By Rich Burton | LUTC Committee Chair
Residents of Concordia and other inner NE neighborhoods might have noticed new construction that reflects Portland zoning changes known as Residential Infill Project (RIP). If you see two, four, six or eight-unit structures popping up where you once saw one home, that likely is the result of RIP.
RIP took effect in August 2021 and its second iteration, RIP2, took effect in June 2022. Both measures were intended to address housing shortages and affordability by allowing more density and flexibility on plots that previously allowed only single-family homes. People who aren’t familiar with zoning rules (particularly during the COVID pandemic) might be surprised to learn some of the specific impacts of RIP and RIP2:
- With the changes introduced, a developer could opt to put four to eight units on a lot on your street, depending on the lot size and their ability to divide the lot.
- No on-site parking is required for these new multi-household units.
- Required setback s; minimum distances from the property line to the structure, have been reduced to 10 feet.
Proponents hailed RIP as a way to bring much-needed affordable housing to Portland, but the effort also had critics. Andre Baugh, a Planning and Sustainability and Commission (PSC) member at the time, objected with concerns about displacing low-income and minority residents. Others worried about traffic congestion, strain on infrastructure and lack of true affordability. Check out this YouTube video of Baugh addressing the PSC in 2018.
Anticipating the impact of RIP/ RIP2, the Laurelhurst and Eastmoreland neighborhoods worked to be designated as historic districts, which reduced their being affected.
Here are a few links to learn more about this topic:
- Overview of RIP
- RIP reports and plans for specific areas
- Resources for homeowners to protect against predatory behaviors.
For more information, email the CNA LUTC (Land Use and Transportation Committee) at landuse@concordiapdx. org or share your thoughts with us at the LUTC meeting held the 3rd Wednesday of each month, 7-8:30 PM at the Kennedy School Community Room.
Rich Burton is the Chair of the Land Use and Transportation committee and serves as Member at Large #4 for the Concordia Neighborhood Association board. He is interested in building community.