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Chapter 28.05 Regulations Pertaining to Existing Construction

City Code Chapter

28.05.010 Floating Structures.

(Amended by Ordinances 181437, 187664, 191154, 191643 and 191736, effective July 1, 2024.)

  1. A.  Retroactive improvements required of floating structures.
    1. 1.  Identification.  All floating structures must be identified by number or letter or combination thereof, corresponding to their location in a moorage.
    2. 2.  All floating homes, boathouses and combo-structures must have a state issued identifying number plate displayed in a location that is readily visible from the walkway providing access to the structure.  Failure to properly display the required identifying number plate and/or produce the certificate of title issued by the State when requested to do so by the Harbor Master or a Certified Structural Inspector of the Portland Permitting & Development will be cause for the violator to be cited for the violation and for appropriate enforcement action to be taken as provided for in Section 28.03.050.  The violation will also be reported to the State Marine Board, the County Marine Patrol and the County Assessor.
    3. 3.  Moorage owners/operators must maintain a moorage map with each mooring site identified by number or letter or combination thereof and which identifies each floating structure by mooring site number or letter and by the identifying number.  Such maps must be updated as changes occur in the layout of the moorage or location of the floating structures in the moorage.  Such map must be available for Harbor Master review when requested.
  2. B.  Separation required between floating existing structures.
    1. 1.  The separation existing on January 1, 2008 between one floating structure and another may be maintained provided such separation is:
      1. a.  Documented on the moorage map that is maintained by the owner/operator of the moorage facility; and
      2. b.  Provided that the Harbor Master determines that such spacing does not pose a high fire or life safety risk.  A copy of the updated moorage map must be provided to the Harbor Master, which shows the conditions and uses in place as of January 1, 2008.  The Director will refer to this map in determining whether an existing structure is considered an existing nonconforming condition under Title 28.
    2. 2.  Floating homes and combo-structures relocated within a moorage must meet the following separation requirements:
      1. a.  For moorages constructed prior to November 3, 1990, the distance between units relocated within a moorage may not be: less than the distance between units that pre-existed prior to the move if the distance is less than 6 feet between the nearest exterior walls and 4 feet between the nearest roof, deck, balcony or other architectural projection; or less than 6 feet between the nearest exterior walls and 4 feet between the nearest roof, deck, balcony or other architectural projection if the pre-existing distance is greater than or equal to 6 feet between the nearest exterior walls and 4 feet between the nearest roof, deck, balcony or other architectural projection.
      2. b.  For moorages constructed after November 3, 1990, the distance between units relocated within a moorage may not be: less than the distance between units that pre-existed prior to the move if that distance is less than 10 feet between the nearest exterior walls and 8 feet between the nearest roof, deck, balcony or other architectural projection; or less than 10 feet between the nearest exterior walls and 8 feet between the nearest roof, deck, balcony or other architectural projection if the pre-existing distance is greater than or equal to 10 feet between the nearest exterior walls and 8 feet between the nearest roof, deck, balcony or other architectural projection.
      3. Where it is impractical to meet the separation specified in Subsection 28.05.010 B. due to structural limitations of the mooring site, the Harbor Master may approve a separation less than that specified.  Such approval for reduced separation must be clearly documented on the moorage map and on the notification for the relocation that is provided to the Director, as provided in Section 28.03.020.
    3. 3.  A floating structure used for other than a floating home, combo-structure, boathouse or tender house which is relocated from one mooring site to another within a moorage must comply with the separation distances required for new construction as specified in Subsection 28.06.050 D.  Where it is impractical to meet the separation specified in Subsection 28.06.050 D. due to structural limitations of the mooring site, the Harbor Master may approve a separation less than that specified, but the separation may not be less than that which existed prior to the relocation or less than specified in Subsection 28.06.050 D., whichever is smaller.  Such reduction may not pose unacceptable levels of fire or life safety risk as determined by the Harbor Master.  Such approval for reduced separation must be clearly documented on the moorage plan and on the notification of the relocation which is provided to the Director, as provided in Section 28.03.020.
    4. 4.  Existing or new floating homes, combo-structures, boathouses and tender houses relocated from a mooring site in one moorage within or outside the City to a mooring site in a different moorage within the City must be spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart between the nearest exterior walls and 4 feet apart at the nearest roof, deck (which is elevated above the level of the walking surface of the float), balcony or other architectural projections, unless the moorage in which the relocation takes place was constructed after November 3, 1990 with separations between floating structures required to be greater than 6 feet wall to wall or 4 feet projection to projection, in which case the separations as required when the moorage was constructed will apply.  In lieu of the required separations specified in this section the relocated structure may be provided with the alternative protection system as required by Subsection 28.05.010 C.  A permit is required for any such move as provided in Section 28.03.020.
    5. 5.  A floating structure, either new or existing, used for other than a floating home, combo-structure, boathouse or tender house which is relocated from one moorage within the City to another moorage within the City must comply with the separation distances required for new construction as specified in Subsection 28.06.050 D.  A permit must be obtained for any such move as provided in Subsection 28.03.020.
    6. 6.  Projections such as but not necessarily limited to eaves, roof overhangs, decks, balconies or other architectural projections for newly constructed floating structures, for additions and alterations to existing floating structures and for moved or relocated floating structures may not project beyond the edge of the float supporting the structure into the area above a main or marginal walkway, nor may such projections extend beyond the legally established boundaries of the mooring site.
    7. 7.  New, main floor additions to existing floating homes, combo-structures, boathouses and tender houses of up to a total of 25 percent by area, may be built with the same separation between the floating structure being expanded and the next adjacent floating structure as exists on January 1, 2008 and which is documented on the moorage map.  A permit is required for any such expansion as provided in Section 28.03.020.  No further additions beyond the original 25 percent may be made without complying with the separation as specified in Subsection 28.05.010 B.7.
    8. 8.  New, main floor additions to existing floating homes, in excess of 25 percent by area, and second floor additions of any size, must be spaced a minimum of 6 feet apart between the nearest exterior walls and 4 feet apart at the nearest roof, deck (which is elevated above the level of the walking surface of the float), balcony or other architectural projections, unless the moorage in which the relocation takes place was constructed after November 3, 1990 with separations between floating structures required to be greater than 6 feet wall to wall or 4 feet projection to projection, in which case the separations as required when the moorage was constructed will apply.  In lieu of the required separations specified in this section the relocated structure may be provided with the alternative protection system as required by Subsection 28.05.010 C.  A permit is required for any such expansion as provided in Section 28.03.020.
    9. 9.  Any addition to an existing floating structure other than a floating home, combo-structure, boathouse or tender house must meet the separation requirements as required for new construction specified in Subsection 28.06.050 E.  A permit is required for any such expansion as provided in Section 28.03.020.
  3. C.  Alternate protection systems to minimum separation between adjacent floating homes and combo-structures.
    1. 1.  When the wall to wall separation is less than 6 feet but more than 3 feet, or the separation between roofs, decks (which are elevated above the level of the walking surface of the float), balconies or other architectural projections is less than 4 feet but more than 2 feet, the structure being moved or added to must be equipped throughout with a complete automatic sprinkler system installed in compliance with NFPA 13R Standards (2007) or all of the following for fire life safety protection:
      1. a.  All windows in the affected wall or walls must be 1/4 inch thick, fixed, wireglass in 16 gauge steel frames, or alternatives approved by the Harbor Master or the windows must be listed 45 minute assembly.  If this requirement negates natural ventilation requirements as specified in the building code, a manually activated mechanical ventilation system providing two air changes per hour with 20 percent outside air must be provided.
      2. b.  All doors in the affected wall or walls must be 1-3/4 inches thick, solid core, and be self closing.  Door lights will be limited to 25 percent of the door area and be 1/4 inch thick, fixed wireglass in 16 gauge steel frames or alternatives as approved by the Harbor Master.
      3. c.  A fire alarm system consisting of 110 volt rate of rise detectors placed on the outside of the exterior wall or walls in question and 110 volt, hard wired ionization type smoke detectors installed throughout the building interior must be provided.  All detectors are to be interconnected to an interior and exterior alarm.  The number and placement of detectors will be as determined by the Harbor Master.  The exterior alarm must be capable of being heard for a distance of 150 feet.
    2. 2.  When the wall to wall separation is less than 3 feet or the roof separation is less than one foot, the structure being moved or added to, must be equipped throughout with a complete automatic sprinkler system in compliance with NFPA 13R Standards (2007).
  4. D.  Existing Floatation Systems.
    1. 1.  Additions to existing floatation systems must be made in accordance with Chapter 28.06 New Construction.
    2. 2.  The following repairs of existing floatation systems are allowed within any 12 month period without the benefit of a permit provided:
      1. a.  The repair to the floatation system involves a total of less than 50 percent of the float structural components by quantity (see definition) with like or better materials in a like manner. Substantiating data may be required to determine compliance with this Section.
      2. b.  The repair to the floatation system involves a total of less than 50% of the floatation device by quantity (see definition) with like or better materials in a like manner. Substantiating data may be required to determine compliance with this Section.
      3. c.  The repair to the floatation system does not increase the deck area more than the allowance specified in Subsection 28.03.020 A.; and
      4. d.  The repair does not reduce the required means of egress width or cause an unsafe or overloaded condition.
    3. 3.  Other work not specifically exempted from permit requirements by Title 28 but which is exempted from permit under the Specialty Codes is also exempted from the requirement for permit.
    4. All work exempt from permit must be performed in compliance with the provisions of Title 28 and the Specialty Codes as applicable and may not cause an unsafe or overloaded condition.
  5. E.  Additions to floatation systems. Additions to floatation systems must be made in accordance with the provisions for new construction.

    F.  Alterations and additions to floating structures. Any alteration or addition to a floating structure must comply with the requirements of the relevant Specialty Code, Title 28, and all other rules and Federal, State and City of Portland regulations.

28.05.020 Moorages.

(Amended by Ordinances 180917, 181437, 183597187664 and 191154, effective March 1, 2023.)

  1. A.  Retroactive requirements required of existing moorages.
    1. 1.  Identification.  All moorages must be provided with identification as specified in Section 28.06.070.
    2. 2.  Fire protection standpipe.  The following described fire protection standpipe system are required at all moorages having any portion of a floating structure more than 250 feet from the point of fire apparatus set up.  The standpipe system must be installed within one year of notification to the owner by the Harbor Master of the requirement for such system; or an agreement allowing for deferred installation of the fire protection system to a timeline acceptable to the Harbor Master must be established within 90 days of the notification that such an installation is required.  Prior to installation of any standpipe system, a permit must be obtained from the Fire Marshal.  Except where otherwise provided in this code, the design and installation of the standpipe system must be in accordance with the latest edition of NFPA 14:  “Installation of Standpipes and Hose Systems”, as adopted by Title 31 Fire Regulations and the following:
      1. a.  Water for fire protection standpipes must be supplied by one of the following methods:
        1. (1)  From FDC from a fire hydrant providing at least 500 GPM at 20 PSI and located within 300 feet from the closest point of fire department access to a moorage exit ramp.
        2. (2)  Pumped from the Willamette or Columbia Rivers or associated bodies of water with an on site pump or pumps capable of delivering 250 GPM at 100 PSI to the most hydraulically remote outlet on the standpipe system.  Pumps are to be of a type approved by the Harbor Master and must be listed for their intended use.
      2. b.  Fire protection standpipes must have a fire department connection located within 150 feet of fire apparatus set up and not more than 150 feet from the top of the moorage access ramp.  The fire department connection must be of a double clapper design.
      3. c.  When required by the Harbor Master a fire department connection must be located to provide reasonable access for a fire boat.
      4. d.  System capacity controlled by a fire department connection may not exceed 750 gallons unless approved by the Harbor Master.
      5. e.  Fire protection standpipes must have pipe sized to provide 250 gallons per minute at 100 PSI at the most hydraulically remote outlet on the standpipe system.  The maximum input pressure at the fire department connection must be 150 PSI.
      6. f.  Fire protection standpipes must have adequate drain valves, or alternate systems as approved by the Harbor Master, installed to ensure complete drainage.
      7. g.  Fire protection standpipes must have gate valve assemblies made of non-corroding metal, 2-1/2 inch I.D. with National Standard male threads and metal caps.  Valve assemblies must be spaced a distance apart as follows: 
        1. (1)  For moorages having marine service stations, floating homes or other type of structures having permanent living quarters, valves are to be located every 100 feet and within 50 feet of the end of walkways.
        2. (2)  For moorages serving only boathouses and covered moorages housing personal watercraft and pleasure boats, valves are to be located every 150 feet and within 75 feet of the end of the walkways.
        3. (3)  For moorages having only open moorage of pleasure boats, standpipes will only be required along the marginal walkway with valves required only at intersecting main walkways, providing the main walkways do not exceed 100 feet in length from their intersection with the marginal walkways, or not less than every 200 feet and 100 feet from the end of marginal walkways not having intersecting main walkways.  Main walkways in excess of 100 feet in length from their intersection with the marginal walkway must have standpipes installed with valves located every 200 feet along the main walkway and not more than 100 feet from the end of the main walkway.  Existing moorages not in compliance with the above requirements must bring their standpipes systems into compliance at the time that 50 percent or more of a walkway is repaired or improved or as otherwise provided under agreement with the Harbor Master.
        4. (4)  For moorages with sections of differing use, each section is required to have a standpipe system matching the requirements of a moorage having that use.  Existing moorages not in compliance with the above requirements must bring their standpipe systems into compliance at the time that 50 percent or more of a walkway(s) serving each type of use is repaired or improved or as otherwise provided under agreement with the Harbor Master.
      8. h.  Piping materials, whether new or replacement, must be protected against corrosion by hot dip galvanizing or by use of HDPE piping.  If HDPE piping is used it must be installed underwater with a minimum of 12 inches of water cover over the main runs and must be supported so that the pipe will not broach the surface of the water when the pipe is not charged with water.  Where flexible hose couplings are used they must have swaged on fittings.
      9. i.  Moorages used exclusively for loading and off loading of boats and transient tie-up moorages do not require the installation of a standpipe system when approved by the Harbor Master.
      10. j.  Standpipe systems must be inspected and tested annually in accordance with the current edition of NFPA 25, "Standards for the Testing of Water Based Fire Protection Systems" as adopted by Title 31 Fire Regulations.  Tests and inspections must be done in a manner prescribed by the Fire Marshal.  If requested, the City may perform annual service tests upon the property owner/operator signing a waiver of liability and upon payment of a fee to the Fire Marshal, as provided in Title 31.  If connection to the City water supply is necessary to facilitate any method of testing standpipes, Water Bureau Water Quality Inspections must be contacted in each instance.  Additionally, State approved backflow protection must be provided.
    3. 3.  Smoke/heat vents and Curtain Boards.  All existing covered moorages must be provided with smoke/heat vents and curtain boards as specified in Section 28.06.050, when required by the Harbor Master.  Where existing moorages do not have the required vents and curtain boards, these elements must be installed within 2 years of notification to the owner by the Harbor Master of the requirement for the vents and curtain boards or an agreement allowing for deferred installation of the vents and curtain boards to a timeline acceptable to the Harbor Master must be established within 90 days of the notification that such an installation is required.  Building permits are required for the installation of vents and curtain boards.
  2. B.  Regulations pertaining to repairs to moorages and marinas.
    1. 1.  Repairs requiring the replacement of 50 percent or more of the piling within any 12 month period must be made in accordance with the provisions for new construction and will require a building permit.  Permits are also required from the Army Corps of Engineers.
    2. 2.  Repairs requiring the replacement of less than 50 percent of the piling within any 12 month period may be made with like or better materials in a like manner without obtaining a building permit provided the design of the piling is certified by an Oregon registered engineer who is responsible for observing the installation.  Upon completion of the installation of the replacement piling a plan of the marina or moorage showing the location of all replaced piles and a summary letter of compliance from the engineer responsible for the design must be submitted to the Director for inclusion in the permanent records. Permits are required from the Army Corps of Engineers.
    3. EXCEPTION: Up to a maximum of 10 percent of the piling within a moorage or marina may be replaced within any 12 month period without an engineer being responsible for the design of the piling and the observation of installation provided an engineer does review the installation and provides a summary letter stating that the replacement piling will provide structural capacity equal to or greater than the replaced piling.  The summary letter from the engineer must be submitted to the Director for inclusion in the permanent records.  Permits are required from the Army Corps of Engineers.
    4. 3.  Walks and walkways and their supporting structure: The following repairs of existing walkways are allowed within any 12 month period without the benefit of a permit provided:
      1. a.  Replacement of no more than 50 percent of the decking, stringers and floatation logs or other floatation material with like or better materials in a like manner.  Substantiating data may be required to determine compliance with this Section
      2. b.  Repair or replacement of less than 50 percent of the concrete portions of an individual concrete float with like or better materials in a like manner.  Substantiating data may be required to determine compliance with this Section.
    5. 4.  Other work not specifically exempted from permit requirements by Title 28 but which is exempted from permit under the Specialty Codes is also exempted from the requirement for permit.
    6. All work exempt from permit must be performed in compliance with the provisions of Title 28 and the Specialty Codes as applicable and may not cause an unsafe or overloaded condition.
  3. C.  Alterations and Additions to Moorage and Marinas.
    1. 1.  Walkways and supporting structure.  Any alterations or improvements within any 12 month period which involve a total of less than 50 percent of the structural components, except piling as stated in Subsection 28.05.020 B., may be made with like or better materials in a like manner without requiring a permit provided the alteration or improvement does not increase the area of the walkway or cause an unsafe or overloaded condition.  Increase in the area of a walkway will be treated as an addition and must comply with Subsection 28.05.020 C.2.  Exemption from the permit requirements of Title 28 does not authorize any person to do work in any manner in violation of the provisions of Title 28 or any other rules or regulations of the City of Portland, the State of Oregon, or the Federal government.
    2. 2.  Additions must be made in accordance with the provisions for new construction.  Gangways and standpipes required as a result of any addition must be provided in conjunction with such addition and must be constructed and installed in accordance with the provisions for new construction as specified in Section 28.06.060.

Upcoming and Recent Changes

Ordinance 191643

Effective Date