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Information about the Development Review Governance Structure Initiative

Newsletter
The six City bureaus responsible for the development review process are undertaking a project to improve cross-bureau decision-making regarding proposed changes and conflicts that impact that process.
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This project, the Governance Structure Initiative (GSI), will produce a set of recommendations for an internal multi-bureau governance process to analyze, approve, and prioritize business and technology changes and resolve conflicts that can’t be addressed at lower levels. The new process will focus on equity at all stages, from the time a change request or conflict is submitted for consideration to post-implementation monitoring of a change or resolution.

A new Governance Committee of representatives from the Bureau of Development Services, the Bureau of Environmental Services, Portland Fire & Rescue, Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry, the Portland Bureau of Transportation, and the Portland Water Bureau will approve and prioritize change requests and resolve conflicts using a consensus model. The Committee’s decisions will be informed by research and analysis conducted by a Change Review Board (CRB) of stakeholders and an Ad Hoc Task Force for conflict resolution. Community members may be engaged by staff involved in these groups to ensure all perspectives of changes and conflicts are being taken into consideration.  The CRB and Task Force will make recommendations to the Committee based on their findings.

Although the governance process is an internal process, it will provide a formal venue for bureaus to bring forward proposed changes in response to community issues and concerns.  This new process will also formalize how bureaus work together to resolve conflicts involving two or more bureaus when those conflicts cannot be resolved at lower levels.  Resolving conflicts at the lowest possible level of the organizations will remain the goal when the new governance process is implemented, see the Report a Problem webpage for information on how to resolve an issue.  

Benefits of the proposed governance process include:

  • Improved coordination: All six development review bureaus will be at the same table to collaborate and share resources
  • Commitment to equity: The process will identify equity-related opportunities and issues to factor into decisions
  • Project and program monitoring: The process will include the development of performance metrics and monitoring to ensure changes and conflict resolutions are implemented as intended and adjustments can be made as necessary

The GSI proposal is currently being reviewed by managers from the Bureau of Development Services and other bureaus involved in permitting functions. Based on their feedback, the recommendations will be updated and then submitted to the directors of bureaus involved in the Development Review Process for review and approval later this spring or in the early summer.

For more information, please contact the GSI project manager, Ross Caron, at ross.caron@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-8871.