If you are a property owner, you probably received this notice in the past month. Normally, a notice like this is cause for alarm, but not in this case. Two major changes are proposed in Eliot as part of the Comp Plan; changing R2 (one residence per 2000 sq ft) zones to R2.5 (one residence per 2500 sq ft) and changing all C (commercial) and E (employment) zones to “Mixed Use.”
The second Draft Comprehensive (Comp) Plan is out for review. As noted in previous columns, the State requires Portland to prepare a 20-year plan to accommodate expected future growth. The current Comp Plan was adopted in 1993 and is showing its age. The Draft Plan is expected to be adopted by City Council next summer. City planners are accepting comments on the plan through the end of October and a discussion of the Plan will be part of the General Membership meeting October 13th. This will be your best chance to comment before the final plan. Two public hearings are scheduled in October (the 14th and 28th), and comments can be submitted anytime using the “Map App” and other links on the Comp Plan web site.
The next milestone for the Comp Plan is July 21st. This is the day the next draft of the Plan and the interactive “map app” will be posted by Planning staff. The “map app” allows users to browse a Portland map with proposed zone and other changes to review and comment. The draft Plan will, I assume, expand on the text from the previous draft, which had whole sections yet to be written. Public outreach will follow posting of the plan including “open houses” and “notices of proposed zone change” to property owners. Assuming the next draft includes the Eliot Land Use Committee’s proposed zone changes, most property owners in Eliot will receive such a notice.
There isn’t much to report on but things that are pending may fill the entire fall issue of Eliot News! The “big” issues are the pending Williams and Rodney bike projects and the next version of the Comprehensive Plan (Comp Plan) proposal. Also, there are two developments proposed, one at Williams and Fargo and another at 7th and Brazee.
Eliot is one of the oldest areas in Portland and the best representative of a pre-automobile, streetcar neighborhood. The resulting intimate scale is one of the top reasons residents give for living here.
Unfortunately, Eliot’s Historic Conservation District designation does little to preserve our history or character. The primary threat to Eliot is the existing zoning. Most people see zoning as something that interferes with the design and use of their property; however, its real purpose is to protect property owners from the designs and uses of their neighbors. No one wants to have a dirty, noisy industrial plant for a neighbor and zoning is there to prevent that.