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The City of Portland, Oregon

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

More Contact Info

Design Advice Requests

Design Advice RequestDesign Advice Requests (DAR) are a form of early assistance and are intended to provide feedback on early design concepts prior to a land use review. An applicant may request design advice from the Design Commission or Historic Landmarks Commission prior to submitting a Type III Design Review or Historic Design Review. This feedback is advisory and preliminary in nature. This meeting is not a land use review. Decisions are not made in the DAR process.

Staff and applicant will typically identify 4-5 issues for the Commission to discuss. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Response to Context
  • Compatibility with Historic Resources
  • Form / Massing
  • Outdoor Spaces
  • Design Coherency
  • Pedestrian / Public Realm
  • Placemaking
  • Materiality
  • Parking / Loading
  • Potential Modifications / Adjustments

Design Guidelines are used to guide the conversation during the DAR because they are the approval criteria used in Design Review and Historic Resource Review. Design Commission feedback will relate to the concept’s response to the context, public realm, and quality. Guidelines generally address one or more of these three design tenets. The Historic Landmarks Commission typically organizes their feedback based on macro- and micro- level issues related to the applicable approval criteria. 

Design Guidelines can be found online at:

Submittal Requirements

Design Advice Request Information Sheet – Provides an overview of the procedure and deliverables.

DAR’s are intended to align with the schematic design phase of the architectural design process. The following information and drawings should not be presented at a DAR:

  • Fully developed site, floor, and roof plans
  • Detailed elevations
  • Fully rendered images
  • Final material selections
  • Cutsheets for specific building
  • Detailed Landscape Plan


Design Advice Request meetings are scheduled by staff following the initial submittal. Meetings are typically held 5-7 weeks after the submittal date and may be rescheduled by staff as the Commission agenda requires. The DAR fee covers one meeting and corresponding noticing. A re-noticing fee will be charged when the DAR meeting is rescheduled at the applicant’s request.

Land Use Fee Schedule


For more information on Historic Resource and Design Reviews, see our Design Review and Historic Resource Review pages.

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.