Get help with a new project proposal in the City of Portland.
Early Assistance requests help applicants prepare a complete project proposal, usually a land use review application. Significant issues and relevant city requirements and procedures will be identified early in the process. Specialized information can be provided for a wide range of projects:
- Land Division - For land division or planned development proposals
- Environmental or Greenway - For proposals (including land divisions) located within environmental or greenway overlay zones
- Design - For proposals in design overlay zones
- Historic Resources - For proposals in historic or conservation districts, or landmark buildings
- Other Land Use Review - For proposals involving reviews such as Adjustment, Conditional Use, Master Plan, Nonconforming Situation Review, and Zone Change
Applicants choose the type of early assistance request that meets project needs:
Early zoning assistance only
A city planner from the Land Use Services Division of the Bureau of Development Services will review the proposal. Applicant chooses to either have an online meeting with the city planner and follow-up written information or written information only.
Early zoning assistance and infrastructure bureaus
A city planner and city staff from infrastructure Bureaus (Bureau of Transportation, Environmental Services and Water, or other city staff as needed) will review the proposal. Applicant chooses to either have an online meeting with the city staff and follow-up written information or written information only.
Please note that city staff will prepare a response based on the information submitted at the time of application and can answer a limited number of additional questions raised before or at the meeting time in regards to the specific proposal. If your proposal changes in scope or configuration after you receive the summary report, or you have additional questions regarding the original proposal, an additional early assistance review must be requested in order to get responses.
Is an early assistance request required?
Early Assistance requests are not required. However, Early Assistance is recommended in situations where applicants have lots of questions or have a complicated site or issue. A pre-application conference is required prior to submittal of all Type III and Type IV land use review applications. An Early Assistance meeting does not satisfy the requirement for a pre-application conference.
Submit an application
Submit your Early Assistance request by email.
- Written project description
- Site plans drawn to a measurable scale (1 copy)
- Site plan drawn on 8.5x11 paper (1 copy)
- Building elevations drawn to a measurable scale (if appropriate) (1 copy)
Please note that for some proposals, such as those using the Community Design Standards, you will receive more detailed information if you provide full-sized plans.
Meeting scheduling and timelines
Once your application is submitted, a Land Use Service technician will contact you within 3-4 business days with instructions for providing payment for the e-mailed application. Then, a Land Use Services technician will contact you to discuss scheduling a one-hour online meeting. Day and time is subject to availability but meetings are usually held within three weeks of request. Written information will be sent after the meeting is held.
Early assistance requests for written information only. Information will be sent approximately three weeks after the application submittal.