Variance Resources

A Variance is a process whereby you may request an adjustment to our community-adopted standards in the Oregon City Municipal Code.

Differences Between a Major & a Minor Variance

Typical Type II Planning Procedure and Timeline (PDF) Minor Variances are less discretionary and may be processed by staff while Major Variances require review by the Planning Commission. Minor Variances include:

  • Variances to setback and yard requirements to allow additions to existing buildings so that the additions follow existing building lines.
  • Variances to width, depth, and frontage requirements of up to 20%.
  • Variances to residential yard/setback requirements of up to 25%.
  • Variances to nonresidential yard/setback requirements of up to 10%.
  • Variances to lot area requirements of up to 5%.
  • Variance to lot coverage requirements of up to 25%.
  • Variances to the minimum required parking stalls of up to 5%.
  • Variances to the floor area requirements and minimum required building height in the mixed-use districts.

Please note: All variances which are not listed are Typical Type III Planning Procedure (PDF) Major Variances.

Find Out More About Your Property

The City's website has a variety of resources available including Property Reports and Online Mapping System. You may also call the Planning Division at 503-722-3789.

Oregon City Municipal Code Criteria

In addition to the zoning designation and any special requests, such as Variances, the following chapters of the Oregon City Municipal Code (OCMC) are applicable to Variances:

  • OCMC 17.50 - Administrative Processes
  • OCMC 17.60 - Variances

Planning Applications & Fees

Visit the Fee Schedule page to learn more about the fees for each land use application type.

Please note: Additional fees are required from other departments, agencies, and consultants.

The Planning Department will provide you with a customized checklist for your specific project at a pre-application conference.

Visit the Planning Application Checklists page for more details.

Review Process

Variances applications are processed as Type II or Type III Land Use applications. Once an application is submitted, it is reviewed for completeness purposes within 30 days. Upon a complete application submittal, the applicant is entitled to a decision from the city for a decision of approval, approval with conditions, or denial within 120 days of deeming the application complete, by state law. Type II decisions are rendered by the Community Development Director, with an appeal on the record to the City Commission, and then onto LUBA. Type III decisions include a staff recommendation and a decision by our 7-member Planning Commission, with an appeal on the record to the City Commission, and then onto LUBA.