Zoning Changes Being Considered On Hawthorne

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The Portland Planning Bureau is working on a project to look at non-conforming commercial uses along Hawthorne Boulevard to consider changing the zoning to Storefront Commercial (CS), consistent with the current building uses and the commercial zoning along other parts of Hawthorne Boulevard.  18 properties between SE 15th and 34th Avenue have been identified that have existing commercial uses with multi-dwelling (R1) residential zoning.  These uses are non-conforming, which can make it difficult for property owners to expand existing businesses and prohibits new businesses from being created in new developments.

The Planning Bureau has initiated a study to consider changing the Comprehensive Plan Map and zoning to bring the zoning into conformance with the commercial uses. One of the key factors is determining if the zone change will have any significant adverse impacts to the transportation system.  Although the CS zone has the same maximum building height (45 feet), it can enable larger mixed-use buildings with more units than the R1 zone.  Therefore, this study will include a traffic impact analysis to determine the potential impact to the signalized intersections along Hawthorne Boulevard.  Tom Armstrong from the Planning Bureau will be at the October 9th general meeting to discuss this study.

Once the traffic impact analysis is completed, there will be a community meeting in late October or early November to discuss the findings and decide whether or not to proceed with the proposed zone changes.  For more information, contact Tom Armstrong, Planning Bureau, 503-823-9140 or tom.armstrong@ci.portland.or.us.

The BCA has some distinct questions and concerns about these proposed changes that go beyond the City’s interest in creating a more dense urban landscape and the Hawthorne property owners desire to redevelop their lots. Any new development under these changes could not only increase traffic but would also triple at least the density of the properties and there is be no required parking called for in the plan as Hawthorne is a transportation street. For those Buckman residents on Hawthorne, Madison and Main, this proposal may have some significant impacts both positive and negative.  We will discuss this proposal at the upcoming BCA land use meeting on Sept. 25th in preparation to the City’s presentation in October.

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