The purpose of a zoning confirmation letter is to verify in writing the allowed uses, development standard and regulations applicable to a specific site. Zoning confirmation letters are often used by finance institutions during due diligence purposes, but can be requested by anyone at anytime. Zoning confirmation letters fall into either the Tier 2 or Tier 3 category.
Tier 1 Zoning Verification Maps
Tier 1 Zoning Verification Maps are 8.5” x 11” printed maps showing the City Zoning designation that applies to a specific property. They are completed for customers in the Development Services Center for specific zoning verifications that requested by other state and city agencies. The most common requests for Tier 1 Zoning Verification Maps are:
- Cannabis businesses who need to provide zoning verification for their City of Portland licensing process through the Office of Community & Civic Life; and
- Businesses applying for a liquor license with the State of Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC), to satisfy the zoning confirmation requirement of the City of Portland’s Office of Community & Civic Life.
Tier 2 Zoning Confirmation Letters and Land Use Compatibility Statements
Tier 2 letters provide simple, basic information about the location’s current zoning and land use history. Tier 2 letters are often referred to as a "bank letter" and are used by finance institutions during due diligence periods.
- Description of current zoning
- Summary of uses allowed by zoning
- List of applicable land use history
- Response generally in three to four weeks
Land Use Compatibility Statements
Land Use Compatibility Statements are a coordination tool used by state or federal agencies to verify whether a use or activity is allowed by right, requires land use review, or is prohibited by the Zoning Code.
- Same cost as a Tier 2 Zoning Confirmation Letter
- Response generally within two to three weeks
Tier 3 Zoning Confirmation Letters
Tier 3 letters provide more detailed information including review and analysis of the past and current uses and permit history of the site. Tier 3 letters are often referred to as a “zoning analysis letter” when they address complex zoning issues or a “nonconforming standard evidence letter” when they are used to document a nonconforming situation.
- Description of zoning and zoning history
- Details of building permit and land use history
- Responses to specific questions
- Development analysis upon request
- Use determinations
- Documentation of legal nonconforming use or density using standard evidence
- Response generally in six to eight weeks
Applying for a Zoning Confirmation Letter or Land Use Compatibility Statement
- Fill out and submit the Application/Request for Zoning Confirmation Letter (not required for Land Use Compatibility Statements)
- If applying to document a nonconforming situation using standard evidence, fill out and submit the Application Form for Documenting a Nonconforming Situation using Standard Evidence. In addition, be sure to include all documentation that meets the zoning code requirements for standard evidence in section 33.258.038, Chapter 33.258.
- Nonconforming Situation - Application for documentation
- Land Use Review Fees
- Land Use Review Fees - Unincorporated Multnomah County
Submitting Your Application
Bring the completed application to the Development Services Center, on the first floor of 1900 SW Fourth Ave and filing fee that must be submitted at the same time as the application. You may also mail your application to the Bureau of Development Services along with the filing fee.
Questions? For further assistance with the land use and zoning regulations that apply to your site, please call us at (503) 823-7526, or visit Planning and Zoning Staff in the Development Services Center.