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City of Portland

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Chapter 27.02 Organization and Enforcement


27.02.010 General.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 150873, 176955 and 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)  The Director of the Bureau of Development Services is hereby authorized and directed to enforce all the provisions of this Title.  

A.  Appointees.  The Director may appoint officers, inspectors, assistants, and other employees to perform any duty imposed by this Title.  Such appointees may, for the sake of this Title, hereafter be known as building officials, inspectors, or authorized representatives.

B.  Right of Entry.  Whenever necessary to make an inspection to enforce any of the provisions of this Title, or whenever the Director or authorized representative has reasonable cause to believe that there exists in any building or upon any premises any condition or Code violation which makes such building or premises unsafe, dangerous, or hazardous, or upon presentation of a lawfully issued warrant, the Director or authorized representative may enter such building or premises at all reasonable times to inspect the same or to perform any duty imposed upon the Director by this Title.  If such building or premises is occupied, the Director shall first present proper credentials and request entry; and if such building or premises is unoccupied, the Director shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other persons having charge or control of the building or premises and request entry.  If such entry is refused, the Director or authorized representative shall have recourse to every remedy provided by law to secure entry.    When the Director or authorized representative has first obtained a lawfully issued warrant or other remedy provided by law to secure entry, no owner or occupant or any other persons having charge, care, or control of any building or premises shall fail or neglect, after proper request is made, to promptly allow the Director or authorized representative to enter the building or premises for the purpose of inspection and examination pursuant to this Title.

C.  Stop Work Orders.  When it is necessary to obtain compliance with this Title, the Director may issue a stop work order requiring that all work, except work directly related to elimination of the violation, be immediately and completely stopped.  If the Director issues a stop work order, activity subject to the order may not be resumed until such time as the Director gives specific approval in writing.  The stop work order will be in writing, except when an emergency condition exists, the Director may issue a stop work order orally.  All stop work orders will conform to the requirements of City Code Section 3.30.080.  Any person subject to a stop work order may seek review of the order by the Director and may appeal the Director’s determination in accordance with City Code Section 3.30.080.

D.  Authority to Condemn Equipment.  Whenever the Director learns or ascertains that any equipment, as defined in this Title, has become hazardous to life, health, or property, a written order will be issued requiring that such equipment be restored to a condition of safety or be dismantled or removed from its present location.  The written notice shall fix a time limit for compliance with such order.  No person shall use or maintain the defective equipment after receiving such notice.


27.02.020 Violations and Penalties.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 171797 and 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)  It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to erect, install, alter, repair, relocate, add to, replace, use, or maintain heating, ventilating, comfort cooling, or refrigeration equipment in the City, or cause the same to be done contrary to or in violation of any of the provisions of this Title.  Maintenance of equipment which was unlawful at the time it was installed, and which would be unlawful under this Title if installed after the effective date of this Title, shall constitute a continuing violation of this Title.
In the event the property owner, permit holder or agent fails or neglects to carry out any requirement, or fails to correct any noted violation of this Title, the Director may gain compliance by any of the remedies outlined in Chapter 3.30 of the Code of the City of Portland.


27.02.030 Bureau of Development Services Administrative.

(Replaced by Ordinance No. 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)

A.  Appointment of Administrative Appeal Board.  The Bureau of Development Services Administrative Appeal Board consists of the Building Official and Bureau staff members appointed by the Director.  In appointing staff members the Director will consider the issues presented by the appeal, and what particular expertise will be helpful in addressing those issues.  The staff will act in an advisory capacity to the Building Official.  The Administrative Appeal Board may:

1.  review appeals of the Bureau’s application and interpretation of this Title and the State of Oregon specialty codes adopted in this Title (collectively referred to as the “Mechanical Code”);

2.  review requests for modifications to the strict application of the Mechanical Code; and

3.  review requests to use alternative materials, design or methods of construction and equipment.

B.  Appeals to the Administrative Appeal Board and Final Decisions.  Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Bureau related to the application and interpretation of the Mechanical Code or this Title or who wants to request a modification to the strict interpretation of the Mechanical Code or consideration of an alternative material, design or method of construction or equipment may file an appeal with the Administrative Appeal Board.  Such an appeal must be filed within 180 days of the Bureau decision being appealed; provided, however, the Mechanical Code in effect at the time the Bureau decision was made shall be applied to the administrative appeal.  The Administrative Appeal Board may:

1.  grant an appeal if the Administrative Appeal Board finds that the Mechanical Code was not correctly interpreted or applied;

2.  grant a modification to the application of the Mechanical Code where special individual reasons make application of the strict letter of the Mechanical Code impractical, the modification is in compliance with the intent and purpose of the Mechanical Code, and such modification does not lessen health, accessibility, life and fire safety or structural requirements of the structure; or

3.  approve an alternative material, design or method of construction and equipment if the Administrative Appeal Board finds that any such alternative complies with the intent of the Mechanical Code and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the Mechanical Code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, accessibility and safety.  The Administrative Appeal Board may not waive the requirements of the Mechanical Code.  The Administrative Appeal Board review will culminate in a final decision by the Building Official.  The Administrative Appeal Board meeting is not open to attendance by the appellant or the public.  The Bureau will provide final decisions to the appellant by publication of the decision on the Bureau’s website within 10 calendar days of the hearing, provided the Bureau has received all required information from the applicant.

C.  Reconsideration of Final Decisions and Appeals to the Mechanical Code Board of Appeal.  Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the Building Official made under Subsection B. above may either file a reconsideration of that decision within 180 days of the decision based on new or revised information or appeal the decision to the Mechanical Code Board of Appeal in accordance with Section 27.02.031 within 90 days of the final decision being appealed.  There is no additional fee for the first reconsideration of an Administrative Appeal Board decision or for an appeal to the Mechanical Code Board of Appeal.  The Mechanical Code in effect at the time of the final decision being reconsidered or appealed will be applied to the reconsideration or subsequent appeal to the Mechanical Code Board of Appeal.

D.  Fees for Appeals.  The fees for administrative appeals shall be as stated in the Fee Schedule adopted by the City Council.  The current approved Fee Schedule is available at the Development Services Center and on the Bureau’s website.


27.02.031 Mechanical Code Board of Appeals.

(Replaced by Ordinance No. 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)

A.  Appointment of Mechanical Code Appeal Board.  In order to hear appeals of final decisions of the Building Official made under Section 27.02.030, there has been created a Mechanical Code Board of Appeal, consisting of three members and three alternates appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council.

1.  Each member and alternate member must be qualified by experience and training to make decisions pertaining to the Mechanical Code and the safety of installations and apparatus regulated by this Title, including the design and installation of heating, ventilating, comfort cooling, refrigeration systems, incinerators and other miscellaneous heat-producing appliances. 

2.  Mechanical Code Board of Appeal appointments shall be for three-year terms.  Appeal Board members may serve no more than two complete 3-year terms, unless the Director recommends approval of a longer term, and the Mayor and City Council approve the extended appointment.  Vacancies occurring prior to the end of a term for whatever cause may be filled by qualified persons through appointment by the Mayor for the remainder of the term.

3.  Any member may be removed by the Mayor for incompetence, dereliction of duty, incapacity or other sufficient cause.

4.  Members of the Mechanical Code Appeal Board shall comply with the State ethics laws applicable to public officials.

5.  Members of the Mechanical Code Appeal Board shall serve in a voluntary capacity and without pay.

B.  Appeals to the Mechanical Code Board of Appeal.  The Mechanical Code Board of Appeal may review Administrative Appeal Board decisions or any other final decision of the Building Official or Director related to the application and interpretation of this Title or the Mechanical Code.  The Mechanical Code appeal will be limited to the facts and record reviewed by the Administrative Appeal Board, Building Official or Director related to the decision being appealed.  A hearing will be held within 45 days after an interested party submits a written appeal to the Mechanical Code Board of Appeal.  A panel of three Mechanical Code Appeal Board members will hear each appeal.  The Board may, by a majority vote, affirm, annul, or modify the decision.

C.  Powers and Limitations of Authority of the Mechanical Code Board of Appeal.  The Mechanical Code Board of Appeal may provide reasonable interpretations of the requirements of the Mechanical Code and may grant an appeal if the Board finds one of the following:

1.  the Building Official or Director did not correctly apply or interpret this Title or the Mechanical Code;

2.  special individual reasons make application of the strict letter of the Mechanical Code impractical, the modification is in compliance with the intent and purpose of the Mechanical Code, and such modification does not lessen health, accessibility, life and fire safety or structural requirements of the structure; or

3.  any alternative material, design or method of construction and equipment complies with the intent of the Mechanical Code and the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the Mechanical Code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, accessibility and safety.  The Mechanical Code Board of Appeal may not waive the requirements of the Mechanical Code.

Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the Mechanical Code Board of Appeal may, within 30 days after the date of the decision, appeal to the appropriate advisory board of the State of Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.