Development Services resumes collection of intake fees on small project permits

News Article
Development Services Center at 1900 SW 4th Ave.
The COVID-era practice of delaying payment of intake fees until the issuance of a permit is ending.

As of March 25, Development Services is assessing intake fees on what are considered “small project permits.” These are residential and commercial permits with relatively simple plans and that can be reviewed and issued more quickly than more complex permits.

In 2020, during the early months of the COVID pandemic when the Development Services Center was closed to the public and permit applications were mostly received on paper, it took several months just to get permits set up for review, causing significant backlogs. Development Services implemented a practice whereby permits of limited scope could delay payment of intake fees and be placed in the queue for review separately from more complex permits.

Four years later, nearly all permit applications are received online through Development Hub PDX, and business processes evolved to manage the review of permit applications more efficiently. 

Under this COVID-era practice, fees not charged upon submittal of a permit application would be included in the final fees assessed at the time a permit was ready for issuance. However, many small project permits incurred hours of work by City permit technicians and plan reviewers, and Development Services never received the final fees to cover the costs of those services (and thus the permits were not issued). Intake fees help Development Services recover some its costs for the set-up and review of permit applications and plans before a permit is approved to be issued.

This change in business practice will not increase the costs of these limited numbers of permits. It merely shifts the payment of some of these costs to the application phase, similar to how fees on other residential and commercial building permits are assessed.

Customers who have questions about this matter are encouraged to call 503-823-7300 to speak with a permit technician.


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