To say that Portland has experienced a lot of population growth over the past several years would be an understatement. According to the Census Bureau, Portland’s population grew by an average of 111 people per day between July of 2014 and July of 2015.
That’s a growth rate of nearly 2%. It has resulted in a total of more than 40,000 new residents. Over the next 20 years, it is predicted that over a quarter of a million more people will flock to the city. Thus, they will be in search of jobs and Portland modern homes.
How will Portland neighborhoods accommodate this influx of citizens? This is a question the Portland City Council has been keen to address. After several years of work, they recently released Portland’s Growth Plan. It’s ostensibly a road map that will help Portland to keep up with the growing population through 2035.
What will the Plan include?
One of the biggest goals of Portland’s Growth Plan is to address growing housing issues. There are thousands of new residents entering the city. Therefore, Portland condos, apartments, and houses are in high demand. As a result, the average home now sells for about $400,000. This puts a lot of families out of the running for home ownership.
The Plan seeks to remedy the situation with affordable housing solutions. That includes more middle housing like duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, and so on. These are being built in traditionally single-family neighborhoods. Also on the docket is height. This includes taller office buildings downtown. It also encompasses complexes for Portland lofts, apartments, and so on in residential areas.
Additionally, The Comprehensive Plan calls for affordable housing. It includes proposals to allow for greater latitude of the development of multi-unit properties. That’s provided at least some of them meet affordability guidelines.
Some of the provisions set forth in the Comprehensive Plan require zoning changes. These allow for new building options. However, Commissioner Dan Saltzman has stated that this progress is essential to ensuring enough housing. Plus, it allows for affordable housing to meet the population growth.
In addition to housing, the Plan seeks to address infrastructure issues, namely the increase in traffic. The provisions include improvements for pedestrians and cyclists. It incorporates upgrades to Willamette River bridges. There is also an $80 million project that will extend the streetcar to SW neighborhoods. That includes Johns Landing.
Parks projects are included in the Comprehensive Plan, as well. There are plans for brownfield remediation. It will allow for the cleanup of polluted sites to make way for new businesses. All in all, the Plan is designed to keep pace with population growth. It’s a way to alleviate related issues that may result, and in some cases, already have.