Will Portland's Updated Comprehensive Plan Allow More Multi-Family Zoning?

As Portland accepts comments for its Comprehensive Plan update, one writer asks why so much of the city's zoning prohibits multi-family housing—especially as the cost of rent has increased by double-digit percentages in the past year.

Michael Andersen starts a recent post examining rising cost of rent in the city of Portland to the all-important number seven—the number of miles people are willing to travel by bike to commute.

Anderson is concerned that as rents rise in Portland (11 percent in the past year), zoning in the city's central core (especially its central seven miles) prevents the type of multi-family housing that benefits most by cycling (and vice versa). According to Anderson: "Here's one factor at play in one of the country's most persistent urban rental shortages: in two-thirds of Portland's central seven miles, it's illegal to build a multi-family building."

The post goes on to examine the different benefits of upzoning—the limited benefit for those living in poverty as compared to, for example, a prospective Portland State student. The question of zoning is especially pertinent given the city's ongoing process to update its Comprehensive Plan.

Full Story: Maybe this is why you can't afford to rent in the central city


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