Neighborhood Associations are invited to comment on land use development proposals in their geographic area. The land use review process is generally as follows:
The city recommends to applicants that they contact the neighborhood association for an informal discussion of new projects.
Pre-application conference: The clock hasn’t started ticking:
the applicant meets with various city bureaus to explore the requirements and complexities of a general concept plan.
Design Advice Request: These are at the applicant’s request, in areas of the city with design overlay. They are not listed on the website but should show up on the Historic Landmarks Commission & Design Commission agendas.
Land Use Review (LUR): Once an application has been filed, the city is required to process it and make approvals or denials within 120 days (unless waived by the applicant.) An LUR–whether simply reviewed by city staff at the Bureau of Development Services, or by one of the Commissions–is sent out for comments by neighborhood associations and other interested parties, replies are required within 14 days.
Decision: After submission, the application is reviewed by city staff and in some cases given a hearing. There is a time limit of 28 days within which the city must make a decision.
Decisions can be appealed within 14 days; the appellant must have commented on the original LUR and the appeal criteria are usually limited to the criteria cited in the original comments. Appeals of LURs cost $250 or more (this can be substantial, depending on the type), but this is waived for recognized neighborhood associations. In most cases appeals are heard by City Council. The neighborhood association cannot appeal on behalf of other parties, but must have commented during the usual process.
For more information about permitting go to the Bureau of Development Services website.
To learn about a particular property, including zoning, permits issued and pending, crime stats and more, go to http://www.portlandmaps.com/ and type in the address. If you don’t know the address, click on the ‘mapping’ link below left and you can navigate on a map to the property.
For existingand in-progress neighborhood and area plans, plus other relevant planning documents, go the Bureau of Planning documents & maps section here.
The Bureau of Planning West area liaison is Brian Sheehan. The webpage for that program is here.
The Portland Department of Transportation (PDOT) website is here.
For links to other city bureaus, go to
For more information, contact Mark Sieber.