RIP2 Portland Residential Infill Project Update

In our recent article, Top 5 Portland Real Estate Market News Stories so Far 2022, we touched on the most recent update on the Portland Residential Infill Project (RIP1): the development and implementation of RIP2.

Portland’s residential infill project, in addition to new home construction rates, and updated ADU (additional dwelling unit) guidelines, help us understand whether or not Portland’s housing supply will increase enough (or not enough) to meet housing demand over time.

Here, we’re delving deeper into the expansion of Portland’s new zoning, RIP2, that will allow the construction of multiple additional dwelling units (ADUs) on single-family lots with fewer restrictions.

In June, 2022 RIP2 passed and is in effect throughout Portland, Oregon.

First, let’s look at what Portland’s residential infill project is all about.

Portland Residential Infill Project, RIP1

The purpose of RIP is to add housing options to Portland without increasing its footprint. This is accomplished by infill—adding housing to already-existing properties, made possible by utilizing empty lots; dividing oversized, older homes into separate lots or multiple living units (while trying to preserving their charm); tearing down older homes; or putting ADUs on the lot.

In 2015, Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) recognized the need to allow for infill in Portland without diminishing Portland’s unique streetscapes. While concerns about altering the character of the city’s neighborhoods are valid, those who support RIP claim that infill is necessary to accommodate the “missing middle”—homes that are bigger and offer more independent living than apartment life, but are smaller than most single-family homes.

The ultimate goal is to add density to Portland’s 145-square mile footprint, allowing more people to live closer to employment and city amenities, cutting down on transportation needs, and keeping residents’ dollars local, thereby strengthening the economy.

Another reason for implementing RIP is that Oregon has land-use laws intended to slow city growth into the countryside, known as the Urban Growth Boundary, UGB, limiting urban sprawl. While Portland will expand the UGB over future decades, a more immediate solution is to add housing through infill.

The zones affected by RIP1 are R2.5 to R7, which refers to the lot size. A R2.5 zone means one residential home can be put on every 2500 sq. ft. of land, R5 is one residential dwelling per 5,000 sq. ft. and so on. But that is what these zones used to mean, with RIP 1 and now RIP 2, they refer to differing amounts of multiple homes on that same amount of land. RIP 1 covered most of the lot sizes in Portland, but not all. Portland’s current zoning guide.

Portland Residential Infill Project, RIP2 Changes

According to, the second phase of RIP—RIP2‚ “completes the expansion of housing types allowed in all residential zones that began with Residential Infill Project Part 1, including Portland’s larger lots in outlying areas.”

RIP2 speaks to the State’s middle housing bill HB2001, which requires Metro cities to allow more types of middle housing construction in residential areas. In addition, Senate Bill 458, requires that all cities must also allow subdivision for middle housing so each unit has its own lot.

What RIP2 Intends to Accomplish

  • Permit duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, attached houses, cottage clusters, and additional ADUs (check out our updated Portland ADU guides) on all buildable lots in R10 and R20 zones, most common in the city’s outer eastern areas and the West Hills. These areas are historically less dense than Portland’s east side grid.
  • Permit attached houses and cottage clusters in R2.5, R5, and R7 zones to augment and enhance middle housing types already approved through initial RIP work.
  • Add new rules for attached houses and cottage clusters to all zones.
  • Revise the constrained sites overlay zone intended to protect environmentally fragile areas and limit building in natural hazard areas, per state requirements.
  • Create a process to expedite the land division process to simplify options for homeowners regarding middle housing.

Ready Buy or Sell Portland Real Estate?
Work with an Experience Real Estate Agent.

Whether you want to buy a home for the first time and acquire a home with an income producing ADU, add a few ADUs to your current property, or buy a multiplex, our top 1% buyer’s agents are here to help. Likewise, if you’re considering selling a home, our top 1% seller’s agents have the experience, knowledge, and enhanced marketing strategy to get you the highest dollar value for your property. With almost 20 years experience in the Portland metro area, we’re equipped to make your buying or selling transaction smooth and stress-free. Call us today or chat with the bot on our site. We’d love to talk with you.

August 1, 2022

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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