April 1, 2019
Deadline to Finalize ADU Permits Submitted for Review Prior to July 31, 2018 is June 30, 2020
The Portland City Council views construction of Additional Dwelling Units (ADUs) as an essential component of meeting the City of Portland’s housing density goals. Building permits submitted to Development Services that include new dwelling units are charged system development charges (SDC). These fees, which are assessed by the Water Bureau, Parks and Recreation, Environmental Services, and Transportation, are to help offset the impact that project will have on the City’s infrastructure.
To encourage development and increase housing stock, the Portland City Council began waiving system development charges assessed to ADU permits in 2010. Last year, City Council revised the system development charges waiver and reaffirmed a deadline for previously approved ADUs to complete construction.
Changes happening July 1, 2020
If you applied for a permit to construct an ADU on or before July 31, 2018, your project must be constructed and receive final inspection approval by June 30, 2020. If your ADU project completion occurs on or after July 1, 2020, you will either need to pay system development charges fees or comply with newly adopted rules of the ADU system development charges waiver programs. If you intend to use the completed ADU, or any other structure on the lot, as an accessory short-term rental within the first 10 years of the final approval of the building permit, you will not be eligible for the system development charges ADU Waiver Program and City Bureaus may collect applicable system development charges fees.
When planning your project, please be mindful of this deadline. Although ADUs are typically smaller than single-family residences, construction and inspections of an ADU does not happen on a shrunken schedule.
Processing fees and system development charges in the future
Participation in the system development charges ADU Waiver Program requires a $400 processing fee paid to the City’s Revenue Division of the Office of Management and Finance. The system development charges ADU Waiver Program also requires a Restrictive Covenant to be recorded with the Multnomah County Recorder’s Office stating that you agree not to use any structure on the lot (including the ADU) as an accessory short-term rental for 10 years after final approval of the building permit. If the ADU is used as an accessory short-term rental at any time during the 10-year period, any waived system development charges fees must be repaid at 150% of the then-current system development charges rate. You can read specific guidelines on the new ADU system development charges waiver program online.
Review zoning regulations and Zoning Code
Zoning regulations related to ADUs, where they can be constructed and applicable design parameters are available in the Portland Zoning Code, Chapter 33.205. More information of system development charges can be found here.
Contact the Bureau of Development Services' Permitting Services Division for questions about whether your ADU project is subject to the deadline for final inspection approval.
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