Public Works Appeal Process

Public Works appeals apply to the City's requirements for improvements made to the public right-of-way as part of the development process.  
On this Page

Public Works Administrative Appeal Panel and Board Appeal Process

  • City Code Chapter 17.06 governs the administration of PW Administrative Appeal Panel meetings and PW Board of Appeals hearings.
  • Public Works Permit Appeals apply to the City's requirements for improvements made to the public right-of-way as part of the application for a Public Works Permit.  
  • Anyone whose application for a Public Works Permit is denied or anyone required by a Public Works Permit to incur an expense for any alteration, repair, or construction of a facility in the public right of way may appeal those conditions.
  • The following actions are NOT subject to appeal: approval or denial of requests for design exceptions: Early Assistance responses; previously established City standards and specifications; system development charge assessments; and matters subject to the authority of any other City appeal body, including land use appeals.
  • As stated in City Code section 17.06.050 B, a permit decision, requirement or condition may only be appealed if it is in writing and only on the grounds that it is inconsistent with or contrary to City Code, rules, standards, policy, or is a misapplication or misinterpretation, thereof. Note: An Early Assistance response, including Public Works Inquiries, is not considered a "permit decision, requirement or condition" and is not appealable through this process.
  • If your project meets the intent, but not the letter of the code, you must have an alternative method of meeting the intent of the code approved by the appeals process.  The alternative method proposed must have already been reviewed under the Alternative Review Committee (ARC) process. The appeal must demonstrate that the proposed alternative is equal to or better than what the code requires.
  • Public Works code appeals are not land use review appeals or building code appeals.

Starting the Appeal Process

A complete Public Works Permit Appeal Packet consists of:

  1. Plans
  2. Appeal fee ($250) – payable electronically once appeal is reviewed and accepted.

The following three sections provide the primary information from which both the PW Administrative Appeals Panel and Board will make a decision. It is critical that information provided in these sections be clear, concise, accurate and completely written. Each appeal submittal must stand on its own merit and will be reviewed based on the specific conditions related to the project under consideration.

  1. Code provisions: This section asks first for the code section being appealed and then for the requirements of that code section. It is important to accurately specify the code section being appealed.
  2. Proposed design: This section asks you to describe the actual alternate method and/or materials of construction that are proposed for use. It is important that the actual conditions you are asking to have approved be described. This is not the section where equivalency or rationale for use of the proposed design should occur.
  3. Reason for alternate: This is the section where you should describe how or why the proposed design provides an equivalent level of accordance with what the code requires and the rationale for use of the proposed alternate.

Additional Materials 

Plans: One set of plans that addresses your appeal (in addition to any plans submitted for permit processing) must accompany appeal applications. Plans should provide sufficient information to detail the areas that are being appealed as well as any areas that may be affected by or that may affect the appeal.

Supplemental information: Supplemental information, such as photographs, engineering analysis, test data, etc, that will help to clarify the appeal and make it easier for the board to understand the conditions being appealed or which supports the argument for equivalent safety are welcome accompaniments to the appeal submittal.


  • Public Works Permit appeal fees is $250
  • Payment to be collected once appeal is reviewed and accepted.
  • Make payments through Development Hub PDX (DevHub).

How to File Your Appeal 

Email your complete Public Works Permit appeal packet to Public Works Permitting

Insert: Public Works Appeal in subject line, including the site address and case number being appealed.

For questions regarding the appeal packet submittal, please call.

Appeals will be screened for completeness, and request for payment will be made once accepted.  Payment can be made electronically through the BDS DevHub online payment portal. Submittal of inaccurate or incomplete forms, or non-payment of the appeal fee, may cause a delay in hearing the appeal. 

Appeal Review Process

The following describes the Appeal Process. 

1. Administrative Appeals Panel Review

  • Appellant must submit the completed appeals packet no later than 15 business days after the contested Public Works decision is made.
  • The Public Works Permitting manager reviews and validates the application within four business days of receipt.
  • The Public Works Administrative Appeals Panel (PWAAP) meets and reviews the appeal within 10 business days of its validation by the Public Works Permitting manager, unless additional analysis is required to evaluate the application.  The PWAAP consists of representatives from the Bureaus of Transportation, Environmental Services, and Water. Additionally, there are two panel members appointed by the Mayor: a representative from the Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) and a citizen with a background in neighborhood land use and development activities. City staff presents the case and code applied, and the applicant or their representative attends to represent their appeal to the panel.
  • Decisions are reached by consensus, recorded, and provided in writing to the appellant within 10 business days of the PWAAP review. 

2. Board of Appeal

  • Appellants not satisfied with the administrative action may request a hearing by the Public Works Board of Appeals (PWBA) empowered to hear the appeals for the specific code under consideration.
  • The Board of Appeals consists of Chief Engineers from the Bureaus of Environmental Services and Water, the City Engineer, or their designees.
  • The appellant must submit the application to appeal before the PWBA within 15 business days of the decision reached by the PWAAP.
  • The Public Works Permitting manager reviews and validates the application within four business days of receipt.
  • Hearings before the PWBA are set up on an as needed basis and are scheduled no more than 20 business days after the appeal application is accepted.  The appellant will receive no fewer than 10 business days notification before the hearing is to take place.  The appellant must be present at this hearing to discuss the appeal with the board. 
  • Community members are welcome to attend the Appeal Board Hearing; however, testimony is limited to the appellant and City staff only. 
  • Decisions are reached by consensus, recorded, and announced at the conclusion of the hearing. Decision is also provided in writing to the appellant within 10 business days of the PWBA review. 

View Appeal Results 

Decisions are mailed to the appellant the day after the appeal. Appeal results can be found below: