Recently, Portland residents have been asking Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) staff what it means to say the Comprehensive Plan is a Portland Plan implementation project. Others wonder why we need the Comprehensive Plan if we have the Portland Plan.
The Portland Plan, which was adopted by the City Council in 2012, is a strategic plan that provides the public and decision-makers a way to evaluate budget requests and proposed projects against citywide goals.
It highlights four focus areas: equity, education, prosperity and health. Each focus area has a strategy, which includes policies to guide how the City approaches work in that area, and a list of potential actions to take over the next five years.
The Portland Plan was adopted by a resolution. Plans adopted by resolutions serve as a guide for future government action and are not legally binding.
The Comprehensive Plan, however, must be adopted by an ordinance; plans adopted by ordinance are binding.
The Comprehensive Plan is a state-mandated plan to prepare for expected population and job growth as well as infrastructure investments. It will also guide the City’s community engagement practices to ensure inclusion, transparency and equity in the decision-making process around key priorities.
Staff used an open-ended and flexible process during the creation of the Portland Plan to gather feedback from thousands of residents to help shape the future direction of our city. The Comprehensive Plan builds on that input, as well as lessons learned about community involvement.
In addition to new, more detailed policies, the draft Comprehensive Plan includes many of the policies from the Portland Plan Guiding Policies. Once adopted, these will all become binding and guide land use, transportation and investment decisions for the next 20 years.
Key concepts from the Portland Plan are incorporated throughout the draft Comprehensive Plan:
- The Healthy Connected City strategy is a core component of the Urban Design Framework, as well as the Urban Design and Development and Watershed Health and Environment goals and policies.
- Issues related to freight movement and providing land for traded sector development are addressed in the Economic Development and Transportation goals and policies.
- Policies that support youth success can be found in the Housing, Economic Development, Urban Design and Development, Public Facilities and Transportation chapters.
As a legally binding policy document, the Comprehensive Plan is an important implementation tool of the Portland Plan.