Downtown Design Project

Map of Urban Design Framework showing major gateways, connectivity and mobility, and character areas

Draft Development Code Design Principles Need Community Input

The Downtown Design Project has moved in Phase II, and is starting to implement the Urban Design Framework, adopted in the fall of 2018.  Work in Phase II includes creating new development rules to promote the type of development the community expressed preferences toward, including more walkable, welcoming and active environments.

Before writing specific rules, the city is developing Design Principles that will guide the creation of the rules and help community members and decision makers understand the purpose of the rules once they are in place.

You can help us refine the Draft Design Principles by taking a short survey so we know what issues are most important to address in the new development rules.

Review the Draft Design Principles here: Draft Design Principles

Take the survey here: Design Principles Survey

Next Steps for the Downtown Design Project

With the approval of the Urban Design Framework, the Downtown Design Project has moved into Phase Two. Phase Two will have two main plan efforts: Conceptual street designs and new development regulations for downtown.

Conceptual Street Designs

The Urban Design Framework identifies key streets that connect different areas of downtown. The Downtown Design Project presents an opportunity to reimagine these streets and intersections to make them more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. Conceptual designs for these key street segments and intersections will be developed and shared with the community for feedback and further refinement. Draft versions of these conceptual designs will be shared with the public in Spring 2019.

New Development Rules 

The Urban Design Framework identifies different character areas in Downtown that require their own sets of development rules to foster vibrancy. A new section of the Development Code, which regulates land uses and building intensity, as well as design rules, will be created to reflect the strategies in the Urban Design Framework. The Downtown Development Code will be developed of the course of the next year, anticipated taking affect in late 2019 or early 2020. Draft versions of the new code structure will be shared with the public in Spring 2019.

What is in the Urban Design Framework?

Urban Design Principles

The principles provide high-level guidance for how downtown should look, feel and function in the future, including desired outcomes for new development and redevelopment; parks and open space; roads; and infrastructure improvements.

Character Areas

These character areas have been developed based on the special characteristics, identities and experiences of different parts of the downtown area. Understanding the current and future roles and development characteristics of these areas will help guide the creation of development rules that respond to the context. This is important because not every downtown block or street will look or feel the same in the future. The character areas are not zoning districts, but they will inform zoning and other city actions such as streetscape plans.


Providing safe, comfortable, logical ways to cross Canyon Road, Farmington Road and the railroad are integral to linking different parts of the downtown core. Focusing on a central loop for transportation enhancements, streetscape improvements, and building design can begin to knit together parts of downtown. Also important are connections off that loop to the various activity areas within downtown and the destinations and neighborhoods surrounding downtown


Key intersections have been identified to announce arrival into downtown. Gateways can be elements such as public art, streetscape improvements, or emphasized building elements. These features can help cultivate an identity for downtown and will help answer the question of “where is downtown Beaverton?”

Project Description 

A vibrant downtown is a top community priority, and the city is taking the next steps to make downtown a livelier, more welcoming destination. As downtown continues to evolve, the city is developing a comprehensive design strategy to guide future development. This strategy, called an urban design framework, will tap into downtown’s existing identity, as well as the community’s aspirations, to reflect local history, community values, and preferences about how downtown should look and feel. The resulting ideas and designs will determine how shops, housing, restaurants, parks and roads work together to add vibrancy and activity to downtown, making it an even more attractive place to visit.

The urban design framework will take shape in winter and spring of 2018, and will rely heavily on community input to influence downtown design. Neighborhood meetings, virtual open houses, web surveys, and a two-day public design workshop will be held to hear directly from community members. 

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Project Goals 

  • Develop the urban design framework for downtown to define districts and gateways, outline building design and placement, identify opportunities for gathering areas and provide connections for pedestrian and bicyclists to connect everything. 
  • Create opportunities for community members to influence downtown design, including the look and feel of the area.
  • Update development rules to ensure the urban design framework can become a reality.
  • Remove development obstacles. 
  • Develop an action plan to identify quick wins and long term efforts to make downtown as exciting and inviting as ever.