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Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

TTY : 503-823-6868

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Zoning Code Changes July 11, 2014

Amendments to the Portland Zoning Code will take effect on July 11, 2014.

Amendments to the Portland Zoning Code will take effect on July 11, 2014. The Regulatory Improvement Code Amendment Package 6 (RICAP 6) includes more than 30 Zoning Code amendments and significant changes to four chapters.

Highlights of RICAP 6 include amendments addressing:

  • Radio Frequency Transmission Facilities. Amendments address: Federal Communications Commission (FCC) preemption on RF emissions, tower modifications, acoustical noise report requirement for equipment located near residential zones, and effective radiated power thresholds.
  • Temporary Activities. Adds references to temporary activities such as off-site construction staging, warming/cooling centers and commercial filming, adds time limits and reorganizes regulations.
  • Resource Enhancement Standards. Addresses bank restoration development standards (already in effect in the Airport Plan District) for MCDD/BES projects located in environmental overlay zones.
  • Public Art in lieu of Ground Floor Windows. Removes requirement for an adjustment review for Regional Arts and Culture Council approved public art in lieu of meeting ground floor window requirement (in commercial and EX zones outside the central city plan district).
  • Historic Resources in the Public Right of Way. Extends the Zoning Code authority to the public right-of-way for the historic resources overlay zone.

For a more expansive summary, see the RICAP 6 Code Amendment Summary.

More information about RICAP and a complete description of the amendments can be found on the Regulatory Improvement webpage.

Media Advisory: City Reducing Prescriptive Residential Solar Permit Fees

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services


July 1, 2014


Contact:  Ross Caron, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4268

July 1, 2014.  Effective immediately, the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services will be reducing the building permit fees for Prescriptive Residential Solar Permits from $554 to $263, a 52% reduction.  In an effort to be responsive to the Solar Industry concerns about existing fees and the City’s goal of encouraging more sustainable energy sources, the Bureau worked with Solar Industry representatives in an assessment of the current fees and associated solar permitting and inspection process.  This evaluation realized efficiencies in the permitting process, allowing the building permit fees associated with solar projects to be reduced.  Separate electrical trade permits continue to be required and their associated fees remain the same.

“We are hopeful that the reduction in building permit fees for solar installations on residential structures will encourage more homeowners to adopt this sustainable energy source, helping the City to meet sustainability goals,” stated Commissioner Amanda Fritz.  Bureau Director Paul L. Scarlett added “This is a great example of where we were able to work with industry partners to realize permit fee savings, while maintaining cost recovery on the important life safety and livability services the City provides through the building inspection process.”

Overall, the Prescriptive Residential Solar Permit fee retains cost recovery levels for the Bureau, while achieving a level of review and inspections that ensures compliance with applicable building, electrical and land use codes.  Field inspections will verify installations adhere to approved plans, assuring safety and code compliance at the time of panel installation.

For more information, please contact Ross Caron, BDS Public Information Officer at or (503) 823-4268.

Please subscribe to receive other Bureau of Development Services notification. 

PUBLIC ADVISORY: New Courtesy Demolition Notification Process & Demolition Information Webpage

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services


June 25, 2014


Contact:  Ross Caron, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4268

On July 1, 2014, the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services (BDS) will implement a new Courtesy Demolition Notification Process as part of an effort to encourage developers to provide neighborhood notification of pending demolitions of single-family homes when notification is not required by code.  The Courtesy Demolition Notification Process was developed by BDS in conjunction with the City’s Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC), which is comprised of members from the construction industry and community organizations.  BDS has also created a new Demolition Delay and Notification Information webpage that provides a central BDS location with information about the City’s residential demolition delay and notification requirements and the new Courtesy Demolition Notification Process.

The Courtesy Demolition Notification Process is voluntary, and applies when a demolition permit for a home in a residential neighborhood is exempt from the demolition delay and notification requirements of City Code Title 24, Building Regulations.  In these situations, BDS will provide demolition permit applicants a packet of information, including demolition notification door hangers and recommended steps for using the door hangers, to notify neighbors.  Applicants will also be encouraged to contact neighborhood coalitions of pending demolitions.  The use of door hangers, while strongly encouraged, is not required by City Code.

The Commissioner-in-Charge, Amanda Fritz, stated, “The Courtesy Demolition Notification Process is an example of how the Bureau of Development Services continues to make changes within the context of existing codes to address community concerns.”  BDS Director, Paul L. Scarlett, added that “The Bureau is always looking for ways to improve our communication and information sharing efforts.  The new Courtesy Demolition Notification Process and the Demolition webpage are examples of where we are doing just that.” 

The Demolition Delay and Notifications webpage contains information on the new Courtesy Demolition Notification Process, current required delay and notification rules and regulations, links to State and Federal government agencies that regulate air quality, asbestos and lead paint and other useful information relating to residential demolitions.

Link to Demolition Delay and Notification webpage:

Questions or comments? Please contact, Ross Caron, BDS Public Information Officer at or 503.823.4268.


Customer Notification: Important OSSC Code Changes Effective July 1, 2014

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services


June 24, 2014


Contact:  Ross Caron, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4268

June 24, 2014. In an effort to proactively inform customers, and give them time to prepare for important building code changes announced by the Oregon Building Codes Division, BDS is sending this reminder:

2014 OSSC Code Adoption Update: The Oregon Building Codes Division has announced the adoption of the following codes, effective July 1, 2014: 

  • 2014 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC)
  • 2014 Oregon Mechanical Specialty Code (OMSC)
  • 2014 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code (OEESC) 

The Oregon Building Code Division will allow a three (3) month transition period for implementation of these codes from July 1st to September 30th.  During this transition period, the City will accept proposals designed to either the old codes or the new codes.  Submittals are not allowed to mix and match code provisions, and must identify which code edition is used for the design of the project.

All proposals submitted on or after October 1, 2014 will be reviewed using the new regulations.

Code books are available for purchase through various vendors, including the International Code Council’s website. See for Oregon codes currently available for order, pre-order, or immediate pdf download.

It is expected that the free, online read-only versions of these codes will be published before September. The BDS website will be updated with links to these codes as they become available. 

Additional information on the code changes specific to Oregon can be found on the Oregon Building Codes Division website at

Short-term Rentals - Upcoming Events and Current Regulations

The Bureau of Planning & Sustainability (BPS) is working on a zoning code amendment package (RICAP 6) that includes amendments to a number of current zoning regulations, including the City’s short-term rental regulations.  With the exception of the short-term rental regulations, all other RICAP 6 code amendments were approved by City Council on June 11, 2014 and will become effective July 11, 2014. 

Upcoming Events

There are two upcoming events focused on the recommended changes to the City's short-term rental regulations contained in RICAP 6.  The next events are:

For more information on the proposed changes to the City's short-term rental regulations, please see the BPS RICAP website.  

Current Regulations

If you have questions about the current regulations that govern short-term rentals, please review the following information: 

  • The Bureau of Development Services, Planning and Zoning (503) 823-7526, for questions about current zoning code regulations. 
  • The State's Building Code Occupancy standards determine whether or not a room or space is permitted to be used as a sleeping area/dwelling. The easiest way to determine the occupancy of a space is to visit the Bureau's Resource/Records counter during our Permit Center business hours. You can research the occupancy records for the structure; however, there is a $15 charge per address.  Once you have obtained the records it is helpful to consult with the Life Safety Plans Examiners in the Development Services Center.
  • Contact the Revenue Bureau at 503-823-5157 to understand any appropriate transient/hospitality taxes and business license requirements.