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Proposal would allow smaller, less-expensive housing in many residential neighborhoods.

Portland City HallAlthough it already has stretched on for more than four years, the City Council has pushed back its first public hearing on the Residential Infill Project intended to increase density in single-family neighborhoods.

The first hearing is now set for Jan. 15 instead Dec. 18. A council briefing, at which no public testimony will be allowed, is set for Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Since the project first began under former Mayor Charlie Hales in 2015, the Oregon Legislature has passed a law allowing up to four units on lots in single-family neighborhoods. Although the council may allow even more density, it is now following the Legislature's direction instead of leading the state.

Some of the current recommendation would create more density than now required by the state, however. For example, HB 2001, which was approved by the 2019 Oregon Legislature, requires that duplexes be allowed on practically every residential lot and up to four units be allowed in single-family areas. The council will consider allowing up to four units on practically every residential lot, and some council members have suggested the number increased to six.

Current project recommendations include:

• Increasing the range of permissible housing types (e.g., duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and additional accessory dwelling units) in single-dwelling zones.

• Expanding the area in which these housing types would be allowed.

• Increasing maximum allowable building sizes for projects with affordable units.

• Removing minimum parking requirements and adding new garage design requirements.

You can learn more about the project here.

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