Residential Demolition

All residential projects which remove 50% or more of the surface area of exterior walls or perimeter foundation are required to obtain a residential demolition permit, fulfill neighborhood noticing requirements for demolitions, and pay the City’s Demolition Tax. Projects that utilize manual deconstruction with a Certified Deconstruction Contractor are exempt from the Demolition Tax. Additionally, manual deconstruction is required for all demolitions of residential dwellings built in the year 1940 or earlier.

Residential Demolition Definition

Residential Demolition Packet

Residential Demolition Information

A demolition shall not begin until all of the following application requirements are met. As established under Ordinance 2894, "demolition" or "demolish" means removal of 50 percent or more of the total surface area of exterior walls or perimeter foundation of a residential structure as it existed on June 2nd, 2022, either as a single project or cumulatively over five years or less; “Exterior wall” for the purpose of this standard means a wall enclosing a dwelling that has a surface exposed to the outside, including all framing and sheathing, from top plate to bottom plate on all stories.

(Ordinance 2894, updated June 2, 2022)

Demolition Permit Process

  • Complete the Residential Demolition Packet

Your Demolition Packet may include some or all of the following information, reports, and permit applications:

  • Proof of Ownership (required) Submit a tax statement, title report or recorded deed/contract, and a letter from the owner of the subject property approving the demolition.
  • Asbestos/Lead Paint Reports (testing required, abatement as deemed necessary by DEQ)
  • Notice of Approved Demolition (Building) Permit

Step 1: Receive notification from the Building Department that the Demolition Permit is ready to issue Step 2: At least 15 days before beginning demolition, receive from staff a complete Notice of Approved Demolition letter and poster

Step 3: At least 14 days before beginning demolition, both

A: Post the Notice of Demolition poster on the subject lot or abutting access easement, where vehicles and pedestrians passing by on a public street can easily see and read the poster, and

B: Mail the Notice of Demolition letter to the street addresses of all abutting residential properties (See LOC 45.12.100.)

Demolition shall not commence until the Demolition Permit has been issued and the 14-days’ notice period has ended. The permit will only be issued after all fees are paid and the Erosion Control Plan and any required Tree Removal/Protection Permits are approved. For questions, contact the Building or Planning Department at 503-635-0290.

  • Erosion Control (if applicable) Submit an Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control Permit Application for review by the Engineering Dept. Contact the Erosion Control Specialist at 503-675-3991 for information.
  • Certificate of Assurance – Impact to Trees (required if trees within area of demolition)
  • Tree Removal/Protection applications (if necessary for demolition)
  • Submit and pay for Tree Removal/Protection applications
  • Apply for residential demolition permit with the Building Department
  • Complete the tree removal process (if applicable).
  • Install and call for inspections on tree protection measures, as applicable.
  • The Building Department will notify the applicant when the permit is ready to issue.

Notice of Approved Demolition Process:

  • Pay remaining fees at Building Counter and obtain associated permits.
  • Submit the completed Notice of Approved Demolition letter at the Building Counter for approval.This letter will be mailed to abutting neighbors and is also your Certificate of Assurance – Required Demolition Notice which is kept by the City.
  • Staff will use the letter to complete the Notice of Approved Demolition sign.
  • Post the Notice of Approved Demolition sign on the subject property and mail the letter to abutting neighbors at least 14 days before beginning demolition.
  • Do not start demolition until at least the 15th day after the Demolition notice is posted and mailed, and start within 60 days of mailing/posting (otherwise, a new mailing/posting is required). Demolition permits expire if work is not started within 180 days of permit issuance, or if work is suspended or abandoned for 180 days or more. If you cannot begin within 180-days and do not want to abandon the project, you may submit a written request to the Building Official for a 180-day extension.

For questions about tree removal and tree protection, contact the Planning Department at 503-635-0290

Demolition must start within 60 days of mailing/posting. (Otherwise, a new mailing/posting is required).  The Residential Demolition permit expires if work isn't started within 180 days from the date of issuance.  The permit expires if work is suspended or abandoned for 180 days or more. If you can't work within a 180-day period and don’t wish to abandon the project, you may submit a written request to extend your permit for an additional 180-day period.