Skip to Content
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Streetsblog Los Angeles home
Log In
Streetsblog USA

Oregon Bill Would Increase Density Near Transit

Transit oriented development in Portland’s Pearl District. Photo: Smart Growth America

Land within one-half mile of frequent transit would be automatically upzoned for higher density development under a proposal before the Oregon legislature.

Senate President Peter Courtney (D-Salem) unveiled a bill this week that would zone properties within one-half mile of transit to a maximum of 75 units per acre, according to Willamette Week. Properties within one-quarter mile of light rail would be rezoned to an upper limit of 140 units per acre. That's equivalent to about a six-story building.

Currently in Portland, density is only about seven people per acre. Low residential density around transit means access to transit is restricted and it can lead to housing price appreciation that helps fuel gentrification.

"What’s the point of providing frequent transit if you exclude people from living nearby?" asked Ben Fried, a spokesman for TransitCenter, the national advocacy organization. "Transit works best when people can walk to their stop, and with this policy many more people will be able to live within walking distance of good transit."

The legislation would not require land by transit to be developed at high densities, but merely allow it.

The bill is one of several progressive housing bills before the legislature this session. A proposal from House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) would ban single-family-only zoning, allowing four-unit buildings in every neighborhood. An additional measure from Kotek and Courtney, which recently passed in the Senate, offers some protections for tenants against rent increases, limiting them to one per year. It also bans evictions without cause.

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from Streetsblog Los Angeles

Metro and Caltrans Expect to Complete Torrance 405 Freeway Widening Project Next Month

Metro and Caltrans are adding nearly two miles of new auxiliary freeway lanes, a new on-ramp, and widening adjacent streets including Crenshaw Boulevard and 182nd Street

July 19, 2024

Strategizing About Reduced Funding in the Active Transportation Program

Funding for Cycle 7 of the Active Transportation Program is less than $200 million, and already there have been requests for fifteen times the amount of available funding

July 18, 2024

Eyes on the Street: Hollywood Boulevard Bike Lanes are Open

The Hollywood bike lanes project, already very much in use, is also already being criticized by commenters at Nextdoor and other social media

July 17, 2024
See all posts