Comprehensive Plan and Transportation System Plan Now Adopted

Multnomah County updated the Multnomah County Comprehensive Framework Plan (Comprehensive Plan) and Transportation System Plan (TSP) on September 1, 2016. Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners, together these plans guide future growth and development in the rural areas of Multnomah County. They set goals and policies for how these rural areas should grow or change over the next 20 years or more, focused primarily on land and physical infrastructure. This page is an archive of the major components and processes that occurred as part of the update process.

Background and Purpose

Until the most recent update, the Comprehensive Plan has not been changed since 1977. Although portions of it have been updated at various times since, a complete review of its policies, strategies and structure has not. Since 1977, much has changed in the 40 years since that Plan was adopted. The document needs to be revised to reflect current times and to better guide future land use and transportation decisions. The update process included:

  • Update the Comprehensive Plan – The Comprehensive Plan focuses on rural areas of the County – lands outside the Portland Metropolitan Area Urban Growth Boundary. This process will update and bring together information currently found in four rural area plans that address specific areas of the County, including: the West Hills, areas east and west of the Sandy River, Sauvie Island/Multnomah Channel, and unincorporated areas in Interlachen and a portion of Pleasant Valley. The result is a single, integrated planning framework for these areas. The Comprehensive Plan also provides direction for specific land use regulations.
  • Transportation System Plan Update – The project also included preparation of a county-wide Transportation System Plan that guides decisions about transportation system improvements over the next 20 years or more.
  • Development Code Update – The County is also updating its Development Code as part of this process, ensuring that it fully complies with statutory requirements and that it is consistent with any new Plan policies that direct Code changes. The Development Code tells property owners what kinds of uses, business and buildings can be located on their property and identifies limitations on the size, placement and other aspects of those uses and structures.  The project also involves simplifying and streamlining the Code by combining chapters where possible to avoid duplication. This will make it easier for citizens to understand and for staff to apply the requirements.


The Comprehensive Plan Update process ran from 2014 to 2016. Community members had a variety of opportunities to be engaged during this process. In November 2014, the public was invited to public meetings to help identify key issues and concerns to be addressed in the plan and then in September 2015, the public was invited to a community meeting to see the progress that has been made. The Board of County Commissioners adopted the Comprehensive Plan and Transportation System Plan on September 1, 2016.

Public involvement activities

  • November 2014: Public open houses and online open house
  • Dec 2014 - Jan 2016: Community Advisory Committee and Technical Advisers had ongoing meetings to advise on the project. 
  • Sept 2015: Community Workshops
  • April 2016: Community Meetings to review draft plan
  • Community presentations were also made throughout the project

Project milestones

  • Oct 2014: Baseline Report complete
  • Aug 2015: Resources & Hazards Inventory Reports and Maps complete
  • Throughout 2015: Project team develops Policy & Plan Amendments and Code Amendments
  • March/April 2016: Draft Updated Comprehensive Plan and Transportation System Plan available
  • May 2016: Comprehensive Plan and Transportation System Plan Hearings Begin
  • Fall 2016 - Adopt Final Comprehensive PlanTransportation System Plan and Consolidated Zoning Code