This is an update concerning a recently passed City Council resolution and subsequently approved
ordinances regarding Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU). The ordinances have temporarily suspended
System Development Charges (SDC) for new ADUs. The goal of this action is to create incentives for
the development of ADUs.
The initial resolution directed all affected bureaus (Water, Parks and Recreation, Environmental Services
and Transportation) to implement the resolution by April 15, 2010. Please note that the Bureau of
Development Services is responsible for the development review process, but does not assess a SDC. All
other non-SDC development related fees are due at time of permit issuance. Questions about SDC’s
should be directed to the individual Bureaus (Water, Parks and Recreation, Environmental Services, and
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU) are defined by the Portland Zoning code as a second dwelling unit
created on a lot with a house, attached house or manufactured home. The second unit is created auxiliary
to, and is smaller than, the house, attached house (rowhouse) or manufactured house.
Here is a link to the resolution:
Proposals to build detached ADUs are reviewed through the New Single Family Review process. View
the application package and process at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/index.cfm?a=184903
Permits to convert existing living space to an accessory dwelling unit are applied for in the Development
Services Center, Tuesday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. View the Minimum Submittal
Requirements for an ADU at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/index.cfm?a=92698
The Bureau of Development Services has a Program Guide available that explains what constitutes an
Accessory Dwelling Unit and how to permit one on your property. View the program guide at
To review a general summary of System Development Charge information you can visit at
http://www.portlandoregon.gov/bds/index.cfm?a=166412. Please note that SDC fees are typically
revised every July 1.
If you have process related questions or concerns, please contact Kareen Perkins, Permitting Services and
Resource Records Manager, at (503) 823-3622.
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