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Chapter 27.03 Permits and Inspection

27.03.010 Permits Required.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 162103, 171774, 172489 and 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)  No person shall install, alter, replace, or repair any heating, ventilating, comfort cooling, or refrigeration equipment unless a permit, or where appropriate a minor mechanical label as outlined in Section 27.03.035, therefor has been obtained from the Bureau except as otherwise provided in this Title. A permit, or where appropriate a minor mechanical label, shall be obtained for all heating, ventilating, comfort cooling, or refrigeration equipment, moved with, or installed in, any relocated building.  A separate permit, or where appropriate a minor mechanical label, shall be obtained for the equipment installed in each separate building, structure, dwelling unit, guest room, office, or suite of offices. No permits shall be required for the following:

A.  Any portable heating appliance.

B.  Any portable ventilating equipment.

C.  Any portable comfort cooling unit.

D.  Any steam, hot, or chilled water piping within any comfort heating or cooling equipment regulated by this Title.

E.  Replacement of any component part or assembly of an appliance which does not alter its original approval and complies with other applicable requirements of this Title.

F.  Any portable evaporative cooler.

G.  Any refrigerating equipment which is a part of the equipment for which a permit has been issued pursuant to the requirements of this Title.

H.  Any unit refrigerating system.

I.  Replacement of an “in kind” water heater (gas to gas) in the same location when reconnected to an approved, existing chimney or vent system, not requiring the installation of a chimney liner.

27.03.020 Permits.

(Amended by Ordinance. Nos. 150873, 176955 and 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)

A.  Permit Application.  To obtain a permit, the applicant shall file an application on forms furnished for that purpose.  The application shall contain all information necessary to the lawful enforcement of the provisions of this Title.  All applications for permits shall be signed by the owner of the property, by the contractor engaged to do the work, or by an authorized representative of such owner or contractor.  Electric Heating Applications.  The applicant for a permit to install an electrical heating system shall furnish on the application, information covering the following:

1.  The total area of the dwelling or apartment;

2.  The ceiling height and area of each room, or space regarded as living quarters;

3.  The location, as to what floor each room or space is located;

4.  The net areas each of exposed walls and exposed openings in each room or space regarded as living quarters;

5.  The type and amount of insulation used;

6.  The U factors for ceilings, floors, exposed walls, partitions, windows, and doors;

7.  The amount of wattage required to offset the heat loss for each room as required by Section 27.05.021 of this Title;

8.  The total heating requirements for the dwelling.

B.  Plans and Specifications.  When required by the Director for the enforcement of any provisions of this Title for the installation of comfort heating systems, comfort cooling systems, absorption systems, ventilation systems, hoods, and any installation within construction required to be fire resistive or of 1 hour construction, three sets of plans or specifications shall accompany the permit application and be approved before the issuance of the permit.  After approval, one set of plans shall be retained by the Director, one set on permanent file with the Bureau of Development Services and the other set shall be returned to the applicant, which set shall be kept on such building or work site at all times during which the work authorized is in progress.  When the plans and specifications do not comply with provisions of this Title, the necessary changes or revisions shall be made thereto.  Every plan shall be a print or other type of plan approved by the Director.  The information contained on the plans shall be clearly legible and specifically indicated.  No plan shall be of a scale smaller than 1/8 inch per foot.  Specifications, legibly and definitely stated, shall be included either on the plan or on separate sheets.  The approval of any plans or specifications shall not be construed to sanction any violation of this Title.  No person shall deviate materially from any approved plans or specifications or fail, neglect, or refuse to comply therewith unless permission to do so has been obtained from the Director.  The plans or specifications shall show the following:

1.  Layout for each floor with dimensions of all working spaces and a legend of all symbols used.

2.  Location, size, and material of all piping.

3.  Location, size, and materials of all air ducts, air inlets, and air outlets.

4.  Location of all fans, warm air furnaces, boilers, absorption units, refrigerant compressors and condensers and the weight of all pieces of such equipment weighing 200 pounds or more.

5.  Rated capacity or horsepower of all boilers, warm air furnaces, heat exchangers, blower fans, refrigerant compressors and absorption units.

6.  Location, size, and material of all combustion products, vents, and chimneys.

7.  Location and area of all ventilation and combustion air openings and ducts.

8.  Location of all air dampers and fire shutters.

9.  First sheet of each set of plans and specifications shall show the address of the proposed work and the name and address of the owner or lessee of the premises.

10.  Plans and specifications shall be of sufficient clarity to show that the proposed installation will conform to the provisions of this Title and of all applicable laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, and orders.

C.  Issuance.  When the Director determines that the information on the application is in conformance with this Title, a permit will be issued upon receipt of the total fees.

27.03.030 Validity and Length of Permit.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 150873, 162103, 174880, 187432 and 188647, effective November 17, 2017.)

A.  Validity.  The issuance or granting of a permit or approval of plans and specifications shall not be construed to be a permit for, or an approval of, any violation of any of the provisions of this Title.  No permit presuming to give authority to violate or cancel the provisions of this Title shall be valid, except insofar as the work or use which it authorizes is lawful.

The issuance of a permit based upon plans and specifications shall not prevent the Director from thereafter requiring the correction of errors in said plans and specifications or from preventing construction being carried on thereunder when in violation of this Title or of any other ordinance.

B.  Life of Permit Limited.  If no inspection approval has taken place within six months after permit issuance, the permit shall become void, and no further heating and ventilating work shall be done at the premises until a new permit has been secured and a new fee paid.  Each time an inspection approval is granted, the permit shall be deemed to be automatically extended for six months, until final approval is granted.  The Director may extend a permit for one period of six months upon finding that the permittee was unable to commence or continue work for reasons beyond the permittee’s control.  Extension requests must be in writing and must be received by the Director before the permit expiration date.  If an inspection approval has not been granted within this extended time period, the permit shall be void.  A permit that has been expired for six months or less may be renewed provided no changes have been made in the original plans and specifications for such work.  No permit may be renewed if it has been expired for more than six months.  A permit may be renewed only once.  If an inspection approval has not been granted within the time period of the permit renewal the permit shall be void.  The renewal fee shall be one half the amount required for a new mechanical permit.

C.  Suspension or Revocation.  The Director may, in writing, suspend or revoke a permit issued under provisions of this Title whenever the permit is issued in error or on the basis of incorrect information supplied, or in violation of any ordinance or regulation or any of the provisions of this Title.

D.  Investigation Fees: Work Without a Permit.

1.  Investigation.  Whenever any work for which a permit is required by this Title has been commenced without first obtaining said permit, an investigation shall be made before a permit may be issued for such work.

2.  An investigation fee, in addition to the permit fee, shall be collected whether or not a permit is then or subsequently issued.  The Bureau may charge an investigation fee equal to the average or actual additional cost incurred by the City of ensuring that the work done without benefit of a permit is in conformance with the Mechanical Code and this Title. The payment of such investigation fee shall not exempt any person from compliance with all other provisions of this Title nor from any penalty prescribed by law.

27.03.031 Master Permit/Facility Permit Program.

(Added by Ordinance No. 172431;  amended by Ordinance Nos. 173976 and 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)  The Master Permit/Facility Permit program is a special inspection program authorized under Oregon Revised Statute 455.154.  This program is available to commercial/industrial building owners and building management companies to streamline the approval of maintenance/repair and tenant improvement work on their private facilities.

27.03.035 Minor Mechanical Labels.

(Added by Ordinance No. 171774; amended by Ordinance No. 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)

A.  General.  Oregon Revised Statutes Chapters 455.154 and 455.155 establishes special alternative inspections programs for other than new construction.  One of these programs is the Minor Label Program.  Implementation rules are found in Oregon Administrative Rules 918-100-0000 through 918-100-0600.  The Bureau will operate the Minor Mechanical Label Program in accordance with the Oregon Administrative Rules.  The Minor Mechanical Label Program utilizes minor labels in lieu of regular building permits.  Random inspections are made to ensure compliance of minor work.

B.  Requirements.  Minor Mechanical Labels may be used in all occupancies.  Labels are sold in groups of ten.  No more than one minor mechanical label may be used on any single project.  A single project is defined as not more than one minor label used per calendar month for each address, suite or tenant space.

C.  Work Allowed.  The following work may be done under a Minor Mechanical Label:

1.  Moving or replacing duct work not involving fire dampers or penetrations of fire walls, fire assemblies or floors;

2.  Moving grills in duct work;

3.  Replacing existing heating, cooling and ventilation equipment (minor alteration of gas piping and venting permitted to allow for unit configuration);

4.  Adding a central air conditioning unit to existing ductwork in one- and two-family dwellings; or

5.  Installing a mechanical exhaust fan for radon mitigation systems in one- and two-family dwellings.

D.  Violations.  It is unlawful to violate the requirements of this section.  The Director may enforce the requirements of this Chapter by any of the remedies in Portland City Code Chapter 3.30.

E.  Expiration.  Minor mechanical labels expire six months from the date of purchase, and are not refundable or transferable.

27.03.040 Heating and Ventilating Fees.

(Replaced by Ordinance No. 174902, effective September 13, 2000.) 

A.  All required fees are stated in the Fee Schedule adopted by City Council.  Fees will be updated annually or on an as needed basis.  The approved Fee Schedule will be available at the Development Services Center.

B.  Permit and plan check fees will, as a general rule, be refunded when the services covered by the fee have not commenced, and the permit or plan review fees were paid incorrectly due to an error on the part of the City.  When a permit applicant requests a refund, but the City was not at fault in accepting payment, fees shall be retained to cover the cost of plan review or inspections actually performed and 20 percent of the amount remaining.  State surcharge fees are only refundable when a permit was issued in error.  Requests for refunds must be made within six months of payment or permit issuance, whichever is later.  Refunds are to be made to the same person or firm who paid the fee within three months of the request.  Exceptions to the above requirements may be made by the Director or designee.

27.03.050 Inspection.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)  All equipment for which a permit is obtained under this Title shall be inspected by the Director.  No portion of any equipment intended to be concealed by any permanent portion of the building shall be concealed until inspected and approved.  When the installation of any equipment is complete, a second or final inspection shall be made.  Equipment regulated by this Title shall not be connected to the fuel or power supply until authorized by the Director.
EXCEPTION: The requirements of this Section shall not be considered to prohibit the operation of any heating equipment installed to replace existing heating equipment serving an occupied portion of a building, in the event a request for inspection of such heating equipment has been filed with the Bureau not more than 48 hours after such replacement work is completed, and before any portion of such equipment is concealed by any permanent portion of the building.  A final inspection approval may, upon notice, be revoked by the Director if the heating, ventilating, comfort cooling, or refrigeration equipment fails in any respect to comply with the requirements of this Title, or if the installation is unsafe, dangerous, or a hazard to life or property.

27.03.060 Request for Inspection.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)  The Director may require that every request for inspection be filed at least 1 day before such inspection is desired.  Such request may be in writing or by telephone at the option of the Director.  It shall be the duty of the person requesting inspection of any equipment regulated by this Title to provide access to and means for proper inspection of such equipment.  The Director shall not be liable for any expense entailed in the removal or replacement of any material required to allow the inspection.