PORTLAND — The first draft of a years-long effort to rewrite the city’s land use code is expected to be unveiled this week.

Updating the 961-page land use code has been broken into two phases. Phase 1, according to Acting Director of Planning and Urban Development Christine Grimando, will focus on streamlining and simplifying the document by making it more readable and user friendly. It will also include updates to areas the City Council deemed as priorities: parking, accessory apartments, signs and impact fees.

The Planning Board will hold a workshop at at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at City Hall for public feedback about the draft document.

“This is the first rewriting of our land use code in well over half a century,”  Grimando said at a Oct. 29 meeting of the ad-hoc ReCode committee. “It is something that has been amended and updated over the years, which is part of what has kept it viable. It still serves us, but it also needs to be changed.”

The second phase will align the code with Portland’s Plan 2030, the city’s 2017 update of its comprehensive plan, and cover potential updates to zoning, density and other land use and site plan review requirements.

“This is a timely opportunity to pause and say are we aligning our regulations with what we are aspiring to do,” Grimando said.


The Nov. 7 workshop is the first of several planned for the Planning Board and public to review a draft of the restructured land use code. Additional workshops are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 26, and Tuesday, Dec. 17, both at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall.

“The purpose of the ReCode Committee has been to be a sounding board as to how to develop that first draft and then our hands are off it as a council committee, and it will squarely go to the Planning Board,” Ad-hoc ReCode Committee Chairman Kimberly Cook said.

The document, she said, will go before the Planning Board for “its full review, questions and full public process” and eventually passed on to the council for its review.

More information about Portland’s land code update can be found at www.recodeportland.me/.

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