In just about every neighborhood in Portland, residents are seeing older homes going down and new – often larger – homes going up in their place.
While not a new phenomenon, demolition and infill have been on the upswing in Portland as the economy improves and builders try to meet the increased demand for all types of housing. In 2014, approximately 300 demolition permits were submitted, or roughly one a day. That’s about a .2 percent annual replacement rate, which is comparable to other cities nationwide. While fewer than half the homes are replaced by two or more houses, the average size of replacement homes is about 2,000 square feet, or nearly twice the size of its predecessor.
What is being done?
In response to community concerns, Mayor Charlie Hales initiated the Residential Infill Project to ensure that new or remodeled houses are well integrated and complement the fabric of neighborhoods. The project will evaluate the city’s single-dwelling development standards and focus on three main topics: scale of houses, narrow lot development and alternative housing options.
How to get involved
In addition to an inclusive public outreach and engagement process, the project will be guided by a Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) comprised of neighborhood representatives along with other individuals and organization representatives having interests, skills, knowledge and expertise in the areas of residential construction, affordable housing, architecture, urban design, historic preservation, real estate and financing, alternative forms of housing, social and housing services, and sustainable development.
The City is looking for Portlanders to serve on the Residential Infill Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee.
If you are interested, please visit the SAC webpage for more information about committee member roles, responsibilities, selection process and timeline. A Statement of Interest must be submitted no later than August 7, 2015 to:
Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
c/o Residential Infill SAC
1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 7100
Portland, OR 97201
The SAC will meet throughout the 18-month long project, starting in September with twice monthly meetings through the end of the year. After that it will meet less frequently as the project transitions to drafting and adopting regulations through a public legislative process. SAC members will be asked to help to share discussions and updates with their respective networks as well as assist at public events.
About the project
By 2035, Portland will be home to 123,000 more households. While most of these new housing units will be in mixed use centers and corridors, approximately 20 percent of these new homes are expected to be single-dwelling attached or detached houses.
The Residential Infill Project will address the scale, size, mass and location of new single-family construction to help protect the unique character of Portland’s treasured neighborhoods. But it will also look at smaller forms of housing (skinny houses, stacked flats, cottages, etc.) to ensure that where they are allowed, these more affordable forms of housing reflect the desired character of the single-dwelling zones.