Plan to shift thousands of addresses to 'South Portland' heads to City Council

Plan to shift thousands of addresses to 'South Portland' heads to City Council

Portland is moving closer to changing mailing addresses for nearly 10,000 businesses and homes in what would be the most significant change to the city's address book since the Great Depression. 

The City Council will hold a public hearing Thursday on the proposal to change the directional addresses west of the Willamette Riverand east of Southwest Naito Parkway to a "South Portland" designation. Those addresses currently have a Southwest Portland address. Some 9,600 addresses would be changed to South Portland.

If approved, the changes would be the most substantial since the city's setup creating five directional neighborhoods - North, Northwest, Northeast, Southwest and Southeast -- was approved in 1931. 

Portland would be adding a "Sixth Sextant." The city's neighborhood makeup has historically been described as five quadrants, though quadrants are defined as four parts of a whole. 

What's driving the South Portland change?  

City officials say it's a public safety concern first and foremost. 

Thousands of existing Southwest Portland addresses have leading zeroes, which can be confusing for dispatchers trying to direct emergency personnel in the event of a crisis.  

For example, addresses such as 0219 SW Abernethy Street would be changed to 219 S Abernethy. Only residences or businesses with a leading zero will have their numeral address change.