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Help guide development review in Portland; apply by June 14

News Article
August 22, 2018: Project Engineer Haley Rothwell of Colas Construction discusses The Beatrice Morrow apartments on NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., with Martin Segura III, LEED AP at Carleton Hart Architecture.
The City of Portland is seeking interested persons to serve in one of four positions, each for a three-year term, on the Development Review Advisory Committee. Persons of color are encouraged to apply. The deadline to apply is Monday, June 14.
In this article

Purposes and roles of the Development Review Advisory Committee

The Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) advises the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) and other bureaus of the City of Portland that are involved with construction-related permits. The 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 DRAC advocates for and supports the consistent and fair application and implementation of regulations.

DRAC provides public input into the development review process by:

  1. Providing leadership and expertise on issues affecting development;
  2. Providing feedback to City Bureaus, public 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;
  3. Providing recommendations for regulatory, code, and administrative rule changes affecting the development review process; 
  4. Monitoring the application and enforcement of regulations for their effectiveness in achieving the City's development goals; 
  5. Recommending customer service, permitting, process, and compliance improvements to City Bureaus, public review bodies, and City Council;
  6. Serving as an advisory board to City Bureaus engaged in development review on review processes and procedures;
  7. Providing input to ensure budgets of development review bureaus are adequate to meet service goals and desired system outcomes.

Purposes and roles of the Bureau of Development Services

As the primary bureau engaged in development review, the Bureau of Development Services provides staff support to DRAC. BDS is what many people think of as the Building Department. BDS administers and enforces regulations that affect development proposals, from office towers to kitchen remodels.

For the most part, BDS 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 BDS administers and enforces these zoning regulations.

Other city bureaus are also involved in administering and enforcing 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. DRAC advises BDS and these partner bureaus on development review, permitting and enforcement work.


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 four 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 four distinct stakeholder groups relevant to the committee’s work:

  • Historic preservation
  • Home builders
  • Home remodelers
  • Major facilities’ landowners

Applications received from individuals who are not chosen through this recruitment will be retained for consideration for future openings.

Desired attributes

BDS 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, perspectives 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 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

  • DRAC meets on the third Thursday of each month, from 8 to 10 a.m., traditionally in City offices 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 attend and participate in meetings consistently.  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.
  • 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.

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. 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 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.

Application process

Applications are due no later than 11 p.m. on Monday, June 14.

Application information and materials are available here.

To talk with someone about this opportunity or to receive assistance completing the application, please contact the committee’s staff liaison, Mark Fetters, at or 503-823-6351.

Voluntary and confidential demographic information

The City of Portland is committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity and uses provided demographic information to help ensure that advisory body appointments represent a broad cross-section of community. Your information will not be used during the recruitment nor the selection process. State and federal law prohibit use of this information to discriminate against you. The City will treat this information as confidential to the fullest extent allowed by law. Questions about this may be sent to

General questions

For general questions about the Advisory Bodies program, the recruitment process or other upcoming advisory body opportunities, please email

For more information

For more information about the Development Review Advisory Committee, please visit its website.