Help review and advise on building code decisions; apply by Oct. 29

News Article
Person with paperwork and hard hat on a desk.
The City of Portland seeks two people to each serve a three-year term on the Building Code Board of Appeals. Persons of color are encouraged to apply. Applications are due no later than Friday, Oct. 29.
In this article

Are you an experienced builder or architect who is interested in ensuring the built environment in Portland is safe? Do you have a passion for learning more about development proposals and advising on creative approaches to meeting building code requirements? If so, the City of Portland could benefit from your talents and passion.

Purpose of the Building Code Board of Appeals

The Building Code Board of Appeals is a three-person advisory body that reviews appeals from architects, builders and developers who disagree with decisions made by city building officials to require changes to construction plans or proposed alternate methods to meet state and local building codes. The Board meets with the appellants and City building officials to discuss ideas and concerns with proposed construction plans and issue rulings on whether to uphold the decisions of the Administrative Appeals Board, which provides an initial review of contested building proposals, or allow an initial development proposal to proceed, either as-is or with minor changes.


To be eligible to serve on the Building Code Board of Appeals, members must live, play, worship, work or do business in the City of Portland.

There are three member positions and three alternates on the Board
. Members must be a registered architect or builder or a member of the public at-large who is qualified, by experience and training, to make decisions on matters pertaining to building code issues. Alternates may be called on to serve in the absence of a regular member.

The City of Portland is currently recruiting for two positions.

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 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 new ways the Bureau and its partner bureaus serve the community through the application of building codes.

We need systems, processes and services that work for people of color. If you want to assist the review and application of buildings codes in better serving communities of color, and you have experience and training in construction and development that can inform this Board’s work, then we want to see your application.
The attributes listed below are what will guide our selection process. We do not expect you to be or have everything listed:

  • You believe government is better when community is involved.
  • You have an interest in effective, equitable application of building codes.
  • 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.
  • You are a competent architect who has practiced their profession for at least three years. 
  • You are a competent builder who has engaged in the construction business in the City of Portland for at least two years.

Terms and time commitment

  • The Building Code Board of Appeals meets on an as-needed basis as appeals are received. The Board meets once a month on the morning of the second Thursday of the month. Individual meetings typically last no longer than two hours.
  • Meetings are traditionally held 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 Board are open to the public.
  • Members serve a term of three years with the possibility of renewing for a second three-year term.
  • We provide interpreters who will translate the conversation in your language during the meeting. Please ask for an interpreter at least a week in advance of the meeting so we have enough time to make arrangements.
  • You may need to read and write in your language. Verbal and written translations are performed by outside organizations. The dialects may be different than your home region and may be different on each document.
  • We try to translate the written materials you ask for, but we may not be able to provide translation on all meeting documents.
  • 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 one week in advance.

We Remove Barriers

Let us know if there are barriers to your participation. Parking passes will be available if you need those to participate fully.

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 an interest in construction and development matters. The Conflict of Interest Disclosure is included in the application. Please describe all potential or actual conflicts of interest on your application.


Applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29.

The application for appointment to this committee can be found here.

To talk with someone about this opportunity or to receive assistance completing the application, please contact the committee’s staff liaison, Terry Whitehill, at terry.whitehill@portlandoregon… or 503-823-6394.


Voluntary and confidential demographic information

Please also complete a separate, and optional, demographic survey.

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.


For more information

For more information about the Building Code Board of Appeals, please visit its website.

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