System Development Charges (SDCs) are one-time fees charged to help pay for the facilities (such as street and sewer systems) required to meet growth-related needs for the city. Systems Development Charges are collected by the Bureau of Environmental Services, the Portland Office of Transportation, the Bureau of Parks and Recreation and the Bureau of Water Works. SDCs are paid at the time that a development permit (also known as a building permit) is issued.
A project that changes the use of a space that is in a building larger than 3,000 square feet will often trigger a Transportation SDC. The charge kicks in where there is a presumed increase in vehicle trips, and it is charged on a per square foot basis.
The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) charges a Sanitary SDC for new dwelling units and for commercial projects whenever a development permit includes the addition of one or more new plumbing fixtures. (A new "fixture" is a sink, toilet, dishwasher, floor drain, etc.). A Stormwater SDC is charged where a project adds or redevelops impervious area on the site.
Water SDCs are charged when you need to increase the size of the water meter to meet the demands of the new use.
Parks charges an SDC only where the change of use project will add a new dwelling unit.