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Chapter 17.93 Renaming City Streets

City Code Chapter

(Chapter added by Ordinance 161897, effective June 4, 1989.)

17.93.010 Criteria For Renaming a City Street.

  1. A. Any individual or organization may apply to the City to rename a City street. City streets may only be renamed after a prominent person. Such prominent person must be:
    1. 1. a person who has achieved prominence as a result of his or her significant, positive contribution to the United States of America and/or the local community;
    2. 2. a real person; and
    3. 3. a person who has been deceased for at least five years.
  2. B. Only one street renaming application shall be processed at a time, and only one street name change shall be implemented per year for a major traffic or district collector street. Additional applications shall be placed on a waiting list and processed in order of submission when this criteria can be met.

17.93.020 Selection of Street to be Renamed.

  1. A. The name of the street proposed for renaming shall not be changed if the existing name is of historic significance, or the street is significant in its own right.
  2. B. The street proposed for renaming must start and terminate entirely within City boundaries.
  3. C. The name of any street shall be the same for its entire length. Renaming only portions of a street shall not be permitted.

17.93.030 Application Procedure and Fees.

(Amended by Ordinance 183829, effective July 1, 2010.) 

  1. The applicant must conform to the following procedure in applying to rename a City street:
  2. A.  The applicant shall submit evidence to the City Engineer that the street renaming proposal is in compliance with Section 17.93.010 A. 2. and A. 3., and Section 17.93.020 B. and C.  If the City Engineer determines the submittal does not comply with these sections, the applicant will be so advised and the City shall take no further action.  If the submittal is in compliance with the above referenced sections, the City Engineer shall issue the application materials described in Subsection B.
  3. B.  The applicant shall obtain from the City Engineer:
    1. 1.  official petition forms;
    2. 2.  instructions as to fees and required procedures; and
    3. 3.  the application form.
  4. C.  The applicant shall, after filing a completed City Engineer’s application form and paying any applicable fees:
    1. 1.  Obtain a minimum of 2500 signatures in support of the proposal from legal residents of the City at large or signatures of at least 75% of the abutting property owners along the street proposed for renaming on the petition forms supplied by the City Engineer.
    2. 2.  Make a good faith effort to obtain a letter of concurrence to the proposed street renaming from the honoree’s surviving spouse, children, or parents, in that order.  The City Engineer shall accept registered mail receipts and copies of all letters as evidence of compliance with this provision.
    3. 3.  Provide to the City Engineer supporting information including a complete biography of the proposed honoree with references of substantiation, honors received, contributions to the national and/or local community, et cetera, which will be reviewed by a historian panel appointed pursuant to Section 17.93.040 A.  This submission shall contain sufficient information to allow the historian panel to accurately assess the appropriateness of renaming a street after the proposed honoree.
  5. D.  The applicant shall have 180 calendar days to complete and submit the information required by Subsection C. to the City Engineer’s office.  If the completed application has not been submitted to the City Engineer within 180 calendar days after the application has been received by the applicant, the application shall be invalid.  No time extension shall be granted.  At the time of submission, the City Engineer shall check the applicant’s application and accept it only if it is complete and appears to comply with the requirements of Sections 17.93.010 through 17.93.030.
    1. 1.  If the City Engineer accepts the submission, the applicant shall make a fee deposit to cover the full cost of printing and mailing postcards and public notices as determined by the City Auditor.  The minimum fee deposit shall be as established in the Transportation Fee Schedule if the street proposed for renaming is ten City blocks (½ mile) or less in length.  If the street proposed for renaming is more than ten City blocks (½ mile), the minimum deposit shall be as established in the Transportation Fee Schedule.  The Auditor shall refund any unused portion of the deposit to the applicant, or the applicant shall be required to pay for any cost of printing, mailings, and public notices in excess of the fee deposit.

17.93.040 Review of Application and Public Hearings.

(Amended by Ordinances 182389, 184046 and 191150, effective March 1, 2023.) 

  1. Upon receipt of the applicant’s packet, the City shall process the application as follows:
  2. A.  The City Engineer shall, within 14 calendar days after submission of the completed application, refer the street renaming application to a panel of three historians or persons with appropriate expertise appointed by the Commissioner in charge of the Bureau of Transportation for review and determination as to appropriateness of the proposed name and its compliance with criteria for selecting a new street name, and determination as to historic significance of the street.
  3. B.  The City Engineer shall notify all neighborhood and business associations recognized by the City which encompass or represent owners of property or businesses located on property abutting the street proposed for renaming of the proposed renaming and request that they submit in writing to the City Engineer their support or opposition to the proposed name change within 45 days.
  4. C.  The Historian Panel shall have 45 calendar days from the date of receipt to review the application and advise the City Planning Commission as to its recommendations.  If the panel does not provide a recommendation within the 45-day period, the Planning Commission shall review the application with no recommendation unless the Planning Commission grants a time extension to the Historian Panel, which shall not exceed 14 calendar days.
  5. D.  Concurrent with the Historian Panel review under Subsection C. of this Section, the Auditor shall conduct a postcard mailing survey of each legal owner and each legal address abutting the street in question, notifying them that there will be public hearings by the Planning and Sustainability Commission and City Council regarding the proposed street renaming and requesting the occupant and owner’s input within 30 calendar days, as to the proposed name change.  The Auditor shall also receive and tabulate all responses to the postcard survey and forward the results to the City Planning and Sustainability Commission.
  6. E.  The City Engineer shall prepare and submit to the Planning and Sustainability Commission a budget impact statement as to the direct cost of production and installation of new street name signs and related City costs.
  7. F.  The City Planning and Sustainability Commission shall conduct a public hearing on the matter and make a recommendation to the City Council as to the best interest of the City and the area within six miles of the City limits in accordance with ORS 227.120.
  8. G.  The Auditor shall schedule a public hearing before City Council on the matter.  Notice of the hearing shall be published in a newspaper of general circulation not less than once within the week prior to the week within which the hearing is to be held.
  9. H.  A public hearing shall be held before City Council on the proposed street name change.
  10. I.  The Council may approve or deny application for a street name change upon determination of the best interests of the City and the area within six miles of the City limits.  If Council denies the application, it is filed with no further consideration, and the subject name and street shall not be considered again under this Policy for a period of at least two years.  If Council approves the application, certified copies of the enabling Ordinance shall be filed with the County Recorder, County Assessor, and County Surveyor.

17.93.050 Council-Initiated Action to Rename a City Street.

  1. The Council may rename a street in order to correct errors in street names, or to eliminate confusion. Such action may be taken if it is determined that insignificant impact will result and it is desirable for the convenience of the general public. Renaming of a street by the City under provisions of this paragraph shall not be undertaken to rename a street after a person as provided for in other sections of the Chapter. Therefore, City-initiated actions to rename a street under provisions of this paragraph shall be exempt from compliance with Sections 17.93.010 through 17.93.030 and Section 17.93.040 A. through D. Section 17.93.040 E. through I. shall continue to be applicable.

17.93.060 Implementation.

  1. A. After Council approval of the name change, the Bureau of Maintenance shall install the new name signs adjacent to the existing street name sign. Both signs shall be in place for a period of five years, unless a petition is submitted to City Council from a majority of abutting property occupants requesting that the dual signage period be shortened. Both street name signs shall be maintained for the five-year period at the same level of maintenance approved for street name sign maintenance Citywide, after which time the old name shall be removed.
  2. B. The Auditor shall also notify the following organizations and individuals of the street name change through public notice, inter-office correspondence, or other appropriate means within 30 days after approval of the enabling Ordinance:
    1. 1. The applicant;
    2. 2. Affected City, County, State, and Federal Agencies;
    3. 3. General public;
    4. 4. Emergency service organizations;
    5. 5. Owners and occupants of all property abutting the street being renamed; and
    6. 6. United States Postal Service.