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Find Out What You Can Do on a Site

City of Portland Planning and Zoning Code has information on what you can and cannot do on property. Planning & Zoning and Land Use Review make sure projects align with Title 33 Planning and Zoning Code.

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A residential subdivision under construction

Planning and zoning: base zones, overlay zones and plan districts

You can find the zoning of a property on Portland Maps under Permits and Zoning - Zoning and Districts. 

Zoning regulations affect all new construction, most alterations, commercial occupancy changes. Zoning rules also apply to property line changes and most site activity including some tree cutting and landscaping.

All properties in the City of Portland have a base zone. Some properties may also have additional standards you must follow:

  • Overlay zones
  • Plan Districts
  • Historic & Conservation Districts 
  • Historical landmarks
  • Natural Resource Management plans

City and State Codes and Rules has links to Title 33, Planning and Zoning Code. 

Some sites and projects will need a Land Use Review.

If the property is in unincorporated Multnomah County (not in City of Portland), ask their Land Use Planning.

Land use review

Depending on the zoning at the site, and the proposed use or development, a project may need a land use review.

The base zones, overlay zones, plan districts and other sections of the zoning code list the regulations. Development on a site also relies on conditions of approval from past land use approvals.

The zoning code chapters will list the conditions that will need a review.

If you need a modification or a waiver of some development standards, a land use reviews is required.

Types of land use reviews

There are 5 types of land use reviews: Type I, II, IIx, III and IV. The assignment of the procedure type (I through IV) is usually done in the City of Portland Zoning Code chapter that establishes the review.

Type I, II, and IIx reviews are made administratively by Bureau of Development Services staff. Type III and IV reviews involve a public hearing before the decision is made.

Land use review process review time

The length of time necessary for each land use review will vary depending on the procedure type. Incomplete applications will lengthen the review time. In general, a land use review will take from 2 to 6 months.

Land use planning & zoning assistance

For general questions, contact the Planning & Zoning by phone.  For a fee, you can also request a Time Certain Appointment.  

There are different types of Early Assistance Zoning available. 

Once your land use review is completed, you are ready to submit plans!