Meeting Summary 10/27/09

October 28, 2009

Here’s the quick run-down from tonight’s meeting:

1) We heard about 3 hours of testimony on the Bicycle Master Plan, most of it supportive, but most of it also with some suggestions for how to improve the plan. I’ll try to do a post later in the week with more thoughts on this item. The public hearing was held open for written comment only until our Nov 10th meeting so we could incorporate additional comment in the record (the formal public comment period for the plan goes until Nov 8th).

2) The Portland Plan Update was pushed out until the next December 8th meeting because of the extensive discussion on the Bicycle Master Plan.

3) The RICAP 5 package was completed and forwarded to City Council. The final package is based on the staff memo of 9/30 (PDF file) with the following changes:

  • Bike parking ratio for multi-dwelling development is set to 1.1 spaces/unit (more on that in a separate post).
  • Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) standards set somewhat more liberally (I’m afraid I don’t recall the exact number, I think it might be the lesser of 800 sq. ft. or 75% of the main dwelling).
  • Restriction on front facing garages on skinny houses removed (along with the balancing parking pad alternative) with a recommendation to City Council that this be studied in a deeper process during the zoning changes that will result from the Portland plan. Fundamentally we only heard from one constituency during this debate (the infill developers, who strongly opposed the change). We need a process that can dig deeper into the policy issues than RICAP can, and need to hear from a broader set of constituents.


  1. Chris,thanks for this write-up.
    Please clarify in the blog that Don Hanson left the Planning Commission’s record open for written comments only due to the November 8th deadline at PBOT for public comment on the Portland Bicycle Plan for 2030. There will be no opportunities for spoken testimony at the meeting on November 10.

  2. Thanks for the report.

    The discussion of bike parking requirements, and proposed restricting front-facing garages, brings up a question for me: What are the minimum off-street parking requirements for residential development in Portland right now, and what changes, if any, are on the horizon?

  3. I’m not an expert, but the short answer is that it depends on a lot of factors. The relevant section of the code is at http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?c=34561&a=53320.

    It’s important to note that in some areas (including those well served by transit) the minimum is zero.

    Let me turn the question around. Is this something we should look at as part of the Portland Plan?

  4. I guess I would say it would be worth looking at if there is a political environment that will allow for reducing or eliminating the requirements and moving toward a pay-as-you-go system for parking where prices are used to help balance supply and demand for parking, rather than having all of us pay for it (in the price of housing, degradation of the environment, etc.) whether we use it or not.

    Thanks for the link!

  5. That’s a conversation I hope we can have in the Portland Plan. I believe we should look at ALL vehicle parking (i.e., cars AND bikes) as a whole and look at how we balance this on-street, in commercial facilities (e.g., a parking lot or garage downtown, the Fred Meyer parking lot, etc.) as well as in residential environments.

    I see the change we are making now from 0.25 to 1.1 for multi-dwelling units as more of an interim “wake up call” to developers that they have to start paying serious attention to the needs of people who cycle for transportation.

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