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Portland Metro Area Scenario Planning
View of Portland from the West Hills  

House Bill 2001, adopted by the 2009 Legislature, directed the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) to adopt administrative rules to guide Metro and local governments, in the Portland metropolitan area, in the selection and implementation of a land use and transportation scenario that meets the greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction target adopted by LCDC in May 2011.

“Scenario planning” involves the development of a preferred future vision—to the year 2035—of the Portland metropolitan area’s land use and transportation that meets the target of a 20 percent reduction per capita in GHG emissions from light vehicle travel.

On November 15, 2012, the Land Conservation and Development Commission adopted rules to guide the Portland metropolitan area as it conducts scenario planning required by HB 2001.

The rules are designed to incorporate scenario planning into the region's already well-established process for coordination of regional planning decisions. In general terms, Metro will conduct scenario planning through an update to the region's framework plan - the plan that sets forth the region's long-term land use and transportation vision and guides other planning efforts.

The rules:

  • Direct Metro to adopt a preferred land use and transportation scenario by December 2014;
  • Describe how Metro will adopt and implement a preferred scenario -
    • The preferred scenario will be adopted through an amendment to the Regional Framework Plan; and
    • The scenario in the framework plan will be implemented through amendments to Metro's Functional Plans.
  • List factors and considerations that Metro must address as it develops and evaluates alternative scenarios;
  • Describe how Metro is to coordinate its work with cities, counties, state agencies and others;
  • Describe how LCDC will review and approve Metro's preferred scenario -
    • The LCDC will review Metro's Framework and Function Plan amendments "in manner of periodic review".
  • Describe the process for implementation by cities and counties -
    • Local governments will amend their plans and ordinances as necessary to carry out Metro's functional plan.
  • Directs Metro to monitor and report progress in implementing the plan and to update the preferred scenario as the region in coordination with other major plan updates.

Requirements for Scenario Planning are summarized in this chart prepared by the department.




Adopted Rules

The scenario planning rules for the Portland Metropolitan area are included in OAR 660, division 44.

  • 660-044 Adopted Lanugage (showing changes)
Rulemaking Process
On September 19th and 20th, the department and commission conducted public hearings on the proposed scenario planning rules.   At the conclusion of its hearing on September 20th, the Commission: (1) directed the department to make a number of changes to the proposed rules  and (2) extended the period for public comment on the proposed rules to October 19th.    The amendments made minor, technical changes recommended by Metro’s legal counsel. 
Links to information about the proposed rules are included below:

The proposed rules were developed by the department with assistance from a rulemaking advisory committee (RAC) appointed by the commission in December 2011.

The RAC met four times between February and May 2012. The RAC reviewed statutory requirements, draft rule concepts, proposed rule language and the department's statement of need and fiscal impact statement on the proposed rules. The RAC also received information briefings from Metro staff on the region's scenario planning owrk: Climate Smart Communities. RAC meetings were open to the public and an opportunity for public comment was provided at each RAC meeting.

Information about the RAC meetings is available on the Department's Public Meetings page. This includes meeting agendas, meeting materials and meeting notes.






Statutory Requirements
Key provisions of House Bill 2001 that direct the scenario planning rulemaking are provided below.
On or before January 1, 2013, the Land Conservation and Development Commission, in consultation with the Oregon Transportation Commission, shall adopt rules that establish a process for cooperatively selecting a land use and transportation scenario for each metropolitan service district to achieve the greenhouse gas emissions reductions identified in the rules adopted pursuant to subsection (6) of this section and a process for the adoption of regional or local plants to implement the scenario. The rules shall:
(a) Identify minimum planning standards for achieving reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through comprehensive plans and transportation system plans;
(b) Identify planning assumptions and approaches to meet minimum planning standards identified in paragraph (a) of this subsection that ensure the Department of Land Conservation and Development can approve the changes to the regional framework plan, comprehensive plans and land use regulations implementing the comprehensive plans;
(c) Establsih a cycle for initial adoption and updating of the transportation and land use scenario required by this section, including planning periods beyond 2035, relating the cycle to periodic review under ORS 197.628 to 197.650 and to urban growth boundary planning under ORS 197.296 or 197.298.
(d) Ensure that local standards and criteria for land uses and for land development and transportation plans that implement the scenarios selected under subsection '(2)(b) of this section:
(A) Are contained in the amendments to regional framework plans, functional plans, comprehensive plans, and land use regulations required by subsections (3) of this section; and
(B) Do not have the effect of preventing, discouraging, or delaying the implementation of the scenarios, except as necessary to protect the public health and safety.
(HB 2001, Section 37(8))

Background Information
The proposed rulemaking is part of a broader effort by the state, in partnership with metropolitan areas, to evaluate changes to land use and transportation plans and policies to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from light vehicle travel and to support meeting statewide goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 75 percent below year 1990 levels by the year 2050.
State efforts are being led by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and DLCD through the Oregon Sustainable Transportation Initiative (OSTI). OSTI carries out directives from the Legislature set forth in House Bill 2001 (2009) and Senate Bill 1059 (2010). OSTI includes a series of efforts that are designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from light vehicle travel and to support land use and transportation scenario planning by metropolitan areas to accomplish this goal. OSTI efforts that have been completed or underway include the following elements:
  • In January 2011, ODOT and DLCD provided the Legislature with the Financing Report estimating the cost for metropolitan areas (other than the Portland metropolitan area) to conduct scenario planning.
  • In March 2011, ODOT, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the Oregon Department of Energy (ODOE) provided LCDC with the Agencies’ Technical Report to support setting targets. The report estimates the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from light vehicles travel in metropolitan areas that is needed by 2035 to support meeting the statewide goal for 2050. The report also estimates the likely contribution of the use of improved vehicle technologies and fuels and changes to the vehicle fleet in achieving the 2035 emissions goal.
  • In May 2011, LCDC adopted the Metropolitan Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets Rule. The adopted targets call for a 17 to 21 percent reduction per capita in greenhouse gas emissions from light vehicle travel by 2035 in the state’s six metropolitan areas (Portland, Eugene-Springfield, Salem-Keizer, Rogue Valley, Bend and Corvallis) to support achieving the statewide goal for 2050. The adopted target for the Portland metropolitan area is for a 20 percent reduction per capita in GHG emissions. The targets and rule were developed by the Target Rulemaking Advisory Committee (TRAC) composed of metropolitan local officials, interest groups and other state agency commissions, as detailed in the TRAC Report to LCDC.
  • In January 2012, ODOT and DLCD provided the Legislature with the Portland Metropolitan Area Scenario Planning Report on the GHG reduction target for the Portland metropolitan area and Metro's progress in conducting scenario planning.
  • ODOT and the Oregon Transportation Commission (OTC) are in the process of developing a Statewide Transportation Strategy that will outline recommendations for state actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector in support of the statewide goal of a 75 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
  • As directed by Senate Bill 1059, ODOT and DLCD are working with metropolitan areas to develop resources and information to assist metropolitan areas with scenario planning and other actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These include scenario planning guidelines, a toolkit of recommended practices and evaluation techniques for greenhouse gas emission reduction, and a public education effort to inform the public about the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and costs and benefits in reducing emissions.
  • As directed by House Bill 2001, ODOT and DLCD are providing funding and technical assistance to the Portland and Eugene-Springfield metropolitan areas to conduct scenario planning.

Metro's Climate Smart Communities Scenarios Project
panel discussion at the Climate Leadership Summit  
Metro is currently conducting scenario planning through its Climate Smart Communities Scenarios Project.
Links to Related Information
Scenario planning is part of a broader statewide effort to address effects of climate change and reduce the state’s greenhouse gas emissions:

DLCD Staff Contact
For further information about this rulemaking or related work please contact Bob Cortright by email or phone (503) 373-0050 ext. 241.