Impacts to City Services

Find information about city services during this Emergency Declaration for Work Stoppage

Permitting Improvement Task Force

A cartoon-style graphic of a person submitting a permit to a reviewing bureau representative and then receiving that permit's approval, happy about it!
In early 2021, Commissioner Dan Ryan appointed a task force to identify solutions to resolve delays and other concerns with the City's building permit processes.
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The task force is co-chaired by Commissioner Ryan and Commissioner Mingus Mapps. It consists of leaders from most City permitting bureaus and representatives from the development community. The task force met three times in the first half of 2021 and identified two immediate priorities:

  1. For the City's permitting bureaus to take measures to improve the quality of permit application submittals
  2. For the City's permitting bureaus to improve performance management

The work of the task force is currently focused on the first priority. Once that objective is completed, it will move to the second priority.

The task force identified eight other objectives for the permitting bureaus to take up once the top two priorities are addressed. Future work will focus on:

  • Creating a conflict resolution convener among the seven bureaus involved in permitting (Development Services, Environmental Services, Fire and Rescue, Housing, Transportation, Urban Forestry (part of Portland Parks and Recreation), and Water)
  • Reducing the number of simultaneous permitting initiatives and prioritizing improvement initiatives
  • Expanding the capacity of the Bureau of Development Services' technology team so that there can be faster progress in modernizing services across the seven bureaus involved in permitting, and then supporting all of these new online services
  • Creating a holistic, inter-disciplinary team approach to permit review, organizing review teams around project types
  • Updating and expanding Code Guides
  • Developing separate permitting "tracks" depending on project complexity or type and applicant experience, so that customers who need more help are getting that help, and other customers who know the process and requirements are doing their own quality control of their submittals and their projects are not "in line" behind projects needing more help
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities to reduce redundancy and increase efficiency (for example, Portland Fire and Rescue reviewers review for some of the same requirements as life safety plans examiners in the Bureau of Development Services)
  • Completing "Streets 2035," a multi-bureau project to resolve common conflicts and competing policies for improvements in the limited space in the public right-of-way


Commissioner Ryan's OfficeCommissioner Dan RyanCommissioner-in-Charge of Bureau of Development Services
Commissioner Ryan's OfficeKellie TorresChief of Staff
Commissioner Mapps' OfficeCommissioner Mingus MappsCommissioner-in-Charge of Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Water Bureau
Commissioner Mapps' OfficeShannon CarneySenior Policy Advisor
Commissioner Mapps' OfficeGoldann SalazarPolicy Advisor
Commissioner Mapps' OfficeMichelle RodriguezPolicy Advisor
Mayor's OfficeBobby LeeChief of Staff
Mayor's OfficeChristina GhanPolicy Advisor
Commissioner Hardesty's OfficeDerek BradleyPolicy Director
Commissioner Rubio's OfficeJillian SchoeneChief of Staff
Commissioner Rubio's OfficeStephan HerreraPolicy Advisor
Bureau of Development ServicesRebecca EsauDirector
Bureau of Development ServicesElshad HajiyevDeputy Director
Bureau of Development ServicesAndy PetersonDirector's Office
Bureau of Development ServicesDavid KuhnhausenPermitting Services Division Manager
Bureau of Development ServicesDouglas MorganPlan Review Services Division Manager
Bureau of Development ServicesBrenda FaheyTechnology, Training and Continuous Improvement Division Manager
Bureau of Environmental ServicesDawn UchiyamaInterim Director
Bureau of Environmental ServicesJoe BlancoDevelopment Services Manager
Portland Bureau of TransportationChris WarnerDirector
Portland Bureau of TransportationKurt KruegerEngineering Manager
Portland Bureau of TransportationMatt GrummIntergovernmental Affairs Manager
Portland Fire & RescueKari SchimelFire Marshal
Portland Fire & RescueMichael SilvaSenior Inspector
Portland Fire & RescuePaul JenningsSenior Inspector
Portland Fire & RescueMichael DawkinsInspector
Portland Parks & RecreationAdena LongDirector
Portland Parks & RecreationJenn CairoCity Forester
Portland Parks & RecreationCasey JogerstUrban Forestry Permitting & Regulation Manager
Portland Water BureauGabriel SolmerDirector
Portland Water BureauErin MickEngineering and Residential Development Manager
Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC)Paul DelsmanChair
Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC)Maurice RahmingMember
Technology Oversight Committee (Office of Management and Finance)Wilf PinfoldChair
Process Improvement and Technology Subcommittee of DRACSuzannah StanleyMember


Terri Theisen

Permitting Improvement Strategy Manager

Ken Ray

Public Information Officer, Development Services