Under Title 3, Section 3.30.010.B and 3.30.040.A, the Director of the (BDS) has the authority to adopt written policies and procedures for the enforcement of Title 24 and 33, as delegated by the Planning Director.
The City's Subdivision Regulations are found in the 600's series of chapters in Title 33. Rights-of-way are created through the land use review process of Title 33. The width of the right-of-way and whether a right- of-way is public or private is also determined through the land use review process. Under Section 33.654.120, the Bureau of Development Services is given the authority to review the configuration of elements within private rights-of-way.
Under Chapters 33.720 and 33.730, the Director of BDS has the authority to make land use recommendations and decisions, subject to certain procedural requirements.
These rules apply to the creation and construction of private rights-of-ways. The rules provide:
- Planning guidelines to achieve consistent BDS implementation of private right-of-way standards and criteria found in Title 33, within the framework of the land use procedures described in Title 33; and
- Technical standards for the construction of streets, alleys, common greens, shared courts, and pedestrian connections located in private right-of-way tracts.
Authorizing sections of City Titles 3, 24, and 33 are reprinted in Appendix D of this Rule.
A. Purpose and Scope
A private right-of-way tract is a tract of land created for the purpose of providing access to new lots created with a partition or subdivision, where public street access is not possible or practical. A private right-of-way can provide access for motor vehicles, bicycles, and pedestrians. A private right-of-way also often provides a route for private and public utility connections. In some circumstances a private right-of-way must also accommodate larger vehicles, such as fire trucks, delivery trucks, or garbage/recycling trucks. Private right-of-way tracts are typically owned in common by the owners of property served by the right-of-way, owners of property within a land division site, or a Homeowner’s Association.
Rights-of-way are created through the land division review process described in the Portland Zoning Code (Title 33). The width of the right-of-way and whether a right-of- way is public or private is also determined through the land use review process governed by Title 33. The Zoning Code specifies that the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) will review the configuration and elements within private rights-of-way.
This rule serves two purposes.
- First, this rule includes planning elements to achieve consistent BDS implementation of the private right-of-way standards and approval criteria found in the Zoning Code.
- Second, this rule also includes technical elements that address the design and construction of streets, alleys, common greens, shared courts and pedestrian connections located in private right-of-way tracts.
Both the planning and technical elements of this rule are designed to promote public safety, by providing a consistent streetscape within private rights-of-way, and by establishing agreements to make sure these shared private improvements are maintained.
This rule is written under the authority of Titles 3, 24, and 33. Sections that relate to the design and construction of stormwater facilities governed by the City’s Stormwater Management Manual, Public Works Permitting, public sewer connections, and other items that are subject to Title 17 are included for reference only.
Exceptions to the requirements of this rule may be requested as described below. Section 1 below describes the exception process for planning elements of this rule. Section 2 describes the exception process for the technical elements of this rule. Exceptions granted to these elements do not grant exceptions to other applicable requirements of the City’s Zoning Code or administrative rules. Adjustments or exceptions to these other codes and rules may also be required.
1. Varying from Recommended Street Elements
A land division applicant may request right-of-way configurations that vary from the planning elements of this rule, as part of the land use review process.
a. Requests for such exceptions must be provided in writing, and included with the land use application. Requests for an exception must include the following: a description of the exception or alternate design being requested; a specific explanation describing why the exception or alternate design is requested; and an analysis of how the relevant land division standards and approval criteria in the Zoning Code will still be met. For example, a request to omit the on-street parking lane must include an explanation of why that element is not needed to "accommodate the expected users of the right-of-way", in response to the approval criteria found in the Zoning Code (see Chapter 33.654). Adjustments to the Zoning Code standards may also be required. Adjustments are land use reviews administered through the Zoning Code.
b. There is no fee for this kind of exception request.