Proactive Planning in Tigard

We are working with the City of Tigard, a first-ring suburb on the edge of Portland, OR to help them be proactive with their zoning amendments using a Stress Test. Tigard understands the importance of walkable neighborhoods, good urban design, and small scale development. As such, they have already brought in several top-notch planning teams to help them create a vision for their city that prioritizes sustainability and happy residents. Their challenge is now to make all of their planning cohesive and to ensure that the zoning ordinances support their plans.

The Stress Test target area in Tigard contains a collection of auto-oriented land uses, including regional shopping centers, medium to large office buildings, and a smattering of single family houses in between. Tigard is exploring how the existing land use pattern can evolve lot by lot with infill and adaptation to create a cohesive, pleasant, and walkable neighborhood. This target area is also preparing for the possibility of a light-rail connection to Portland within the next 20 years, and the impact those stations would make. Tigard has the foresight and desire to protect their local businesses and residents from the speculative inflationary effect that often accompanies rail investment. As such, the City is eager to make sure that small scale, local developers can participate in the build out of the rail corridor before, during and after such a project may occur.

This Stress Test involved identifying lots in the target area and working through hypothetical developments (ex. would a mixed-use fourplex or three-story walkup meet code and be financially viable in the current regulatory and market conditions). The IncDev team led staff and local property owners to recalibrate their code by playing the role of developers on paper. Secondarily, Tigard wisely worked with the IncDev team on their long-term vision, considering the impact of their planning should the rail project never materialize.