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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

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New rules for design review process and tools move forward as one package; Discussion Draft to be released early next year

lower retail level of condo unit as example of DOZA The quality of building design matters for a growing city. And the rules and processes to ensure good, people-oriented design for our most vibrant places is important for residents, workers and visitors alike.

With all the new construction going on around town, it’s a good time to revisit the rules that govern how new large buildings look and feel within Portland’s Design overlay zone, which covers many of our growing centers and corridors.

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Bureau of Development Services are working on a set of proposals that would update and improve both the process and the tools used for design review.

Initially envisioned as separate projects, DOZA Process and Tools, the two projects will now move forward as a single package, with a unified Discussion Draft expected early next year.

Why the change?

A few reasons:

  • First, the interconnectedness of the design review process and tools presented challenges to moving two separate projects forward on different timelines.
  • Second, BDS is piloting administrative changes that may influence potential zoning code changes, and the DOZA timeline change allows more time for that exploration.
  • Third, a single project with one set of meetings and opportunities for input means community members save time by engaging in one outreach effort.

In the meantime, project staff are working with consultants to test some of the draft tools (guidelines and standards) to ensure they result in good projects. At the same time, improvements to the process by which developers and property owners submit to design review are being refined by a working group of BDS and BPS staff.

Next Steps

Early next year, project staff will share the results of the consultant and staff work online and at public meetings. If you’d like to receive email updates about DOZA, please sign up by clicking on the “Stay Informed” button on the left side of the project website:

Questions about DOZA?

Contact Kathryn Hartinger at or (503) 823-9714.