Infill project hearings set for Wednesday and Thursday
The City Council is scheduled to hold two public hearing on the Residential Infill Project that proposes to increase density in single-family neighborhoods.
The first hearing is set for 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 15. The second hearing is set for 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16. Both hearings will be in the Council Chambers at City Hall.
The first work session, at which public testimony will not be accepted, is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29.
RIP — as the plan is commonly called — has divided the city. Affordable housing advocates, land use watchdogs, social justice activists and homebuilders argue it will encourage a greater range of less expensive homes, helping to reduce the affordable housing crisis. Neighborhood activists and preservationists say it could change the character of the city without providing the opportunity for many more Portlanders to afford a new home.
During a Dec. 11 briefing on RIP, a majority of the council said they cannot support until a plan is approved to reduce the displacement of lower-income and minority households it is expected to create.
Current recommendations in the plans include:
• Increasing the range of permissible housing types (such as duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes and additional accessory dwelling units) in single-dwelling zones.
• Reducing the maximum allowable sizes of new single-family homes to 2,500 square feet
• Allowing structures with multiple units to be larger than single-family homes, up to 3,500 for a fourplex.
• Removing minimum parking requirements and adding new garage design requirements.
Despite the questions, the council is facing a deadline to adopt the Residential Infill Plan, or something like it. The 2019 Oregon Legislature passed a bill requiring Portland and other large cities to allow duplexes on nearly all residential lots by July 1, 2022. The RIP recommendations allow more density, but could legally be scaled back in all existing single-family zones.
To learn more, go to www.portlandoregon.gov/bps/67728.
You can read a previous Portland Tribune story on the issue here.
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