Early Assistance Zoning and Infrastructure Review

Get help with a new project proposal in the City of Portland. Find the early assistance application and review a land use fee schedule.
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Early Assistance appointments are informational-only meetings between city staff and you, the applicant. Members of the public are not participants in these meetings. However, summary notes of meetings can be obtained through a public information request.

Early assistance requests help you 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:

  • Residential infill options (including cottage cluster) and middle housing land divisions
  • 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

Choose the type of early assistance request that meets project needs. For help with early assistance, please contact Planning and Zoning through our General Inquiries contact.

Early zoning assistance only

A City planner from the Land Use Services area of Portland Permitting & Development will review the proposal. You can choose to either have an online meeting with the City planner and follow-up written information or written information only.

This option can also be used for a meeting with a planner to discuss residential infill options, including cottage clusters on single-dwelling and RM1 multi-dwelling lots, and middle housing land divisions. When selecting this option, you do not need to provide a site plan of the proposed development. At the meeting, the planner will walk through all the possible middle housing infill options allowed at the site and answer any specific questions you have about middle housing regulations.

Early zoning assistance and other areas of the City

A city planner and city employees from infrastructure areas like Transportation, Environmental Services and Water, or other city staff as needed will review the proposal. You can choose to either have an online meeting with the city staff and follow-up written information or written information only.

Please note that city employees will prepare a response based on the information submitted at the time of application. We can answer a limited number of additional questions raised before or at the meeting time in regard 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.

Early assistance is recommended in these situations

Early assistance requests are not required. However, early assistance is recommended in situations where you have lots of questions or have a complicated site or issue.

pre-application conference is required prior to the 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 early assistance application by email 

Submit your early assistance request by email to landuseintake@portlandoregon.gov.

Early assistance application and submittal requirements 

  • Written project description
  • Fee 
  • 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.

Early assistance applications can be emailed to LandUseIntake@portlandoregon.gov

Scheduling your early assistance meeting 

After you submit your application, a Land Use Service technician will contact you within 3-4 business days with instructions for providing payment for the emailed 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.

Please review the Land Use Services Fee Schedule on our Fee Schedules webpage

More ways to get early assistance with your project

Learn more about other early assistance options and set up an early assistance meeting for a deeper discussion about your project.