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POL Government Elected Officials Auditor Mary Hull Caballero Charter, Code and Policies City Code & Charter Online Code & Charter Title 26 Electrical Regul Chapter 26.03  Organization and Enforcement
Chapter 26.03 Organization and Enforcement

26.03.010 Director.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 176955, effective October 9, 2002.)  The Director of the Bureau of Development Services serves as the Building Official and will be referred to herein as the Director.  The Director shall be responsible for the enforcement of this Title.  The Director shall appoint technical officers, certified inspectors and other employees necessary to enforce this Title.  The Director shall have the power to render interpretations of this Title and the Electrical Code and to adopt and enforce supplemental regulations in order to clarify the application of requirements.  Such interpretations, rules and regulations shall be in conformance with the intent and purpose of the Electrical Code.


26.03.020 Right of Entry.

The Director may enter and inspect any building or premises when:

A.  It is necessary to enforce the requirements of this Title; or,
 
B.  There is reasonable cause to believe a dangerous, hazardous or unsafe condition exists which is in violation of this Title.
 
The Director may inspect occupied buildings or premises at reasonable times by presenting credentials to the occupant(s) and requesting entry.  To request entry to and inspect unoccupied buildings or premises, the Director shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other persons controlling the property.  If entry is refused or if the owner or persons controlling the property cannot be located, the Director shall have recourse to the remedies provided by law to secure entry.

26.03.030 Conformity Required.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)  Any electrical equipment, product or material used or intended to be used under the scope this Title must be approved under ORS 479.  To be accepted by the Bureau, such equipment, product or material shall be installed, constructed, altered, renovated, repaired and maintained in compliance with the requirements of this Title.
Nothing in this Title is intended to permit the design, construction, installation, quality of materials, location, operation and maintenance of equipment which is not in accordance with any applicable sections of Title 24 (Building Regulations), Title 25 (Plumbing Regulations), Title 27 (Heating and Ventilating Regulations), Title 28 (Floating Structures) and Title 32 (Signs and Awnings) of the Code of the City of Portland.
Any portion of any installation, construction, alteration, renovation, or repair made in violation of this Title shall be removed or corrected to comply with the requirements of this Title.
Whenever there is insufficient evidence of compliance with any of the requirements of this Title or evidence that any equipment, product, material or construction does not conform to the requirements of this Title, the Director may require tests as proof of compliance.  All tests shall be made by an agency approved by the State of Oregon Electrical and Elevator Board as meeting the testing standard requirements for electrical safety as required by ORS 479.510 through 479.855 and Oregon Administrative Rules.  The tests shall be made at no expense to the City.  Test methods shall be as specified by the Electrical Code or by other recognized test standards.  If there are no recognized and accepted test methods for the proposed equipment, product, material, or construction, the Director shall determine test procedures.  Reports of such tests shall be retained by the Director for the period required for the retention of public records.


26.03.040 Qualifications Required.

Any person, other than the owner, performing any electrical work regulated by this Title shall possess appropriate State of Oregon electrical license(s) and/or registration(s) indicating qualifications appropriate to the type of work involved.  If requested, the required license(s), and/or registration(s) shall be shown to the Director.


26.03.050 Violations and Penalties.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)

 

A.  Violations.

 

1.  It shall be unlawful for any person to fail to comply with the provisions of this Title.

 

2.  It shall be unlawful for any person to remove correction notices, proceed with electrical work, or cover defective work prior to approval by the Bureau.

 

3.  It shall be unlawful for any person to continue unauthorized work after issuance or posting of a stop work notice unless authorized by the Director.

 

4.  It shall be unlawful for any person to reconnect power to any structure, installation or equipment after issuance of a notice to disconnect or after such power was disconnected by the Director, unless authorized by the Director.

 

5.  It shall be unlawful for any person to remove, alter or destroy any notice to stop work or to disconnect power.

 

6.  It shall be unlawful for any person to overfuse any conductor, motor or apparatus in excess of the amount allowed by this Title.  It shall be unlawful for any person to install any substitute for an approved fuse or circuit breaker or to interfere with or alter any circuit or automatic device so as to remove or reduce the required factor of safety as identified in OAR 918.251 through 918.311.

 

7.  Electrical equipment which was unlawful at the time of installation, and which would be unlawful under this Title if installed after the effective date of this Title, shall constitute a continuing violation of this Title.

 

B. Penalties.

 

1.  In the event the property owner or permit holder, or the agent of the owner or permit holder, fails or neglects to carry out any requirement, or fails to correct any noted violations of this Title, the Director may gain compliance by any of the remedies outlined in Chapter 3.30 of the Code of the City of Portland.

 

2.  Any person, firm or corporation found guilty of violating any of the requirements of this Title shall be subject to civil penalties.  Penalty amounts shall be those established in ORS, OAR and/or the Code of the City of Portland.

 

3.  When electrical work requiring a permit under this Title is commenced prior to obtaining a permit, the Bureau shall conduct an investigation and may issue a stop work order in accordance with Section 26.03.080.  (Exceptions to permit requirements are found in Chapter 26.04.)  The investigation may involve inspecting the site for violations, checking Bureau files, and notifying applicable parties.  The Bureau may charge an investigation fee equal to the average or actual additional cost incurred by the City of ensuring that the work done without benefit of a permit is in conformance with the Electrical Code and this Title. The Bureau will conduct an investigation before any permit is issued for the work.  The Bureau’s investigation may include determining the nature and extent of the work, checking the work for compliance with the Electrical Code and this Title, checking Bureau records and notifying applicable parties of the investigation results, including required corrections.  An investigation and investigation fee shall be required for any work done under a temporary permit when an electrical permit application and fee are not received or mailed within the time lines set in Section 26.04.070.

 


26.03.060 Bureau of Development Services Administrative Appeal Board.

(Replaced by Ordinance No. 187432, effective December 5, 2015.)

 

A.  Appointment of Administrative Appeal Board.  The Bureau of Development Services Administrative Appeal Board consists of the Building Official and Bureau staff members appointed by the Director.  In appointing staff members, the Director will consider the issues presented by the appeal, and what particular expertise will be helpful in addressing those issues.  The staff will act in an advisory capacity to the Building Official.  The Administrative Appeal Board may:

 

1.  review appeals of the Bureau’s application and interpretation of this Title and the Electrical Code;

 

2.  review requests for modifications to the strict application of the Electrical Code; and

 

3.  review requests to use an alternative method.

 

B.  Appeals to the Administrative Appeal Board and Final Decisions.  Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Bureau related to the application and interpretation of the Electrical Code or this Title or who wants to request consideration of an alternative method may file an appeal with the Administrative Appeal Board.  Such an appeal must be filed within 180 days of the Bureau decision being appealed; provided, however, the Electrical Code in effect at the time the Bureau decision was made shall be applied to the administrative appeal.  The Administrative Appeal Board may:

 

1.  grant an appeal if the Administrative Appeal Board finds that the Electrical Code was not correctly interpreted or applied;

 

2.  grant requests for modifications to the strict application of the Electrical Code where it is assured that the modification provides equivalent safety; or

 

3.  approve an alternative method if the Administrative Appeal Board finds that any such alternative complies with the intent of the Electrical Code and that the method offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the Electrical Code in safety.  The Administrative Appeal Board may not waive the requirements of the Electrical Code.  The Administrative Appeal Board review will culminate in a final decision by the Building Official.  The Administrative Appeal Board meeting is not open to attendance by the appellant or the public.  The Bureau will provide final decisions to the appellant by publication of the decision on the Bureau’s website within 10 calendar days of the hearing, provided the Bureau has received all required information from the applicant.

 

C.  Reconsideration of Final Decisions and Appeals to the Electrical Code Board of Appeal.  Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the Building Official made under Subsection B. above may either file a reconsideration of that decision within 180 days of the decision based on new or revised information or appeal the decision to the Electrical Code Board of Appeal in accordance with Section 26.03.070 within 90 days of the final decision being appealed.  There is no additional fee for the first reconsideration of an Administrative Appeal Board decision or for an appeal to the Electrical Code Board of Appeal.  The Electrical Code in effect at the time of the final decision being reconsidered or appealed will be applied to the reconsideration or subsequent appeal to the Electrical Code Board of Appeal.

 

D.  Fees for Appeals.  The fees for administrative appeals shall be as stated in the Fee Schedule adopted by the City Council.  The current approved Fee Schedule is available at the Development Services Center and on the Bureau’s website.


26.03.070 Electrical Code Board of Appeal.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)

 

A.  Appointment of Electrical Code Board of Appeal.  In order to hear appeals of final decisions of the Building Official made under Section 26.03.060, there has been created an Electrical Code Board of Appeal, consisting of three members and three alternates appointed by the Mayor and approved by the City Council.

 

1.   Each member and alternate member must be qualified by experience and training to make decisions pertaining to the Electrical Code.  One member and one alternate member shall be Oregon licensed journeymen electricians whose experience and training provide expertise on matters contained in the Electrical Code and this Title.  One member and one alternate member shall be Oregon registered electrical engineers with substantial experience in electrical design and construction subject to the requirements of the Electrical Code and this Title.  One member and one alternate member shall be electrical contractors experienced in electrical design and construction subject to requirements of the Electrical Code and this Title.

 

2.   Electrical Code Board of Appeal appointments shall be for 3-year terms.  Appeal Board members may serve no more than two complete 3-year terms, unless the Director recommends approval of a longer term, and the Mayor and City Council approve the extended appointment.  Vacancies occurring prior to the end of a term for whatever cause may be filled by qualified persons through appointment by the Mayor for the remainder of the term.

 

3.   Any member may be removed by the Mayor for incompetence, dereliction of duty, incapacity or other sufficient cause.

 

4.   Members of the Electrical Code Board of Appeal shall comply with the State ethics laws applicable to public officials.

 

5.   Members of the Electrical Code Board of Appeals shall serve in a voluntary capacity and without pay.

 

B.   Appeals to the Electrical Code Board of Appeal.  The Electrical Code Board of Appeal may review Administrative Appeal Board decisions or any other final decision of the Building Official or Director related to the application and interpretation of this Title or the Electrical Code.  The Electrical Code appeal will be limited to the facts and record reviewed by the Administrative Appeal Board, Building Official or Director related to the decision being appealed.  A hearing will be held within 45 days after an interested party submits a written appeal to the Electrical Code Appeal Board.  A panel of three Electrical Code Board of Appeal members will hear each appeal.  The Board may, by a majority vote, affirm, annul, or modify the decision.

 

C. Powers and Limitations of Authority of the Electrical Code Board of Appeal.  The Electrical Code Board of Appeal may provide reasonable interpretations of the requirements of the Electrical Code and may grant an appeal if the Board finds one of the following:

 

1.  the Building Official or Director did not correctly apply or interpret this Title or the Electrical Code;

 

2.  grant requests for modifications to the strict application of the Electrical Code where it is assured that the modification provides equivalent safety; or

 

3.  approve an alternative method if the Electrical Code Board of Appeal finds that any such alternative complies with the intent of the Electrical Code and that the method offered is, for the purpose intended, at least the equivalent of that prescribed in the Electrical Code in safety.  The Electrical Code Board of Appeal may not waive the requirements of the Electrical Code.

 

Any person aggrieved by a final decision of the Electrical Code Board of Appeal may, within 30 days after the date of the decision, appeal to the appropriate advisory board of the State of Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.


26.03.080 Stop Work Orders.

(Replaced by Ordinance No. 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)  When it is necessary to obtain compliance with this Title, the Director may issue a stop work order requiring that all work, except work directly related to elimination of the violation, be immediately and completely stopped.  If the Director issues a stop work order, activity subject to the order may not be resumed until such time as the Director gives specific approval in writing.  The stop work order will be in writing, except when an emergency condition exists, the Director may issue a stop work order orally, followed by a written stop work order.  All stop work orders will conform to the requirements of City Code Section 3.30.080.  Any person subject to a stop work order may seek review of the order by the Director and may appeal the Director’s determination in accordance with City Code Section 3.30.080.


26.03.090 Electrical Power Disconnect.

(Amended by Ordinance Nos. 180917 and 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)

 

A.  The Director may order the person or entity who controls the electrical power to disconnect the power to the structure, installation, portions of the installation, or product if the Bureau determines that an electrical installation or product:

 

1.  Fails to comply with minimum safety standards; or,

 

2.  Was installed without an electrical permit; or,

 

3.  Is not in accordance with the requirements of the Electrical Code or this Title.

 

Prior to the power disconnection, the Director shall provide written notice to the property owner and the person(s) affected by the power disconnection.  The notice shall contain a proposed disconnection date.

 

B.  If the condition of an electrical installation or product constitutes an immediate hazard to life or property, personnel authorized by the Director may cut or disconnect any conductor(s) necessary to remove such hazard.  As soon as practical, the Director shall provide written notice to the property owner and the person(s) affected by the power disconnection.

 

C.  The Director shall thereupon attach a notice, in writing, that the conductors or product will be (or have been) disconnected because the installation or product is unsafe to life or property.  The notice of disconnection shall not be removed by any person except the Director.

 

D.  When any wiring or product in any building has been disconnected or ordered disconnected by the Director or Portland Fire & Rescue, the wiring or product shall not be reconnected until placed in a safe and secure condition, and inspected and approved by the Director.  Unauthorized reconnection of power may result in penalties as outlined in this Title.


26.03.100 Maintenance.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)  All existing electrical installations shall be maintained in a safe condition.  All required devices or safeguards shall be maintained in conformance with the Electrical Code and this Title.  To determine compliance with this Section, the Director may inspect any electrical installation.


26.03.110 Electrical Fences.

(Amended by Ordinance No. 187432, effective December 4, 2015.)

 

A.  Where Permitted.  Locations in industrial use categories as defined in Title 33 may have electrically charged fences if the installation meets the requirements of the Electrical Code and this Title.  Electrical fences and obstructions are prohibited at all other locations.

 

B.  Standards for Electrical Fences.  Electrical fences shall comply with the following standards:

 

1.  The product shall be listed by a State of Oregon approved testing laboratory. 

 

2.  The product shall be installed and used in accordance with the testing laboratory listing.

 

3.  Electrical permits and inspections shall be required for the installation.

 

4.  Warning signs which notify individuals of a dangerous fence shall be posted on the fence, at intervals not to exceed 50 feet.  The statement, DANGER - Electrified Fence, (or an equivalent statement) shall be on the warning signs.


26.03.120 Liability.

The Director acting in good faith and without malice in the discharge of the duties required by this Title, shall not thereby be rendered personally liable for any damage that may occur to persons or property as a result of any act or by reasons of any act or omission in the discharge of such duties.  Any suit brought against the Director or duly authorized representative of the Director because of such act in the scope of their duties or omission performed by them in the enforcement of any provision of this Title or other pertinent laws or ordinances implemented and enforced by the City shall be defended by the City until final termination of such proceedings, and any judgement resulting therefrom shall be assumed by the City.

This Title shall not be construed to relieve from or lessen the responsibility of any person owning, operating or controlling any electrical installation equipment or product for any damages to persons or property caused by defects, nor shall the Bureau or City be held as assuming any such liability by reason of the inspections authorized by this Title or any permits or certificates issued under this Title.