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Phone: 503-823-7300

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1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Expansion of Accessory Short Term Rentals

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

February 18, 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:  Ross Caron, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4268

On February 13, 2015 the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) started implementing changes to the Portland Zoning Code allowing residents of apartments and condos to operate Accessory Short Term Rental (ASTR) from their home through the ASTR permitting process.  ASTR are allowed through the permitting process when a resident rents out up to two rooms in their home for less than 30 days.  ASTR operations in a house were allowed beginning August 30, 2014.  City Council approved the expansion of ASTR permitting to apartments and condos on January 14, 2015.  ASTR permits are required in order to operate short-term rentals within the City of Portland.  Information on the permitting of short-term rentals can be found on BDS’s website at: www.portlandoregon.gov/bds.

“Expanding Accessory Short Term Rental permits to residents of apartments and condo will allow more people in Portland to benefit from the sharing economy” said Commissioner Fritz, who oversees the Bureau of Development Services.  Bureau Director, Paul Scarlett adds “The same rules and processes that apply to permitting an Accessory Short Term Rental in a house now apply to the broader community of residents who live in apartments and condos.”

To find information on the regulations, permitting process, permit applications and FAQs, please see our Service Level Update or visit the BDS Accessory Short Term Rental webpage.  For more information contact the Bureau of Development Services Public Information Officer, Ross Caron at 503-823-4268 or Ross.Caron@portlandoregon.gov.

New Seismic Peer Review RFP and Fees

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

On December 17, 2014 the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) issued a request for proposal (RFP) to contract with qualified engineering teams to provide Peer Review Services for building submittals utilizing Performance Based Design methodology. Peer Reviews are required when a developer and their design team propose a building that utilizes Performance Based Design to create a unique Lateral Force Resisting System to meet seismic requirements. Rather than follow the prescriptive design options specified in the Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC), Performance Based Design uses analyses such as computer modeling to demonstrate that the building will meet or exceed the structural requirements of the building code. The Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) requires that buildings designed using Performance Based Design methods undergo peer review by a qualified team of engineering professionals who are not part of the building design team. Peer reviews are also required for designs that utilize analysis methods that include non-linear time history analysis for seismic designs, when structures are designed to be base isolated for lateral forces, or when viscous dampers are used as part of the lateral load resisting system. The Peer reviewers test design assumptions to ensure that the proposed design provides structural performance that equals or exceeds that required by the Oregon Structural Specialty Code.

The Performance Based Design approach is typically used for high rise buildings exceeding 240 feet in height that are constructed with concrete core walls, but other performance based design solutions can trigger Peer Review. By moving away from the prescriptive code requirements and using Performance Based Design to resolve the seismic issues for tall buildings, the developer and contractor believe they realize savings in time and materials while achieving seismic resistance that meets or exceeds the requirements of the OSSC. Through this RFP, the Bureau will recruit up to three qualified engineering teams to perform Peer Reviews on an as-needed basis, including a high rise project that is proposed to begin design work as early as February 2015. Other west coast cities such as Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles have contracted with Peer Review teams since 2008 to supplement their plan staff for projects using Performance Based design. BDS expects Performance Based Design and other design approaches that require peer reviews by OSSC to slowly increase over the next several years in Portland as well.

To recover the costs associated with Peer Review services, the Bureau is proposing a Peer Review Fee. This fee is anticipated to cover the actual cost of the Peer Review for each project, plus an additional 3% project management fee to cover the time BDS employees spend working with peer reviewers and insuring contract compliance. The City Council hearing on the Peer Review Fee Ordinance is scheduled for January 28, 2015 at 9:45 A.M.

It is important to note that BDS anticipates only one to three projects over the next 5 years to request this service. The use of Performance Based Design and other alternative design methods is completely voluntary on the part of the developer, and only those few projects will be subject to the Peer Review fee. The vast majority of work reviewed by BDS, such as single family construction and most commercial construction, will not utilize performance based design or be subject to the required Peer Review, and therefore will not be impacted by the fee.

The Peer Review RFP and Fee will allow BDS to meet its obligation under the OSSC to approve alternative design methods that provide strength and safety equivalent to that provided by prescriptive provisions of the code. It also allows BDS to maintain a strong commitment to provide excellent programs and services while operating in a fiscally responsible manner.

For Questions or further information, please contact Amit Kumar at 503-823-7561 or Amit.Kumar@portlandoregon.gov

Proposed Revisions to Title 24.85 "Seismic Design Requirements for Existing Buildings"

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services

The Bureau of Development Services, City of Portland, is interested in getting your feedback to the proposed changes. Please email your comments to amit.kumar@portlandoregon.gov. Please provide feedback by December 31, 2014. 

Title 24.85 was first adopted in 1995 and then revised in 2004. It deals with regulations for the seismic design of existing buildings. It identifies thresholds of when existing buildings are required to be evaluated and upgraded for seismic resistance. 

Since its revision in 2004, ASCE 31 the code referenced by Title 24.85, has been replaced by ASCE 41-13 which combines the old ASCE 31-03 and ASCE 41-06. The proposed revision to Title 24.85 seeks to update the Title to reference the new code ASCE 41-13 since the old reference code is obsolete. In general the proposed revisions do not alter the intent or the philosophy of the current Title 24.85. The proposed revisions would adopt ASCE 41-13 as the evaluation and upgrade standard in its entirety. The only exception is in the definition of BSE-1E and BSE-2E where the following change is proposed. 

 “…… the design spectral response acceleration parameters Sxs and Sx1 for BSE-1E seismic hazard level shall not be taken as less than 75 percent of the respective design spectra response acceleration parameters obtained from BSE- 1N seismic hazard level and need not be greater than BSE-2N at a site.”   AND

“….that the design spectral response acceleration parameters Sxs and Sx1 for BSE-2E seismic hazard level shall not be taken as less than 75 percent of the respective design spectra response acceleration parameters obtained from BSE- 2N seismic hazard level and may not be greater than BSE-2N at a site.”

Starting with UCBC and then with IEBC and ASCE 31, existing buildings were provided some leniency when they were evaluated and modifications designed to lower force levels than that required for new buildings. Typically existing buildings are evaluated and designed for 25% lower force levels than that required for new buildings. The new ASCE 41-13 has approached this issue from a different angle  by evaluating and designing existing buildings using ground motions associated with more frequent earthquake. For example, where a new building is designed for collapse prevention performance level in a maximum credible earthquake with a 2% probability of exceedance in 50 yrs or return period of 2475 years, existing buildings are evaluated and designed for ground motions associated with an earthquake with a 5% probability of exceedance in 50 years or a return period of 975 years, for the same performance level.

In the Portland metro area analysis has shown that this results in design force levels that are about 52% to 65% of the design loads for new buildings. We believe this to be unconservative. In keeping with past precedent and the general desire not to make substantial changes to the intent of the existing Title 24.85, the proposed changes would limit the design and evaluation of existing buildings to 75% of the design values for which new buildings are required to be designed. 

The second proposed change is to add a definition of Occupant Load and how it is to be calculated. Occupant load calculations in Title 24.85 are used to determine if more than 149 people are added when a change of occupancy or use is proposed. This number triggers requirements for seismic upgrades. Applicants have been applying the provision of the code inconsistently by proposing occupant loads based on what they believe is the actual use in the building using the exception in section 1004.1.2 of the 2014 Oregon Structural Specialty Code. This has led to inconsistent occupant load calculations and application of Title 24.85. The proposed definition clarifies that occupant loads are to be calculated using the occupant load factors tabulated in OSSC thus providing the user a consistent and clear method to determine the occupant loads.

Other revisions provide definitions to terms used in ASCE 41-13 and Title 24.85 like BSE-1N, BSE-1E, BOPN, BPOE etc. 

No other major revisions are proposed. 

Attached is the revised proposal. The Bureau of Development Services, City of Portland, is interested in getting your feedback to the proposed changes. Please email your comments to amit.kumar@portlandoregon.gov. Please provide feedback by December 31, 2014.

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.

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