Natural Resource Overlay District (NROD)

The Natural Resource Overlay District (NROD) protects the habitats and associated functions of the streams, riparian corridors, wetlands and the regulated wildlife habitat found in Oregon City.

The NROD regulates water quality and ensures habitat protection through the enforcement of permanent vegetated corridors between sensitive resources and developed areas. The NROD map and code are in compliance with Titles 3 and 13 of the regional Metro Urban Growth Functional Management Plan.

Also, the NROD helps to implement the Oregon City Comprehensive Plan Natural Resource Goals and Policies, as well as promoting federal Clean Water Act requirements for shading of streams and reduction of water temperatures. The NROD is intended to resolve conflicts between development and conservation of habitat, stream corridors, wetlands, and floodplains identified on the City's adopted maps.

These areas provide important benefits, from wildlife habitat to recreation. As the city grows, it is ever more important to protect these areas so that future generations will continue to enjoy and benefit from them.

Water resources include:

  • The Willamette and Clackamas Rivers
  • The tributaries of Abernethy Creek, Newell Creek, Livesay Creek, Beaver Creek, and their associated minor streams
  • Bogs and wetlands
  • Groundwater under the city

Because land use practices, development, and city infrastructure can affect the quality and quantity of water resources, the City will protect and restore these resources through a variety of means. One way is through the Natural Resource Overlay District (NROD), which is a zoning overlay with development standards to protect surface waters and riparian corridors and habitats. Download the code for the Natural Resource Overlay District requirements: Chapter 17.49.

Another way streams and wetlands are enhanced is through civic projects to restore water features through partnership with non-profit agencies and volunteers. Riparian enhancement projects such as these do not require a land use permit approval by the Planning Division. Please check with us before beginning work! Restoration and protection of these resources is covered primarily in Section 5 (Open Spaces, Scenic and Historic Areas, and Natural Resources) of the Comprehensive Plan.

Is your property within the Natural Resource Overlay District? If so, there may be restrictions on how much of your property you are permitted to develop.

See further information on how to provide habitat in your own backyard with Metro's Nature-Friendly Home Improvement webpage!