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About Development Services (BDS)

About the Bureau of Development Services (BDS)
On this page


The Bureau of Development Services promotes safety, livability and economic vitality through efficient and collaborative application of building and development codes.


To meet the needs of our community, we pursue the following goals:

  • Support community vitality and protect life, property, and natural resources by promoting compliance with applicable codes and regulations
  • Provide cooperative and responsive internal and external customer service
  • Process all Bureau functions efficiently
  • Create a collaborative workplace that promotes mutual respect through trust, fairness and open communication
  • Support continual professional growth of the workforce and organization through education, technology and diversity


  • Dedication to serving the public
  • Pride in our work
  • Care for the long-term viability of our community
  • Recognition of worth, quality and importance of each employee and member of the community
  • Support of continual learning, education and innovation   

Equity Commitment

The Bureau of Development Services is committed to the elimination of racism and discriminatory practices in our services and in our work place, because we understand the positive value of equitable systems. View Equity Commitment Statement.

Contact Us

General inquiries

Need help? Schedule a 15-minute appointment 

You can book a free 15-minute appointment with us. Get help with the permit process, zoning requirements, building codes, and more. Language access is available. Learn more about 15-minute appointments and schedule an appointment online.

Visit Us


1900 SW 4th Avenue, Suite 5000, Portland, OR 97201 (Walk-in Services Temporarily Suspended)

Get directions via Google Maps

Plan your trip with TriMet

Walk-in services are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19. Access to the Development Services Center is limited to those with appointments to pick up or drop off paper plans. Visit this page for more information on how to access permitting and inspection services.



Metered parking is available on streets near building, although often full during business hours.

Parking garage is available at PSU NW Center Plaza, 1930 SW 4th Ave. Open 6:15 a.m. – 7 p.m. To enter the garage, you must be traveling on SW 4th Avenue (entrance is between College St. and Lincoln St.)  The parking garage is temporarily closed. Please use on-street metered parking.

15 minutes or less: The building’s loading dock has two 15-minute spaces available first-come, first-served. To access the loading dock, you must enter from Hall St. and proceed straight ahead at the light across 4th Ave.


Bike parking is available on the south side of the building.

Disability Parking

The closest disabled parking spot is on SW 4th Ave in front of building entrance - located at the stop line of SW 4th Ave and SW Hall intersection on the east side of the street. 

A wheelchair user disabled parking spot is located just north of the SW 4th and SW Hall intersection on the east side of the street. 

For additional locations of disability parking, look at this online map.

Operating plan 

Organization chart 

Director Rebecca Esau

BDS Director Rebecca Esau.

Rebecca Esau was appointed Director of the Bureau of Development Services (BDS), effective October 25, 2017. Ms. Esau has exceptional leadership and problem-solving skills, and a long history of managing within a complex regulatory environment experiencing organizational, political, and economic change. She has 16 years of management experience with the City of Portland, 14 as the division manager of the Land Use Services Division of BDS. 

As manager of the Land Use Services Division, she was responsible for the administration of the City’s zoning code as it applies to development proposals. Her leadership style is collaborative, inclusive, innovative, and resourceful. Despite the conflicts often inherent in development review and land use, Ms. Esau has successfully maintained positive and effective working relationships with stakeholders on all sides, including neighborhood representatives, the development community, and other City bureaus. She has developed a reputation for listening, fairness, practicality, and finding solutions. 

Ms. Esau served as a U.S. Peace Corps volunteer in their Urban Planning Program in Nepal from 1990 to 1993. She worked as a planner for a local city government in a city located west of Kathmandu. She also led a project with a local non-profit community organization, securing a grant and establishing a public library, which is still in operation.  

Ms. Esau holds a BS degree in Landscape Architecture from California Polytechnic State University. She is originally from California, but has lived in Oregon since returning from Nepal, and Portland is her home. She has two step-children with her husband Tom, and enjoys traveling, gardening, photography, and watching Portland Timbers and Thorns soccer games. She has dedicated her career to serving the public, addressing inequity, and helping the community collectively shape their living environment.

Director Rebecca Esau's Calendar