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The City of Portland, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

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Do you have any signs? Changes to Zoning Code and Sign Code may impact you


May 7, 2018 

Do you have any signs? Changes to the Zoning Code and Sign Code may impact you

Changes to the Zoning Code (Title 33) Sign Code (Title 32) to implement the 2035 Comprehensive Plan will take effect at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 24, 2018. These changes may have important ramifications for you if there are signs on your property or place of business.

  • The Sign Code (Title 32) is being updated to conform to new zones in the Zoning Code that were adopted as part of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan in December 2016. While the sign allowances are not changing substantively, changes in zoning for some properties may result in different sign allowances.
  • While sign allowances will not change for the new zones in most cases, there will be some cases where customers will face a change in sign size allowance. Due to zoning changes, some existing signs will be considered non-conforming after May 24. This means any structural change (such as changing the bulb type) will trigger a new sign permit using the new allowances.
  • Sign allowances that were previously approvable will be reduced in some instances, depending on your new zoning. In order to maintain that previous size allocation, customers must have a sign permit under review, with intake fees paid by May 24 at noon, when the Development Services Center closes early for Residential Permit Night. View the DSC hours.
  • To be eligible to use the exception for existing signs, customers with issued sign permits affected by these changes will need BDS-approved final inspections.

To find out if these changes affect you, you’ll need to do some research:

  • First, determine the zoning for your property. Before May 24, you can find your zoning by entering your address on the Map Refinement Project website and looking for changes on the right side. After May 24, you can find this information by entering your address on PortlandMaps and looking at the Zoning field.
  • Next, check the Sign Code allowances for the new zone. View the changes to the actual Sign Code (Title 32).
  • Exception for existing signs: Sign Code provides an exception for existing signs that have been established prior to November 18, 1998, or was allowed when established. Learn more about these allowances in Portland City Code 32.36.030.

BDS is here to help you have a smooth experience with these changes. If you have any questions, please call the BDS Sign Specialist at 503-823-7996. 



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