Help Fight to Keep Sustainability Standards in Portland  

Please urge the Portland Planning Commission to reject portions of the ill-conceived proposal to suspend important environmental and sustainability policies for the next five years.

The draft  Housing Regulatory Relief Package (HRRP) currently under consideration proposes suspending a host of zoning codes (including Bird Safe Glazing and Ecoroofs), ostensibly to speed up housing production. But this proposal is based exclusively on feedback from developers about regulations they would like to see rolled back. Given the current affordable housing crisis, climate crisis and biodiversity crisis, what we need are innovative solutions to address them all simultaneously, not approaches that pit them against each other. Unfortunately, the content of the HRRP is solely based on a developer survey, with no data to suggest that these measures will actually increase affordable housing or provide any public benefit. That is why we are asking for your help in sending a strong message to the Planning Commission that you do not support policies that roll back long-standing environmental and sustainability policies, but instead support a policy that focuses on meaningfully increasing access to affordable housing while protecting and prioritizing our shared vision for a sustainable, green city.

Green roof
Green Roof, photo by Wolfram Burner

Take Action

Please email the Planning Commission today, and sign up to testify at the public hearing on October 24 at 5 p.m.

        1.  Read the Draft Housing Regulatory Relief Package
        2.  Submit testimony
        3.  Sign up to testify 


Photo by Mary Coolidge

Key Talking Points:

  • Support the overarching goal of increasing housing affordability, but reject proposals within the HRRP that pit the housing, climate and biodiversity crises against each other.
  • Do not suspend the Bird Safe Glazing Standard:
        • The BSG policy was collaboratively developed with multiple stakeholders and was designed to dovetail with existing zoning codes and affordable housing goals.
        • BSG represents Portland doing its part to reduce the scale of bird collision deaths locally, one of the leading causes of bird mortality in North America, with estimates of up to 1 Billion birds dying annually from hitting windows.
        • Approaches that make buildings more energy efficient can synergistically meet bird safe design criteria, making this a very low or no cost consideration.
  • Do not suspend the Ecoroof requirements for the Central City:
        • This policy helps mitigate urban heat island effect in one of the hottest neighborhoods in the city.
        • Ecoroof requirements provide significant sustainability benefits and increase habitat connectivity in Portland’s most developed neighborhoods.
  • Ensure that other regulatory relief measures being considered in this policy are actually tied to improving housing affordability and are not just handouts to developers.   

Thank you for taking action to ensure Portland remains one of the greenest metropolitan areas in the country – one in which all people have access to affordable housing in complete, healthy, equitable, climate resilient communities surrounded by nature.