Changing the Rules

Screenshot 2016-03-17 12.43.32City of Portland
Current: Planning & Sustainability Commission, Residential Infill Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee
Eli began his service with the Planning & Sustainability Commission (PSC) in January, 2016. The PSC is responsible for advising City Council on Portland’s long-range goals, policies & programs for land use, planning and sustainability. Through public hearings and discussion of issues and proposals, the PSC develops recommendations to share with City Council regarding work such as the Comprehensive Plan, Climate Action Plan, and Zoning Code. Eli has also served on the Residential Infill Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee (RIP SAC) since its formation in July, 2015. The RIP SAC was created to help evaluate Portland’s single-dwelling development standards, specifically the scale of new houses and additions, narrow lot development, and alternative housing options that can help keep costs down while increasing the variety of housing options available to Portlanders. RIP SAC members are responsible for providing expertise and advice, identifying issues, and making recommendations to Bureau of Planning & Sustainability staff to inform updated draft code language.

Past: Code Update advocacy and citizen involvement
In 2012, Portland launched a planning process to update its Comprehensive Plan, which will guide City policy for the next 20 years. As a member of the Residential Development and Compatibility Policy Expert Group (PEG), Eli provided input on rules for residential development in areas outside of designated Centers and Corridors. More recently, he served on the Detached Accessory Structure code update focus group, coordinated with community groups in N/NE Portland to comment on the Comprehensive Plan, advocated for scaled system development charges, and prepared policy papers including a “Plank of Progressive Planning ideas for Portland that won’t Piss Off the Neighbors.” Eli also recently served as a member of Metro’s Equitable Housing Work Group.


Build Small logo

Small House Advocacy
As documented in recent studies from Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality, the most important residential green building measure, from both the perspectives of CO2 and waste generation, is to simply build smaller. Yet various regulatory, financial, and other incentives continue to steer the market towards larger homes, even as average household size decreases. Starting in 2009, a dedicated group of small home advocates has worked to remove regulatory and financial barriers to smaller homes. Advocacy by this group resulted in a waiver of System Development Charges on Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), relaxation of the size limits of ADUs relative to primary dwellings, publication of appraisal guidelines for ADUs in the peer-reviewed Appraisal Journal, updated scoring systems in green building programs to acknowledge the environmental benefits of smaller homes, the launch of a website dedicated to accessory dwelling units, and the inaugural 1-day “Build Small – Live Large” summit convention, which drew 300+ participants. Learn more  Eli’s Role: Founding member

LION LogoLocal Investment Opportunity Network
Many well-loved local businesses routinely borrow funds at fairly high rates from banks, credit cards, and other institutional sources – and would welcome community-based financing options. On the investment side, even socially responsible mutual funds are rarely able to offer local options. LION:PDX creates a networking forum for investors to meet directly with local entrepreneurs and business owners to facilitate hyper-local financing for small and growing businesses. Launched in 2012 and based on a successful model from Port Townsend, WA, LION:PDX facilitated loans to two local businesses in its first year.  Eli’s Role: Founding member