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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

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It is a good idea to check that your use is allowed by the zoning code at that particular location - even if you wouldn't be changing the use from how the previous tenant used the space. If your proposed use is a prohibited use in the zone, you may need to prove the use has "nonconforming status". That means documenting that the use was allowed when it was first established and that the use has continued over time. An expansion of a nonconforming use or change to another use prohibited in the zone may require a nonconforming situation review or may not be permitted at all.

Some uses may be limited in floor area even if allowed in the zone and the other uses in a building may need to be identified to determine if the floor area of the proposed use may be allowed. For zoning information, call a planner at (503) 823-7526

Even if you don't intend to make any improvements to the site, the zoning code has a value of work trigger that could require site improvements, such as improving or providing: landscaping, bicycle parking, pedestrian circulation systems, screening and/or paving. When the value of your interior improvements have a market value totaling more than $131,150 (adjusted annually), up to 10% of the project cost must be spent toward making the existing site development meet the current zoning code.

The project value for this purpose can be reduced by the cost of certain improvements including changes to comply with ADA, compliance with seismic requirements, and improvements to on-site stormwater management facilities. The zoning code calls a situation where those existing elements on a site don't meet current code requirements "nonconforming development".