Drive-through businesses, including vending carts, are only allowed in certain zones and plan districts in the City of Portland.
The zoning code regulates where vehicle entrances can be located, as well as onsite maneuvering and circulation. There are specific landscaping requirements for drive-through facilities, depending on the zoning of the adjacent properties.
You can find the zoning code for drive-through business online, in Chapter 33.224.
If you are thinking about establishing a drive-through business, we suggest that you visit the Development Services Center (DSC) and speak with a planner. Or, or call the General Information line for Zoning at (503) 823-7526.
The DSC is on the ground floor of the building at 1900 SW 4th (4th and Harrison). We encourage you to get in to the DSC earlier in the day rather than later. The wait times get longer as the day goes by.
System Development Charges
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 paid at the time that a development permit (also known as a building permit) is issued.
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.
Drive-through businesses are charged a higher Transportation System Development Charge (SDC) than non auto-oriented businesses because they are presumed to produce more vehicle trips. For information on Transportation SDCs, and your particular project, call (503) 823-7002.