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Comments requested on proposed administrative rule for Private Rights-of-ways

Public Notice
The Bureau of Development Services seeks public comment on a proposed administrative rule governing private rights-of-ways (Streets, Alleys, Shared Courts, Common Greens and Pedestrian Connections).
In this article


A private right-of-way tract is a tract of land created for the purpose of providing access to new lots created with a partition or subdivision, where public street access is not possible or practical. A private right-of-way can provide access for motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. Private right-of-way tracts are typically owned in common by the owners of property served by the right-of-way, owners of property within a land division site, or a Homeowner’s Association.

Rights-of-way are created through the land division review process described in the Portland Zoning Code (Title 33). The width of the right-of-way and whether a right-of-way is public or private is also determined through the land use review process governed by Title 33. The Zoning Code specifies that the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) will review the configuration and elements within private rights-of-way.

This rule serves two purposes:

  • First, this rule includes planning elements to achieve consistent BDS implementation of the private right-of-way standards and approval criteria found in the Zoning Code.
  • Second, this rule also includes technical elements that address the design and construction of streets, alleys, common greens, shared courts and pedestrian connections located in private right-of-way tracts.

Both the planning and technical elements of this rule are designed to promote public safety by providing a consistent streetscape within private rights-of-way and by establishing agreements to make sure these shared private improvements are maintained.

Purpose of proposed amendments

The Bureau of Development Services proposes amendments to the permanent rule to update language and requirements to align with recent Zoning Code updates, remove outdated references, and make minor updates to templates and figures.

A copy of the administrative rule with the proposed amendments (101 pages) is available to download from the link below.

Public comments requested

You are welcome to provide public comments on the proposed rule. Comments must be submitted in writing by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. Please submit comments to Kimberly Tallant at

A public hearing will not be held

A public hearing will not be held, as it was not requested by the Jan. 5 deadline. Please submit written comments by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 12.