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Chapter 28.03 Administration and Enforcement


28.03.010 Responsibility.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 176955, 181437 and 183597, effective April 9, 2010.)  The Director shall administer and enforce the provisions of Title 28 except that the Harbor Master shall have the responsibility for the initial and periodic inspection of existing moorages as well as the permitting, testing and inspection of standpipes.  In the event that the Harbor Master determines a violation of Title 28 has occurred at a moorage within the jurisdiction of the Harbor Master, such violation shall be reported to the Director who will then have the enforcement authority thereof.  The Director may authorize the Harbor Master to enforce the provisions of Title 28 on behalf of the Director.  The Director may render interpretations of Title 28 and adopt policies and procedures in conformance with the intent and purpose of this Title.  The Director shall seek the advice and opinions of members of the River Community as represented by the River Community Advisory Committee during this process, but the Director shall have the final authority for rendering interpretations and adopting policies and procedures.

The State of Oregon Marine Board shall have responsibility for issuance of a certificate of title and identifying number plate for floating homes, combo-structures and boathouses.   Issuance by the State of a title and identifying number plate does not certify that a floating home, combo-structure or boathouse is in compliance with the provisions of Title 28 or any other construction standard.  Owners of floating structures are responsible for displaying the required identifying number plate on the floating structure, so that the plate is readily visible from the walkway providing access to the structure.

Nothing in this Title is intended to displace or conflict with any other applicable federal or state statute, rule or regulation nor grant any exemptions from such federal or state regulations.


28.03.015 River Community Advisory Committee.

(Added by Ordinance No. 181437; amended by Ordinance Nos. 183597 and 187664, effective May 6, 2016.)

A.  Purpose.  The River Community Advisory Committee is a citizen advisory body, representing those persons who own and/or occupy floating structures and/or boats, who operate and maintain marinas and moorages or who are involved in the design, construction, maintenance and/or regulation of floating structures.  The purpose of the Committee is to obtain timely input from that community in regard to development of procedures and administrative guidelines for implementing the City’s regulations of floating structures under Title 28.  The Committee advocates for and supports consistent and fair application and implementation of these regulations.  The Committee will provide public input to the Director by:

1.  Providing leadership and expertise on issues affecting floating structures;

2.  Providing feedback to the Director on the impact of potential regulations and administrative rules on floating structures, taking into consideration the full range of City goals and objectives;

3.  Providing recommendations for regulatory, code, and administrative rule changes affecting floating structures;

4.  Monitoring the application and enforcement of regulations for their effectiveness in achieving the City’s goals;

5.  Recommending customer service, permitting, process, and compliance improvements to the Director; and,

6.  Serving as an advisory board to the Director on processes and procedures under Title 28.

B.  Membership.  The River Community Advisory Committee shall consist of six members each appointed by the Mayor, and approved by the City Council.  The members shall be selected to provide representation of those persons with knowledge or expertise on the unique construction conditions or the nautical history and traditions associated with floating structures.  Members shall include representatives from any of the following categories: floating home resident, marina operator, floating structures contractor, floating structures design professional, yacht club member, and on the water business owner.

C.  Appointments and Terms.  Appointment to the River Community Advisory Committee shall be for a three-year term.  If a position is vacated during a term, it shall be filled for the unexpired term.  Members of the River Community Advisory Committee shall serve no more than two, complete three-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.

D.  Meetings, Officers, and Subcommittees.

1.  The River Community Advisory Committee shall meet at least five times yearly and as otherwise necessary to conduct its business.  Meetings shall be conducted in accordance with adopted rules of procedure.  Four members shall constitute a quorum.  A quorum shall be necessary to make decisions that represent the position of the River Community Advisory Committee and to conduct any other Committee responsibilities.  The election of officers shall take place at the first meeting of each calendar year.

2.  The officers of the Committee shall consist of a Chairperson and a Vice-chairperson.  The chairperson shall be responsible for conducting the meetings of the committee.  The Vice chairperson shall act as chair when the chairperson is not available.

3.  The River Community Advisory Committee may divide its members into subcommittees which are authorized to act on behalf of the committee for an assigned purpose.  Subcommittee actions require the affirmative vote of at least three members.

E.  Attendance.  Members of the River Community Advisory Committee are expected to attend each meeting of the committee.  The Mayor may replace any member who accrues unexcused absences from three or more consecutive meetings or more than 50 percent (50%) of the meetings in any year.

F.  Compensation.  River Community Advisory Committee members shall serve without compensation.


28.03.020 Permits and Inspections.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 181437, 183597 and 187664, effective May 6, 2016.)  It shall be unlawful for any person to erect, construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, improve, or convert any structure regulated by Title 28, except as provided for in Title 28, or cause the same to be done without first obtaining a separate permit for each structure from the building official as required by Title 28.

Exemption from the permit requirements of Title 28 shall not authorize any person to do work in any manner in violation of the provisions of Title 28 or any other rules or regulations of the City of Portland, the State of Oregon, or the Federal government.

Unless otherwise exempted, separate plumbing, electrical and mechanical permits are required for any such work performed for floating structures regulated under Title 28.

A.  Permits and inspections shall be required for the following:

1.  The new construction of floating homes, tender house structures, boathouses or combo structures, except as may otherwise be exempted elsewhere in Title 28.

2.  The construction of:

a.  A new deck, walk, or porch not previously a part of a floating structure; or

b.  An addition of habitable space for a floating home or combo-structure; or

c.  An extension of an existing deck, walk, porch or the float for a floating home, or combo-structure.

EXCEPTION:  A one time extension of not more than five percent (5%) in area or eight (8) inches in width or length, whichever is less, to the area of an existing deck, walk, porch or the float for a floating home or combo-structure shall be allowed without permit provided such extension does not cause an unbalanced or overloaded condition and provided such extension does not reduce the separation between floating structures below that is allowed by Title 28.  As-built plans for such additions shall be provided to the Director upon completion of the work to allow for updating of permit information.

3.  Alteration to or reconstruction of any element of a floating home, boathouse or combo-structure except as exempted by Section 28.03.020 C.

4.  Existing or new floating homes, boathouses, combo structures or commercial structures moved from a site outside the City to a mooring site within the City of Portland.

5.  Existing or new floating homes, combo-structures or commercial structures relocated from one mooring site to another mooring site either in the same moorage or to a separate moorage within the City of Portland.

6.  The new construction, addition, alteration, reconstruction, or improvement of public and private floating structures.

7.  Any new and/or alteration to any electrical, plumbing, heating/air conditioning installation on a floating structure, including wood stoves.

Exception:  As provided in the Specialty Codes, minor repairs and maintenance of electrical, plumbing, heating/air conditioning installations do not require a permit.

8.  Temporary structural supports that will remain in place for not more than 180 days or relocation, replacement, reconstruction or repairs, that require a permit, that are performed to an existing structure due to an emergency condition may be undertaken without first obtaining a permit for the work.  The owner of the structure on which the work is performed shall inform the Director within three (3) business days of the commencement of the work, the extent of work that is being performed and shall obtain the required permits for the work within ten (10) business days of the commencement of the work.

9.  A certificate of compliance is required for floating structures moved from one moorage to another moorage within the City.  No certificate of compliance is required for moving a floating structure from one slip to another within the same moorage.

B.  The permit and inspection process and requirements shall be as determined by the Director.  The Director shall seek the advice and opinions of members of the River Community Advisory Committee during this process, but the Director shall have final authority in determining such processes and requirements.  Such information shall be published by the Director in bureau policies and procedures that are made available to the public as provided in Chapter 1.07.  Such policies and procedures shall not be altered or suspended until after consultation with the River Community Advisory Committee.

C.  Permits and inspections are not required for the following:

1.  The new construction of structures regulated by Title 28 that will not be moored or occupied within the jurisdiction of the City.  Substantiating documentation shall be provided to verify compliance with this Section.

2.  Repairs to a floating structure as specified in Section 28.05.020.

3.  Replacement of piles as specified in Section 28.05.020.

4.  Construction, alteration or repair of individual swim or ski floats.

5.  The repair or reattachment of flexible water and sewer connections to individual floating homes, combo-structures, tender houses and boathouses, made in compliance with plumbing code requirements.

6.  Construction, alteration or reconstruction of any portion of tender houses not greater than 200 square feet in area and with a height of not more than seventy-five percent (75%) of the width of the float or fifteen (15) feet from the level of the float deck, whichever is less, to the highest point of the structure.

7.  Relocation of boathouses or tender houses within a moorage as long as the unit moved is in good repair.  The distance between units relocated within a moorage shall not be:  less than the distance between units that pre-existed prior to the move if that distance is less than 6 feet between the nearest exterior walls and 4 feet between the nearest roof, deck, balcony or other architectural projection; or less than 6 feet between the nearest exterior walls and 4 feet between the nearest roof, deck, balcony or other architectural projection if the pre-existing distances are greater than or equal to 6 feet between the nearest exterior walls and 4 feet between the nearest roof, deck, balcony or other architectural projection.  The distance between units when the relocation is to another moorage within the City shall either comply with the separation distance required by Section 28.05.010 B.4. or shall be the separation distance as determined acceptable by consultation with the Harbor Master in compliance with Section 28.05.010 B.4.

EXCEPTION:  Electrical permits are required for the connection of a relocated boathouse or tender house structure to electrical service at the new location.

The owner/operator of the moorage shall provide an updated moorage map as required by Section 28.05.010 reflecting the new location of the relocated boathouse and the distance between the boathouse and adjacent structures and shall send a notice of the relocation, including separation distances after the relocation, to the Director.

8.  Temporary relocation of an existing floating structure from its normal mooring site for dredging or other maintenance work to the moorage or to facilitate the permitted move of other floating structures, provided the floating structure is returned to its normal mooring site and provide the final distance between floating structures is the same as previously existed prior to the temporary move.

EXCEPTION: Electrical permits are required for the reconnection of floating structures moved under the provisions of this paragraph.

9.  Other work as exempted by the Specialty Codes.

D.  When permits are required, the owner of the structure must obtain the required permits and inspections prior to proceeding with the next phase of work and obtain a final certificate of compliance prior to the occupancy of the structure.  Instructions for requesting inspection are provided at permit issuance.

E.  It is the responsibility of the owner of the floating structure to obtain the required certificate of compliance under the following process:

1.  The owner of the structure or the owner's authorized agent shall call for final inspection within 10 business days of the completion of the work covered by a permit.

2.  A Certified Structural Inspector from the Bureau of Development Services shall respond to the call for final inspection within 2 business days of receipt of the call for final inspection.

3.  The area of work covered by the issued permit shall not be occupied until the certificate of compliance has been issued.

4.  Failure to call for final inspection and obtain a certificate of compliance and/or occupying the area of work prior to obtaining a certificate of compliance shall be cause for the Director to issue a notice to vacate the structure.


28.03.030 Fees.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 181437, effective December 21, 2007.)  All fees for permits and special inspections are stated in the Fee Schedule adopted by City Council by ordinance.  Fees will be updated annually or on an as needed basis.  The approved Fee Schedule will be available at the Development Services Center.  Fees shall be paid in advance for all plan review, permits and inspections.


28.03.035 Bureau of Development Services Administrative Appeal Board.

(Added by Ordinance No. 187664, effective May 6, 2016.)

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 “Building Code”);

2.  review requests for modifications to the strict application of the Building 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 Building Code or this Title or who wants to request a modification to the strict interpretation of the Building 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 Building 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 this Title or the Building Code was not correctly interpreted or applied;

2.  grant a modification to the application of this Title or the Building Code where special individual reasons make application of the strict letter of this Title or the Building Code impractical, the modification is in compliance with the intent and purpose of this Title or the Building Code, and such modification does not lessen health, life and fire safety or structural requirements of the floating 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 this Title or the Building Code and that the material, method or work offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the Building Code in quality, strength, effectiveness, fire resistance, durability, and safety.  The Administrative Appeal Board may not waive the requirements of this Title or the Building 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 Floating Structure 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 Floating Structure Code Board of Appeal in accordance with Section 28.03.040 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 Floating Structure Code Board of Appeal.  The Building 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 Floating Structure 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.


28.03.040 Appeals.

(Replaced by Ordinance No. 187664, effective May 6, 2016.)

A.  Appointment of Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal.  In order to hear appeals of final decisions of the Building Official made under Section 28.03.035, there has been created a Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal, consisting of four 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 Building Code and the construction and maintenance of floating structures and moorage facilities.  One member will be from the Building Code Board of Appeal as constituted by City Code Section 24.10.080, one member and one alternate must be an architect or engineer knowledgeable in the design of floating structures, one member and one alternate must be knowledgeable in the construction, maintenance and repair of floating structures, and one member and one alternate must be from one of the following interest groups: a for-profit moorage representative; a non-profit moorage representative; a yacht club representative; or a floating home resident. 

2.  Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal appointments shall be for 3-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 Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal shall comply with the State ethics laws applicable to public officials.

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

B.  Appeals to the Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal.  The Floating Structures 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 Building Code.  The Floating 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 Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal.  A panel of at least three Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal members will hear each appeal, one of whom must be a member of the Building Code Board of Appeal.  The Board may, by a majority vote, affirm, annul, or modify the decision.  In the event of a tie vote, the appeal shall be considered denied.

C.  Powers and Limitations of Authority of the Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal.  The Floating Structures Code Board of Appeal may provide reasonable interpretations of the requirements of this Title and the applicable Building 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 Building Code;

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

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

Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the Floating Structures 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.


28.03.050 Enforcement.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 181437, effective December 21, 2007.)  The Director may enforce the provisions of Title 28 using the authority provided in Section 3.30.015.


28.03.060 Abatement of Dangerous Floating Structures.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 171455 and 181437, effective December 21, 2007.)  The Director may abate dangerous floating structures using the authority provided under Chapter 29.40.