About the Map App

Created by the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and developed in-house by our Technical Services team, the Map App allows you to explore location-based data in an interactive map experience, consider proposals put forth by staff, comment on proposed changes, and provide on-record testimony to Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council.

The Map App development stack includes a custom database in conjunction with Esri's ArcGIS platform, ArcGIS JavaScript API, Maxbox Studio, Dojo Toolkit and Dojo Bootstrap.

Questions about how the Map App was developed, bug reports or similar? Please send an email to bpsmapapp@portlandoregon.gov and someone from the web development team will get back to you.

About the Timeline Graphic

Commonly used in the Map App, this graphic simply illustrates the major phases of the process a proposal goes through from the initial draft to adoption.

  • The release of a Discussion draft (DD) opens the start of a public comment period for BPS proposals that do not begin with a Concept Report. Public comment during this phase is discussion-oriented and helps refine the proposal into a Proposed Draft.
  • The Proposed draft (PD) is then presented by staff to the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC). Public testimony to the PSC is welcome during this time, both in person and in writing. Further refinements are made, and the PSC votes to recommend a proposal to City Council.
  • Staff will then present the Recommended draft (REC) to City Council for consideration. Public testimony to City Council is welcome, both in person and in writing.
  • The proposal could then be Adopted (A) by City Council.

Once a proposal is adopted, an implementation phase may begin.

About the Comprehensive Plan Update

Project website: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/compplan

The Comprehensive Plan is a long-range plan for Portland’s growth, change and improvements for the next 20 years. It is used to manage the location of population and job growth, land development and conservation and related public investments in infrastructure (such as streets, sidewalks and parks). State law requires the City to do a Comprehensive Plan every 20 years.

  • The plan consists of four parts: goals and policies, a set of maps, a list of significant capital projects, a Citywide System Plan and portions of the Transportation System Plan.
  • It sets guidelines for community involvement in future plans and decisions.
  • It is used by the public to advocate for projects and programs during the annual budget process.
  • It establishes a shared plan for the future that is used to coordinate policies and actions across City bureaus and state and regional agencies.

By leveraging growth and change, smart planning can help ensure that Portland becomes more prosperous, healthy, equitable and resilient for all Portlanders.

On June 15, 2016, City Council adopted Portland's 2035 Comprehensive Plan. The new plan's goals, policies, maps and project lists provide direction for City decisions on land use, transportation, parks, sewer and water systems, natural resources and other topics as the city grows and develops.

On December 22, 2016, City Council adopted the Early Implementation projects that make changes to the Zoning Map and other City documents and programs to start aligning the City's rules and activities to the 2035 Comprehensive Plan.

During 2017, the state Department of Land Conservation and Development will review the 2035 Comprehensive Plan to ensure that it follows statewide planning goals. After acknowledgement, the new plan will take effect on January 1, 2018, replacing the current Comprehensive Plan that was adopted in 1980.

Questions about the Comprehensive Plan? Send us an email anytime: pdxcompplan@portlandoregon.gov.

About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

Official website: www.portlandoregon.gov/bps

BPS develops creative and practical solutions to enhance Portland’s livability, preserve distinctive places and plan for a resilient future.

BPS collaborates with community partners to provide:

  • Comprehensive land use, neighborhood, district, economic, historic and environmental planning, and urban design.
  • Research, policy and technical services to advance green building, energy efficiency and the use of solar and renewable energy, waste prevention, composting and recycling, and a sustainable food system.
  • Policy and actions to address climate change.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Transportation System Plan (TSP) is the City's long-range plan to guide transportation investments. Portland originally developed its Transportation System Plan in 2002 and it was last updated in 2007. Periodic updates of the TSP are mandated by the State of Oregon.

The TSP meets state and regional planning requirements and addresses local transportation needs for cost-effective street, transit, freight, bicycle, and pedestrian improvements. The plan will provide transportation options for residents, employees, visitors, and firms doing business in Portland, making it more convenient to walk, bike, take transit -- and drive less -- while meeting their daily needs. The TSP provides a balanced transportation system to support neighborhood livability and economic development.

Policies and map changes in Portland's downtown and central areas are being updated through Central City 2035. Once adopted by City Council, Central City 2035 policies and maps will become part of the Comprehensive Plan.

Both show how land can be used and developed over time, using a set of “designations” and “zones” (shown as colors on the maps). Both show broad categories of uses, such as residential, mixed use, industrial, employment and open space. They also convey information about the scale of future development (the type and size of buildings).

The Comprehensive Plan Map is about the future…
The Comprehensive Plan Map shows a long-term vision of how and where the city will grow and change over the next 20 years to accommodate expected population and job growth.

The Zoning Map is about what is allowed today…
Decisions about Comprehensive Plan designations directly guide subsequent decisions about zoning. The City's Zoning Map tells us how land can be used and what can be built on any given property today. Zones are more specific than the Comprehensive Plan designations and come with a set of rules (included in the City's Zoning Code) that clarify what uses are allowed (e.g., residences, businesses, manufacturing), and how buildings may be developed or changed (e.g., maximum heights and required setbacks from property lines).

The Comp Plan Map and the Zoning Map are like a leader and a follower. The plan map is the leading map and the zone map is the following map. The zone map can “catch up” to the plan map, but it can't go past it.

The plan map is a long-range map saying what will be allowed 20 years from now, while the zone map says what is allowed now. For most properties in the city, what is allowed now and what will be allowed 20 years from now are essentially the same.

January 1, 2018.This allows time for the State of Oregon to acknowledge the plan and consider any objections that may be filed.

Every property has a base zone. Some properties are also in an overlay zone or a plan district.

In general, all of the regulations within the base zone, overlay zone and plan district apply to a site. However, if regulations among the zones conflict, a hierarchy applies. The regulations in the plan district supersede the regulations in the overlay zone and base zone, and the regulations in the overlay zone supersede the regulations in the base zone.

For example, the minimum front setback required in the R5 zone is generally 10 feet, but in the environmental overlay zones the minimum front setback is 0 feet. The two regulations conflict, and the overlay zone setback requirement supersedes the base zone requirement. Similarly, the height limit in the CS/CM2 zone is generally 45 feet, but the height limit on several properties in the Hollywood Plan District is 65 feet. So the height limit map in the plan district supersedes the height limit in the base zone or overlay zone.

Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is the relationship of buildable floor area (total amount of square feet) to a given site area (amount of land). Think of FAR as the volume of a building. FAR regulations tell you “how much” building you can create. This volume can be shaped to create taller narrower buildings or lower wider buildings. FAR scales to the site, so 3:1 FAR for a 20,000 square foot site would allow 60,000 square feet of development, whereas 3:1 FAR for a 40,000 square foot site would allow for 120,000 square feet. More floor area means more residents, employees or customers are expected to use that space.

The City regulates FAR to help achieve multiple objectives. By setting FAR at moderate levels and allowing developers to earn or buy more, the City creates a source of funding for City priorities. Projects earn more FAR through the City's “bonus” system.

The City sets maximum height limits to regulate how tall buildings can be. These heights are established based on public expectations for the preservation of scenic public views, ensuring sunlight in open spaces and the Willamette River, and reducing height near lower density residential areas.

Zoning Map changes recommended by the Planning and Sustainability Commission for the Employment, Campus Institutional, Mixed Use, and Residential and Open Space projects have been combined into a single map called the Zoning Map Changes. The Portland City Council now invites testimony on this combined map.

To help ensure access to City programs, services and activities, the City will provide translations, will reasonably modify policies and procedures and will provide auxiliary aids or alternative formats to persons with disabilities. For accommodations, translations, or additional information, contact bps@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-7700; use City TTY 503-823-6868, or Oregon Relay Service: 711.