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Site Development Permits

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Apply for a site development permit. You need a site development permit for clearing, grading, groundwork for new subdivisions, landslide repair, private streets and tree cutting. Learn more about site development permits, what you need for a completed application, get forms and apply online.
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When you need a site development permit 

You need a site development permit for:

  1. cutting or removal of vegetation which results in exposing any bare soil
  2. earthwork, excavation or filling greater than 10 cubic yards
  3. Tree cutting on slopes with gradients which are greater than 25% when cutting more than five trees of six-inch diameter. This also applies when you're clearing an area of greater than 2,500 square feet.
  4. Construction of streets, alleys, common greens and pedestrian connections in a private right-of-way. 

Site development permit application and important forms 

You need a completed building permit application, plans and a simple site erosion control requirements form to apply for a site development permit:

You may also need the erosion control manual and the temporary excavation guidelines:

Still need help? Schedule a 15-minute appointment 

If you have questions after reviewing the information on this page, we recommend you book a free 15-minute appointment with us. 

This is an optional step. We're here for you if you have questions about the information and materials you need to apply. 

If you need help, here are some experts we recommend you meet with for this project*: 

Meet with a Permit Technician 

  • Schedule this appointment if you have questions about the permit process. Permit technicians will provide you with the information found on this page. 
  • Get help with permit application requirements. 

These are optional meetings. Only book if you have questions. 

Meet with a Permit Technician

Meet with a City Planner 

  • We recommend you meet with city planner about planning and zoning or tree code requirements before submitting building permits.  
  • Get information on rules that apply to your property. 

These are optional meetings. Only book if you have questions.

Meet with a City Planner

Meet with a Building Code and Engineering Reviewer

  • Get help with building code and engineering requirements. 
  • To submit a question by phone, call Building Code Plan Review.  

These are optional meetings. Only book if you have questions. 

Meet with a Building Code and Engineering Reviewer

*Not all review groups may be listed. The groups listed above will help get you started. 

Apply for a site development permit

  • The completed building permit application includes required plans, other materials and fees.
  • Please complete a Simple Site Erosion Control Requirements form. Include the form with your application.
  • You can submit your permit application request online using Development Hub PDXRead step-by-step instructions for submitting a permit application request online or in person. 
    • In Development Hub PDX, choose Building Permit in the request type dropdown menu. Enter Site Development Permit in the Description of Work field.
  • For most projects, you can submit electronic plans using the Single PDF process. Submit large projects with PDX E-plans and ProjectDox.
  • If you are unable to create electronic plans, please call us and we will work with you.

Contact Site Development and Septic Review for questions about your permit application. 

Plan review process for site development permits 

Geotechnical, join/or civil engineers and Planning and Zoning review these permit applications.

Other City of Portland bureaus may also review your application:

  • Environmental Services for conformance to the Stormwater Management Manual
  • Transportation for public streets
  • Parks Urban Forestry for conformance with Urban Forestry requirements

Track the process of your permit review 

We'll contact you about how to pick up an approved permit. Track the permit review process.

Site development inspections

Erosion Control inspectors inspect site development permits. Check out Erosion Control Inspections for more details.