Portland/ Politics & Govt
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Published on April 02, 2024
Portland Planning Commission Approves Zoning Code Revamp, City Council to Review Proposed StreamliningSource: Google Street View

Portland's zoning code could soon see some spring cleaning, with proposed amendments to declutter the city's dense regulatory landscape. The Planning Commission, after considering public input and deliberating in a series of meetings, has given the green light to a set of updates known as the Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Project 10 (RICAP 10). This project, sitting idle for five years due to budget woes, was voted on March 26 to move forward to the City Council, as outlined in a statement released on Monday.

RICAP 10 is the latest in a series of maintenance projects initiated since 2002, focused on renovating Portland's zoning code for better clarity and applicability. With more than 80 items under the microscope, the changes are parsed into three categories: housing production, economic development, and regulatory reduction. Having embraced the effort as a form of civic housekeeping, Commissioner Spevak vocalized his support, asserting, "I'm thrilled the City is doing RICAP’s again. I think housecleaning is a good practice." This sentiment was captured just before he voted to send the proposed update package to the City Council.

The amendment project follows a public ear on February 27, with a subsequent work session on March 9. The process intended to demystify the zoning code, which could, in turn, catalyze aspects of housing and economic growth while trimming down the regulatory fat. Acknowledging the latest proposal's scope, Commissioner Spevak's remarks underline the commission's resolve to tidy up Portland's complex land use laws.

Details of the RICAP 10 draft highlight a concerted effort to refine the legislation that guides Portland's growth and development. City officials expect these changes to simplify the code and have ripple effects across diverse sectors. The City Council is now responsible for reviewing the recommendations and further refining the proposal before potentially integrating these changes into the fabric of Portland's zoning practices. As the city turns a new leaf, it might struggle to balance regulation with progression.