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After years of study and debate, work is nearing completion on Portland’s Comprehensive Plan update, intended to guide development over the next 20 years.

The City Council has scheduled a public hearing on the legal findings to support the amended version of the update on June 9. The evidentiary record for the plan is closed and no new evidence may be submitted.

The final council vote is scheduled for June 15.

State land-use laws require all cities to have such plans and update them every 20 years. Among other things, they direct where the most growth can occur.

The amended plan predicts that around 260,000 more people will live in Portland by 2035. It envisions the construction of at least 120,000 new housing units, with approximately 80 percent of them being apartments concentrated in downtown, designated urban centers, and along major transportation corridors.

One of the most controversial amendments recently adopted by the council calls for the construction of more duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, row houses and small apartment buildings in existing residential neighborhoods. This will require that portions or even all of some single-family neighborhoods be rezoned for higher-density multifamily housing. The exact areas to be rezoned will be determined though a future planning process.

The creation of more so-called “missing middle” housing is supported by a coalition of affordable housing activists, land-use watchdogs and smart growth advocates. It is questioned by some neighborhood activists and organizations, who fear it will lead to the demolition of more viable older homes without creating more lower-cost housing.

The amended plan also predicts that around 140,000 new jobs will be created in the city over the next 20 years. Many will be in campus settings, giving colleges and other institutions more flexibility in planning expansions than the current conditional-use rules.And the plan also calls for a number of specific transportation projects, including an arterial bridge from the Expo Center to East Hayden Island.

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