RIP and the Race Against the Clock

April 2018:

RIP is the acronym for a new zoning change in the city of Portland titled Residential Infill Project.  Unfortunate name and as it turns out a huge constraint on our building plans.  This zoning overlay is in the process of going through changes with the Planning and Sustainability commission and is set to go in front of the Portland city commissioners in early spring and public hearings will be held in early summer.  The proposed changes will increase the number of units that can be built on a lot (duplexes, triplexes and ADUs), but will restrict the size of the units based on the lot area and a set ratio.  Right now the ratios are being determined and are not finalized.

When we first started looking into building the proposed ratio for our lot size would be .50.  This would restrict our new home to approximately 800 square feet.  If the RIP changes go into effect before our building permit is submitted to the city we would be greatly constrained on our new home and would most likely not choose to build at that size.  Once we had the clock ticking every decision coming from the city or our designer felt like it was taking forever.  My husband and I went into overdrive to get our lot division in the works and beat the clock.

Update February 2019: The city committee is still in the process of determining the details of the RIP.  There have been many changes since the first draft hit the public space and there seem to be more coming.

Learn more about the RIP details and timelines at


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