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Enforcement / Complaint Operational Changes and Priorities

City of Portland, Bureau of Development Services


Service Level Update: Neighborhood Inspections & Compliance Services Section

Enforcement /Complaint Operational Changes and Priorities

October 21, 2009. In order to maintain the highest possible service level with limited resources, the Compliance Services Section and the Neighborhood Inspections Section have combined to maximize available resources in order to respond to as many complaints as possible. The newly combined Neighborhood Inspections & Compliance Services Section will operate Zoning, Noise, Work without Permit, Dangerous Buildings, Signs & A-Boards, Nuisance, Housing, Derelict Buildings, Exterior Maintenance Requirements on non-Residential Structures and Chapter 13/Systematic Inspection enforcement programs. Due to a sharp reduction in inspection staff, it is also necessary to prioritize the various types of complaint investigation and enforcement cases that will continue to be performed. This will allow us to focus on the most critical areas of compliance work relative to fire, life safety, health, sanitation, environmental and neighborhood livability.


The following policy and procedure changes are effective October 5, 2009 until further notice:

  • Elimination of live phone coverage for the BDS Enforcement Hotline (503-823-CODE) for reporting complaints. The public is urged to file complaints online at, by clicking on the “Enforcement” tab and then clicking “Reporting Violations.”
  • Increased response time to investigate assigned cases and reduced reinspections and case management for active cases.
  • Elimination of Nuisance Abatements, except for the most severe Fire/Life/Safety and Health/Sanitation cases.
  • Reduction of violation cases referred to the Code Hearings Officer for additional enforcement remedies to gain compliance. 
  • Suspension of the Chapter 13/Systematic Inspection Program.


It is necessary to prioritize various enforcement/complaint types in order to effectively process the most critical cases with reduced resources. The Neighborhood Inspections & Compliance Services Section has developed a 3 category system to assign enforcement resources. Priority 1 is the most urgent cases and Neighborhood Inspections & Compliance Services will continue to respond to these situations. Priority 2 is less urgent and Neighborhood Inspections & Compliance Services will attempt to respond as resources allow. Priority 3 is a low priority and no enforcement/compliance action will be taken at this time. [Read full article]

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