Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

Email: bds@portlandoregon.gov

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

Plan Review Process

When the proposed sign or awning has been determined to meet all requirements, fees are due and the permit or registration will be issued. Portable signs do not require a review process; application and fees should be submitted together.

  1. Submittal: Permit applications or registrations may be submitted to the Development Services Center by mail or in person. Permit applications may be submitted by mail or in person.
  2. Permit/Registration Review: BDS staff in the Development Services Center will check the proposed sign or awning for its consistency with the Sign Code standards applicable to the zoning and use of the proposed sign location. Development Services Center staff will also determine if additional reviews are needed for compliance with land use standards (example: adjustment review or design review) or additional structural standards. 
    • No additional review required. When the proposed sign or awning has been determined to meet all requirements and no additional review is required, fees are due and the permit or registration will be issued. 
    • Additional Review Required. When the proposal requires a land use review or structural review, these reviews must be completed before the permit will be issued.  Please allow additional time for these reviews.
      • Land Use Review: If a land use sign standard is not met, land use review of the proposed sign or awning may be required prior to approval and issuance of a sign permit. These reviews apply only to the standards contained in Chapters 32.30 through 32.38. Not all standards are adjustable. Signs and awnings may be subject to design review, sign adjustment, special plan district standards or other regulations based on the zoning of the site. A special review may be required to determine the “grand-fathered” rights of any existing signs on the site that do not meet the land use sign standards. Land use review fees must be paid when the land use review application is submitted.
        If the proposal receives an approved land use review, the applicant records the decision with the County recorder and forwards a copy along with the sign permit application and plans to the Development Services Center. BDS Land Use Review staff in the Development Services Center will then review the sign permit application for compliance with the land use review decision.
      • Structural Review: When structural review is required, Development Services Center staff will forward the permit application package to Plan Review for review. When the structural review is complete and the proposal approved, DSC staff will notify the applicant. Structural Review is required for: 
        (a) All awnings;
        (b) Signs projecting from or above buildings;
        (c) All freestanding signs;
        (d) Any wall sign that is over 400 lbs or over 7 lbs per square foot. Any wall sign that is not completely flush mounted-this includes signs on raceways;
        (e) Where structural designs and calculations are not pre-approved by BDS; or
        (f) Structural alterations to existing signs unless the alteration results in an expansion which is less than 10% of the existing sign size.

        A structural engineer will check the structural design for compliance with the Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC). All exterior signs must be able to resist the minimum wind loads and snow loads as required by the OSSC. All signs must be able to resist minimum vertical (dead and seismic) loads as required by OSSC.

3. Permit Issuance: The permit will be issued when all reviews are complete, the proposed sign is approved, and fees are paid.