GENERAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
REGARDING FIRE CODE APPEALS
1. How do I file an appeal?
A $200 administration fee will be required upon filing your appeal. Filing your appeal can be accomplished in two ways:
- Click here to link to the Bureau of Development Services website and complete the electronic form. (When using the electronic form on this website, remember to select “FIRE” as the appeal type.)
- Or you can print and fill out the paper copy of the Fire Code Appeal Form and send your packet to:
Portland Fire & Rescue
Attn: Leanna Smith
55 SW Ash Street
Portland, OR 97204
Note: Along with your fee payment and a completed appeal form, your appeal should include supplemental material to demonstrate the need for the appeal. Depending on what you are appealing, we will also need to see the blue prints, maps of the area/site plans, or a written letter – anything to help you demonstrate the basis for your appeal. It is also important to note that failure to provide complete and accurate information may cause delays with the review of your appeal.
2. How do I pay for the appeal?
The $200 fee (check or cash) may be mailed or delivered in person to 55 SW Ash Street, Portland, Oregon 97204. (This location does not accept credit/debit cards.)
3. Who do I contact?
Contact your Fire Inspector or the Plans Examiner to inquire about a violation of a Fire Code. He or she can provide you with information about what Fire Code you are appealing and why. In some cases, your inspector or plans examiner can also give you suggestions on alternate methods of fixing the appeal. If you do not know who your Fire Inspector or Plans Examiner is, contact Nate Takara at (503) 823-3049.
For Fire Inspector contact information, please reference the following Portland Fire & Rescue listing: http://www.portlandoregon.gov/fire/article/389819
4. What is the process?
Upon receipt of your appeal packet and fee payment, the administration board will review the appeal. A decision will be reached and a letter will be sent to you.
5. What if I don’t agree with the decision?
If you are not satisfied with the administrative ruling the appeal may be continued to the Public Board of Appeals. To initiate this process, you may send your appeal information and a written request to the address as indicated in your decision letter (Attn: Nate Takara). This information must be received no later than 10 days of the administrative ruling as specified by the decision letter.
Note: If you do request a hearing before the Board, please be prepared to demonstrate how your appeal demonstrates an alternate means of equivalent safety in regards to the applicable code requirement(s). The Board of Appeals does not have the power to waive any provisions of the code. All appeal requests must demonstrate that the proposed alternative method or material being proposed is equal to or better than what the code requires.
6. Who makes up the Public Board of Appeals?
The Board of Appeals is a three member group composed of volunteers of qualified individuals from the private sector who possess knowledge and experience in the specific code. All meetings are open to the public.
7. Where in the Fire Code are appeals addressed?
The authority is derived from the City Code reference paragraph 31.30.150(h), “the Board’s ruling shall be made on the condition that a substantially equivalent degree of safety is provided generally conforming to national standards concerning fire prevention, fire safety measures, and building construction requirements for safety.”
8. How do I research appeals?
Click here to access the following building code appeal information provided by the Bureau of Developmental Services:
- Prepare your Appeal
- How to File Your Appeal
- Appeal Process
- View Appeal Results
- Applications and handouts
Additional questions may also be sent to the Appeals Administrator via email at: Leanna.Smith@portlandoregon.gov.