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The public works bureaus transition to new business practices and public works permitting procedures


Lunch & Learn - Public Works Permitting ProcessOn April 16, 2009, Council directed the public works bureaus and the Bureau of Development Services to plan and implement a comprehensive set of improvements to Portland’s development review and permitting services. An interagency team of public works and development bureaus, representatives of the Development Review Advisory Council and a focus group of development professionals and stakeholders spent the next 8 months refining many aspects of the public works permitting process.

As part of the new process, public works review staff from the Water Bureau, Transportation Bureau, and Environmental Services relocated to the 1900 Building in early December. Combining Public Works Permit review, process management, and related land use staff in one location is intended to bring efficiencies to both the City’s public works permitting and land use review functions.

January started the rollout of several new practices and procedures for the review of Public Works Permits, including:

  • Reduced turnaround times
  • Predictable fees
  • A revised appeals process patterned after BDS building code appeals
  • Project-specific portion of Conflict Resolution

This is a new process for both staff and applicants. Trainings are being scheduled throughout February and March for frontline staff, review groups, applicants, and other users. The first public training is a Lunch and Learn session scheduled for February 12 (See Public Works Permitting Process - Lunch & Learn Flyer), to be repeated February 23 and March 16.

The Public Works website is continually being updated with informational handouts, fee information, applications, and checklists for the revised procedures as they become available. All public works permits submitted after January 1, 2010 will be reviewed using the updated process.


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