Sidewalks, driveways and other frontage improvements either need a Minor Improvement Permit or a Public Works Permit. Please click the link above for a chart describing what projects can be permitted via a Minor Improvement Permit and what require a Public Works Permit.
As noted above, some forms of voluntary or required repairs to sidewalks, curbs, and driveways that are in the City of Portland’s public right-of-way can be permitted via a Minor Improvement Permit. These are simpler situations where no engineering review is required.
Projects in City of Portland's public right-of-way that cannot be permitted as a Minor Improvement Permit require a Public Works Permit.
A revocable encroachment permit allows the placement of privately owned structures or infrastructure within the public right-of-way. In addition to allowing placement of an encroachment, the permit also assigns responsibility for the encroachment (liability, maintenance, etc.) and sets conditions, such as joining Oregon One-Call or having liability insurance on file with the City, which may be required to allow the encroachment.
If a project cannot meet the requirements but would still like to seek vehicular access, a Driveway Design Exception can grant an exception to the standards. Specific requirements can be found in City Code Title 17.28.110- Driveways- Permits and Conditions and Transportation Administrative Rule TRN 10.42- Access Requirements for Parking Structures.
A Public Works Alternative Review allows a project to propose an alternative to non-technical design requirements set by the Public Works Bureaus (Water, Transportation, and Environmental Services) as a result of reviewing an application for building permit, a public works inquiry, a public registry review, an early assistance review, or a land use review.
As part of a development permit or land use application, the landowner may be required to grant an easement to the City for public right-of-way purposes. This is often referred to as a “dedication.”
The development permit may also require that the landowner grant other types of easements (such as a public walkway easement or sewer easement), though these are less common.
A Traffic Impact Study (TIS) may be required to demonstrate the applicable land use review approval criteria are met. A TIS may also be needed to address operational or safety issues. Please note that many intersections in the City have limited capacity and may not be able to accommodate area growth plus the proposed land use without mitigation. Under some circumstances, lack of adequate capacity (level-of-service) at an intersection can result in denial of a land use proposal. Intersections of higher classified streets are most likely to have capacity constraints but other intersections may as well. The applicant’s traffic engineer should investigate this issue well in advance of application for the land use review. Please see TRN 10.27- Traffic Capacity Analysis for Land Use Review Cases.