Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

TTY : 503-823-6868

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

City Makes Minor Change to Permit Center Hours to Address Workload and Training Needs

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION

Contact:  Ross Caron, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4268

(Portland, OR) Starting Thursday, November 6, 2014, the City’s Development Services Center (Permit Center) and 2nd Floor Permitting Services will begin closing two hours early at 12:00 PM on Thursdays. This change is being implemented to address increasing permit workload, to more consistently meet service level goals, and to provide new employee training. This change is currently scheduled to last through March 2015 at which time there will be an assessment of the change and determination of whether it needs to be extended. This change applies to both the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) and Interagency (Water Bureau, Portland Bureau of Transportation and Bureau of Environmental Services) staff working in the Permit Center. 

“BDS is constantly looking for ways to address workload issues and staff training is a crucial part of creating a productive workforce”, stated City Commissioner of BDS, Amanda Fritz, “this change will help that happen”. Paul Scarlett, Director of BDS added, “Closing the Permit Center and 2nd Floor Permitting Services two hours earlier on Thursdays is a small change that will allow staff time to address immediate workload needs, improve service levels, and provide training opportunities for new employees, which will get them up to speed faster”.

In closing the Permit Center and 2nd Floor Permitting Services at 12:00 PM on Thursdays, rather than the current 2:00 PM, BDS is encouraging customers to arrive prior to 11:00 AM in order to complete their activities. This change will allow BDS and Interagency partners the ability to address service levels related to completing first reviews and provide check sheets on submitted permits, perform rechecks on plans that have been updated, and complete pre-issuance of permits by providing additional time for staff to perform work at their desk and to increase staff capacity through training opportunities. 

For a full description of the Development Services Center (Permit Center) and 2nd Floor Permitting Services hours and operations starting Thursday November 6, 2014, please see the Development Services Center and Permitting Services Service Level Update: Hours of Operation Reduced Thursdays to Address Workload and Staff Training.


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 (503) 823-3810, use City TTY 503-823-6868, or use Oregon Relay Service: 711.


 

 

New City Tree Program and Regulations Training Dates Announced

Trees Header

CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION

Contact:  Lauren Wirtis, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.7538

On January 2, 2015, the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) and the Bureau of Parks and Recreation (PPR) will be implementing elements of the Citywide Tree Policy Review and Regulatory Improvement Project (“Tree Project”) through a new Tree Program. To help inform customers of the new Tree Program and associated regulations and processes, free Tree Program training classes are being offered in November and December 2014 and in January 2015.
 
Training on the new program and regulations is being offered based on the needs of general contractors, land use review applicants, home owners, and arborists.  These training classes are also open to other interested parties.  Please RSVP with Lauren Wirtis at 503-823-7538 or Lauren.Wirtis@portlandoregon.gov so that we can ensure there is adequate seating and hand-out material available.
 
We strongly encourage construction industry professionals to attend the training that best meets the needs of your expertise and practice.  If you cannot make a training class, additional information is available at www.portlandoregon.gov/trees or by calling 503-823-TREE.

City Tree Program and Regulation Training Dates

Date & Time Location Topic Who should attend
Friday
November 7, 2014
12 – 1 pm
1900 SW 4th Ave
Room 2500A
Tree preservation and planting requirements for development projects Building permit applicants
Thursday
November 13, 2014
6 – 7 pm
Portland Building
1120 SW 5th Ave
Room C (2nd Floor)
Tree permit requirements for non-development projects Tree care professionals, Landscapers, Homeowners
Thursday
November 20, 2014
12 – 1 pm
Portland Building
1120 SW 5th Ave
Room C (2nd Floor)
Tree permit requirements for non-development projects Tree care professionals, Landscapers, Homeowners
Wednesday
December 10, 2014
12 – 1 pm
1900 SW 4th Ave
Room 2500A
New tree requirements for land use reviews Land use review applicants
Wednesday
December 17, 2014
12 – 1 pm
1900 SW 4th Ave
Room 2500A
Tree preservation and planting requirements for development projects Building permit applicants
Wednesday
January 14, 2015
12 – 1 pm
1900 SW 4th Ave
Room 2500A
New tree requirements for land use reviews Land use review applicants

To learn more about the City Tree regulations, please visit the Citywide Tree Policy Review and Regulatory Improvement Project Code and Commentary document.

Please subscribe to receive other Bureau of Development Services notification. 

Demolition Task Force Update

On July 31, 2014, the Portland City Council directed Bureau of Development Services staff to convene a Demolition Task Force to address concerns related to the City Code provisions regulating demolition of one and two family homes.

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

On July 31, 2014, the Portland City Council directed Bureau of Development Services staff to convene a Demolition Task Force to address concerns related to the City Code provisions regulating demolition of one and two family homes. The task force is made up of members of the Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC), the Historic Landmarks Commission, the Design Commission, and City staff. Members of various neighborhood associations and other interested members of the public have also attended the meetings.

During the first two meetings, the Task Force made significant progress towards generating a proposal that responds to the interests of both developers and neighborhood residents. Some of the highlights on the proposal that is currently under review include the following:

  1. Require all demolition applicants to provide notification within 5 days of their demolition application.
  2. Require all residential demolitions to be delayed by 35 days.
  3. Require that applications to extend demolition delay by 120-days be accepted only if they include a plan outlining the requestor’s intent (purchasing the house, moving it, etc.) and some showing of good faith, such as depositing money in an escrow account. Details are still to be worked out.
  4. Require demolition delay applicants to demonstrate progress in their plan according to a set of pre-determined milestones within the 120-days allotted.

The Task Force will continue to work on the recommendations it will present to the City Council, with the goal of submitting a code change ordinance by the end of 2014.

BDS recognizes the contributions of the many volunteers who have assisted in this process and appreciates the positive nature of dialogue which results in making collaborative steps forward in this endeavor.

To find information on the history, current regulations, and frequently asked questions related to this topic, please visit the BDS Demolition Delay and Notifications webpage

Links to articles related to the Demolition Task Force:

Contact:  Ross Caron, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4268

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.