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Zoning Permits

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Get a zoning permit from the City of Portland. Find all of the required forms for a zoning permit. Learn more about when a zoning permit is required, when a zoning permit isn't required and how to get started with a zoning permit application.
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The City of Portland requires zoning permits even when a building permit is not needed. Planning staff still needs to verify and approve how the site is used and developed. Construction must follow the current building and zoning code standards.

You can submit your permit application request online via Development Hub PDX. Choose Building Permit in the request type dropdown menu. Enter Zoning Permit in the Description of Work field.

Click here for step-by-step instructions to submit a permit application request online or in-person. 

When a zoning permit is required 

  • Building or installing a garage or carport. This applies when it is smaller than one which requires a residential building permit to confirm the location on the site complies with zoning code requirements.
  • Creating a new or enlarged parking area or driveway, or paving a graveled parking area.
  • Making any improvement required to resolve a code compliance case, or as required by a condition of your land use review approval which does not require a building permit
  • Tree planting to meet tree density prior to approval of a Replat, Lot Confirmation, Property Line Adjustment or Final Plat.
  • Proposing development that does not otherwise require a building permit within Overlay Zones—such as EnvironmentalDesign and Historic Resource Protection—and sites within Plan Districtsunless an exemption applies. For example, historic review may be required to paint the exterior of a historic landmark, design review may be required to replace exterior siding, or environmental review may be required to build a patio or deck. Call Planning and Zoning Information to confirm the zoning rules for your site and project.

When a zoning permit is not required

For the following work outside of overlay zones (see above):

  • Build a fence up to seven feet high in compliance with Zoning Code requirements for fences
  • Pave a walkway
  • Build a patio or deck not more than 30 inches above grade
  • Put up a shed or small detached accessory building that is not a garage or carport. This applies when it is smaller than one which requires a residential building permit
  • Repave a driveway where no expansion has occurred

Apply for a zoning permit

If you have questions before starting a project, please call and leave a message with the Zoning Information Line. Your message should include your name, the property address, your basic questions, and a call-back number for us to reach you. 

A Planner will return your call and help you determine the following: 

Planning and Zoning staff will help you understand the permit process and figure out next steps. 

Zoning permit application requirements 

Read through the requirements for a zoning permit plan submittal here:  

Plan review process

Planning and Zoning staffs reviews all zoning permits. Other bureaus like the Bureau of Environmental Services or the Portland Office of Transportation may also review the application.

Zoning permits are required when a building permit is not needed, but where planning staff must approve how the site will be used. Construction must follow the current building and zoning code standards.

Inspection process

The Bureau of Development Services’ Compliance Services section generally inspects zoning permits.

  • Inspection requests: Call the Requests for Inspection and Inspection Results phone number for more information.

  • Concrete/asphalt: If the zoning permit construction includes pouring concrete or asphalt, please call for an inspection. This should happen once the forms are placed, but before you pour. This will allow the inspector to check the form placement against the approved plans.

  • Curb cuts: For any curb cut, call the City of Portland’s Bureau of Transportation Street Systems at (503) 823-7002. This is to request an inspection of your curb cut (after the forms are placed but before you pour the concrete).

Still need help? Schedule a 15-minute appointment

If you have questions after reviewing the information on this page, please schedule a free 15-minute appointment with a city planner.

Contact

Zoning Information Line

Development Services
phone number503-823-7526Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Leave a message with a phone number, the project address, and your questions.
Oregon Relay Service711Oregon Relay Service

Requests for Inspection

Development Services
phone number503-823-7000Automated Line - Requires an IVR or permit number
Oregon Relay Service711Oregon Relay Service

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