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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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Townhouse Design and Construction - Requirement Clarification and Changes

Effective September 2, 2014. In support of The Bureau of Development Services (BDS) efforts to provide clear direction to its customers, and to be in compliance with the Oregon Residential Specialty Code, BDS is providing this notification regarding building code requirements affecting townhouse design and construction.

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION

Contact:  Ross Caron, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4268

Effective September 2, 2014.  The Bureau of Development Services (BDS) seeks to provide clear direction to its customers, and to be in compliance with the Oregon Residential Specialty Code (commonly referred to as State Building Code); therefore, BDS is providing this notification regarding Oregon Residential Specialty Code requirements affecting townhouse design and construction. 

BDS will no longer allow more than one single family dwelling per townhouse. 
Per the Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC), a “townhouse” is defined as “a single family dwelling unit in a group of three or more attached units in which each unit extends from foundation to roof and with a yard or public way on at least two sides.”

From approximately 2009 to September 2014, BDS accepted other configurations. It was brought to our attention this previous code interpretation might be in error.  After review by the BDS Building Official Group it was determined that a townhouse is one single family dwelling. The Bureau regrets any inconvenience this revised interpretation may cause, however, moving forward BDS will no longer allow more than one single family dwelling per townhouse. This change will allow BDS to be in compliance with the ORSC definition of a townhouse. BDS will continue to allow two family dwellings in a side-by-side configuration to be built to either townhouse standards ORSC section R302.2, with the dwelling units separated by fire rated construction meeting townhouse criteria, or to the two-family dwelling standard ORSC section R302.3. BDS will also continue to allow a townhouse to be constructed with an Accessory Dwelling Unit as part of it.

BDS is emphasizing the need for a minimum 3 foot wide access and egress easement crossing adjacent lots for emergency access in some situations.
In addition, BDS is calling attention to ORSC section R310.1 regarding egress windows from bedrooms and basements. This code section contains the provision that “Emergency escape and rescue openings shall open directly into a public way, or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.” Requiring this access and egress easement is one means to be in conformance with the ORSC.

This code provision has a significant impact on townhouses on individual lots which are not located on through-lots (alley or street on front and back). In this type of configuration, only street side bedrooms and bedrooms in the end townhouse structures would have access to the public right-of-way without crossing an adjacent property. Therefore, BDS will be requiring a minimum 3 foot wide access and egress easement crossing the adjacent lots in order to guarantee fire fighter access and provide a path away from the rear of the building bedrooms and/or basements to the public right of way. Fences may be constructed between the rear yards of individual townhouses; however, a 3 foot wide gate without locking hardware must be installed in the fence in order to provide egress across the yards.

For more information visit the Bureau of Development Services Development Service Center at 1900 SW 4th Ave, 1st floor, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday’s 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. or call 503-823-1456.

 

BDS and City-Wide Emergency Exercise

September is National Preparedness Month and this year the theme is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.”

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION

Contact:  Ross Caron, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4268

September is National Preparedness Month and this year the theme is “Be Disaster Aware, Take Action to Prepare.” On Tuesday, September 30th, the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) will participate in a wide-scale disaster exercise being sponsored by the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management. As part of the City’s emergency response efforts, BDS is the lead City agency for performing and coordinating the damage assessment work on buildings and structures located on private property to ensure that they are safe for re-occupancy. Accordingly, approximately one hundred BDS employees will be involved in the September 30th exercise, working in roles ranging from direct damage assessment to logistical coordination and communications. This will provide a crucial opportunity for BDS employees to practice skills and processes that will be used during a real emergency, including coordination with other bureaus and jurisdictions. BDS is committed to this work, which is clearly aligned with our mission.

While, a large number of employees will play a role in the exercise, the time dedicated to each person’s portion is relatively minimal. Therefore, we do not expect any significant impact to service levels during the September 30th emergency preparedness event.

Preparing for emergencies is an ongoing process for organizations, families, and individuals. You can find resources to start (or continue) your own planning at the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management’s website. You can also sign up to receive important safety information during an emergency at www.publicalerts.org.

Please subscribe to receive other Bureau of Development Services notification.

City of Portland Implements New Accessory Short-term Rental Regulations

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

September 2, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Ross Caron, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4268

Effective August 29, 2014 the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) implemented a new permitting process for short-term rentals of one and two bedrooms within single-family residential homes. The permitting process is required to support the City’s Zoning Code changes, which were unanimously adopted by the Portland City Council on July 30, 2014. The Bureau of Development Services is responsible for administration of the City’s Zoning Code, and has finalized the permitting process and public information which is now available on BDS’s website.

“After significant community input to the Planning and Sustainability Commission and then the City Council, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Bureau of Development Services have finalized recommendations that implement the City Code changes to now allow short-term rentals in single family homes and Accessory Dwelling Units” said Commissioner Fritz, who oversees the Bureau of Development Services. The Director of BDS, Paul L. Scarlett adds “the permitting and inspection requirements now in place will help address community concerns, streamline the process for customers and ensure rooms for short-term rentals meet basic fire, life and safety standards.”

To find information on the regulations, permitting process, application for permit and frequently asked questions, visit the BDS Accessory Short-term Rental webpage.

 

BDS Customer Survey Now Online

BDS is excited to announce that for the first time ever we have launched an online survey to gather feedback from all our customers and stakeholders. This initiative is a crucial element of our strategy to continuously improve our customer service.

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION

BDS is excited to announce that for the first time ever we have launched an online survey to gather feedback from all our customers and stakeholders. This initiative is a crucial element of our strategy to continuously improve our customer service. The survey is now online at www.BDSSurvey.com and is open to all through September 15th, 2014. It is also available via the BDS website at www.portlandoregon.gov/bds. We would really appreciate you taking a few minutes to fill out this short survey to let us know what we are doing well and what we can do better. Please forward this information to others who might want to participate.

Upon receiving input and feedback, the bureau will analyze and implement necessary changes and improvements to our services and programs, where possible. Other approaches to our customer service improvement program include reaching out directly to recent permit and land use applicants, as well as providing easy ways for customers to give confidential feedback at any time.

If you would like to join the BDS e-mailing list to receive our bi-monthly newsletter, The Plans Examiner, and other BDS public notices please subscribe via the BDS website at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/41448.

No internet access or need language translation? Contact Greg Supriano at Greg.Supriano@PortlandOregon.Gov or 503-823-7351.

To help ensure equal access to City programs, services and activities, the City of Portland will provide translation, reasonably modify policies/procedures and provide auxiliary aids/services/alternative formats to persons with disabilities. For accommodations, translations, complaints, and additional information, contact Greg Supriano, Program Specialist, by phone at 503-823-7351 or by email at Greg.Supriano@PortlandOregon.Gov. TTY 503-823-6868, or Oregon Relay Service: 711. 
 

New Code Interpretation for Smoke Protection at Elevator Hoist Way Openings in Residential Corridors by State of Oregon Building Codes Division

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION

August 11, 2014. The Bureau of Development Services (BDS) is providing this update to our customers regarding a new code interpretation issued by the State of Oregon Building Codes Division, (BCD) on July 3, 2014. This code interpretation clarifies the requirements for protection of elevator hoist way openings into fire rated corridors. The new interpretation makes it clear that smoke protection is required at these openings. In conformance with the new BCD code interpretation, BDS will now be requiring that elevator doors that open into a fire rated corridor be equipped with smoke protection, such as a smoke curtain or additional swinging hoist way door, in accordance with this interpretation.

For more detailed information refer to Oregon State Building Code, 2014 OSSC Section 701.2 Multiple use fire assemblies which are determined by the State to be applicable to the 2010 OSSC.

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