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Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Base Zones

Base zones state two purposes:

1. State what uses are allowed on property
2. State required development standards that apply (such as maximum height and required setbacks)

Base Zones

There are four categories of base zones: single dwelling residential zones, multi-dwelling residential zones, commercial zones, and employment and industrial zones. Base zones are shown as a combination of capital letters and numbers on a zoning map.


A “use” is essentially how the property is used. Some uses are allowed by right, other uses are limited or require a conditional use review. Finally, some uses are prohibited and are not allowed in the zone at all.

To determine in what zones a specific use may be located, you must first determine what land use category it is in. Use Chapter 33.920, Descriptions of the Use Categories, to classify the specific use. For example, a clothing store is classified as a retail sales and service use and a dry cleaning shop is classified as an industrial services use. Once you have determined the appropriate use category, review the primary use tables in the Use Categories handout or in the below base zone links to see the status of that category to determine whether the use is allowed, limited, conditional or prohibited.

If the proposed use is allowed by the base zone, you will also need to find out if the site is subject to additional uses from an Overlay Zone, Plan District, or Other Zoning Requirements.

Development Standards

Development standards are set by the zone. Standards regulate the size, bulk and location of development on a site. Development standards can include maximum allowed height, setbacks and allowed density.

You may review the summary handouts and applicable zoning code chapter for the zone to review the allowed uses and development standards:

To find the zoning on your property, view Find My Zoning.