Have you received a Sidewalk Repair Notice from a City Inspector? Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions. Please also see the overview for sidewalk repairs.
Q. Why is the property owner responsible to repair and maintain the City's sidewalk?
A. City code states that property owners are responsible for the maintenance of sidewalks and driveways abutting their property. Refer to the following website to view City Code 17.28.020 Responsibility for Sidewalks and Curb.
Q. Why did I get a Sidewalk Repair Notice?
A. Our office received a complaint of a hazardous condition at or nearby your property. Sidewalk Maintenance Program Policy and Operating Guidelines state that the Sidewalk Inspector will inspect the general area, including the specific address of the initial complaint. In addition, pro-active inspections of sidewalk adjacent to corners may be done, as resources allow.
Q. What is considered a hazard?
A. As a general guideline, refer to the Sidewalk Problems Illustrated. Note that these are general guidelines and the Sidewalk Inspector will use his/her professional judgment to determine needed repairs.
Q. How much time do I have to make repairs?
A. City Charter requires the abutting property owner to "immediately" make the repairs. Portland City Code allows 60 days. A reminder notice will be mailed to property owner after approximately 30 days. If repairs are not made after 60 days, the City contractor will make repairs and the City Auditor will bill the property owner.
Q. Can I make the repairs myself?
A. Yes. Repairs made by property owners and contractors must meet all City Specifications.
- Refer to Standard Drawings
- Review the Sidewalk Repair Manual available online, or
- Purchase a hard copy of the Sidewalk Repair Manual, available for purchase from our office at a cost of $6.00.
Q. Why are contractors contacting me and how did they get my information?
A. Sidewalk Repair Notices are public records routinely requested by contractors. You may be contacted by contractors offering to do this work. Please be aware that there is no financial relationship between the City and private contractors, and that you are under no obligation to hire contractors that contact you.
Q. Do I need a sidewalk repair permit and where can do I get one?
A. Yes. Working in the City right-of-way requires a permit. Permits to make repairs as identified by Sidewalk Repair Notices can only be purchased at the Sidewalk Maintenance Office located at 2929 N. Kerby Avenue in Portland. Checks, credit cards, and exact cash are accepted. Office hours: Monday through Friday, 7:00 to 11:00 and 11:30 to 2:30. Please note that the office is closed from 11:00 to 11:30 for lunch.
Q. How much will the sidewalk repair permit cost?
A. Permit fees are reviewed annually and are based on the square footage of sidewalk, driveway, and lineal feet of curb to be repaired. The current pricing for a permit is $.99 per square foot of sidewalk and driveway, and $1.35 per linear foot of curb with a $60.00 minimum and a $500.00 maximum.
Q. My contractor is asking for payment in full. How do I know the work satisfies City requirements?
A. The City of Portland does not recommend payment in full until the work passes a final inspection. A record of this should be provided by the contractor, or you can contact the Sidewalk Maintenance Office at 503-823-1711.
Q. Is it possible to make repairs less than what is shown on the Sidewalk Repair Notice diagram?
A. If the repairs are done by the property owner, or a contractor hired by the property owner, it may be possible to make minimal repairs. These repairs require prior approval and may result in lower repair costs. If the City makes repairs on your behalf, such minimal repairs will not be made. All work done by the City, except for damage caused by tree roots, is guaranteed for 3 years. Per policy, the City will only make full square replacement (no grinding or partial square replacement).
Q. Are there financing options available?
A. If repairs are made by the City, for assessments up to $2,500, financing can be made for 5 or 10 years. For assessments over $2,500, financing can be made for 5, 10 or 20 years. A loan contract will be included with your assessment. Contact the City Revenue Division Liens Section at 503-823-4090, or email at, firstname.lastname@example.org for specific information.
Q. Areas on my Sidewalk Repair Notice are designated as obstructed sidewalk. What now?
A. If your Notice includes any areas of obstructed sidewalk, these must be cleared before obtaining a permit. Once all obstructions have been cleared, call for a re-inspection. If all obstructions have been cleared satisfactorily, you will be sent a revised notice detailing the areas with hazardous sidewalk. Permit fees are based on the square footage of needed repairs, and this process will reduce the cost.