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1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Major Residential Alteration and Addition Permits: New Permit Category with Notification and Delay Requirements

BDS Service Level Update

Service Level Update: 
Major Residential Alteration and Addition Permits: New Permit Category with Notification and Delay Requirements

On February 12, 2015, Portland City Council approved changes to City of Portland Title 24, Building Regulations, eliminating demolition delay exemptions and increasing public notification and delay for residential demolitions. The Code changes also create a new Major Residential Alterations and Additions (MRAA) permit category that requires advanced notification. In addition, the bureau is requiring applicants to complete a Certification Regarding Asbestos and Lead-Based Paint form and submit prior to issuance of a MRAA permit. 

These changes go into effect April 20, 2015. 

This document summarizes the new 35-day delay and notification requirements for residential projects that fall within the MRAA permit category. More information on the changes can be found on the BDS Major Residential Alteration and Addition webpage and by viewing Ordinance 187017

Permitting of all projects within the new MRAA permit category will require a 35-day delay in issuing the permit from the time properties are posted with door hangers and email notification is provided to the recognized organizations whose boundaries include the site. These notification requirements can be initiated and completed prior to a permit application being submitted for review.  

Major alteration or addition is defined as any of the following: 

  • Adding any new story, including a basement or other below-grade structure. Raising a structure to meet the required headroom in a basement is considered the same as creating a basement;
  • Increasing or replacing 50 percent or more of the exterior wall area on any floor. If the subflooring under an exterior wall is removed, it will be treated as if the wall was removed;
  • Adding total new floor area to the existing structure that exceeds 800 square feet; or
  • Adding an area exceeding 100 percent of the existing foundation footprint area of the structure.

Construction industry professionals and homeowners are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the definition above, so that they can meet the mandatory notification requirements for projects that fall into the MRAA permit category. It is strongly recommended that, if the project will fall within 10% of any of the thresholds defined above, the neighborhood notification process be voluntarily enacted to minimize neighbor’s concerns about the scope and size of the projects and avoid additional delays.

Notification requirements for major alteration/addition projects include two main components:

  1. Emailed notice to the recognized organizations (Neighborhood Association and District Coalition) whose boundaries include the site; and
  2. Notice must be posted (by using door hangers provided by BDS) on all properties abutting the site, including across a right of way. [See diagram] Please note that you may download and print the door hangers from your computer, if you prefer. We recommend printing them on card stock.

Compliance with these notification requirements is required to be documented by the owner or owner’s representative using the Neighborhood Notification form. The form is required to be submitted to BDS prior to the issuance of a permit. Please visit the Major Residential Alteration or Addition webpage for specific notification requirements and forms. 

For information on notification requirements, the Neighborhood Notification form, and downloadable door hanger, visit BDS Major Residential Alteration or Addition webpage. You can also visit the Development Services Center or call 503-823-7300.