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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

Getting Started

Zoning permits are required when a building permit is not needed, but where planning staff must verify and approve how the site and associated development will be used. Although a building permit may not be required, construction must comply with the current building and zoning code standards.

A zoning permit is required when:
  • Building or installing a garage, carport or other accessory structure– less than or equal to 200 square feet in area and less than ten feet in height at the highest point – to confirm the location on the site complies with zoning code requirements
  • Creating a new or enlarged parking area or driveway, or paving a previously graveled parking area
  • Making any improvements required as a condition of a land use review approval which doesn’t require a building permit (land use reviews include adjustments, conditional uses, design review, etc.)
  • Making any alteration to exterior development, including site work such as constructing a patio/deck (more than 30 inches above grade), clearing trees or installing landscaping in any zone with restrictions on development
Use a building permit application to apply for a zoning permit.
** A zoning permit is not required to:
  • Build a fence (not in the front setback) up to seven feet high
  • Pave a walkway
  • Build a patio or deck not more than 30 inches above grade
  • Put up a shed or small detached accessory building less than or equal to 200 square feet in area and less than 10 in height measured from the finish floor level to the average height of the roof (out of the required setbacks)
  • Repave a driveway where no expansion has occurred
** Except in an environmental zone, in the Johnson Creek Basin Plan District or in another special overlay zone or plan district where a zoning permit may be required.