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TRN-10.17 - Sidewalk and Driveway Permits (including Asphalt Approaches)

SIDEWALK AND DRIVEWAY PERMITS (including Ashpalt Approaches)
Administrative Rule Adopted by Bureau of Transportation Engineering & Development Pursuant to Rule-Making Authority

I. Definition
Portland’s Office of Transportation, Street Systems Management (SSM) issues permits for sidewalks, driveways, carriage walks, tree wells, and infill for parking strips within the public right-of-way. City Code reference for these permits is Title 17.24. Please reference this code section for details beyond those required for permit issuance. Permits are generated from the sidewalk posting program, the building plan review process, and through citizen requests.

II. Administrative Rule
A. Sidewalk & Driveway Posting
1. To apply for a permit, the contractor or property owner shall provide the posting number as shown on the posting affidavit and indicate if there is any additional non-posted work to be performed. Work other than shown on the affidavit drawing requires a separate permit from SSM.
2. SSM contacts the Sidewalk Posting Section at the Bureau of Maintenance to coordinate permitted activities. Sidewalk Posting provides the required date (as specified on the Posted Notice) that work shall be completed by.
B. Sidewalk & Driveway Permits through Building Plan Review
Rules apply as per Bureau of Development Services Requirements and as per Title and Chapter 17.28 of City Code.
C. Sidewalk & Driveway Permits through Citizen Requests
1. If the requested permit is for a new driveway, the applicant shall submit a drawing indicating the proposed and existing driveway, curb and sidewalk area. The drawing must show the dimensions from property line, a north arrow, the street names and any structures on site.
2. The applicant submits the driveway plan to planning & zoning in the Development Services Center for approval.
3. Upon approval from planning & zoning, the applicant submits the driveway plan to SSM for permit issuance.
4. For commercial property and residential driveways within 25' on a corner lot, Bureau of Transportation System Management shall review & approve the plan.
5. Upon receipt of all approvals and requirements, SSM may issue a permit.
6. If the request is to repair an existing driveway or sidewalk, there is no requirement to go through zoning/planning. Otherwise, all other rules as listed above apply.
Please note that all driveway and sidewalk construction shall meet the requirements as shown in The Standard Construction Specifications book. In addition:
    • When replacing driveway and sidewalks, SSM requires that replacement shall be from score to score or joint to joint. Angle cuts or partial section replacements may not be approved.
    • When replacing monolithic sidewalk and curb, the curb may be retained only if the sidewalk is sawcut, a planter strip is added and the curb is in good condition. If the sidewalk is being replaced adjacent to the curb, the curb shall be replaced in a monolithic pour.
D. D/W Access onto unimproved R-O-W
When requesting access is to a public R-O-W that is not paved or graveled, the applicant will be directed to Development Review for determination of type of driveway construction required.
E. Carriage Walk
A carriage walk is a concrete sidewalk from the curb to the public sidewalk the width of which is the same width as the walkway from the public sidewalk to the house. The permit process is as follows:
1. The applicant must draw up a footprint indicating the proposed and existing curb and sidewalk area. The drawing must show the dimensions from property line, North Arrow, and street names.
F. Infill Parking Strip
City policy calls for landscaping all parking strips between the curb and sidewalk, and not to allow placement of paving material in these strips. This policy reflects City planning goals for maintaining the aesthetic qualities that landscaped parking strips provide in any area, and for pedestrian safety. Parking strips also mitigate storm water runoff from the sidewalk, reducing the amount storm water within the Cities system.
Exceptions to this policy should be reviewed on a case by case basis addressing the following criteria.
    • The area is adjacent to a school and the area is used for bus loading.
    • The area is within a bus stop zone established by a public agency.
    • Width of the parking strip is less than 2' in an R zone.
    • Within any D zone overlay, design review must be consulted.
    • Other cases as deemed necessary by the City Engineer.
    • Sand set pavers may be placed with in the parking strip without a permit in any zone if no more than 50% of the area of the parking strip is infilled.
All requests for permits to infill parking strips may be granted only if.
1. Field inspection indicates that infill will not be in conflict with other areas of the block.
2. Materials for the infill are either concrete or sand set pavers.
Permits for Infill of Parking Strips are processed as follows:
1. The applicant must draw up a footprint indicating the proposed and existing curb and sidewalk area. The drawing must show the dimensions from property line, North Arrow, and street names.
G. Tree Wells
The tree well program is administered by the City Forester. The City Forester approves the type of tree to be planted and its location within the public right-of-way. Transportation requires 4’ x 4’ wells or 3’ x 5’ wells for trees to be planted in the public right-of-way, so as to allow room for root growth that will minimally impact the adjacent sidewalk.
All public sidewalks must have a minimum clear area for pedestrian passage of 5 feet. On all arterial and commercial streets, and in the Central City Business District, a minimum of 6 feet of unobstructed sidewalk area must be maintained. When determining if installation of a tree well will allow minimum sidewalk widths to be maintained, allow for a six-inch curb width.
Recommended tree well size is 4' square. This may be modified to 3' x 5' when necessary to maintain minimum sidewalk widths. No tree well shall be less than 3' measured from back of curb to back of cut on property side of the sidewalk. No tree well is to be longer than 5’ measured parallel to the curb. Any reduction in minimum tree well size below 3' x 5' requires written approval of the City Forester.
No reduction in unobstructed sidewalk area is allowed except in cases where the abutting property owner has granted a pedestrian easement abutting the public right-of-way and constructs a sidewalk to City standards which combined with the public sidewalk meets the required minimum clear widths.
The permit process is as follows:
1. The applicant must draw up a footprint indicating the proposed and existing curb and sidewalk area. The drawing must show the dimensions from property line, North Arrow, and street names.
H. Friends of Trees
For each tree requiring cutting a tree well in the sidewalk area, Friends of Trees shall submit an application with the following items:
    • Site plan with dimensions
    • Property owner signature approving placement of the tree(s)
    • City Forester recommendations
Street Systems Management reviews the application for completeness and verifies that the tree well is compatible with the right of way configuration. Friends of Trees will be notified of incomplete applications. The application will be placed on hold pending the receipt of the required information. Applications for sites that cannot be permitted will be so noted and returned to Friends of Trees.
Street Systems Management inspector will conduct a field visit for each application that is complete and at a site that can be permitted.
With the Inspectors approval, Street Systems Management will issue the permit. One permit will be issued for each property with the Friends of Trees as the representative.
Fees for tree wells are:
  • $15.00 per tree well when tree wells are random and not in a district (minimum permit fee does not apply).
  • $30.00 per block face when block faces are in a district and two or more tree wells will be placed on each block face.
A block face is defined as one side of a block, on one side of the street. A typical square block has four block faces. A district is defined as two or more block faces without gaps.

Filed for Inclusion in PPD December 19, 2003.