Growth in the construction industry has outpaced the City’s ability to keep up with related workload and meet many of its goals for timely service delivery. During the period of July 2015 through June 2016, the permit applications received and permits issued increased by approximately 15% over the previous period of time. Since January, 2016 the permit center has had an average of 4,300 visitors per month and the zoning hotline received an average 1,000 calls per month. To address the increased workload, the Bureau of Development Services, and the other development review bureaus, are hiring additional employees. To provide context, the Bureau of Development Services has hired 72 employees since July 1, 2015. We appreciate your patience as we bring on new employees and train them and apologize for any impacts you may be experiencing to your projects or business caused by delays in our service delivery.
Please take the following Current Service Level timelines into consideration as you prepare your project’s schedule.
|Service||Goal||Current Service Level (average)|
|Wait Times in Development Service Center (DSC)
For permit set up/visit with tech staff
|Less than 60 minutes||60 to 120 minutes|
|Returning calls to Zoning Hotline||24 hours||24 hours|
|Returning calls to Plan Review/ Permitting Hotlines||24 hours||24 - 48 hours|
|Early Assistance and Pre-Applications|
|Early Assistance Appointments||14 calendar days||21 calendar days|
|Pre-Application Conferences||21 calendar days||26 calendar days|
|Land Use Reviews|
|Land Use Reviews (Type I) - Contact applicant regarding completeness||14 calendar days||Approx. 25 calendar days|
|Land Use Reviews (Type Ix) - Contact applicant regarding completeness||21 calendar days||Approx. 25 calendar days|
|Land Use Reviews (Type II) - Contact applicant regarding completeness||14 calendar days||Approx. 20 calendar days|
|Land Use Reviews (Type III) - Contact applicant regarding completeness||21 calendar days||Approx. 26 calendar days|
|Building Permit Plan Review and Pre-Issuance|
|Commercial New Construction - plan review comments (1st checksheet)||20 business days||Approx. 35 business days|
|Residential New Construction - plan review comments (1st checksheet)||15 business days||Approx. 25 business days|
|Checksheet Corrections Received Reviews||5 business days||Approx. 20 business days|
|Permit Preissuance||2 business days||Approx. 15 business days|
|Inspections - Residential||90-95% within 24 hours||83% within 24 hours|
|Inspections - Commercial||90-95% within 24 hours||71% within 24 hours|
|Construction Code Complaints - Initial Inspection||3-5 business days||15 business days|
|Housing Complaints - Initial Inspection||3-5 business days||10-15 business days|
|Zoning & Nuisance Complaints - Initial Inspection||3-5 business days||15-20 business days|
Note: Approximately 80% of residential and 50% of commercial remodels, additions and simple permits, continue to be issued over-the-counter on the same day.
Solutions: In addition to hiring and training more staff, the Bureau is utilizing contract workers, receiving assistance from other government agencies, and working overtime, as well as streamlining the permitting and development review processes where possible. We expect to see improvements to service levels within the next two or three months.
The submittal of complete and code compliant permit and land use review applications can help reduce review timelines for projects. The following resources may be helpful:
- Permits: Minimum submittal requirements are outlined in the Commercial New Construction and Additions – Applying for My Permit webpage and/or the Residential Permits webpage.
- Land Use Reviews: Minimum submittal requirements are outlined in the Land Use Review Application Checklist and/or the Zoning & Land Use Application Forms, Fees and Procedures webpage.
BDS recognizes and appreciates our business and community partners’ reliance on the services and resources we provide. For more information about Permitting Services, contact: Kareen Perkins, at Kareen.Perkins@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-3622. For more information about Land Use Services, contact: Ross Jonak at Ross.Jonak@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0625.