On July 31, 2014, the Portland City Council directed Bureau of Development Services staff to convene a Demolition Task Force to address concerns related to the City Code provisions regulating demolition of one and two family homes. The task force is made up of members of the Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC), the Historic Landmarks Commission, the Design Commission, and City staff. Members of various neighborhood associations and other interested members of the public have also attended the meetings.
During the first two meetings, the Task Force made significant progress towards generating a proposal that responds to the interests of both developers and neighborhood residents. Some of the highlights on the proposal that is currently under review include the following:
- Require all demolition applicants to provide notification within 5 days of their demolition application.
- Require all residential demolitions to be delayed by 35 days.
- Require that applications to extend demolition delay by 120-days be accepted only if they include a plan outlining the requestor’s intent (purchasing the house, moving it, etc.) and some showing of good faith, such as depositing money in an escrow account. Details are still to be worked out.
- Require demolition delay applicants to demonstrate progress in their plan according to a set of pre-determined milestones within the 120-days allotted.
The Task Force will continue to work on the recommendations it will present to the City Council, with the goal of submitting a code change ordinance by the end of 2014.
BDS recognizes the contributions of the many volunteers who have assisted in this process and appreciates the positive nature of dialogue which results in making collaborative steps forward in this endeavor.
To find information on the history, current regulations, and frequently asked questions related to this topic, please visit the BDS Demolition Delay and Notifications webpage
Links to articles related to the Demolition Task Force:
- Eastmoreland Neighborhood Association Email Campaign Update from 9/18/2014
- Oregonian Editorial Board Article: How Portland can avoid the demolition derby: Editorial Agenda 2014 from 9/21/2014
Contact: Ross Caron, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4268