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Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

Email: bds@portlandoregon.gov

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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BDS Service Level Updates


Current BDS Service Levels

Growth in the construction industry has outpaced the City’s ability to keep up with related workload and meet many of its goals for timely service delivery.

CUSTOMER & COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION

SERVICE LEVEL UPDATE
August 26, 2016

Contact: Ross Caron, BDS Public Information Officer, (503) 823-4268
 

Current BDS Service Levels

Growth in the construction industry has outpaced the City’s ability to keep up with related workload and meet many of its goals for timely service delivery. During the period of July 2015 through June 2016, the permit applications received and permits issued increased by approximately 15% over the previous period of time. Since January, 2016 the permit center has had an average of 4,300 visitors per month and the zoning hotline received an average 1,000 calls per month. To address the increased workload, the Bureau of Development Services, and the other development review bureaus, are hiring additional employees. To provide context, the Bureau of Development Services has hired 72 employees since July 1, 2015. We appreciate your patience as we bring on new employees and train them and apologize for any impacts you may be experiencing to your projects or business caused by delays in our service delivery.
 
Please take the following Current Service Level timelines into consideration as you prepare your project’s schedule.

Service Goal Current Service Level (average)
Permit Center
Wait Times in Development Service Center (DSC) Less than 60 minutes 1 - 2 hours
Phone Inquiries
Returning calls to Zoning Hotline 24 hours 24 hours
Returning calls to Plan Review/ Permitting Hotlines 24 hours 24 - 48 hours
Early Assistance and Pre-Applications
Early Assistance Appointments 14 calendar days 21 calendar days
Pre-Application Conferences 21 calendar days 26 calendar days
Land Use Reviews
Land Use Reviews (Type I) - Contact applicant regarding completeness 14 calendar days Approx. 25 calendar days
Land Use Reviews (Type Ix) - Contact applicant regarding completeness 21 calendar days Approx. 25 calendar days
Land Use Reviews (Type II) - Contact applicant regarding completeness 14 calendar days Approx. 20 calendar days
Land Use Reviews (Type III) - Contact applicant regarding completeness 21 calendar days Approx. 26 calendar days
Building Permit Plan Review and Pre-Issuance
Commercial New Construction - plan review comments (1st checksheet) 20 business days Approx. 35 business days
Residential New Construction - plan review comments (1st checksheet) 15 business days Approx. 25 business days
Checksheet Corrections Received Reviews 5 business days Approx. 20 days
Permit Preissuance 2 business days Approx. 15 business days
Inspections
Inspections - Residential 90-95% within 24 hours 83% within 24 hours
Inspections - Commercial 90-95% within 24 hours 71% within 24 hours
Enforcement Services
Construction Code Complaints - Initial Inspection 3-5 business days 15 business days
Housing Complaints - Initial Inspection 3-5 business days 10-15 business days
Zoning & Nuisance Complaints - Initial Inspection 3-5 business days 15-20 business days

Note: Approximately 80% of residential and 50% of commercial remodels, additions and simple permits, continue to be issued over-the-counter on the same day.

Solutions: In addition to hiring and training more staff, the Bureau is utilizing contract workers, receiving assistance from other government agencies, and working overtime, as well as streamlining the permitting and development review processes where possible. We expect to see improvements to service levels within the next two or three months.

The submittal of complete and code compliant permit and land use review applications can help reduce review timelines for projects. The following resources may be helpful:

BDS recognizes and appreciates our business and community partners’ reliance on the services and resources we provide. For more information about Permitting Services, contact: Kareen Perkins, at Kareen.Perkins@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-3622. For more information about Land Use Services, contact: Ross Jonak at Ross.Jonak@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0625.

To learn more about the Bureau of Development Services, visit us online at www.portlandoregon.gov/bds.
 

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Required Seismic Certification and Special Inspections for Nonstructural Components and Designated Seismic Systems Effective July 1, 2017

Effective July 1, 2017 the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) will start implementing the provisions of the 2014 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) section 1705.11.4 requiring special inspections of designated seismic systems and section 1705.12.3 requiring seismic certification of certain nonstructural components for structures designated as Risk Category III or IV.

BDS Header

SERVICE LEVEL UPDATE
July 27, 2016

Contact: Ross Caron, BDS Public Information Officer, (503) 823-4268  

Required Seismic Certification and Special Inspections for Nonstructural Components and Designated Seismic Systems Effective July 1, 2017

Effective July 1, 2017, the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) will start implementing the provisions of the 2014 Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC) section 1705.11.4 requiring special inspections of designated seismic systems and section 1705.12.3 requiring seismic certification of certain nonstructural components for structures designated as Risk Category III or IV.

Background: After a major earthquake, building systems often sustain more damage than the structure itself. Some of these systems are necessary for the building to function after an earthquake, such as key electrical, plumbing, fire and mechanical (gas, heating, ventilating) systems. It is particularly important to ensure the following types of buildings remain functional and allow for the continued operation of the building after an earthquake: buildings that represent a substantial hazard to human life such as high occupancy public assemblies; schools; water and waste treatment facilities; public utility facilities and facilities with large quantities of toxic and explosive materials; buildings that are designated as essential facilities such as hospitals and first responder facilities; designated emergency operation centers: designated emergency shelters: water storage facilities: and water pump structures needed to maintain water pressure for fire suppression. 

As part of the City’s overall disaster and earthquake resiliency plan, BDS recommends using the Office of Health Planning and Development (State of California) procedures as the model for seismic certification of nonstructural components. Certification requirements will be applicable only to Essential Facilities and High Occupancy Structures (Risk Category III and IV per the 2014 OSSC Table 1604.5). 

BDS will require seismic certification and special inspections only for new construction or on existing buildings when the system is upgraded, equipment is replaced, or a Change of Occupancy occurs whereby the building is reclassified to a Risk Category III or IV.  

BDS is developing a Code Guide with additional information on this topic that will be circulated to stakeholder groups in the near future for review and comment. 

Contact Information:  

Amit Kumar, Senior Engineer, at Amit.Kumar@portlandoregon.gov or at 503-823-7561, or
Fred Deis, Section Manager, at Fred.Deis@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-7543.

Holiday Closure Monday, July 4, 2016: Observance of Independence Day

Recognizing our business and community partners’ reliance on the services and resources we provide, the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) is providing advance notice of an upcoming Holiday closure.

BDS Service Level Update

SERVICE LEVEL UPDATE
June 24, 2016   

Holiday Closure Monday, July 4, 2016: Observance of Independence Day

 

Holiday Closure: Monday, July 4, 2016 in Observance of Independence Day

Recognizing our business and community partners’ reliance on the services and resources we provide, the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) is providing advance notice of an upcoming Holiday closure.

All Bureau of Development Services Offices will be closed on Monday, July 4, 2016 in Observance of Independence Day.

Access to BDS Permits Online for simple residential trade permits (electrical, mechanical, and plumbing) will be available through our website. http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/42781.

City of Portland Development Related Fees Annual Changes on July 1, 2016

As generally occurs each year during the budget process City Council reviews requested fee changes. This year Council approved updates to building permit fees, system development charges, and other development-related fees, all to be effective July 1, 2016.

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SERVICE LEVEL UPDATE
June 22, 2016

Contact: Ross Caron, BDS Public Information Officer, (503) 823-4268  

City of Portland Development Related Fees Annual Changes on July 1, 2016

As generally occurs each year during the budget process City Council reviews requested fee changes. This year Council approved updates to building permit fees, system development charges, and other development-related fees, all to be effective July 1, 2016.

The Bureau of Development Services (BDS) collects fees under various fee schedules to fund Bureau operations including inspections, plan review, permit issuance, land use review, customer assistance meetings, and other functions. Since 1988, construction-related programs operating at BDS (approximately 95% of bureau budget) have been primarily self-supporting. BDS is committed to keeping fees as low as possible while still meeting cost recovery goals and supporting staff levels sufficient to meet customers’ needs.  

This commitment, coupled with significantly improved permit revenues over the last few years, is enabling the Bureau to reduce building and site development permit fees by 3% for all projects over $500 in valuation. However, the Environmental Soils fee will increase by 10% as the last of a multi-year agreement correcting a significant historical funding issue in that program.

BDS worked with the Fees & Regulations Subcommittee of the Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) to determine which fees could be reduced, and to what extent. Factors considered included:

  • Forecasted BDS expenditures and personnel growth
  • Current and future economic conditions
  • Revenue projections
  • Current financial positions of individual programs.

**NOTE: Many development fees, including System Development Charges (SDCs), charged by other City of Portland bureaus including Parks & Recreation, Environmental Services, Transportation, and Water will be changing on July 1, 2016. See the System Development Charges website for how to contact those bureaus for more information.

The BDS fee schedules are available at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds. If you have questions about the Bureau of Development Services fee changes, please contact Deborah Sievert Morris, BDS Business Operations and Finance Services Manager, at (503) 823-7338 or deborah.sievertmorris@portlandoregon.gov.

To learn more about the Bureau of Development Services, visit us online at www.portlandoregon.gov/bds.

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Commercial Building Permit Completeness Checklist Requirement

The Bureau of Development Services is experiencing record-setting workloads. The checklist consolidates current submittal requirements, and organizes project information for ease of verification by applicants and reviewers.

BDS Service Level Update

SERVICE LEVEL UPDATE
June 21, 2016
 

Commercial Building Permit Completeness Checklist Requirement

 

The Bureau of Development Services is experiencing record-setting workloads. (See service level update from May 3rd, 2016.) In an effort to increase productivity and efficiency, the Life Safety Plan Review section is implementing a Completeness Checklist to be required with building permit applications for Commercial and Multifamily projects. This form will increase transparency for customers ready to submit for permit and will allow staff to quickly verify that plans are complete and ready to review.   

The checklist consolidates current submittal requirements, and organizes project information for ease of verification by applicants and reviewers. It does not increase the amount of information that is needed for a project. To learn more about submitting for a commercial building permit, please see https://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/36659

The Completeness Checklist for Commercial Projects is now available online at: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/article/571544. The form is required to be completed prior to meeting with a permit technician for application setup.   

Contact Information:
For more information Contact: Matt Rozzell, Life Safety Plan Review Manager, at Matthew.Rozzell@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-5097.