Do You need Planning Approval?
- Are there any projects that don't require Oregon City Planning Review?
There are a few! Some projects may not require Planning review if they are located outside of Historic or Natural Resource Overlay District (NROD) areas and are developed according to Oregon City Municipal Code. Here are the most common examples:
- New fences and retaining walls in residential zones under the following circumstances:
- Decks and patios less than 30 inches above grade.
- Residential accessory structures under 200 square feet in area.
- Most street tree pruning and maintenance.
- Topping street trees requires submission of a Certified Arborist Report.
- What does Oregon City Planning review?
While this list is not exhaustive, these are the most common projects that require general Planning review or a Land Use Application (PDF):
- Business licenses
- Signs on structures or properties in Oregon City
- Street tree removal and replacement
- Trees and tree preservation in new developments
- Food carts (also known as Mobile Food Units)
- Short-term rentals
- Fences, Hedges, and Retaining Walls:
- In non-residential zones
- On NROD properties
- On designated Historic properties or properties in Historic Districts
- Lot Line Adjustments and Abandonments
- Land Divisions
- Development in Residential, Middle Housing, Multi-Family, Institutional, Mixed-Use, Commercial, and Industrial zones
- Most new residential and non-residential construction that involves new buildings and exterior alterations to existing buildings
- Projects on properties in the Natural Resource Overlay District (NROD)
- Projects in the Geologic Hazard Overlay
- Projects on Historically-Designated homes and properties and in Historic Districts
- Parking Lot development, changes, repaving, and landscaping
- Type I Minor Site Plan
- Changes to non-residential landscaping and outdoor lighting
- Temporary structures in non-residential zones
- Mechanical equipment placement and screening in non-residential zones
- Projects in the Oregon Trail-Barlow Road Historic Corridor, Flood Management Overlay District, and/or the Willamette River Greenway Overlay District
- Changes to Non-Conforming Lots, Structures, and Sites
- Changes in Land Uses on a property
- Annexations, Zoning Changes, and Comprehensive Plan Amendments
- Appeals of eligible land use decisions
You can find your property's zoning, overlay status, acreage, lot coverage, and other important information with the Property Reporter tool or OCWebMaps. You may find many of our other Property Tools useful, as well.
- What does the Planning review or Land Use process look like?
It depends on the project. Planning review takes the form of Type I, Type II (PDF), Type III (PDF), and Type IV (PDF) processes. Pre-Application Conferences are required before filing for most Type II applications and all Type III and Type IV applications. See our Processes and Timelines page and our Administration and Procedures Code (OCMC 17.50) for more details.
- What about review from other departments?
Many projects require review from any combination of Oregon City Departments:
- Building oversees the building permit process, building plan reviews, and inspections. You can email Permits or call 503-722-3789 for questions.
- Public Works reviews a variety of aspects that impact development projects:
- Economic Development oversees Oregon City's special incentives programs for certain areas of the city, including the Oregon City Urban Renewal District. You can visit the Economic Development website.
- How do I submit for Planning review or a Land Use Application for my project?
In order to expedite the review of plans and permits, a majority of our applications will only be accepted electronically through our online portal.
We still accept in-person, over-the-counter submissions of the following applications:
- How much will Planning review for my project cost?
The cost of review for your project depends on its complexity and the processes involved. Please consult our Planning Fee Schedule for a list of the latest review fees by project type.
Please email the Planning Division or call 503-722-3789 to see if there are any restrictions for your project or if a permit is required.
Our customer service counter is located at 695 Warner Parrott Road, and is open to the public Mondays through Thursdays, 9 am to 4 pm; and Fridays by appointment only.