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Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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System Development Charges (SDCs)

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. System Development Charges can add up when the use of a space is changed to drinking/dining. Systems Development Charges are paid at the time that a development permit (also known as a building permit) is issued. Building owners, but not tenants, can finance the SDCs through the city.

BDS has pulled together information on all the SDCs online. From there, you can also jump to more specific information on each bureau's individual website.

The Transportation SDC is charged on a per square foot of use basis, when the proposed use is seen as creating more transportation trips than the previous use of the space. Changing between office and retail uses will generally trigger a charge, depending on the specific nature of the office or retail use. See online rate tables or you can call Transportation at (503) 823-7002 for more information on how SDCs could be charged for your particular project.

The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) charges a Sanitary SDC 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.). Call BES at (503) 823-7761 for more information.

For the Water Bureau, any SDC is based on the size of meter installed. If your new project will include the addition of plumbing fixtures, a larger meter size may be required and an SDC charged. Water lines required for sprinkler systems are exempt from SDC fees. Portland Water Bureau staff is available to answer your SDC questions at (503) 823-7368 or find information online.