What is the Healthy Businesses permit?

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The Portland Bureau of Transportation’s (PBOT) Healthy Businesses permit allows temporary changes to streets to give people more space to conduct business safely. The permits that were set to expire June 30 will be extended at no charge through August 30, 2022.
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Updated Sunday, March 13 with new Healthy Businesses permit information 

Updated April 28, 2022, with links to PBOT's new guidance for making Healthy Businesses spaces ADA compliant.

Healthy Businesses permits - updates

Current permits extended through August 31, 2022

The free Healthy Businesses permits that were set to expire June 30 will be extended at no charge through August 31, 2022, allowing more time for the city and businesses to transition to the next phase of the program. Permits starting September 1, 2022 will be good through December 31, 2023. These permits will now have a fee component associated with them to offset administrative costs and to partially recoup the value f the right-of-way that is being privatized.  Applications for 15-month permits that start September 1 will be accepted starting in Summer 2022. The program's website will be updated when applications are available. Sign up for email updates for the latest news. 

Permit requirements 

As of March, 2022, there are many installations in the public right-of-way that are not following the conditions and guidelines established in 2020. 

At this time, PBOT is re-evaluating design standards. Meanwhile, the bureau will inspect structures that are believed to be non-conforming, including some that present safety issues and some that do not provide access for people with disabilities who rely on mobility devices. Inspectors will visit sites in the spring and summer of 2022. If Healthy Business installations are not in compliance with permit conditions and requirements, permitholders will receive a written reminder and be given an opportunity to come into compliance. 

New design requirements and permit conditions will ensure access for people with disabilities, emergency response, public transit operations, and loading zones. 

ADA guidance

PBOT has issued new guidance for making Healthy Businesses spaces ADA compliant.

Businesses with expired permits or no permit must apply for a permit

Businesses that are found to be operating in a public street without a valid Healthy Businesses permit will be offered another opportunity to obtain a permit, before warnings and fines begin this summer. 

2022 program update timeline: 

March – Permit extensions for active permits will begin going out via email 

March – Permit holder survey opens

April-May – Revised design guidelines and ADA requirements published and emailed to all permit holders 

April-June – Site visits for all permit installations

July - August – All permit holders notified of updated conditions and compliance issues 

July - Applications for new permit cycle open

August 31 – Current permits expire 

September 1 - New permit cycle begins

For all existing permit holders that wish to renew their permits for the new program, the Healthy Business team will help you bring your space into compliance by providing a check sheet indicating which issues need to be corrected and when they need to be corrected. 

Starting September 1, 2022 

Design for Persons with Disabilities: Including clear path of travel on sidewalks and adherence to the ADA design guidelines and standards. 

All coverings over sidewalks that do not have an approved Bureau of Development Services permit or meet PBOT's encroachment permit requirements, must be removed. 

Some installations may need to re-size, relocate, be redesigned, or be removed between September 2022 and December 2023. If this is the case at your site, you will receive communications by August, 2022.  

Important conditions for construction and utility conflicts.

Given the large volume of utilities that exist above, at, and below the surface of the right-of-way, we anticipate that some Healthy Business installations will need to be inactive or moved to accommodate needed utility improvements/repairs. During the permit application process, PBOT will review for any known conflicts. Healthy Business installations may be reopened once utility work/construction is complete.  

New: In an after-hours emergency, your installation may need to be moved by the City of Portland. While reasonable efforts will be made to avoid damage to the structure given the nature of the emergency, the City of Portland is not responsible for any damages incurred.

Side Street Plaza - mandatory emergency lane.

New: Side street plazas are required to maintain a continuous 12-foot unobstructed pathway from one end of the plaza to the other, allowing for emergency vehicle access. Barricades should remain in place at both ends of the closure, as indicated in the sites approved traffic control plan (included with the permit).  The Fire Marshal's Office may issue a $500 fine on the spot for any permit holder that is not in compliance. 

For more detail visit: 

What is the Healthy Businesses permit?

The Healthy Businesses Permitting Program is an emergency response that allows for free, temporary permits with relaxed conditions. In 2020, Portland's Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) quickly responded and prioritized restaurants, retail, and others shifting to outdoor spaces without requiring an inspection for adherence to the written requirements that came with the permits.

Permits are temporary and revocable.

For information about using parking lots and other private property, visit the Bureau of Development Services.

Do I need a Healthy Businesses permit for my business to operate in the right-of-way?

For food and beverage service, YES.

To take up portions of the sidewalk, parking, street, alley, etc., YES.

If all you want is to reserve a parking space for temporary pickup/drop-off for you and your customers, visit Apply for a temporary pickup/drop-off permit

What should businesses consider first?

Whether you are looking for a solution for a single business or a whole block, PBOT's Business Toolkit team will work with you to find the best option for your location. We encourage businesses to work together to find solutions that will work for multiple businesses. 

Healthy Businesses 4 designs

What is expected? What should businesses know before applying?

  • Access for pedestrians and people with disabilities must be maintained at all times. A clear 6-foot pedestrian path is required throughout the sidewalk at all times and no obstructions may be placed in this zone at any time.
  • PBOT encourages businesses to coordinate with neighboring businesses and organizations first before applying.
  • Area business districts and associations may be able to help provide insurance, traffic control devices, or other requirements of the Healthy Business permit.  Find your business district or association using this map 
  • Items and equipment (including traffic control devices) cannot be attached or adhered to the sidewalk, streets, curb, utility pole, or other City infrastructure. Permit holders cannot alter any infrastructure in the right-of-way.
  • Permit holders are responsible for maintaining the area around their installation. If a parking space is used, permit holders must clean debris from the area under and around as needed
  • Businesses must ensure that there is always access for people to line up and use transit stops.
  • Because this program is temporary, businesses may not relocate fixed infrastructure such as bike racks to make more room in the right-of-way, nor is PBOT able to accommodate such requests.
  • Where appropriate, parking along an entire block face may be used to support businesses. If all you want to do is convert a single parking space into a temporary pickup/drop-off zone for your block, visit Apply for a temporary pickup/drop-off parking space for your business Please note that these temporary pickup/drop-off parking spaces expire on June 30, 2022, and are not being renewed. For information about permanent fast-stop locations please go here. https://www.portland.gov/transportation/parking/faststop
  • In some cases, entire streets may be closed to create space for commercial activity.
  • We may consider permitting temporary plazas or patios on or near streets with significant commercial activity and demand for space. 
  • All streets will require some combination of traffic control equipment to separate people and vehicles. Parking lanes are typically 8ft wide; 7ft may be used for the installation with he remaining foot to be used for traffic control or other approved buffering materials. Streets with higher speed limits (25 mph or higher) will require more.  

Is insurance required?   

YES. Please visit our insurance page to find out the most current insurance requirements and standards.

PBOT’s insurance requirements and standards

If traffic control is required, where can supplies be bought or rented? 

For a partial list of vendors and descriptions of types of traffic control, visit:

Basic traffic control devices and vendors

Organizations providing additional resources 

In addition to business districts and associations, these organizations may be providing resources and support during the Covid-19 pandemic:  

Contact us

Questions before applying or about your permit? Other ideas for businesses using the public right-of-way? Contact the PBOT Business Toolkit team at 503-823-4026 or PBOTBusinessToolkit@portlandoregon.gov  

To report a problem with an installation or to give us feedback on how PBOT’s Healthy Businesses program is going, please fill out PBOT's Healthy Businesses - Feedback Form


Apply for a Healthy Businesses permit

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PBOT Business Toolkit team

Safe Streets Initiative
phone number503-823-4026Contact with questions before applying, or about your permit.