The changes are intended to reduce wait times for real estate development permits

Beginning May 14, the City of Portland announced the Bureau of Development Services will be piloting a change intended to reduce customer wait times in the Development Services Center (DSC).

Now, the Building Code Plans Examiner's review will no longer be the last review point. Instead, it will be the second review point, immediately following Planning and Zoning. This changes the order in which building permit applications are reviewed and approved. The new line-up goes like this: First Screen, Second Screen, planning and zoning, building code plan review, and then interagency partners.PAMPLIN MEDIA GROUP: FILE PHOTO - The City of Portlands Bureau of Development Services has undergone major changes over the past few years in order to keep up with permit services required from the building boom.

This new change "is part of the director's goal to change customer service times," said David Austin, outgoing public affairs officer for Commissioner Eudaly and the BDS.

The upcoming pilot improvements are a part of a larger-scale effort to reduce customer wait times in the DSC based on suggestions from staff and managers from BDS and Interagency Partners who service the DSC. BDS staff are working to implement these changes, evaluate their success and ultimately make applying for a permit more efficient for customers.

The Business Tribune covered "The Life of a Permit" in October, 2017 after Portland developers complained of expensive, slow permit times and City employees were frantic over the rush of paperwork during the building boom. To mitigate the race to build, the City instituted the Design Overlay Zone Assessment (DOZA) project, intended to smooth out the city's permit process. This change is unrelated to DOZA recommendations.

The bureau also underwent a recent renovation of its space, to ensure better safety and flow for users and employees.

By Jules Rogers
Reporter, The Business Tribune
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