A recent city poll of local housing developers identified some new building requirements — ranging from mandatory bicycle parking spaces to bird-safe windows — as policies the city should suspend to accelerate housing development in Portland.
The audit found projects in need of permit approval are routinely hit with longer-than-expected wait times. According to the audit, the city has not reached its timeliness goals for initial review once in the last five years. In 2019, the city provided an on-time review for 27% of new commercial construction projects. For new residential projects, that figure was 7%.
The bureau raises nearly all its own revenue — 98% of its funding comes through construction permit fees. But in the midst of a pandemic, demand for big commercial projects like office buildings or hotels, which are capable of generating sizable permit fees, has plummeted.
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