Do You Need a Development Permit? Examples of Projects That Require Permits

Mix of people sitting on benches outside of Posie's Cafe in N Portland with bikes parked along the street
Get information about banner permits, circus tent permits, flagpole permits, meter hood permits, sign permits and tent permits. Read about permits for your home business and change of occupancy permits. Get the building permit application form and more forms here.
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The City of Portland welcomes the opportunity to work with you on your permit. Learn more about permits needed for some different types of projects. Find out if you need permits and what kind of permits you need. You can also schedule an appointment to discuss your project. 

This webpage can help you decide if you need a permit for your project. If you need a permit, the next step will be to read about permit requirements on the linked webpages. 

Any work in the public right of way       

Any work in the public right-of-way requires a permit. Or, this work may be allowed by code if the conditions are met under the authority of Transportation. Please contact Transportation ("PBOT") for more information. 

Change of occupancy 

A change of occupancy requires a building permit.


Flagpoles require a building permit

Home business permits 

  • Home Occupation - Type A. Doesn't require a permit. Allows residents to use their home as place of work, but no customers or employees come to the house.
  • Home Occupation - Type B. Requires a Home Occupation Permit. Allows either one employee who does not live in the home or up to eight customers per day to come to the dwelling.

Meter hoods   

Transportation issues these permits. Please contact Transportation for more information. 

Noise: Make noise beyond allowed standards   

A noise permit is required if you plan to make noise above the allowed decibels and/or during non-construction hours/day. Read more about allowed construction hours.

Parking permits

Transportation issues these permits. Please contact Transportation for more information. 

Sidewalk cafes and street pole banners 

  • Sidewalk café seating. Transportation issues these permits. Please contact Transportation ("PBOT") for more information. 
  • Banners hung from street poles. Transportation issues these permits. Please contact Transportation ("PBOT") for more information. 

Signs, A-boards and banners     

Tents and building permits 

Start a new permit application

The related web pages have more information about specific permit types and the permit review process (the steps to getting a permit). 

In addition, here are the building permit application, the home occupation permit application and the sign permit application: 

Projects that require Development Services permits 

Learn more about projects that need Development Services permits:

  • Commercial permits for commercial construction sites (including multi-family dwellings) 
  • Outside work permits include concrete patio permits, decommission permits, driveway permits, sewer connection permits and more
  • Residential permits are for home repair work done on one and two-family homes. This webpage also has information about projects that don't need a permit. 
  • Trade permits for adding a bathroom, replacing plumbing fixtures or adding water lines

Still not sure if you need a permit? Schedule a 15-minute appointment 

If you have questions after reviewing the information on this page, we recommend you book a free 15-minute appointment with us. 

This is an optional step. We're here for you if you have questions about the information and materials you need to apply. 


PDX 311 Customer Service Program

phone number311City of Portland general information hotline
phone number503-823-4000Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. (excluding federal holidays) Translation services available
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Permitting General Information

Development Services
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Zoning Information Line

Development Services
phone number503-823-7526Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Leave a message with a phone number, the project address, and your questions.
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