Dear Claire: What’s Portland’s New Residential Infill Project? - Paris Group Realty, LLC Portland OR
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Dear Claire: What’s Portland’s New Residential Infill Project?

Changes to Portland Zoning: What You Need to Know for 2021

The city of Portland recently passed a change to most residential housing zoning in Portland. What used to be zoned for 1 unit, 2 units, 3 units, 4 units — pretty much everything that’s zoned residential in Portland –you can now add a duplex, triplex, or a fourplex or have 2 ADUs. A big caveat is that it hasn’t passed yet. I mean, it’s passed the City of Portland, but it hasn’t been ratified yet and it has to be okayed by the state of Oregon.

Frankly, the City of Portland anticipates some legal battles with it so there might be some changes to it before you get all excited about this. In addition, it affects mostly the east side, but it doesn’t affect the west side as much. When we talked to a city planner last week about it, he said the reason why was because the west side has less infrastructure. It’s harder to get water and sewer up into the hills as you can imagine, and a lot of those original infrastructure projects weren’t intended to handle the kind of draw that they’re going to require if we’ve got 3 units on every lot in the West Hills.

There’s still a lot up in the air about it and there’s a lot to explore about it, but we’ll send you some interesting facts about it so you can get yourself more up to date on it. If everything goes as planned, it’s going to be effective January of 2021, which is coming up fast. So, we’ll see if it passes all the hurdles that it needs to. If it passes, then the City of Portland is anticipating it is going to add 24,000 new households, which is a big deal. Again, on a 5,000 square foot lot you’ll be able to do up to a fourplex or 2 ADUs.

It’s a significant difference from what we typically have right now. The other thing is that it limits because it’s trying to discourage, you know, one big house on one lot, like you have probably seen a lot in Portland. These days, it limits the footprint of a single-family residence to just 2,500 square feet. What that means is if you’re worried about your neighbor building a big mansion that’s 5,000 square foot on a 5,000 square foot lot — that’s not going to happen anymore if this passes.

All that I’m telling you right now is that if it’s okayed and ratified, which it’s very close to being done, then the reality is lobbyists and groups can challenge it in the court and if that happens that could make it a long way out. We’ll see; we’ll stay tuned and will keep you abreast and let you know as soon as we know what’s happening with it and whether it’s going to be effective January of 2021.

Always reach out with any questions that you might have about housing or real estate in general. I’m always looking forward to hearing from you, and I would be happy to help with anything that you’re wondering about. Remember to subscribe to our Paris Group Realty YouTube channel, because there’s more information over there for you. I hope you have a great day and we will talk to you soon. Take care.

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