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PORTLAND-In six months or less, the city will have new zoning and design guidelines in place in Northwest Portland to deal with a boom in telecommunications that has brought us urban buildings with nothing in them but computer switching equipment. In the longer term, the city plans to make telco hotel-relate adjustments to the zoning code on a citywide basis. According to the city, telecommunications industry investment in Portland has risen from $98 million to $616 million in the past six months.

A fairly wide-reaching moratorium on the buildings was a possible result of last week’s council meeting, but wavering support from some council members left it on the table. Next month, though, the council will seriously consider a much narrower moratorium on telco developments designed just to protect the area immediately surrounding the city’s streetcar line. That option is still on the table due to two telco projects going in along the streetcar line with little consideration for their location, and the fact that the 12-acre Consolidated Freightways property in the area is now being sought by telcos.

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