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City Council Adopts Parking Minimums for Some New Apartments Along Commercial Corridors and Frequent Transit Service Areas

April 10, 2013

Eden Dabbs
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

Dana Haynes
Office of the Mayor

PORTLAND,Ore.— Today, the Portland City Council voted to adopt Zoning Code amendments for parking minimums that will apply to some future apartment buildings, depending on their location and size. The new code will go into effect in 30 days. Projects that have already received a building permit or that have submitted a complete permit application will not be affected.

The vote today followed a five-and-a-half-hour public hearing on April 4 before the City Council, at which dozens of people testified for and against the parking minimums. The amendments proposed by Commissioners Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz were included in the adopted code.

Mayor Charlie Hales said the vision of urban planning remains, but must be modified from time to time to address the changing reality.

“We had a vision for main streets and we still do,” Hales said. “This doesn’t mean we’re moving away from our vision; it just means we’re adjusting. And you know what? We likely will have to do this again in the future.”

Read the adopted New Apartments and Parking Zoning Code Amendments


Portland's first Comprehensive Plan, adopted in 1980, includes goals and policies to “... regulate off-street parking to promote good urban form and the vitality of commercial and employment areas.”

In the early ’90s, City officials rewrote the Zoning Code and included three new commercial zones to promote main street storefront character with mixed use/residential development.

Today, historically low vacancy rates, especially in inner Portland, have resulted in a boom of apartment construction, many without onsite parking. In response to community concerns about potential parking impacts, the City Council directed the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to develop Zoning Code amendments that require some parking for larger multi-unit buildings.

For more information about the background reports or to read the FAQ, visit the project web page at


About the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)

Through partnerships and collaboration, BPS provides: Citywide strategic and comprehensive land use planning; neighborhood, district, economic, historic and environmental research, planning and urban design; policy and services to advance energy efficiency, green building, waste reduction, composting and recycling, solar and renewable energy use, and local sustainable food production; as well as actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. For more information, visit