Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Charter, Code and Policies

City of Portland



More Contact Info

32.38.030 Adjustment Review.

A. Purpose. Sign adjustments are intended to allow flexibility to the sign regulations while still fulfilling the purpose of the regulations. The specific approval criteria allow signs that enhance the overall character of an area or allow for mitigation of unusual site conditions.

B. Procedures. The adjustment procedures stated in Chapter 33.805, Adjustments, apply to sign adjustments. However, the approval criteria of this section are used, rather than of those of Chapter 33.805 of the Zoning Code.

C. Approval criteria. Sign adjustments will be approved if the review body finds that the applicant has shown that the criteria of Paragraph C.1. or 2, below are met.

1. Area enhancement. The applicant must meet criteria C.1.a. and b. and either C.1.c. or d.

a. The adjustment for the proposed sign will not significantly increase or lead to street level sign clutter, to signs adversely dominating the visual image of the area, or to a sign that will be inconsistent with the objectives of a specific plan district or design district; and

b. The sign will not create a traffic or safety hazard; and

c. The adjustment will allow a unique sign of exceptional design or style that will enhance the area or that will be a visible landmark; or

d. The adjustment will allow a sign that is more consistent with the architecture and development of the site.

2. Site difficulties. If there are unusual site factors that preclude an allowed sign from being visible to the street immediately in front of the site, an adjustment will be granted to achieve the visibility standards of Subparagraph d below. This adjustment is not intended to be used to make signs visible to other streets and rights of ways or to freeways. Site difficulties may include the sign face being blocked due to topography of the site, existing development or landscaping on the site, or from abutting development or landscaping. This set of adjustment criteria is generally intended for freestanding and projecting signs and allows greater flexibility in placement of the sign. The adjustment will be approved if all of the following criteria are found to be met:

a. There is no reasonable place on the site for an allowed sign without an adjustment to achieve the visibility standards of Subparagraph d below;

b. If the proposed sign extends into the right-of-way, the sign will not create a traffic or safety hazard;

c. Of potential adjustments to meet the visibility standard of Subparagraph d., the request is the most consistent with the surrounding development and sign patterns; and

d. The adjustment is the minimum needed for a sign to meet the following visibility standards:

Posted Road Speed
Visibility To Travel Lanes On The Street In Front Of The Site
35 mph or less
40-50 mph
55 mph or more
200 feet
300 feet
400 feet