Design Manual Overhaul 2021

Project Description

The Planning and Urban Development Department is reviewing and revising the City of Portland Design Manual. The Design Manual regulations apply to Site Plan applications in certain zones and are in addition to the zoning requirements.  The project will reformat and where needed, create new standards, in order to:  

  • Create more consistent standards across the city where current standards are duplicative or unclear;
  • Simplify and clarify the content of the standards for easier interpretation;
  • Ensure the standards are encouraging design outcomes that align with city policies; and
  • Create a more accessible and user-friendly document.

Watch this space for event updates, document drafts, and ways to be involved!

Design Manual Draft R-6 Standards – Public Comment Period #2 (8/4 - 8/18)

Staff from the City of Portland Planning and Urban Development Department invite the general public to review and comment on the draft R-6 Design Manual document.  Members of the public can read the draft of the R-6 Infill Design Standards and leave comments and feedback directly in the document as well as see comments from others by using an interactive online civic engagement tool.  For reference, a redline version of the R-6 design standards is provided in the Related Documents (righthand top of this webpage), to show what content is being kept or revised from the current manual.  

We particularly welcome feedback on document usability and the effectiveness of the illustrations and graphic design.

There will be additional opportunities to review and comment on other sections of the Draft Design Manual as they are developed in the future.  Draft Design Manual revisions will also be brought to the Planning Board for further public review.

Written comments may also be sent via email to


The design manual overhaul process will commence January 2021 with a kick-off meeting to present the project and hear community input on the design review process and design outcomes in Portland.  

Draft documents will be posted online for public comment on content and graphic design periodically throughout the process, and Planning Board workshops will be held in spring 2021 to review and provide feedback on proposed changes prior to adoption.  There will also be a working group to provide detailed input on document revisions and draft content throughout the process. 

Related Documents

City of Portland Design Manual

Upcoming Meetings

Meeting information and materials will be posted on this webpage and City calendar.
  • WORKING GROUP MEETING #6 (7/15/21): R-6 Design Standards - View the recording here with passcode f%MH$150
  • WORKING GROUP MEETING #5 (7/7/21): R-6 Design Standards - View the recording here with passcode 9a=@PD@ 

Contact Us - For more information contact Caitlin Cameron, Urban Designer. Call 207-874-8901 or email