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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

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DOZA: From Assessment to Amendments

While the acronym for the project has stayed the same, “DOZA” is transitioning from the Design Overlay Zone Assessment to a series of Design Overlay Zone Amendments, which will update the City’s codes, standards and guidelines related to the design overlay zone.

In 2016, the Bureaus of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) and Development Services (BDS) hired a consultant team to assess the City’s design overlay zone (d-overlay). The result was The Design Overlay Zone Assessment, which included a set of findings and recommendations to improve the process and tools that implement the d-overlay. City Council voted to accept the report in April 2017.

Now, BPS and BDS are ready to put those recommendations into action with the Design Overlay Zone Amendments (DOZA) package, which comprises three projects:

  1. DOZA Process. This project will amend the Zoning Code to update how the design overlay works. It will include adjusting the thresholds for Design Review, improving public notice requirements and realigning the City’s Design Review process with the applicants’ design process. These updates will go into effect in summer 2018.
  2. DOZA Tools. This project will rewrite two primary tools used to implement the design overlay:  the objective design standards and discretionary design guidelines. We’ll seek input from the public and work with a consultant to write the new Objective Design Standards and Discretionary Design Guidelines, which are expected to be finalized in summer 2019.
  3. DOZA Administration. This project is an ongoing effort to make the Design Review process more efficient through internal changes at BDS. Examples include increasing staff capacity, managing Design Commission meetings more effectively, and using new tools to facilitate Commission deliberation.

Next Steps

The public Discussion Draft of the DOZA Process project will be released in December 2017. The draft will be available on the project website and staff will be holding several public outreach meetings and an event to seek public input.


Contact DOZA Coordinator Kathryn Hartinger at (503) 823-9714 or