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Enforcement Waivers and Reductions

Information
Waivers and reductions for Tree Code compliance cases.

On this page

This page is separated into two sections.

  1. Financial Enforcement Waivers
  2. Enforcement Penalty Lien Reductions 

Financial Enforcement Waivers

City Code Title 11 provides the City Forester broad discretion in applying remedies and penalties to correct violations of the Tree Code. However, enforcement remedies and penalties may cause undue hardship to property owners living with lower incomes. In these cases, if a property owner is determined to be eligible, the City Forester may grant an exception to the required enforcement remedies and penalties.

What can be waived?

Waiver eligible enforcement remedies and penalties are all remedies and penalties in excess of the standard permitting requirements had the code been followed correctly. Only waiver eligible enforcement remedies and penalties may be reduced through a financial enforcement waiver. At no time will an illegal tree removal result in mitigation of less than one tree.

How can I qualify for a financial enforcement waiver?

You will qualify if you are able to provide proof of the following:

  1. The property is your primary residence, and
  2. you have agreed to meet all enforcement actions that are not waiver eligible (see above), and
  3. you do not have previously documented violations of Title 11 within the last three years, and
  4. you are receiving Tier 1 Discounts from the Sewer, Stormwater, and Water Bill Discount Program administered by the Portland Water Bureau (PWB).
    1. If you are not currently enrolled, you may apply to become enrolled in the Portland Water BureauBill Discount Program to qualify under this section

Enforcement Penalty Lien Reduction

Monthly code enforcement penalties are assessed to property owners who have not corrected code violation case(s). Lien Reduction Reviews allow your case to be reviewed and considered for lien reductions as a result of technical process errors, legal situations, or other qualifying criteria. 

How can I qualify for an enforcement penalty lien reduction?

To qualify, the applicant must demonstrate and provide evidence as to which of the following criteria are met.

  • Documented medical/financial hardship prevented property owner from reaching compliance in a timely manner.
  • Property owner qualifies for Financial Enforcement Waivers.
  • Consistent payments have been made for at least 2 years to satisfy lien.
  • There are multiple assessments and/or cases for the same or similar types of violation.
  • City contact with the property owner lapsed for more than 1 year while the case was open.
  • An error was made in the violation notification.
  • Delays in the violation review process or other delays due to City staff beyond the applicant’s control.

Cases will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis and may not be eligible for financial enforcement waivers.

To Apply

  1. Complete the Enforcement Waiver Application  
  2. Include a written statement of eligibility and any additional information or supporting documentation of why the waiver or reduction should be granted
  3. For financial waivers: include proof you are enrolled in the Portland Water Bureau Bill Discount program such as:
    • Portland Water Bureau Bill Discount program award letter, or
    • Recent water bill showing the discount applied
  4. Submit your application inone of the following ways:
    • Mail: to Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry, 1900 SW 4th Ave. Suite 5000, Portland, OR 97201
    • Email: to trees@portlandoregon.gov
    • In person: at the Development Services Center, 1900 SW 4th Ave. 1st Floor, Portland, OR 97201

I understand I must be enrolled in the Portland Water Bureau Bill Discounts program to apply for financial waivers. But I still have questions. What do I do?

We understand!  Please call the Water Bureau Customer Service at 503-823-7770 or email pwbcustomerservice@portlandoregon.gov.

For tree-related questions please call Urban Forestry at 503-823-TREE (8733), or email trees@portlandoregon.gov