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Are you a public works permit customer interested in advising the permitting process in Portland? Apply to serve on the Development Review Advisory Committee

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Active construction site. A worker bends over to hand a pipe to another worker inside a concrete pit.
The City of Portland is seeking interested persons to serve in one position for a three-year term on the Development Review Advisory Committee. Persons of color are encouraged to apply. Applications are accepted through Sunday, Oct. 15.
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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.

Development Services and the DRAC

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

For the most part, BDS does not 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 also administer and enforce regulations that affect development. For example, rules 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.
 

Eligibility

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 is currently one specific seat open. 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 as, or who share the perspectives of, public works permit customers.

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

Desired attributes

The Bureau of Development Services is at a point of significant transformation as it expands how 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 two specified 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, all meetings are currently 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 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.

Volunteer ethics

Those who serve on this advisory body are considered to be public officials, which means that you must serve fairly and ethically. We will provide training on this once you are appointed. Part of following Oregon's government ethics laws means you must tell the group when you or a relative may financially benefit (or avoid fees) by your recommendations. This is called a "conflict of interest." If you tell us about potential conflicts of interest, that does not mean you cannot serve. In fact, many committees have members with potential conflicts of interest. We appreciate your inclusion of possible conflicts of interest on the form included with the application.
 

Application

Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023.

Apply for appointment to this committee 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 mark.fetters@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-6351.
 

Voluntary and confidential demographic information

The City is committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity. It uses the demographic information provided to help ensure that advisory body appointments represent a broad cross-section of the community. Your information will not be used during the recruitment or 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 AdvisoryBodies@Portlandoregon.gov.
 

For more information

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