About the Division Design Initiative

The Division Design Initiative was developed in response to community concerns over recent development impacts experienced throughout Portland neighborhoods. Division in particular has experienced significant change in character and scale in a very short time with at least 8 large new construction projects built over the last 24 months.  Community members have asked how they can have more design input and this initiative is one approach to creating conversations and tools for how to address design in a growing community and still protect our urban growth boundaries.

Want to learn more?

  • Read our Division Design Initiative Final Report to SEUL. This includes a summary of our 2013-2015 efforts, activities, challenges/successes, and ways the SEUL small neighborhood grant helped our grassroots education, design and planning project.
  • Visit out Policy blog to learn more about our Top Ten Recommendations to the City of Portland.
  • Read about the Division Perceptions Survey to hear some highlights of what community members have to say about recent development – positive and not so positive, what places are special and should be preserved, and what visions people have for the future
  • Learn about the Draft Division Design Guidelines – A big effort we’ve been working towards is creating design guidelines for Division Street for the area within the Division Green Street/Main Street Plan from 11th-60th. Visit our Division Design Guidelines page to learn more about the work we are doing.

Please join us at monthly Division Design Committee meetings to participate or contact us to join one of our task forces.

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  1. I would like to be notified of any meeting regarding the Division Design Initiative or any new building permits for new buildings on Division.

  2. I’m not sure whether Division Street represents a complete failure of urban planning or an example of urban planning gone wild. Either way, it has become a congestion nightmare and most of my friends say they try to avoid it at all costs. Especially at night it is a hazard to life and limb. The street is way too narrow to accommodate the automobiles, bicycles, and buses that really have to use it since there is no other significant east-west thoroughfare for many blocks, and Hawthorne is itself too narrow to accommodate the traffic on it. With bicycles weaving in and out, many without lights at night, and pedestrians darting out from between parked cars it is only a matter of time until someone is killed. The hapless motorist involved will no doubt be blamed.

    It is insane on such a narrow, street that has to bear significantly more east-west automobile traffic than it can possibly manage, to build a string of apartment buildings that adds hugely to the pedestrian traffic. Gladstone, which is a wide boulevard only a few blocks south would have been the ideal and lovely place to site these apartment houses. But, no, someone decided to thrust them into the middle of this uncontrolled chaos. If this is Portland’s idea of development, we’re in trouble.

  3. I’m not sure if this is the correct spot to put comment, But the empty lot on Division and 20th across the street from New Seasons is being developed into an apt building.

    I have lived in neighborhood since mid 80’s and have been told on numerous occasions that the lot was never developed because a gas station had been on the site and there were huge gas and oil leaks into the soil and it could not be cleaned up. Has DEQ changed rules?. Not good after Bullseye problem. I will also e-mail DEQ and Richmond association

    1. Catherine,
      I’m a board member with the Hosford-Abernethy Neighborhood District Association (HAND) and also work with the Division Design Initiative. The site at 1949 SE Division that you mention is in our neighborhood and we have been working with Multnomah County since at least 1999. Like many other sites along our corridors, it housed a gas station at one time and was designated a brownfield. Over $250,000 (mainly Federal $$) has been spent cleaning up the site. The first plan was for REACH to redevelop the site for affordable housing. That plan was abandoned in 2014 and the County turned the property over to Community Visions, Inc. a nonprofit organization that provides a variety of services to people with a variety of disabilities. Their plans for the site include offices, ground floor retail and some community meeting space. Let me know if I can get you additional information.

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