Learn about the best ways to share your thoughts about neighborhood development projects. You may also want to find out about development projects near you. And, learn about more ways to give us your feedback.
We review permits using land use standards. For example, if the standard is a height limit of 35 feet, the project meets the standard if the building is 35 feet or less in height. If the building is over 35 feet, the standard is not met.
Find out if someone applied for a permit
You can use Portland Maps to search for an address or a neighborhood. You can also look at applications for the entire city.
Find construction and development news and information about zoning code changes
- Subscribe to the Development Services newsletter for information about news and events. You can also read Development Services' news articles.
- Subscribe to Planning and Sustainability's press releases and their newsletter. Their newsletter includes upcoming changes (or proposed changes) to the zoning code.
Share your thoughts during the planning process
Your input on planning projects (also called the "legislative process”) can happen in many ways. You can:
- go to workshops and other City events
- respond to City surveys and requests for comments
- testify at hearings
Learn more about upcoming public meetings.
Share your thoughts at a neighborhood meeting
Sometimes applicants set up and host a Neighborhood Contact meeting. They must have the meeting before they apply for a land use review or building permit.
The meeting gives neighbors an opportunity to learn more about a project. You can sign up to get emails about upcoming neighborhood meetings.
Provide feedback in writing or at a public hearing
Comments must focus on the Zoning Code approval criteria. We include this criteria in public notices. Provide feedback by doing one of the following:
- Send in written comments (mail, email, or dropped off) before the deadline listed in the notice. Check the public notice for the email address and/or the mailing address to use for comments.
- Share comments at a public hearing. Public testimonies have time limits (usually three minutes). If you testify, we'll include you in all future mailings for the project. See How to get involved in city council meetings for more advice on how to make the most of your time.
Guidelines for comments include:
- Put your comments in writing. Verbal comments only become part of the record if provided at a public hearing.
- Give us your comments by the deadline listed in the notice.
- Identify the approval criteria for your comments. Then, explain why you think the proposal does or does not meet the criteria.
- You can also suggest changes to the proposal. Explain how the changes meet the Zoning Code approval criteria.
Appeal land use review decisions
If you plan to appeal a decision, please visit our page on land use appeals. The appeal process, fee, and hearing body vary depending on the procedure type of the land use review appeal.
Some review types (Type I and Ix) do not have a local appeal. You can appeal these review types to the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) at the state level. For more information, please visit the LUBA website or call them at 503-373-1265.
Share feedback about development during conferences and public meetings
We offer several types of early assistance meetings.
Anyone can attend a pre-application conference
A pre-application conference provides applicants with information about project requirements, procedures and regulations. We hold pre-application conferences for all Type III and IV land use reviews, before we accept a land use review application.
Many City employees attend this conference. A Development Services planner will be there. Also, reviewers from other City bureaus like Environmental Services, Fire & Rescue, Transportation and Water. We send notifications about pre-application conferences to the associated neighborhood association and district coalition. Anyone may attend and observe these meetings.
Anyone can attend a public meeting to testify about a design advice request
A Design Advice Request gives an applicant the option to request design advice from the Design Commission or Historic Landmarks Commission. This happens before they send us a Design Review or Historic Resource Review application. Anyone may attend these public meetings and give public testimony.
Request notes from an Early Assistance meeting
One type of Early Assistance appointment allows applicants to meet with reviewers. They do this in order to:
- get help preparing a complete proposal
- learn more about the procedures and requirements of the City code
- identify policies or regulations that create opportunities or problems for the proposal
You can request notes from the meeting by contacting the Zoning Information Line. Members of the public cannot attend these meetings.
Share concerns about trees on a construction site
Tree protection is often required during construction. Usually, the City can only require protection for trees on the construction site. The City of Portland can't make applicants protect trees whose trunks are not at least partially on the construction site.
If you think construction may impact a tree near a property under construction, please call the planner to discuss your concerns. You can use Portland Maps to find the name and phone number of the planner to contact. You can also call the Zoning Information Line.
If the tree is outside the construction site, the issue is a civil matter that must be resolved between yourself and your neighbor. The City’s Office of Community & Civic Life has resources for helping neighbors resolve conflicts through their neighborhood mediation program.