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Wildfires and Fire Danger

Street Vacations

A street vacation extinguishes the public’s interest in street right-of-way. When street area is vacated, control is passed to the underlying fee owner, most often the abutting property owner but not always.
If you are interested in vacating a street, email pbotrwa@portlandoregon.gov to inquire.

How long does the process take?

The typical time it takes to process a street vacation is 12 to 18 months (sometimes longer), depending on the complexity of the vacation request.

What are the steps in vacating a street?

Early Assistance

Early Assistance (EA) Reviews are required for all street vacation requests. The EA Review is a cursory review that consists of representatives from various bureaus who determine the level of support the vacation request would receive from the bureaus, as well as what type of conditions might be required.  The EA Review helps the Petitioner to form an opinion on whether to move forward with Phase 1 of the vacation request.

When you are ready to apply for an EA Review, click on the link below

http://www.portlandoregon.gov/shared/cfm/image.cfm?id=136435

Follow this link for the EA Review fee schedule

https://www.portlandoregon.gov/citycode/article/308415 and select Exhibit C

Phase 1 – Petition and Preparation

In order to begin Phase 1 of the street vacation process, the Petitioner must complete a street vacation application and submit it to PBOT Right-of-Way Acquisition (RWA) along with an administrative fee for preparation of the petition document. The fee schedule can be found within Exhibit C at https://www.portlandoregon.gov/citycode/article/308415.. The petition application itself can be found here.

RWA staff creates the Petition document and supplemental maps. Then, the Petitioner collects notarized signatures from all property owners abutting the street area requested to be vacated and the owners of not less than 2/3rds of an “Affected Area” as required by statute. The 2/3rds percentage is based on the total square footage of the Affected Area and not on the number of distinct properties located within the Affected Area.

Phase 2 - Formal Investigation

After the completed petition is certified by RWA, Phase 2 of the Street Vacation begins. The funding of Phase 2 is a cost recovery model. The Petitioner is required to pay for staff time and expenses related to processing the street vacation, but not for the value of the land. The more complex or controversial the street vacation is, the higher the costs are likely to be. An initial payment of $5,000 needs to be made to begin the formal investigation, with additional funds required as needed.

Notices seeking comment are sent to city bureaus, public agencies, utilities, and neighborhood and business associations to see how your request would impact their areas of responsibility and whether they would support your request and if any conditions would be required.  

Public Hearings

There are two public hearings in the street vacation process; the Planning & Sustainability Commission and City Council. At these hearings, the public is welcome to attend and voice their support or opposition to the vacation request. After hearing testimony and reviewing staff recommendations, City Council will make the final decision on whether the street vacation request is approved.

Statutes, Codes and Charter References

ORS Chapter 271 .080 through 271.230: “Vacation”  https://www.oregonlegislature.gov/bills_laws/ors/ors271.html

ORS Chapter 227.100: “Submission of plats for subdivisions and plans for street alternations and public buildings to commission” https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/227.100

Portland City Code Chapter 17.84: “Street Vacations” https://www.portlandoregon.gov/citycode/28883

Portland City Charter Section 1-104: “Alienability of Public Places and Property and Limitations Thereon” https://www.portlandoregon.gov/citycode/article/13416

Portland Policy Document TRN-1.06:  In process of being updated https://www.portlandoregon.gov/citycode/article/40540

Still have questions or would like to inquire about vacating a street?

Call us at (503) 823-1372 or by email at pbotrwa@portlandoregon.gov