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Chapter 17.41 Landslide Abatement

City Code Chapter

(Chapter added by Ordinance 165864, effective September 30, 1992.)

17.41.010 Purpose.

(Amended by Ordinance 173369, effective May 12, 1999.) 

  1. The purpose of this Section is to protect the public from hazards created by landslides that deposit material on the public right-of-way, remove material from the public right-of-way or threaten the stability of the right-of-way. The intent of this Section is to provide for the immediate abatement of a landslide by the responsible property owner or, if necessary, by the City.

17.41.020 Definitions.

(Amended by Ordinances 173369, 182760 and 189413, effective March 6, 2019.)  

  1. For purposes of this Chapter 17.41:
  2. A.  “Costs” means any costs, direct or indirect, incurred by the City in the abatement of a landslide.  Costs may include, but are not limited to, those associated with the removal of debris, traffic control and barricading, engineering, construction, erosion control, reforestation, restoration and repair of existing public facilities, City overhead as provided in 5.48.030, and Revenue Division’s charges established in 17.12.020 B.
  3. B.  “Landslide” means any detached mass of soil, rock, or debris that is of sufficient size to cause damage and moves down a slope or stream channel.
  4. C.  “Owner” means the person or persons shown on the most recent property tax records.
  5. D.  “Responsible property” means the property or properties abutting that portion of the public right-of-way on which materials have been deposited by a landslide, or property or properties which has caused the instability of the public right-of-way.

17.41.030 Applicability.

(Amended by Ordinances 173369 and 182760, effective June 5, 2009.)  

  1. This Chapter applies to:
  2. A.  Landslides that originate on private property and deposit material on the public right-of-way; and
  3. B.  Landslides in unimproved public right-of-way as defined by Chapter 17.42 of this code.
  4. C.  Landslides in public right-of-way caused by actions on property abutting such public right-of-way.
  5. D.  Landslides that threaten the stability of the public right-of-way.

17.41.040 Landslide As a Nuisance; Costs.

(Amended by Ordinance 173369, effective May 12, 1999.)

  1. A. A landslide is a public nuisance. The nuisance is subject to abatement as provided by Title 29, except as provided in this Chapter. Abatement by the City shall be conducted at the direction of the City Engineer. The City Engineer may direct summary abatement where there is an immediate threat to the public safety.
  2. B. Recovery of costs incurred by the City in the abatement of a landslide shall be as provided in Title 29, and such costs shall be assessed to the responsible property.

17.41.050 Abatement.

(Amended by Ordinances 176955 and 191736, effective July 1, 2024.)

  1. A. The owner of the responsible property is required to abate the landslide.
  2. B. Abatement of a landslide includes:
    1. 1. Immediate work necessary to remove the debris from any areas where it would constitute or create a hazard to the public and to temporarily stabilize the slope; and
    2. 2. Permanent stabilization of the slope, as necessary, through engineered solutions such as retaining walls or riprap. Plans and specifications for permanent stabilization shall be prepared by a professional engineer registered in the State of Oregon and shall be approved by the City Engineer.
  3. C. If summary abatement is not directed, the City Engineer may post notice on the responsible property of the requirement for immediate abatement, including dates by which the abatement must be commenced and completed. Such notice shall also be mailed to the owner and/or occupant of the responsible property. If the abatement is not commenced or completed within the time provided in the notice, the City Engineer may cause the landslide to be abated and the costs assessed against the responsible property.
  4. D. Where necessary, the City Engineer may also post and mail notice regarding the requirement for permanent stabilization of the slope. Such notice shall include the date by which plans for such permanent stabilization shall be submitted to the City Engineer. If such plans are not submitted by the stated date, the City Engineer may cause the permanent stabilization portion of the abatement to be accomplished and the cost assessed against the responsible property.
  5. E. Before beginning any work in the right-of-way, the owner of the responsible property shall obtain the permits required by Chapter 17.24 of this Code.
  6. F. A building permit shall be required for permanent stabilization work performed on private property. Such permits shall be approved by the Portland Permitting & Development and the City Engineer.
  7. G. If at any stage of the abatement, the owner of the responsible property fails to comply with the requirements imposed by the City Engineer, the City Engineer may cause the abatement to be completed by the City and the cost assessed against the responsible property.
  8. H. If there is more than one responsible property, the City Engineer shall apportion all costs incurred by the City in abatement based on the front footage of the slide area in the right-of-way.
  9. I. Nothing in this Code shall be deemed to prevent a party required by this Chapter to pay for abatement of a landslide from exercising any rights her or she may have against the party or parties who may have caused the landslide.

17.41.060 Administrative Review.

(Amended by Ordinance 173369, effective May 12, 1999.) 

  1. Administrative review shall be conducted as provided in Title 29, except that the review shall be conducted by the City Engineer. Appeal shall be to the Code Hearings Officer as provided in Chapter 22.10 of this Code.