Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

TTY : 503-823-6868

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

Overview and Criteria for Demolition Delay and Notification


The term “Demolition Delay” refers to the process described in Portland City Code Chapter 24.55 for situations in which an application for a permit to demolish a residential primary structure on a property in a residential zone has been submitted to the Bureau of Development Services. When Demolition Delay applies, the proposed demolition work cannot begin until after the waiting period has lapsed. Please note that separate demolition delay processes and requirements apply to historic structures that are subject to the Zoning Code sections 33.445.800 – 33.445.810 and 33.846.080. These requirements are in addition to the Demolition Delay provisions of section 24.55.200.

Demolition Delay is not required for all residential demolitions. Staff in the Development Services Center review each application for multiple criteria to see if Demolition Delay applies. Some common instances where the Demolition Delay is NOT required include:

  • When an applicant concurrently applies for ONE and only one replacement detached single family residence on the same tax lot where the residential unit/structure will be demolished. An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) can also be part of this application (see the BDS ADU webpage for more information on what constitutes an ADU);
  • When the demolition is for any building in a commercial zone;
  • If an applicant decides to move the structure instead of demolishing it. The demolition delay period is automatically terminated when a building permit to move the residential primary structure onto a different lot AND a building permit to relocate it are issued;
  • If the demolition is for any accessory structures (such as garages and sheds).

When Demolition Delay applies, BDS and the contractor must perform the following notifications:

  • BDS Permitting Services staff will send written notification to the Portland Development Commission, relevant neighborhood associations and the neighborhood coalition in whose boundaries the demolition is proposed.
  • The permit applicant is required to post a “Notice of Intent to Demolish” on the property (provided by BDS to the applicant) within 7 days of applying for the demolition permit, and leave the sign up for a minimum of 30 days. (A possible 120 day extension may be granted upon request by a recognized organization whose boundaries include the site; if such extension is granted, the notice must remain on the site for the duration of the delay period.)

When a residential primary structure is being demolished and there is no required waiting period, BDS has worked with the construction industry to create a courtesy notification that will be given to the applicant to place on the properties adjacent to the demolition site. The courtesy notice is a “door hanger” that alerts these properties of the impending demolition. 

To determine whether demolition delay may apply, see the Demolition Delay Chart.

Criteria for Demolition Delay and Notification

The criteria for determining whether demolition delay is required are as follows:

  • The property currently has a residential dwelling and is on a site with a residential Comprehensive Plan Map designation; and:
    • The entire residential dwelling is being removed without a simultaneous application for a new residential dwelling; or
    • The residential dwelling will be replaced with more than one residential dwelling.

If the residential dwelling is a historic or conservation landmark, or if it is located in a historic resource overlay zone, separate demolition delay process and requirements apply. See Zoning Code sections 33.445.800 – 33.445.810 and 33.846.080. These requirements are in addition to the demolition delay provisions outlined above. See City Code section 24.55.200.”