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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

Frequently Asked Questions

Table of Contents

(Printable Version)

What fees are NOT included in the Online Fee Estimator?

Your Online Fee Estimate may not represent all the fees that will be charged during the review of your building permit application.  Additional permits and/or fees may be required.  Some of these permits/fees are dependant upon a specific property location—you will not choose a property with your online estimate. The following fees are not included in the Online Fee Estimator:

  • Fees for land use reviews such as lot adjustments, land divisions, historic community design standard reviews, or site specific review fees in overlay zones
  • Early assistance, process management, and/or specialized meeting fees
  • Separate Site Development, Sanitation, Development Review, and Zoning Permits
  • Move and Demolition permits
  • Fees for activities in the public right of way, such as street improvements, right of way encroachments, public works permits, and street use fees
  • Water meter or water main installation fees
  • Portland Fire and Rescue fees for commercial sprinkler, standpipe, hydrant and alarm permits
  • Deferred submittal permits, permit revisions, or phased permitting
  • Appeal fees
  • Erosion Control fees for parcels larger than one acre
  • Change of Occupancy fees
  • Plan Review fees for Trade Permits (Plumbing, Electrical, and Mechanical permits.)
  • Site-Specific Fees such as those in special districts (such as unincorporated Multnomah County, Columbia South Shore, and Multnomah County Drainage District)
  • Site-Specific Fees related to pre-existing conditions requiring correction (such as party sewers, penalty, or violation fees)

When is the Online Fee Estimator available?

The Online Fee Estimator is generally available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Like any other website, there is an occasional need for maintenance. We try to schedule maintenance on Saturdays between 7 a.m. and noon. If other non-routine maintenance is required, we will post a message at the top of the BDS Fee Estimator webpage. We recommend you bookmark this page.


How do I access the Online Fee Estimator?

To access the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services online permitting system use the BDS web address: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds  and choose the Quick Link, from the list on the left side of the page: Online Fee Estimator. The new Online Fee Estimator requires you to have a unique PortlandOnline (POL) account. A PortlandOnline account is free and protected by the City's Privacy Policy.


Why do I need a PortlandOnline Account to use the Online Fee Estimator?

When you have a unique PortlandOnline account, the estimates you generate in the Online Fee Estimator will be listed in your own page called “My Estimates” when you log in.  Your estimates can be viewed, printed, modified, or saved in progress since they are tied to your POL account.


How long will my estimates be available to me online?

Your Fee Estimates will be available via your PortlandOnline account and retained in our system for 90 days, then deleted. We will also delete any stored estimates when we have fee changes which would render the estimate out of date. Fees are typically updated each year on July 1. You can also delete them yourself if you choose, by clicking on the “Delete” option next to your estimate on the My Estimates page.


How accurate will my estimate be using the Online Fee Estimator?

The Online Fee Estimator runs the same permitting software used to issue building permits and can be highly accurate, based on the project information you enter on each screen. All estimated fees are rounded up to the nearest $10. The more accurate you are in entering the correct project information, the more accurate your estimate will be. Please use the TIPS section on each page to help you make the best choices to accurately reflect the unique features of your project. Please remember that your actual permit and review fees may be higher or lower than estimated, based on project location, scope, and complexity.


What online help is available in the Online Fee Estimator?

Throughout the Online Fee Estimator you’ll see lots of information on fees designed to help you get the best estimate possible.  These features are outlined below.

  • TIPS: On each page of the Online Fee Estimator, you will find a TIPS section below the numerical entry fields. These TIPS provide helpful hints on how to complete each item. 
  • Online Links: You can click online links to maps and more detailed information that will open in another browser tab or window so you don’t have to leave the Online Fee Estimator to learn more.
  • Overview Pages: For Systems Development Charges and Trade Permits have links and information containing telephone contacts, application forms, and program information on these fees and permits.
  • BDS Fee Schedules: Click here for a link to the Bureau of Development Services Fee Schedules and Tables page online. It lists all the fees charged by BDS and directed by the State of Oregon for development activity in the City of Portland.

Do you have Questions, Comments, or Feedback about the Online Fee Estimator?

  • We hope the Online Fee Estimator is a powerful and useful tool for all our customers. If you would like to share any helpful comments about the Online Fee Estimator, please Email your Feedback to us! 

What is the Bureau of Development Services Online Fee Estimator?

The Online Fee Estimator is a collaboration of all the City’s development bureaus who charge fees for their services involved in development activity in the City of Portland:

  • Bureau of Development Services (BDS)
  • Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)
  • Portland Water Bureau
  • Bureau of Environmental Services (BES)
  • Parks and Recreation (Urban Forestry)
  • Portland Fire and Rescue

What fees ARE included in the Online Fee Estimator?

The Online Fee Estimator will provide an estimated amount for the typical permit fees required to obtain a commercial or residential building permit based on the project information you enter. It includes estimates for:

  • Building permit fees (residential or commercial)
  • Review fees associated with the building permit
  • System Development Charges (SDCs)
  • Trade Permit fees (electrical, plumbing, and mechanical work)

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