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Development Review and Permit Process

Overview of the development and permit review process from concept to construction. General information about building in Portland from researching what is needed, application process, review and inspection process.

On this page
Mechanical engineers looking at a building permit plan

Development Services oversees the City's development review process. We review how land is used and how buildings are built.

Land use 

The staff in the land use section are City Planners. They make sure plans and development follow the rules of the City of Portland Zoning Code. The timeline for getting a permit depends on the size and complexity of the project. It also depends upon the completeness of the application and the response time for providing more information. Review staff work on projects according to the date they received the plans. Land Use Review timelines vary from as short as six weeks to as long as six months.

Plan review 

Some projects need plan review by City Staff. Plan review includes Geotechnical Engineers, Life Safety Plans Examiners and Structural Engineers:

  • Geotechnical Engineers make sure the physical location can support the structure.
  • Life Safety plan reviewers make sure plans follow the rules in the city and state Building Codes.
  • Structural Engineers make sure the plans are structurally sound.

The timeline for getting a permit depends on the size and complexity of the project. It also depends upon the completeness of the application and the response time for providing more information. Review staff work on projects according to the date they received the plans. 

Others who review building projects 

There are many others in the City who look at plans to see how the building will impact our resources.

  • The Portland Water Bureau reviews plans to see how the project will impact our water supply.
  • The Bureau of Environmental Services looks at plans to see the impact on the sewer and stormwater systems.
  • The Portland Bureau of Transportation looks at plans to gage the impact on our roads.
  • Portland Fire & Life Safety reviews plans to see how the follow Oregon Fire Code.
  • Portland Parks & Recreation and Urban Forestry looks at how your project will affect our parks, natural areas and trees. 

All of us work together to make sure projects are safe, sustainable, and protect the livability of Portland.

Contact

Development Services Center

Development Services

phone number503-823-7310

Monday through Friday from 8 am - 5 pm. Leave a message with detailed information.

Permitting General Information

Development Services

Location