A 6,000 Square Foot, 35 Foot High, Six-Plex can be built next to Your Portland Home.

portland real estate density infill

The Portland residential infill project is now live. The high density Portland plan went into effect August 1st, 2021. Initial public comments on the revolutionary, highly contested plan exceeded 15,000. The details of the plan are so extensive, the City of Portland has assigned a dedicated phone number and email for it, and the RIP PDF manual is nearly 300 pages long.

Portland Residential Infill Project Map

Most of Portland city proper is affected by the RIP plan and most areas will allow a 6,000 sq. ft. Six-plex to be built next to your Portland home. These huge buildings won’t be restricted to busy streets or street corners. One can expect to see them pop up next to any home deep in a residential neighborhood. Check the official RIP map to see if your home’s neighborhood has any lower density exceptions (most will not). If your zoning is currently R7, R5, or R2.5, a six plex can be built next door (this is the majority of zoning in the city of Portland). If your zoning is currently R10 or R20, then a duplex could be built on the lot. This is likely to change very soon with RIP2 on the way shortly.

Portland Residential Infill Project 2.0 Coming 2022

Portland’s Residential Infill Project 2, called RIP2, is already in the works. Coming to a neighborhood near you in 2022. This will increase density zoning for R10 and R20 lots from duplex to four or six-plex densities.

Highlights of the Active Residential Infill Project

  • At least two units per lot. Lots 5,000 sq. ft. or larger in R2.5, R5, and R7 zones must have at least two units built on them when new construction homes are added, or if the previous home was demolished and a new home is being built.
  • Three story high mega buildings. These small lots are allowed to have 35ft. high, 6,000 sq. ft. six-plexes built on them as long as some of the units are considered affordable housing. The lots can be interior, they don’t have to be exterior or assigned along busy streets.
  • Four plexes max. out at 3500 sq. ft.
  • Cottage clusters allowed, pp to four smaller detached units on one lot.
  • Two Additional Dwelling Units allowed. An existing single-family home can have up to two Accessory Dwelling Units. Click here for our 2021 Portland ADU Guide
  • Visitability. For lots with more than two units, including homes with two ADUs, at least one unit must be “visitable”. This means that it must have certain accessibility features needed for a person using a walker or a wheelchair. Visitability is not the same as being fully handicapped accessible, because it only has requirements for an accessible entry and ground-level bathroom.
  • No parking required. Units can be developed without any parking options.
  • Narrow lot development. Previously, code restrictions kept many narrow lots from having homes put on them, but now those restrictions are eased.
  • Eases basement ADU limitations. For homeowners who wish to convert their basement into an ADU, there’s no longer a need to artificially constrict the size of larger basements. This means the ADU can be the entire size of your basement. In addition, basement ADUs can now have an entry facing the same direction as the main entry to the house (a previous restriction).
  • New Size Limit. Each new Portland detached home has a new size limit, 2500 sq. ft. max. Of course, it can be much bigger than that, but only if you add additional living units.

A No Car, High-Density Metro is Portland’s Desired Housing Future

The city of Portland has been moving in the direction of high density housing for many years and reducing car lanes and parking options to encourage other modes of transportation. This goal of a no car, high density metro future is in continual progress. If you want to read more about Portland’s past and future housing supply options, read our in-depth article here.

Will Portland’s RIP Project Create an adequate supply of new housing options?

The city of Portland believes that the RIP project alone will add roughly 25% of the needed housing supply for the city over the next 20 years. There is no debate that more housing options are needed in Portland’s real estate market. The debate will continue to rage over how to best meet those needs.

Zoning Affects Your Home’s Value and Should Inform Your Real Estate Plans

Whether you are looking to buy or sell in the Portland real estate market in the future, our top 1% buyers and sellers agents are ready to advise you along the way. Call us today at 503-714-1111.

September 13, 2021

Stephen FitzMaurice

Stephen FitzMaurice, Realtor is a top 5% real estate agent in the U.S. A Principal Broker in Oregon, Managing Broker in Washington, he has been licensed since 2003 for residential real estate sales. Call his team in Oregon at 503-714-1111 or in Washington at 360-345-3833.

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