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The City of Portland, Oregon

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Phone: 503-823-7300


1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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Changes to Demolition Code could affect your Residential Projects


June 15, 2018
Contact: Nancy Thorington, 503-823-7023

Changes to Demolition Code could affect your Residential Projects

If you plan to do work involving residential demolitions, additions or alterations, you should be aware of an ordinance that the City Council passed on June 13, 2018, which simplifies some definitions, adds dust control requirements for major alterations using heavy equipment, and makes other technical changes to the Demolition Code. The ordinance will be implemented on July 1, 2018.

BDS recommends that you:

Summary of Changes to the Demolition Code (Portland City Code Chapter 24.55)

A. Amends the following definitions:

  • Demolition” – The new definition is, “removing all exterior walls above the foundation.”
  • Major Residential Addition” – The new definition is “adding 500 square feet or more of new interior space.”
  • Major Residential Alteration” – The new definition is: “removing 50% or more of the exterior walls above the foundation.”

B. Adds Requirement for Dust Control During Major Alterations

  • Requires dust suppression for major alterations if the project includes mechanical demolition activities (using heavy machinery to pull down any part of the structure).

C. Clarifies points related to the existing demolition delay appeal hearing, including:

  • Makes it clear that any party can introduce evidence at the appeal hearing (previously, the applicant was required to present all evidence at the time they file the appeal)
  • Removes the term “pro-forma budget” and replacing it with “project budget.”
  • Clarifies that the appellant doesn’t actually have to complete the transaction (e.g., complete the sale or move the structure) within the 95-day delay period; they just have to come to an agreement within the 95 days.

D. Changes to the new SB 871 Implementation Ordinance (mitigation of asbestos and lead-based paint in residential demolitions):

  • The amendments allow certified asbestos workers and certified asbestos supervisors to satisfy the requirement for an on-site asbestos expert and adds an alternative to having a certified person on-site if full destructive asbestos inspection and testing are completed prior to the demolition.
  • Removes the exception for the during demolition inspection.

E. Various technical changes as follows:

  • Corrects reference errors in 24.55.100
  • Removes definitions that are no longer applicable
  • Makes it clear that delay provisions and major residential addition/alteration (MRAA) provisions only apply to 1-2 family dwellings (not apartments and other large residential projects)
  • Clarifies MRAA notice provisions and adds the graphic to the MRAA section because it got deleted from the demolition section when the SB 871 Ordinance was adopted

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