and spaces for 140,000 new jobs, all within existing city boundaries.

Highest densities for all land uses are centered in the inner city and near transportation hubs (like Gateway’s Regional Center) and high traffic corridors like 82nd and 122nd avenues. More distant and primarily residential neighborhoods are targeted for a smaller increase in density, with the goal of having at least 20 percent of new development in what is now being called “missing middle housing”: duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, small apartment projects, Accessory Dwelling Units, and cluster (or cottage) housing—development between higher density mixed-use areas in established lower-density single-family neighborhoods.

Fitting within the guidelines of the Comp Plan is the city’s zoning code. An Early Implementation process has been underway for several months and focuses on defining “middle housing” and its place within the code. Meanwhile, city planners are looking at code provisions for mixed-use development—development that combines commercial/office uses with apartments, which is anticipated to be a major part of Portland’s future development in outlying areas.

A hearing on the current mixed-use zone draft is Tuesday, July 12, from 4 to 8 p.m. in Room C of the Portland Building, 1120 S.W. 5th Ave.

For specific Comprehensive Plan designations in your neighborhood and to stay updated on city zoning code revisions, visit the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability website at