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ENB-18.50 - Warehousing Waiver

Administrative Rule Adopted by Office of Neighborhood Involvement
ARB-ENB-18.50

 
Category: Neighborhood Inspections
 
Effective Date: April 27, 2004
 
Responsible Bureau Section:
Neighborhood Inspections
111 SW Columbia St, Suite 670
Portland Oregon 97201
503-823-7306
 
BACKGROUND:
Title 29 of the Portland City Code is known as the Property Maintenance Code.  Among other things, this code sets minimum standards for maintaining residential properties within the City of Portland.  This code also includes provisions for citing both nuisance and housing maintenance violations. To gain compliance with this code, Title 29 allows for the charging of Code Enforcement Fines on properties that fail to comply with the cited regulations in a timely manner.  To prevent accumulating fines from causing undue hardship and/or when extenuation circumstances may impede timely code correction, Section 29.60.100 authorizes the Director of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI) to adopt exceptions.  This waiver is one of the exceptions that have been adopted.  A waiver policy defines the criteria and time frame for suspending Code Enforcement Fines.  It also identifies conditions under which a waiver exception will be cancelled and fines re-instated.
 
PURPOSE:
The purpose of the Warehousing Waiver is to provide owners of vacant residential structures an exception to code enforcement fines on a property the owner wants to use for storage while a decision is made to either correct the housing code violations or demolish the structure.
 
APPLICATION:
A waiver application filled out by the property owner, or referral from a Housing Inspector.
 
FEE:
There is no application fee for a Warehousing Waiver.
 
APPEAL:
If the property owner wishes to appeal the denial of a waiver they must request the appeal within fifteen (15) days of the written denial.  The appeal must be made in writing and submitted to Neighborhood Inspections, 111 SW Columbia St, Suite 670, PortlandOR97201.  The property owner will have the opportunity to present additional information during this appeal.  A written determination will be mailed to the owner.  This determination can be appealed to the Code Hearings Office within ten (10) business days of its issuance.
 
POLICY:
ONI will grant a suspension of housing Code Enforcement Fines for twelve (12) months if the property meets all the requirements listed below.  The waiver may be granted to properties referred by a Housing Inspector, or a property owner may send in a written request for waiver.  In either case the request is reviewed to ensure it meets all requirements.   Monthly Code Enforcement Fines will be suspended beginning with the first billing cycle following the date the property qualifies for the waiver.  The waiver is renewable annually, if the owner qualifies.
 
A. Requirements to Qualify for a Warehousing Waiver
All of the following requirements must be met to qualify for the Warehousing Waiver:
1. The structure is a one or two family or mixed use residential structure;
 
2. The structure is vacant and has been cited for Title 29 Property Maintenance Code Violations;
 
3. Every door and window to the exterior of the building shall be equipped with a lock designed to discourage unwanted entry.  Boarded exterior doors and windows are not acceptable;
 
4. Any disconnected utilities to the residential structure, such as gas, electrical and water service, must be disconnected in an approved manner to prevent unwanted use, and reduce the risk of property damage;
 
5. Every exterior wall and weather-exposed exterior surface shall be maintained structurally sound, adequately supported and prevent rain or dampness from entering interior portions of the structure;
 
6. Roofs shall be structurally sound, tight, and have no defects that might admit rain.  Roof drainage shall be adequate to prevent dampness in the walls and interior portion of the building, and channel rainwater away from the building;
 
7. The exterior of the building shall not constitute an attractive nuisance, or show signs of continuing decline.
 
8. Painted exterior surfaces shall not have substantial areas of peeling or missing paint.  Brick, stone, masonry or other veneer shall be well maintained.
 
9. Exterior property areas shall be kept free of trash, debris, tall grass and unsightly accumulations of clutter.
 
10. Exterior property areas shall be maintained so as to discourage and/or prevent unauthorized people from entering the yard or building.
 
11. Exterior of the building shall not have any significant fire, life, safety violations.
B. General Information
1. Upon approval of a Warehousing Waiver, monthly Code Enforcement Fines will be suspended for twelve (12) months beginning with the first billing cycle after the date the property qualifies, with the option of annual renewal;
 
2. Prior to granting a Warehousing Waiver, the City requires an interior housing inspection of the building to assess fire/life/safety hazards and other habitability issues.  Any violations found during this inspection must be corrected before re-occupancy is approved.                                                                                      
C.        Waiver Renewal Process
Reminder letters for Warehousing Waiver renewals are mailed to property owners at least one month prior to the expiration of the waiver.
1. To be granted a renewal of this waiver:
a. the owner must request an updated inspection from the housing inspector prior to the end of the waiver period. 
D.        Waiver Cancellation Policy
Warehousing Waivers will be cancelled immediately if any of the conditions listed below occur during the waiver period.
1. If adequate maintenance of the building fails to meet the requirements (see maintenance standards for the structure above) during the waiver period, a housing violation notice will be sent to the owner.  The property must be brought back up to the minimum requirements listed above, and approved by the inspector within thirty (30) days from the date of the notice.  If the corrections are not completed within this timeline, the waiver will immediately be suspended.  Code enforcement fines will resume until the property is brought back to the minimum requirements and approved by the inspector, or the property is demolished. 
 
2. If the property is cited for nuisance conditions (see ‘Maintenance standards for the exterior property’ above) under Title 29 Nuisance Code, the owner has 15 days to correct the violations.  If the violations are not corrected, resulting in abatement by City Contractors, the Warehousing Waiver will be cancelled.  If the property is posted two or more times outside of a 30 day period, but within a 12-month period of time, the Warehousing Waiver will be cancelled;
 
3. Work is being done at the property without the required permits, the Warehousing Waiver will be cancelled immediately;
 
4. The property is no longer vacant.
NOTE: If the waiver is cancelled for any of the above reasons, the owner cannot reapply for 1 year from the date of cancellation.
5. Furthermore, if the property continues to deteriorate, or is in chronic violation of city code the waiver will be cancelled for a minimum of one year, with opportunity for renewal only upon inspector approval.
 
If this waiver is cancelled, a cancellation letter will be mailed to the owner of the property and monthly Code Enforcement Fines will start with the next billing cycle after the cancellation.

 
HISTORY
Effective April 27, 2004.
Filed for inclusion in PPD September 30, 2004.
Revised and filed in PPD November 16, 2004
Revised June 6, 2006 and filed in PPD June 16, 2006.