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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

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Where has the DOZA project been? Portlanders seeking design review want to know.

After doing additional research on peer cities and exploring new ideas for Portland, the Design Overlay Zone Amendments (DOZA) package is back. But with a twist.Multi-family housing unit with playground

It consists of only two projects now:
1. DOZA Process
2. DOZA Tools

DOZA Process remains about nine months ahead of DOZA Tools. Some work items that originally were part of the process updates, such as the thresholds, were moved to the tools updates so they can be implemented jointly with the new discretionary design guidelines and objective standards. However, the thresholds update specific to the Gateway plan district remains in the process updates.


DOZA Process is an effort to make the design review process more efficient, predictable and transparent. The project proposes amendments to the Zoning Code that work in conjunction with ongoing administrative improvements being led by the Bureau of Development Services (BDS).

The project proposals:

1. Revise the purpose statement for the Design overlay zone to reflect the direction of the Portland’s new Comprehensive Plan.
2. Clarify that floor area ratio (FAR) cannot be reduced as a condition of design review approval.
3. Expand options for smaller projects in the Gateway plan district, including the use of standards.
4. Align the Type III Design Review and Historic Resource Review processes with an applicant’s design process.
5. Update the rules related to Design Commission membership.

Next Steps

A DOZA Process Discussion Draft will be released April 10, 2018, and comments are welcome through June 1, 2018. Feedback on the Discussion Draft will be considered as staff develops a Proposed Draft, scheduled for release in August 2018. This draft will be considered by the Planning and Sustainability Commission in September and October.


DOZA Tools will create new discretionary design guidelines and objective design standards to implement the design overlay zone outside of the Central City. The project will also update the thresholds and exemptions for triggering review. And it may include additional concepts related to the Design overlay zone map and regulations related to civic buildings and character buildings.

Next Steps

A DOZA Tools Concept Report will be released May 2, 2018, and comments are welcome through the summer. Staff will consider feedback on the Concept Report as they develop a Discussion Draft, scheduled for release in November 2018.


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

Project website: