The Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) is a citizen advisory body, representing those with interests in the outcome of policies, budgets, regulations, and procedures that affect development review processes.
The purpose and role of Development Services
The Bureau of Development Services is what many people think of as the Building Department. This bureau administers and enforces regulations that affect development proposals, from office towers to kitchen remodels. For the most part, the Bureau doesn’t write the regulations, it just administers and enforces them. For example, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability writes the City’s zoning code, and the Bureau of Development Services administers and enforces these zoning regulations.
It is also important to note that several other bureaus are involved in administering and/or enforcing other regulations that affect development. For example, regulations relating to stormwater and sewer management are administered by the Bureau of Environmental Services. Other bureaus involved in development review and permitting include the Bureau of Transportation, the Water Bureau, Portland Fire and Rescue, and Portland Parks and Recreation’s Urban Forestry staff. The Development Review Advisory Committee advises the Bureau of Development Services and its partner bureaus on development review, permitting and enforcement work.
The purpose of the Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC)
The Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) fosters a timely, predictable and accountable development review process that implements the City's goals for land use, transportation, housing, economic development, neighborhood livability and the environment. The Committee advocates for and supports the consistent and fair application and implementation of regulations.
Providing public input into development review
The Committee provides public input into the development review process by:
- Providing leadership and expertise on issues affecting development;
- Providing feedback to Bureaus, Review Bodies, and City Council on the impact of potential regulations and administrative rules on the development review process, taking into consideration the full range of City goals and objectives;
- Providing recommendations for regulatory, code, and administrative rule changes affecting the development review process;
- Monitoring the application and enforcement of regulations for their effectiveness in achieving the City's development goals;
- Recommending customer service, permitting, process, and compliance improvements to Bureaus, Review Bodies, and/or City Council;
- Serving as an advisory board to City Bureaus engaged in development review on review processes and procedures;
- Providing input to ensure budgets of development review bureaus are adequate to meet service goals and desired system outcomes.
Eligibility to serve on the DRAC
To be eligible to serve on the DRAC, members must live, play, worship, work or do business in the City of Portland.
The DRAC consists of 17 members who represent different aspects of the development community, neighborhoods and other interests. There are currently seven specific seats open and they are listed below. Members are appointed by the Commissioner in Charge of the Bureau of Development Services and confirmed by the City Council.
The City of Portland is actively seeking individuals who have experience with or can share the perspectives of seven distinct stakeholder groups relevant to the committee’s work:
- Historic preservation
- Minority construction contractors and development professionals
- Small businesses
- Neighborhood Coalition Land Use Committees
- Home remodelers
- Land use planning professionals
- Low-income housing developers
Desired attributes for committee members
The Bureau of Development Services is at a point of significant transformation as the bureau expands the ways it interacts with and provides services to the public, with a shift to more online and remote services becoming available. It is critically important to have people of color at the table, providing their advice and feedback on the new ways the bureau and its partner bureaus provide information to the public about existing regulations and provide development review, permitting, and enforcement services to the community.
We want people with experience in the seven areas above, especially people of color, to share their perspectives on this committee. In the past, systems were built by and for white people with access to power and resources. We need systems, processes and services that work for people of color. If you want to help development review, permitting and enforcement better serve communities of color, and you have experience in one of the seven areas, then we want to see your application:
- You believe government is better when community is involved.
- You have an interest in effective, equitable development review policies, processes, and outcomes.
- You are an advocate for racial equity: you want positive and long-lasting outcomes for racial and ethnic communities who have been left out before. You can bring discussion about racial and ethnic communities who need it the most.
- You believe in the value of public participation in government processes.
- You can work collaboratively and effectively with people representing diverse interests.
- You are available to attend all meetings and participate in the discussions.
Terms and time commitment
- The committee meets on the third Thursday of each month, from 8 to 10 a.m., traditionally in Room 2500 at 1900 SW 4th Avenue. However, due to current public health restrictions, all meetings are held online via Zoom. All meetings of the committee are open to the public.
- Members serve a term of three years, with the possibility of renewing for a second three-year term.
- Members are expected to prepare for meetings on their own time and arrive ready to discuss meeting materials and agenda items. Meeting materials for review are typically sent two to three days in advance.
- The DRAC establishes regular and ad hoc subcommittees to work in-depth on particular areas of interest. Subcommittees meet outside of the full DRAC meeting. Participation in subcommittees is voluntary and optional for DRAC members.
There are 17 members of the DRAC, serving up to (2) three-year terms. Current member categories are:
- Citywide Neighborhood Interests
- Design Professionals
- Environmental Conservation and Green Building
- Frequently Development Review Customers
- Historic Preservation
- Home Builders
- Home Remodelers
- Land Use Planning Professions
- Large Construction Contractors
- Large Developers
- Low-Income Housing Developers
- Major Facilities Landowners
- Minority Construction Contractor and Development Professionals
- Neighborhood Coalition Land Use Committees
- Planning and Sustainability Commission, (designated by Planning Commission President, and serves as an ex officio member of the Committee)
- Public Works Permit Customers
- Small Business
Public Official Conflict of Interest Notice
Those selected to serve on this body will be legally considered public officials for the duration of their service. As such, they will be required to publicly disclose potential conflicts of interest. If potential conflicts of interest are not disclosed, individual members are subject to education or monetary sanctions from the Oregon Government Ethics Commission.
Having potential conflicts of interest does not preclude you from serving on this body and may not impact your ability to participate fully on this body. Stakeholders often have potential conflicts of interest by the nature of having an interest in development review. The Conflict of Interest Disclosure is included in the application. Please describe all potential or actual conflicts of interest on your application.
Apply for the DRAC
Visit the Apply for a Board or Commission webpage for more information about how to apply.