October 3, 2019
Neighborhood Contact Process
Earlier this year, Portland City Council adopted changes to the Neighborhood Contact requirements found in the Portland Zoning Code. The purpose of the Neighborhood Contact requirement is to provide an informal sharing of information between the applicant of a development proposal and the people who live, work and pass by the site on a regular basis. This allows neighbors to give constructive feedback about the development proposal before the applicant has submitted for a building permit or land use review.
This Bureau of Development Services video helps explain the new Neighborhood Contact requirements:
The primary changes to the Neighborhood Contact requirements involve:
- Projects requiring Neighborhood Contact – Neighborhood Contact requirements are now based on the size of the building or how many lots the site is divided into, and also include proposals involving both a land division and environmental review.
- Delivery method – Now applicants can use email or standard mail to notify neighborhood associations, district neighborhood coalitions, business associations and, in some cases, school districts of an upcoming building permit or land use review proposal that requires Neighborhood Contact.
- Burden of responsibility – The current version places responsibility on the neighborhood association to host a meeting. The new version primarily places responsibility on the applicant, although the neighborhood association has the option to host some of the meetings.
- Notification – Applicants are now required to install a sign or signs on the site notifying neighbors of an upcoming development proposal before an application is submitted to the City. The Bureau of Development Services also has a new online tool for those who want to know about larger development proposals that require Neighborhood Contact.
The Neighborhood Contact requirements go into effect on December 2, 2019; however, because these requirements must be completed before a building permit or land use review application is submitted, the new requirements may apply to development proposals now.
In order to further assist applicants and neighbors navigate the new requirements, the Bureau of Development has developed the following materials:
- Neighborhood Resources Webpage – this webpage provides a variety of information that neighbors may find helpful when navigating Portland’s land use and zoning processes. The website contains information concerning the Neighborhood Contract requirements including the materials below.
- Neighborhood Contact Overview – the overview provides details on when Neighborhood Contract is required, the documentation required to be submitted, and a description of the requirements.
- Information for Applicants – this document provides step by step instructions to help applicants complete the Neighborhood Contact process and properly document that requirements were met.
- Certification Statement – this document provides a summary of the Neighborhood Contact submittal requirements and provides a form that applicants can sign to demonstrate other requirements were met.
- Instructions for Neighborhood Contact Sign – this webpage provides step by step instructions for creating the sign(s) required for the site.
- Development Sign Templates – this webpage contains links to three software programs with fillable templates to create the sign.
- Administrative Rule for Neighborhood Contact Sign – this Administrative Rule codifies the requirements related to the Neighborhood Contact sign.
For questions or further information about the Neighborhood Contact program, please contact Matt Wickstrom at 503-823-6825 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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