While sometimes hard to conceptualize, most of what gets approved and attention through our legislative planning process will eventually shape what we see in our community. Plans from the past create the rules or priorities for what gets built today and tomorrow. Everyone should have a hand in shaping that.
An invitation to an open house, one more online survey, that notice in your mailbox?!?
It can be tough to track and weigh in on all the projects going on at the City of Portland’s bureaus in charge of land use planning (Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS)), transportation planning (Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)), and development activities (Bureau of Development Services (BDS)). Navigating the landscape of planning processes and development projects can sometimes feel overwhelming and, in a city as busy as Portland has been over the last decade, reviewing the basics can sometimes provide clarity in the chaos and help residents and community groups prioritize matters of livability that mean the most to them. This BPS video highlights an example of how the long-range planning process works. It’s a great starting point to understanding how the process works and the outcomes that can come from these planning efforts.
If you are curious about the details of the legislative process which governs long-range planning process, this expanded overview really breaks it down; outlining different bureau and committee responsibilities, what projects are subject to the process, detailing each phase pictured below, and outlining actions and tips residents can take during each phase. This is a guide to help beginners understand the process for long-range planning and help residents and groups be effective participants, resources for their neighborhood, and local advocates.
Most of what goes through this legislative process will be refined and eventually shape what we see in our community. Plans from the past create the rules or priorities for what gets built today and tomorrow. These plans and projects shape the new homes we see, commercial spaces that make up our main streets, parks, high rises in own downtown, and even dictate the process of demolition and new construction. While sometimes it seems like things are changing overnight, most of the time, it’s been on the shelf, waiting for funding or market forces for years before we see it in our community. While it can be challenging to conceptualize the outcome of some of these long-range planning projects and plans, they are a crucial step in making residents and groups’ priorities or values a reality in the community.
For more details on how the legislative process for planning projects works, click here.
By: Leah Fisher, Neighborhood Planning Program Manager