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Major Residential Alteration and Addition Permit Requirements

Learn more about major residential alteration and addition permits in the City of Portland. Get forms for major alterations removing 50% or more of exterior walls above the foundation or major additions adding more than 500 square feet of space. MRAA permits have notification and delay requirements.
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Learn more about the Major Residential Alteration and Addition (Portland City Code Section 24.55.210) permit is and what notification and delay requirements apply. Find information on definitions and links to the Major Residential Alteration and Addition Notification Form that must be submitted prior to permit issuance. You may also be interested in information about demolition permits.

Major residential alteration and addition (MRAA)

Major residential alteration means removing 50% or more of the exterior wall above the foundation. Major residential addition means adding more than 500 square feet of new interior space and expanding the structure’s footprint or envelope. 

Get additional information on how to determine if either of this criteria are met: 

Download the Word document and save a copy to use this Life Safety completeness checklist:

Where notification and delay regulations apply (zoning maps)

The Major Residential Alteration and Addition delay applies to sites with residential structures in areas with a residential Comprehensive Plan Map designation. Find zoning regulations and zoning maps.

The regulations only apply to applications for major alterations and additions of residential structures. They do not apply to accessory structures such as garages or other outbuildings.

Delay requirements for major alterations and additions

The building permit for a major residential alteration or addition will not be issued until 35 days have passed from the time that the required notice has been sent by the property owner/owner’s representative as described below. The owner/owner’s representative may complete this notice prior to applying for a building permit in an effort to coordinate the permit issuance with expiration of the required 35-day delay period. All notification requirements must be met for the 35-day delay timeline to commence. 

Dust suppression requirements

If heavy machinery is used in a major alteration project, then the dust suppression measures described in Portland City Code Section 25.55.205(C)(3) must be implemented during the mechanical demolition activities as that term is defined in Portland City Code Section 24.55.150(H). The dust suppression provisions do not apply to accessory structures such as garages or other outbuildings.

Notification requirements for major alterations and additions 

If a residential project falls within the criteria above, notice is required to be sent by the property owner applying for the permit or the owner’s representative as follows:

  1. Emailed notice: At least 35 days before a building permit is issued for a major residential alteration or addition, the applicant for the permit must email a letter (Template notice below) to the recognized organization(s)* whose boundaries include the site (View Planning maps) that contains at least the following information:
  2. Posted notice:At least 35 days before the building permit is issued, the applicant must post door hangers provided by BDS (below) on the properties abutting or across the street from the site of the project. The notice must contain all of the following information:
  • Notice that an application for a major alteration or addition has been or will be submitted to the Bureau of Development Services;
  • The permit application number, if an application has already been filed;
  • The approximate date the construction activity will commence;
  • Contact information of the agencies that regulate asbestos and lead-based paint; and Contact information for the applicant. 

We have created a Major Alteration and Addition Neighborhood Notice Certification form to comply with these requirements: 

*Recognized organization includes neighborhood coalitions and neighborhood associations recognized by the Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement.

Diagram showing the neighbors who you must notify.