Research Information Needed for Your Permit

Woman on a laptop viewing the GovQA website.
The first step to getting a permit or land use review with the City of Portland is to research the property. You can find the permit history, utilities and services, permit fees and more online. Learn more about what to research and how to research properties online before you apply.
On this page

Research property information 

  • Address 
  • Legal description of the property (called the Tax Roll on Portland Maps)
  • Owner's name & address
  • Tax Account number (also called the R number or Property ID on Portland Maps)

This information is available on Portland Maps under the Property Description in the Assessor Detail. If there is not an address, you can use the Tax Account Number.  

Learn more about utilities and services Information 

  • Fire access
  • Public streets 
  • Sanitary sewer  
  • Stormwater facilities
  • Water supply

This information is available on Portland Maps. Streets that are publicly maintained will appear white on Portland Maps. If there is no water or sewer nearby, it can be expensive to connect.  

Research fees and system development charges (SDCs)

Visit our most Current Fee Schedules: Building Permit Costs, Trade Permit Costs and Other BDS Fees. Your project could have fees from several fee tables.

System development charges (SDCs) are fees charged to new development, additions and changes of use. These fees help offset the impact your project will have on the City’s storm and sanitary sewer systems, parks and recreation facilities, water, and street systems. 

Get the permit history and review land use decisions

Research the permit history of the property. For commercial sites, you should know what the last permitted occupancy or use was.  For residential sites, if you are altering a home or duplex, check to see what was done with a permit. For commercial and residential sites, you should also know if there are any land use decisions that could impact your project. 

Some information may be on Portland Maps. You can also request permit plans and land use records.

Other things to learn about a site

Some sites may need more research. For example: 

Projects that need a Public Works permit 

When properties develop, public services are needed to serve these developments. Services such as sanitary sewer, water, street improvements and stormwater management are necessary.

You need a Public Works permit for privately funded public improvements in a public right-of-way in the City of Portland. Because these improvements are for public use, City staff must review and approve plans before construction.

A public works improvement and permit may be required as part of a building permit review or as part of a Land Use Review, such as a subdivision. At the time of these reviews, staff will inform an applicant of the requirements. The Public Works Permit Process has more information. 

Projects that typically require a Public Works permit include: 

  • Curb and street pavement construction
  • Sewer mainline extensions
  • Sidewalk reconstruction
  • Stormwater facilities for street drainage
  • Street lighting
  • Water main extensions for subdivisions in proposed (new) public rights-of-way

Read more about the Development Services permit review process

Next steps to getting a permit or land use review in the City of Portland

You might also want to learn about Contractor License RequirementsFind a Contractor, learn Who Can Cancel a Permit?, read about Permitting and Other Bureaus or Report a Problem.