Please Tell Portland City Council to Vote No on Last Minute Amendments that Threaten Environmental Protections

Late yesterday, Commissioner Gonzalez submitted last minute amendments on the Housing Regulatory Relief Package (HRRP) to reintroduce the suspension of Bird Safe Building and Green Roof requirements for 5 years. These are the very proposals that the Portland Planning Commission thoughtfully removed from the original HRRP just weeks ago, following a robust public process involving extensive testimony and careful deliberation.

These amendments will now be up for consideration by City Council this afternoon. This eleventh hour move is a disservice to the good work of the Planning Commission and undermines the public process, providing woefully insufficient notice to the public and stakeholders.

The package as proposed already significantly relaxes regulations for developers, and the Planning Commission wisely concluded that these two environmental policy suspensions would have nominal impact on housing production but would have significant and long term environmental consequences.

We need to make sure that City Council rejects these bird safe and ecoroof amendments.

Mult Co Central Library Eco-roof
Multnomah County Library / Central Library Eco-Roof


Please help us urge Portland City Council to approve the Planning Commission’s draft of the HRRP as is without Commissioner Gonzalez’s amendments!

Photo by Mary Coolidge

Talking Points for City Council:

  • Please adopt the recommended draft of the Housing Regulatory Relief Package and reject Commissioner Gonzalez’s amendments to suspend bird safe and ecoroof policies;
  • Given our current affordable housing crisis, climate crisis and biodiversity crisis, we need innovative solutions to address them all simultaneously. The City should not advance approaches that pit them against each other and in the process, sacrifice the sustainability of our communities;
  • Bird Safe Glazing Standards are critical for reducing window collisions— a hazard for birds that results in up to 1 Billion bird deaths every year. The bird safe glazing standard also synergistically aligns with energy efficiency goals for our buildings;
  • Ecoroof requirements ensure that new development in the central city incorporates important green infrastructure to treat stormwater, create habitat in a highly developed portion of the City, and reduce the urban heat island effect.

Thank you for taking action to help Bird Alliance of Oregon ensure our region 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.