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Standards and City Code

What are the Standards for Neighborhood Associations, District Coalitions, Business Associations and Office of Neighborhood Involvement ?   What is City Code 3.96 ?

Since 1974 Portland City Council has set minimum standards to guide Portland's neighborhood system.  City Code Title 3.96 is the authorizing language for Portland's neighborhood system and directs the Office of Community & Civic Life to develop Standards.  The ONI Standards (all documents are listed at the bottom of this page) are the regulations for Neighborhood Associations, Business District Associations and District Coalitions to follow in order to be recognized (or acknowledged in the case of Business Associations) by the City's Office of Community & Civic Life. 

Included are minimum standards such as:

  • Topics  to be included in Association bylaws in order to be recognized,

  • Benefits of being recognized by the City,

  • What communication funds can be spent on,

  • How conflicts are resolved through the grievance process,

  • Open meetings and public records rules,

  • The roles of District Coalitions and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement to serve the Neighborhood Associations.

Portland City Council adopted an update of Standards for Portland neighborhood system July 13, 2005

The citizen-led committee, Guidelines Review Empowerment and Assessment Taskforce (GREAT) submitted its final draft update of Standards governing Portland’s neighborhood system in the spring of 2005.  On July 13, 2005 City Council adopted ordinance #179418 updating "City Code Title 3.96, Office of Neighborhood Involvement ", and resolution #36329 updating the "Standards for Neighborhood Associations, District Coalitions, Business District Associations and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement ."

Where can I find suggested bylaws language and answers to my questions?

Most Neighborhood Associations will need to update their by-laws in order to comply with the new Standards.  A Suggested Bylaw Template for Neighborhood Associations was created and can be used to assist with this updating.  Key changes that will affect most Neighborhood Association's bylaws are changes to references about grievance procedures and open meetings and public records.  The Office of Neighborhood Involvement and District Coalitions will provide assistance to Associations in this efforts to update bylaws.  Click here to find contact info for your District Coalition.

This will include:

  • Mailing an info packet to each Association with updated information

  • Providing summaries of key changes in the updated Standards

  • Providing suggested sample templates of bylaws language

  • ONI review of Association bylaws to suggest changes to comply with new Standards

  • Training District Coalition staff to assist Associations

  • Offering to hold board training retreats with each coalition

We have also created a Frequently Asked Questions document which summarizes what Neighborhood Associations needs to know about the updated Standards.