Development Code Improvement Project - Phase 9

  • Design standards

    Project description

    The project ensures the Development Code is clear and easy to use. This portion of Phase 9 will focus on design standards. This includes improving the design review process and standards, and the review process for approved designs.

    This is a two-part project:

  • Part A

    A faster design review process will: 

    • Allow development projects that used to require a mandatory public hearing (DR-E level) to be changed to a staff level review (DR-D level).
    • Design standards will not change, but applicants will be able to complete the design review process more efficiently.
    • Planning Commission held a public hearing on Aug. 22.
    • City Council held a hearing on Sept. 20.
    • Part A is a single topic code amendment expected to conclude in October.


    • Phase 1: Work plan, spring 2016
      identify the issues and develop outreach materials.
    • Phase 2: Code amendment development, summer 2016
      Develop code language.
    • Phase 3: Code amendments and legislative process, fall 2016
      Code amendments will be prepared. City Council will review and act upon the proposed changes. 
    Part B

    Improved design review categories will:

    • Modify the five design review categories so they are clear and consistent.
    • Review and change 12 design standards that are confusing and difficult for applicants and staff to achieve. (The issues have been reviewed by staff on an ongoing basis over the last several years.)
    • Develop a process for addressing design review changes that may happen after an approval is granted.
    • Examine how the term “visible” is used in the context of all design review code references.


    • Phase 1: Work plan, summer 2016
      Identify the issues and develop outreach materials.
    • Phase 2: Project introduction, development of alternatives and presentation of preferred alternative, fall 2016
      Code amendments will be reviewed. This represents the consolidation of three traditional project steps.
    • Phase 3: Code amendments and legislative process, winter 2017
      Code amendments will be prepared. City Council will review and act upon the proposed changes. Draft code will be presented to the Planning Commission before final code language is developed
    • Project Background
    • Status and Updates
    • Project Documents
    • Contact
    Project Background

    This Council Work Plan project features two parts.

    Part A: Faster design review process

    This code amendment would change the design review requirement from a mandatory public hearing to a staff decision review for the highest design review applications (DR-E level), to the DR-D level, when all clear and object standards are proposed.

    Part B: Improved design review categories

    This part of the project will look at each of the City’s five design review categories and modify them so they are clearer and more consistent.

    About the Development Code Improvement Project

    The multi-year Development Code Improvement Project (DCIP) is updating the City’s Development Code to reflect federal, state and local rules. It’s also addressing the community’s needs regarding processes and regulations involved with the development process.

    Status and Updates

    City Council will hold a public hearing on Development Code Improvement Project (DCIP-9B) at 3:00 pm on July 18, 2017 in Gresham City Council Chambers. DCIP-9B is on the 2017 Council Work Plan and is focused on making changes to Design Guidelines and Standards that have been identified as unclear, unnecessary, or inconsistent. There will also be minor changes to vacation standards and timelines for compliance with the Department of Land Conservation and Development deadlines.

    Contact Ann Pytynia at 503-618-2859 or with any questions regarding specific proposed Development Code changes.

      Project Documents

      Ann Pytynia
      Principal Urban Planner