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The City of Portland, Oregon

Development Services

From Concept to Construction

Phone: 503-823-7300

Email: bds@portlandoregon.gov

1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

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BDS Service Updates


Neighborhood Contact Process

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.

CUSTOMER & COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION

SERVICE UPDATE
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 matt.wickstrom@portlandoregon.gov


The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7300, the TTY at 503-823-6868 or the Oregon Relay Service: 711. Traducción e interpretación | Chuyển Ngữ hoặc Phiên Dịch
翻译或传译 | Письменныйили устный перевод | 翻訳または通訳 | Traducere sau Interpretare
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New Code Guide for Additional Dwelling Units within Townhouses

Effective September 16, 2019: BDS has approved a new code guide that will allow additional dwelling units, specifically Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), to be constructed within Townhouses if certain requirements are met, and will provide clear requirements for spaces used in common by multiple Townhouses.

CUSTOMER & COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION

SERVICE UPDATE
August 19, 2019

New Code Guide for Additional Dwelling Units within Townhouses
Effective September 16, 2019

BDS has approved a new code guide that will allow additional dwelling units, specifically Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), to be constructed within Townhouses if certain requirements are met, and will provide clear requirements for spaces used in common by multiple Townhouses. This code guide will be effective on Monday September 16, 2019.

The Oregon Residential Specialty Code (ORSC) does not explicitly recognize ADUs. Instead, primary dwellings with attached or enclosed ADUs are treated as two-family dwellings under the building code, with specific modifications as expressed in BDS’s ADU Program Guide. However, the ORSC definition of townhouse specifies that a townhouse is a single dwelling. This code guide provides for an alternate definition and equivalent standards for two-family townhouses (i.e. a townhouse with an ADU). The code guide thus provides an avenue for a townhouse with an ADU to be designed to the ORSC instead of requiring full compliance with standards for apartment buildings in the Oregon Structural Specialty Code (OSSC).

Highlights of the new code guide are:

  • The guide requires additional fire and life safety measures to provide equivalency for building two-family townhouses. For example, a 2-hour fire separation between the ADU and the Townhouse is not required; instead, a residential sprinkler system (NFPA 13D) is required.
  • A common trash room or bike storage room serving multiple Townhouses will be allowed provided the common space is separated from each of the Townhouses by 2-hour fire resistance rated construction.

The code guide can be viewed here.

Contact: Terry Whitehill, 503-823-7639.

  



The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7300, the TTY at 503-823-6868 or the Oregon Relay Service: 711. Traducción e interpretación | Chuyển Ngữ hoặc Phiên Dịch
翻译或传译 | Письменныйили устный перевод | 翻訳または通訳 | Traducere sau Interpretare
번역 및 통역 | Письмовий або усний переклад | Turjumida ama Fasiraadda
  | 

Zenith Energy to Receive Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for Oil Terminal Upgrade

Zenith Energy to Receive Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for Oil Terminal Upgrade Houston-based Zenith Energy is receiving a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) from the City of Portland that will allow the company to begin using its newly-built racking system for unloading tank cars on its existing tank farm in Portland’s Northwest Industrial District.

CUSTOMER & COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION

SERVICE UPDATE
July 18, 2019

Zenith Energy to Receive Temporary Certificate of
Occupancy for Oil Terminal Upgrade

Houston-based Zenith Energy is receiving a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) from the City of Portland that will allow the company to begin using its newly-built racking system for unloading tank cars on its existing tank farm in Portland’s Northwest Industrial District. The City’s Bureau of Development Services is issuing the TCO because the new infrastructure complies with applicable code requirements. The project represents a significant safety upgrade to the site that includes a state-of-the-art fire suppression system, a spill containment facility in the offloading area and building sprinklers. The work does not expand the capacity of the existing storage tanks. The TCO allows the company to start using their new loading platforms while their old offloading system that does not have these safety features is taken offline and similarly upgraded. The TCO stipulates that Zenith must stop using their old offloading system.

The TCO is being issued to Zenith on Thursday, July 18, 2019.

“Decisions on permit applications are made according to the regulations that are in effect when the application is submitted,” notes Terry Whitehill, Building Official with the City of Portland. “Zenith originally filed their permit application with the City in 2014, two years prior to the City Council adopting amendments to the Portland Zoning Code related to fossil fuel terminals. The City cannot change the goalposts now and apply new, different requirements after the applicant has already submitted their permit application and been approved for construction. The project meets all applicable code requirements, so we have no authority to delay or deny the TCO.”

Bureau of Development Services Director Rebecca Esau fully acknowledges the predicament that Zenith Energy presents to the City given the City Council’s renewable energy goals and opposition to the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. “We completely share the Council’s and public’s concerns. Climate change is real, it’s happening rapidly, and action is needed now. That action needs to come in many forms, including new regulations related to fossil fuels and renewable energy. City Council adopted regulations in 2016 but those regulations were appealed. As a regulatory agency that administers and enforces existing land use and building permit requirements, the Bureau of Development Services only has authority to apply the regulations that were in effect when Zenith Energy applied for their permit in 2014. Zenith is complying with all applicable code requirements, so the bureau must proceed with issuing the TCO. It’s also important to note that their capacity at the site is not being expanded and these upgrades are making this facility safer for the public and the environment. As long as these facilities exist it’s important that they are as safe as possible. At the same time, the City continues to take important steps to address fossil fuels in Portland.”

The 2016 Fossil Fuel Terminal Zoning Code Amendments that were passed by City Council and then appealed will be brought back to Council in September. Expanded findings of fact will be presented to support the previously adopted code language that halts the expansion of new fossil fuel infrastructure in the City. For information about what was adopted in 2016, click here.

Zenith Energy’s newly-built racking system where the trains offload the crude oil includes a new foam fire protection system, fire alarm system and spill control/containment. Additional permit activity filed by Zenith with the City includes electrical, plumbing and mechanical work. Zenith has also applied for an Early Assistance appointment with the City about the feasibility of installing additional piping at their facility on NW Front Ave.

The Zenith Energy permit application is public record. For details, click here.

If you have any questions, please contact Alex Cousins, Communications Manager at 503-823-5929.

  



The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7300, the TTY at 503-823-6868 or the Oregon Relay Service: 711. Traducción e interpretación | Chuyển Ngữ hoặc Phiên Dịch
翻译或传译 | Письменныйили устный перевод | 翻訳または通訳 | Traducere sau Interpretare
번역 및 통역 | Письмовий або усний переклад | Turjumida ama Fasiraadda
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News for Property Line Adjustment Applicants

News for Property Line Adjustment Applicants Effective immediately, there are changes to the process for Property Line Adjustments (PLAs) for new applications or submitted applications that have not already received a checksheet.

CUSTOMER & COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION

SERVICE UPDATE
July 17, 2019

News for Property Line Adjustment Applicants

Effective immediately, there are changes to the process for Property Line Adjustments (PLAs) for new applications or submitted applications that have not already received a checksheet. The changes are a result of a review of the City of Portland’s process against existing state laws applied to PLAs (ORS 92.017, 92.192, and 92.010). In summary:

  • The Bureau of Development Services (BDS) cannot reduce the number of units of land through a PLA (i.e. 3 lots become 2 PLA tracts).
  • A unit of land (lot, lot of record) must meet zoning standards after the PLA, including the lot dimension and area standards in 33.610/611/612/613/614.
  • BDS cannot consider combinations of multiple lots or portions thereof as a proposed tract, when determining whether lot size/dimension standards are met through a PLA.
  • PLAs not meeting the above requirements, will therefore require a Type Ix Lot Consolidation review first, so the PLA is between two units of land that continue to meet zoning code standards and ORS requirements.
  • A Lot Consolidation will not be required prior to a PLA, if the underlying lots continue to meet lot size/dimension standards on their own and there is not another reason for the Lot Consolidation, such as crossing lot lines.

If you have any questions about how this information applies to your existing application, please contact your assigned planner. If you have questions about the process or requirements, please contact Stephanie Beckman (503-823-6979) or Kimberly Tallant (503-823-0977).

  



The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7300, the TTY at 503-823-6868 or the Oregon Relay Service: 711. Traducción e interpretación | Chuyển Ngữ hoặc Phiên Dịch
翻译或传译 | Письменныйили устный перевод | 翻訳または通訳 | Traducere sau Interpretare
번역 및 통역 | Письмовий або усний переклад | Turjumida ama Fasiraadda
  | 

Electronic Plan Review Available for All Process Managed Permits

The Bureau of Development Services has rolled out PDX ePlans (electronic plan review) as an option for all Process Managed projects as of January 2019.

CUSTOMER & COMMUNITY NOTIFICATION

SERVICE UPDATE
July 11, 2019

Electronic Plan Review Available for All Process Managed Permits

PDX ePlans provides a convenient central hub for development project stakeholders (including applicants, contractors and City reviewers) to communicate and complete the entire plan review process online, from submitting the initial application, to getting final approved plan sets electronically.

The Bureau of Development Services has rolled out PDX ePlans (electronic plan review) as an option for all Process Managed projects as of January 2019. Using ePlans, customers can submit their plans online to be reviewed electronically.  The reviewers’ mark-ups and comments are applied in layers on the screen, so each reviewer can see the mark-ups and comments from all other reviewers.  Staff at BDS and our partner bureaus can review the plans simultaneously on their computer screens. And if customers need to make a correction to their plans, they can submit those corrections online for re-review, saving a trip to the Development Services Center.  Once the permit is issued, the applicant prints a set and has it available on site for the inspectors.

If you are interested in submitting your Process Managed project through ePlans, please contact your BDS Process Manager directly, or email BDSProcessManagement@portlandoregon.gov.

Not submitting a process managed project? Stay tuned! ePlans is working to be rolled out to all commercial new construction permits in 2020.

With questions, please contact: Angie Tomlinson, Electronic Plan Review Manager, by email (angie.tomlinson@portlandoregongov) or by phone (503) 823-7663.  



The City of Portland is committed to providing meaningful access. For accommodations, modifications, translation, interpretation or other services, please call 503-823-7300, the TTY at 503-823-6868 or the Oregon Relay Service: 711. Traducción e interpretación | Chuyển Ngữ hoặc Phiên Dịch
翻译或传译 | Письменныйили устный перевод | 翻訳または通訳 | Traducere sau Interpretare
번역 및 통역 | Письмовий або усний переклад | Turjumida ama Fasiraadda
  |