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Have questions about development permits and zoning? Schedule a free 15-minute virtual appointment with an expert

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Got Questions? Schedule a free 15-minute appointment with building permit and zoning experts at
A new service offered by the Bureau of Development Services and other permitting bureaus provides free 15-minute virtual appointments with planners, reviewers and permit staff to answer basic questions about development projects.

Are you a homeowner considering a remodeling project but aren’t sure what you need to get a permit for?

Do you have questions about whether the addition you’re considering is allowed in your neighborhood?

Do you have questions about what information you need to submit with a building permit application to support timely reviews and approval?

Are you a commercial building owner who has basic questions about the permits you’ll need for your remodel or new construction?

These are a few of the basic questions that staff from the Bureau of Development Services and other permitting bureaus can help answer through free 15-minute virtual appointments. Through this service, a property owner, contractor or other permit customer can meet online or over the phone with planners, reviewers, and permit staff to ask basic questions about what types of work may require permits, what zoning requirements may apply, and other considerations to be aware of when planning a construction project.

You can choose from appointments in one or more of six categories, based on the types of questions you have:

  • General questions about residential or commercial permits
  • Planning and zoning (uses of a property, land divisions, property line adjustments and design or historic reviews)
  • Building codes and engineering
  • Water availability and water quality backflow
  • Fire safety requirements
  • Transportation (right-of-way issues)

Appointments are available between 8 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. on weekdays, excluding city holidays. As these appointments are limited to 15 minutes, you should come prepared with a few questions that will be most helpful in getting ready for a construction project.

All virtual appointments will be conducted using Microsoft Teams. For those who prefer to meet over the phone, dial-in options are also available. Appointments must be scheduled online. Once your appointment is scheduled, you will receive a confirmation email message with instructions for how to join the meeting, including a link to Microsoft Teams and a phone number to join the meeting at the date and time requested.

In addition to the Bureau of Development Services, permitting officials from Portland Fire & Rescue, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and Portland Water Bureau will be available to answer questions through this service.

These appointments replace paid 30-minute time-certain appointments scheduled through the Bureau of Development Services for addressing various questions about properties and projects. The free 15-minute virtual appointments do not take the place of longer and more detailed early assistance meetings that may be useful for preparations of land use review applications.

More information about this free service is available here.