Title 13 has been around since the 1960s and its purpose is to allow Portland residents to keep bees, chickens and other livestock in an urban environment in a manner that supports the health and safety of people and animals, and reduces animal-related nuisances such as vermin, smells, noise and property damage.
The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has been working to develop proposed updates to the Title 13 code with several goals in mind:
- Create updated standards for keeping bees and livestock in the city of Portland that provide more certainty and transparency for residents, and streamline administration burdens for both the public and local government.
- Develop regulations that include objective standards, coupled with recommended best practices, that ensure the needs of animals are met and nuisances are mitigated (including odors, noise, flies and vectors).
- Allow numbers and types of livestock animals that are appropriate for our growing city. As additional housing is added in our neighborhoods, through new development and accessory dwelling units (ADUs) in backyards, less outdoor space is available and the uses in those outdoor spaces can have impacts on more neighbors.
- Minimize unintended consequences to under-represented communities, especially to those who may raise backyard animals as an affordable food source or use the slaughter of animals in religious rites.
Proposed code updates
The most current draft of the proposed updated code will be posted on Council's website for next week's agenda soon. Title 13 code update highlights include:
- Replaces the existing permit process with regulations that establish objective standards and provide recommended best practices, enabling residents to have these animals without going through a permit process.
- Establishes two categories of livestock:
- “Backyard Livestock” are able to be kept humanely in urban backyards with minimum impacts to adjacent properties. These animals reflect the size of pets such as cats and dogs that are kept in urban backyards. Common examples include chickens, ducks, pigeons, rabbits and miniature goats/sheep/pigs.
- Because of their size, “Large Livestock” require more space than typically found in urban backyards. These large animals also have the potential to create significant negative impacts on adjacent property. Common examples include horses (small and miniature), cattle and standard sized goats/sheep.
- Regulates the maximum number of Backyard Livestock by type of animal, lot size, and minimum area dedicated to the animals. A certain number of Backyard Livestock are allowed on all lots; in most cases more animals are allowed on larger lots.
- There is no maximum number of Backyard Livestock on lots 20,000 square feet or greater that allow agricultural uses either by right or through a conditional use review.
- Restricts Large Livestock to lots that are 20,000 square feet or greater and allows agricultural land uses, either by right or through a conditional use review.
- Establishes requirements for livestock facilities that set a minimum required area dedicated to each type of livestock and ensure the facility is in good repair and able to be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition and that prevents animals from roaming at large.
- Creates separate standards for keeping bees based on Oregon State University Extension Service’s Residential Beekeeping Best-Practice Guidelines and Model Residential Beekeeping Ordinance for Oregon Cities compiled by the League of Oregon Cities, as well as feedback received from the Portland Urban Beekeepers.
- Includes provisions for existing permitholders when the type or number of animals previously permitted by the County exceed the updated standards.
City Council details
This item will be heard at City Council on Wednesday, July 29 and is currently scheduled for 2 p.m.
Provide Testimony: City Council will hear public testimony on this item on July 29th. Public testimony will be heard by electronic communication (internet connection or telephone). To sign up, visit the Council Clerk’s agenda webpage to register. Provide your name, agenda item number for this item [the agenda item number is posted to the Clerk's website on 9 a.m. the Friday before the hearing], zip code, phone number and email address. Individuals have three minutes to testify unless otherwise stated at the meeting.
The deadline to sign up for the July 29, 2020 Council meetings is Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 4 p.m.
Email the Council Clerk at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about testifying.