Status: Decision Rendered
Appeal ID: 21899 Project Address: 4237 SE 37th Ave (units A, B) and 4311 SE 37th Ave SE 37th Ave (units 1-32)
Hearing Date: 9/18/19 Appellant Name: Ole Ersson
Case No.: P-002
Appeal Type: Plumbing Plans Examiner/Inspector: McKenzie James, Joe Blanco
Project Type: commercial Stories: 2 Occupancy: R-2 Construction Type: wooden frame
Building/Business Name: Kailash Ecovillage Fire Sprinklers: Yes - basement unit 17
Appeal Involves: Alteration of an existing structure LUR or Permit Application No.: new appeal
Plan Submitted Option: pdf   [File 1]   [File 2]   [File 3]   [File 4]   [File 5] Proposed use: residential


Appeal item 1

Code Section

IAPMO We Stand 403.1residential flush toilet connected to sanitary sewer


Kailash Ecovillage consists of a 32-unit multifamily apartment building, located at 4311 SE 37th Ave, Portland, consisting of 30 one-bedroom units and 2 two-bedroom units (units 1, 17). Units are numbered 1-32. In addition, there is an adjacent single-family dwelling, located at 4327 SE 37th Ave, Portland, with an attached ADU. Its units are numbered A and B.
Currently, each residential unit has a flush toilet connected to the sanitary sewer. and meets current plumbing code requirements.

Code Modification or Alternate Requested
Proposed Design

Construction of a Compost toilet and urine diversion system meeting IAPMO WE-Stand is proposed to supplement or replace one or more of the existing flush toilets. WE-Stand, the state of the art 2017 IAPMO Water Efficiency and Sanitation Standard, requires no discharge of unsanitized, unprocessed, material into the environment.


  1. ATAC recommendation 12-1.
  2. Composting Toilet and Urine Diversion System Operation and Maintenance Manual, designed to meet IAPMO WE-Stand and NSF-41 – submitted as part of ATAC application 12-1.
  3. Plans, sheets 1, 2, and 3.

Sheet 1 shows the site plan for Kailash Ecovillage, showing location of the compost processor, urination station and urine storage tanks, setbacks from property lines, and garden areas where sanitized compost (fruit and ornamental gardens) and sanitized urine (all garden areas) may be used. It also shows unit plans for Unit 32 and Unit 3. Although it is two street addresses, Kailash Ecovillage comprises a single assessor tax account, namely R308457.

Sheet 2 shows details for the compost processor, including its south elevation, urination station, urine storage tanks, and Unit B half bath with proposed supplemental compost toilet (commode) and existing flush toilet. No plumbing modification is proposed for Unit B. The additive bucket may be placed on the top of the existing flush toilet lid or in another location, such as under the sink.

Sheet 3 shows details for Unit 32 bathroom and Unit A half bath showing proposed supplemental compost toilet (commode) and existing flush toilets. No plumbing modification is proposed for these two units. It also shows Unit 3 where the existing flush toilet is proposed to be replaced with a compost toilet (commode) by removing the flush toilet and capping its sewer connection.

Note: it is also proposed to supplement other one-bedroom units (2, 4-16, 18-31) with compost toilets (commodes) at future dates, similarly to Unit 32, when requested by the resident. No plumbing modification would be performed. All one-bedroom units have similar dimensions and configuration, with 4 different plans sharing mirror symmetry. Units 3 and 32 represent 2 configurations. The remaining configurations are mirror images of these two units and therefore have similar fixture layout and dimensions, so these two units are representative of all the possible one-bedroom bathroom configurations and have adequate space to add a supplemental compost toilet (commode).

Since the compost processor is rated for 19 full time adults (see manual), up to 19 units could be fitted with supplemental compost toilets (commodes).

Reason for alternative

water conservation; nutrient conservation and recycling; emergency preparedness (for when the sewer grid is no longer functional, such as after a natural disaster like a severe earthquake).


Replacement of flush toilet with composting toilet: Granted provided a plumbing permit is obtained to cap any removed fixtures and provided the existing plumbing lines remain in place and provided the 16 recommendations of the Alternative Technology Advisory Committee are followed.

Note: The decision may also be revoked if determined to present health or sanitary violations by Code Compliance.

The Administrative Appeal Board finds with the conditions noted, that the information submitted by the appellant demonstrates that the approved modifications or alternate methods are consistent with the intent of the code; do not lessen health, safety, accessibility, life, fire safety or structural requirements; and that special conditions unique to this project make strict application of those code sections impractical.

Pursuant to City Code Chapter 24.10, you may appeal this decision to the Building Code Board of Appeal within 90 calendar days of the date this decision is published. For information on the appeals process, go to, call (503) 823-7300 or come in to the Development Services Center.