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Facility Permit Program (FPP) FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

On this page

Facility Permit Program applications, forms and handouts

Application for Permit to install Fire Alarm System

Application for Permit to install Fixed System

Application for Permit to install Sprinkler System

Application to install/remove Tanks, Cylinders & Equipment

Portland Water Bureau W-4 form

Allowed or not allowed through FPP

Allowed

  • Maintenance and Repair;
  • Major Tenant Improvements and Remodels; Alteration or renovation of existing tenant spaces;
  • Creation of new tenant spaces within existing building shell;
  • Changes in the use of existing space, within an occupancy classification;
  • Occupancy changes which do not create a greater overall relative hazard category determination;
  • Addition or alteration of mechanical, plumbing and electrical services.   

Not allowed

  • Changes of occupancy which create a greater overall relative hazard category determination;
  • Construction of new buildings;
  • Additions that extend or increase square footage of a building or structure;
  • Electrical services;
  • Feeders greater than 400 amps;
  • Anything over 1,000 volts;
  • Sign Permits;
  • Photovoltaic systems;
  • Minor Labels or other alternative permitting and inspection programs within FPP Buildings;
  • Any work deemed by the FPP staff to be better suited to the standard review process, or beyond the scope of program.

FPP participant responsibilities

While FPP tries to keep projects moving forward in a timely manner, there are certain responsibilities for FPP Participants (applicants and contractors) and the FPP Responsible Parties. The Responsible Party is the individual that FPP can turn to for assistance providing Project Reference Numbers, Project and overall building Information.  This includes, but is not limited to the following: 

  • Remit payment for FPP program services within 30 days of the invoice billing date.
  • Notify FPP of any changes to building ownership and/or management company changes in a timely manner.
  • FPP registrations are not transferable from one owner/management company to another.
  • Contact information must be kept up to date.
  • Communicate with your FPP Team PRIOR to submittal of a project. We can't guarantee that FPP can permit EVERY project - let's walk the project ahead of time.
  • Meet minimum submittal requirements. All projects, regardless of scope must meet the City's establishment minimum submittal requirements.
  • Verify work is performed according to approved drawings.
  • Provide access to sites for FPP Inspectors.
  • Ensure permits receive final inspection approval. Work directly with your FPP inspection team to make this a smooth, seamless process.

Applicant FAQ

1. What is a Project Reference Number or "Billing Identification Number?"

Visit the Project Reference number page for more information.

2. What type of work can be done under the Facility Permit Program?

The program is limited to interior tenant improvements, and maintenance and repair work. 

3. Does participation in the Facility Permit Program eliminate the need for individual Trade Permits?

No. Each trade contractor should refer to the appropriate trade FPP FAQ for information. FPP is designed to streamline the permit process, not eliminate it.

4. How do we begin with a new project?

Visit the Applying for my Permit page. 

5. Where should I submit my project plans and application?

Electronic Plan review: If your plans consist of 30 or fewer pages, your plans may be submitted electronically. Please follow the steps outlined in the FPP Single PDF Process for more information.

Paper Plan review: If your plans consist of 31 or more pages paper plans will be required. You may call the Facility Permit Program phone number to schedule an appointment. 

6. How many sets of plans are required upon application for permit and what information needs to be on our plans? What information do I need to submit application for a Facility Permit?

Visit the FPP Minimum submittal requirements page.

7. How do I schedule inspections?

Always leave the request on the desk phone of your inspector. Although you can contact your Senior FPP Inspector via email or cell phone, leaving a message on their desk phone ensures your inspection request will be received in a timely manner. Often, if you call PRIOR to 7:00 a.m., you can receive your inspection the same day.

8. How can I check the status of my permit application?

• Visit Portland Maps
• For general questions on permit applications and status of existing permits, please call the Facility Permit Program (FPP) phone number.

9. How do I know if a building is registered under the Facility Permit Program, and who the inspector is?

Visit the FPP Customer & Building List.

10. Who is responsible for calling for inspections on Facility Permit projects?

The contractor doing the work should call their Senior FPP Inspector directly to schedule inspections.

What information and how many sets of plans do I need to submit for an FPP permit?

11. Can I schedule a pre-application meeting, or a site job consultation meeting prior to permit application submittal?

Absolutely, job consultations and pre-application meetings are common place and have become a means of significantly reducing plan review time on complex project submittals. See our FPP Customer & Building List to determine your building inspector and contact them for scheduling your pre-application meeting.

Absolutely, job consultations and pre-application meetings are common place and have become a means of significantly reducing plan review time on complex project submittals. Please contact the FPP Project Coordinator to schedule your pre-application meeting. 

Billing and fee FAQ

1. How are fees assessed on permitted projects?

  • FPP Customers are billed an hourly rate for Inspection, plan review, administrative, and project management services. (Minimum 1 hour for inspections)
  • A State Surcharge of 12% is added to all inspections.
  • Other potential charges: Metro Excise Tax, SDC fees, and Water Bureau fees from our Inter-Agency partners.
  • Some fees must be paid in person at the DSC before permit issuance such as SDC and Water fees.
  • If the building permit valuation exceeds $600k, building inspection and plan review fees are based on the project valuation and building permit fee schedule.

2. What are the billing terms?

FPP clients will receive a monthly mailed itemized billing invoice for each project from the initial plan review through final inspection. The terms of billing are due upon receipt of the invoice and past due after 30 days. A courtesy reminder invoice is generated by our Central Accounting office when an invoice is 31 days past due or more and will continue to be sent each month until invoice is paid.

3. How do I pay my invoice?

  • All FPP invoices can be paid by mail. Remit Payment to: City of Portland, Attn: General AR, PO Box 5066, Portland, OR 97208-5066
  • Please refer to your invoice coupon for additional payment options. 

4. There appears to be a mistake on my bill.  How do I get my questions answered?

Please contact us at 503-823-5521 with your invoice number. We can assist you in answering most billing questions or direct you to the appropriate department.

Any Other Options to Pay?

5. Can we use our own Purchase Order System (P.O.)?

Yes. We call it the Project Reference Number or Billing Identification Number. Your organization's responsible party should work with your accounting department to identify the proper numbers. Our system can accommodate up to 26 alpha/numeric characters.

6. Are there additional fees beyond standard permit fees?

  • All FPP Customers are assessed an annual registration fee. Please see the City of Portland fee schedule, Miscellaneous Fees, Facility Permit/Master Permit Program.
  • Other potential charges: Metro Excise Tax and SDC fees from our Inter-Agency Partners.
  • Some fees must be paid in person in the DSC before permit issuance such as SDC and Water fees.

Electrical FAQ

1. Is an electrical permit application always required to obtain an electrical permit?

Yes, an electrical permit application is always required regardless of the electrical work being performed.

2. What can hold up issuance of my permit?

a. An incomplete application

  • Associated Building permit number not supplied
  • Missing Project Reference number/Billing number
  • Incomplete licensing information
  • Missing address/tenant name/suite number
  • No signing supervisor signature

b. Obtaining an online permit instead of applying through the FPP process

3. Is a permit required for an access reader?

Yes. Access readers do require an electrical permit, building permit (the location of the access reader may impact emergency egress from a tenant space or building), and possibly a permit through Portland Fire & Rescue.

4. What permits are required for a new or modified fire alarm system?  

  • An electrical permit for the wiring of the system
  • A Portland Fire & Rescue permit for the design of the system and layout of the devices

5. Can there be multiple electrical permits on a project?

Yes, each contractor is responsible for obtaining a permit for the scope of the work they are performing. For example, there may be multiple electrical permits on a project:

  • Power (power to the suite you’re working in)
  • Fire Alarm (new or alteration of systems or devices)
  • Low Voltage (access readers, voice/data, audio/video, etc.)

If you coordinate the timing of your electrical inspections, multiple electrical inspections for the same project can occur simultaneously.

All electrical permits are required to be finaled prior to the building permit being finaled.

6. When are electrical plans required?

Electrical plans are submitted as part of the building permit process. If the electrical reviewer needs additional information, they’ll send a checksheet to the permit applicant.

7. What work cannot be processed through FPP and will be required to go through the standard commercial electrical process?

  • Services
  • Feeders exceeding 400 amps
  • Circuits & feeders over 1,000 volts
  • Photovoltaic systems
  • Sign Permits

8. Who should call for the inspections?

The contractor doing the work should call their senior FPP Electrical Inspector directly to schedule inspections.

Always leave the request on the desk phone of your inspector. Although you can contact your Senior FPP Electrical Inspector via email or cell phone, leaving a message on their desk phone ensures your inspection request will be received in a timely manner.

9. What information should be provided as part of the request for inspection?

  • Permit Number
  • Site Address
  • Type of Inspection
  • Contractor Information
  • Site Contact Information

10. Can I use the MEPP/Inplant Inspections program in this building?

Yes, the MEPP/Inplant inspections program is available. An orientation meeting will be required. Please call the Facility Permit Program (FPP) phone number and ask for the FPP Project Coordinator.

11. Can I use a minor electrical label?

No, the FPP Program Guide does not allow the use of Minor Electrical Labels. Contact your Senior Electrical Inspector with further questions.

Fire FAQ

1. What are the minimum submittal requirements for Fire Alarm permit applications?

See the Fire Alarm Application

2. What are the minimum submittal requirements for Fire Fixed System permit applications?

See the Fixed System Application

3. What are the minimum submittal requirements for Fire Sprinkler system permit applications?

See the Fire Sprinkler Application

4. What are the minimum submittal requirements to install/remove Tanks, Cylinders & Equipment applications?

See the Install/Remove Tanks, Cylinders & Equipment Application

5. Does the Fire Inspector need to inspect all projects at final regardless of sprinkler or fire alarm modifications?

Yes. A final inspection is always required.

6. When are fire alarm upgrades required as relates to existing buildings and remodel work?

Upgrades requirements are handled on a case by case basis.  Questions should be directed to your assigned Fire Inspector / Plan Reviewer.

7. Is a permit required for an access reader?

Yes. Access readers do require an electrical permit, building permit (the location of the access reader may impact emergency egress from a tenant space or building), and possibly a permit through Portland Fire & Rescue.

8. What permits are required for a new or modified fire alarm system?  

  • An electrical permit for the wiring of the system
  • A Portland Fire & Rescue permit for the design of the system and layout of the devices

9. When are Fire Alarm/Sprinkler/Fixed Extinguish/HM plans required?

Plans are submitted as part of the Fire permit process. If the Fire reviewer needs additional information, they’ll contact permit applicant.

10. What information should be provided as part of the request for inspection?

  • Permit Number
  • Site Address
  • Type of Inspection
  • Contractor Information
  • Site Contact Information

11. How long will my permit take to issue?

Permit issuance is directly related to the complexity of the project.  On average Trade Applications have been running approximately 3 to 5 days.  The completeness of the submittal will also affect this time line.

12. Who should call for the inspections?

The contractor doing the work should call their Fire Inspector directly to schedule inspections.

13. Submit plans to: 

Facility Program
Bureau of Development Services
1900 SW 4th Ave – 2nd Floor
Portland, OR 97201

14. Who can I call with other questions?

Please call the Fire Marshal Permit Office at 503-823-3712

Mechanical FAQ

1. Is a mechanical permit application always required to obtain a mechanical permit?

Yes, a mechanical permit application and the FPP mechanical Intake form are always required regardless of the mechanical work being performed. 

2. Under the Facility Permit Program, when are plans not required for Mechanical Permits?

Mechanical plans are always required regardless of the mechanical work being performed.

3. Can there be multiple electrical permits on a project?

a. An incomplete application

  • Associated Building permit number not supplied
  • Missing Project Reference number/Billing number
  • Incomplete licensing information
  • Missing address/tenant name/suite number
  • No responsible party signature on the application

4. Can there be multiple mechanical permits on a project?

Yes, each contractor is responsible for obtaining a permit for the scope of the work they are performing. For example, there may be multiple mechanical permits on a project:

  • Roof top units
  • Interior HVAC modifications

Coordinate the timing of your mechanical inspections, multiple mechanical inspections for the same project can occur simultaneously.

All mechanical permits are required to be finaled prior to the building permit being finaled.

5. Who should call for the inspections?

The contractor doing the work should call their Senior Building/Mechanical Inspector/Plans Examiner directly to schedule inspections.

Always leave the request on the desk phone of your inspector. Although you can contact your Senior FPP Inspector via email or cell phone, leaving a message on their desk phone ensures your inspection request will be received in a timely manner.

6. What information should be provided as part of the request for inspection?

  • Permit Number
  • Site Address
  • Type of inspection
  • Contractor information
  • Site contact information

7. Can I use a Minor Mechanical Label?

No, the FPP Program Guide does not allow the use of Minor Mechanical Labels. Contact your Senior Building/Mechanical Inspector/Plans Examiner with further questions.

Plumbing FAQ

1. Is a plumbing permit application always required to obtain a plumbing permit?

Yes, a plumbing permit application is always required regardless of the plumbing work being performed.

2. What can hold up issuance of my permit? What can hold up the issuance of my permit?

a. An incomplete application

  • Associated Building permit number not supplied
  • Missing Project Reference number/Billing number
  • Incomplete licensing information
  • Missing address/tenant name/suite number
  • No responsible party signature on the application

b. Obtaining an online permit instead of applying through the FPP process

3. Can exterior site utility work be performed under the Facility Permit Program?

New site work may not be performed as a Facility Permit.  However, maintenance and repair work may be done as a Facility Project.

4. Can there be multiple plumbing permits on a project?

Yes, each contractor is responsible for obtaining a permit for the scope of the work they are performing.

If you coordinate the timing of your plumbing inspections, multiple plumbing inspections for the same project can occur simultaneously.

All plumbing permits are required to be finaled prior to the building permit being finaled.

5. Is a Plumbing Drawing required for 5 or more fixtures?

Yes, plumbing drawings are required under OAR Section 918. When there are 5 or more fixtures additional plan review may be required by other Bureaus including, but not limited to, the Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services. Specific questions should be directed to the Senior FPP Plumbing Inspector.

6. What work cannot be processed through FPP and will be required to go through the standard commercial plumbing process?

New Site work.

7. Who should call for the inspections?

The contractor doing the work should call their Senior FPP Plumbing Inspector directly to schedule inspections.

Always leave the request on the desk phone of your inspector. Although you can contact your Senior FPP Plumbing Inspector via email or cell phone, leaving a message on their desk phone ensures your inspection request will be received in a timely manner.

8. What information should be provided as part of the request for inspection?

  • Permit Number
  • Site Address
  • Type of Inspection
  • Contractor Information
  • Site Contact Information
  • Missing Contractor Signature(s)

9. Can I use a Minor Plumbing Label?

No, the FPP Program Guide does not allow the use of Minor Plumbing Labels. Contact your Senior Plumbing Inspector with further questions.

Trade Permit FAQ

1. How should I apply for my trade permit?

Application for permit should start with a phone call directly to their facility inspector.  Most applications for trade permit can be made over the phone. Internet permits and minor labels are not allowed in FFP.

2. Are owners allowed to do trade work on Facility Permit Projects?

Work authorized under the Facility Permit Program is subject to the same license regulations as all other work within the State of Oregon.  Specific questions should be directed to the Building Codes Agency in Salem.

3. If a project previously issued through the Standard Permit Process is re-issued as a Facility Permit, how do I get a refund of fees?

Requests for the cancellation and refund of fees should be made to the Development Service Center Manager.

  • Subcontractors are informed the permit has been submitted and will be issued through the FPP program.
  • Subcontractors cannot obtain an internet permit for an FPP Project.
  • All Trade work is to be done under the FPP permit Program. (You cannot use a minor label or electrical log book for part of the work.)
  • Subcontractors submit their applications by fax or in person and clearly identify the associated building permit. if it is standalone work, (meaning, there is no structural work) a Project Reference Number MUST be provided.

Contact

Facility Permit Program (FPP)

Development Services

phone number503-823-5996

Monday through Friday from 8 am - 4 pm. Leave a message with your name, phone number, permit number and project name.

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