FAQ - Land Use and Transportation

Applications

Q.
Can I do anything so my application is processed faster?

A. The short answer is no. Strict time limits are set for each land use application. Therefore, staff has to process applications in the order received.

Q.
How long does it take to process an application?

A. The State give Current Planning 120 days to process a decision for Urban land use applications and 150 days to process rural land use applications. These time limits begin when staff has determined that the application contains all the information needed to check for compliance with the Community Development Code, which can take 30 days.

Q.
What happens if my application is incomplete?

A. During the 30 day completeness review period, staff determined that the information provided is insufficient to address all applicable standards of the code. The next step is to report your intentions regarding the application with Current Planning. You can either withdraw your application and receive a refund minus the cost of administrative processing, OR you can state that you intend to provide the missing information and resubmit. If you choose to resubmit you have 180 days to provide the required information. Once the information is resubmitted, staff will check again for completeness.

Area 93

Q.
How does FD-20 compare to your current RR zoning?

A. Washington County’s FD-20 is similar to Multnomah County’s RR zoning in several key respects:
• FD-20 also allows for a single-family dwelling on a vacant parcel.
• FD-20 also allows for accessory structures, such as storage sheds, greenhouses and workshops.
• FD-20 continues to allow farm use, as defined by Oregon Revised Statutes.

FD-20 allows some additional uses that are not allowed under current RR zoning, including:

• Church
• School
• Commercial equestrian uses
• Contractor’s establishment
• Cemetery
• Public utility


However, FD-20 has a 20-acre minimum lot size, and does not allow several of the conditional uses permitted in RR zoning, including:

• Community service uses
• Feed lots
• Commercial dog kennels
• Cottage industries
• Commercial processing of agricultural products
• Planned development for single family residences
• Raising of 4 or more swine more than 4 months of age
• Raising of fur-bearing animals for wholesale or retail sale

Q.
How many additional students would be expected from a development of this size?

A. Area 93 is already in the Beaverton School District, so the schools that would serve additional students are Bonny Slope Elementary, Cedar Park Middle School and Sunset High School. The number of anticipated students varies with the density of development and the types of housing products offered. Those decisions would be made during the planning process following successful completion of the proposed boundary adjustment, a process that will involve the Beaverton School District. In addition, the Beaverton School District will collect construction excise taxes on all new development that occurs in Area 93 plus property taxes once the value of these new residential properties becomes part of the tax roll. This additional revenue will help fund future school capacity needs.

Q.
How soon would development occur?

A. Changing county boundaries in Oregon requires a change in state law. The 2013 Legislature will be considering specific legisla¬tion to adjust the boundary. To implement the boundary change, Multnomah and Washington counties would need to adopt a formal agreement by January 2014. Once an agreement is adopted, citizen input about the planning and development of Area 93 would take place over a one- to three-year period.

Q.
Is Area 93 like that place in Nevada?

A. No!
See also:

Q.
Table

A.
xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"
xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word"
xmlns:dt="uuid:C2F41010-65B3-11d1-A29F-00AA00C14882"
xmlns:st1="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"
xmlns="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40">






href="Area%2093%20FAQ%20Question%209%20-%20050313_files/filelist.xml">
9
name="PlaceName"/>
name="PlaceType"/>
name="place"/>
name="State"/>









style='font-size:14.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Calibri'>9. Who
would provide urban and other services as Area 93 develops?



style='font-size:14.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Calibri'> 



style='border-collapse:collapse;border:none;mso-border-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-yfti-tbllook:480;mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-border-insideh:
.5pt solid windowtext;mso-border-insidev:.5pt solid windowtext'>




























































style='mso-yfti-irow:12 !msorm'>















style='font-family:Calibri'>Type of Service



style='font-family:Calibri'>Current Service Provider



style='font-family:Calibri'>Future Service Provider1



style='font-family:Calibri'>Basic County
Functions


(public health, jail,
elections, assessment and taxation, etc.)



style='font-family:Calibri'>Multnomah style='font-family:Calibri'> County style='font-family:Calibri'>



style='font-family:Calibri'>Washington style='font-family:Calibri'> County style='font-family:Calibri'>


(Effective upon boundary
change)



style='font-family:Calibri'>Police



Multnomah County
Sheriff’s Office



Washington County Sheriff’s
Office (Effective upon boundary change)

Enhanced Sheriff’s Patrol District (Annexation necessary) 2


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Fire & Rescue



style='font-family:Calibri'>Tualatin style='font-family:Calibri'> Valley style='font-family:Calibri'> Fire & Rescue



style='font-family:Calibri'>Tualatin style='font-family:Calibri'> Valley style='font-family:Calibri'> Fire & Rescue


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Public Transportation



TriMet



TriMet


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Drinking Water



Combination of Tualatin
Valley Water District and private wells


 



Tualatin Valley Water
District


(Annexations necessary)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Storm & Sanitary Sewer



Private septic systems



Clean Water Services


(Annexation necessary)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Neighborhood Street Maintenance



 



Washington County Urban
Road Maintenance District (Annexation necessary)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Neighborhood Street Lighting



 



Service District for
Lighting


(Annexation necessary)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Parks & Recreation



 



Tualatin Hills Park
& Recreation District (Annexation necessary)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Library



Multnomah County Library
District



style='font-family:Calibri'>Washington style='font-family:Calibri'> County style='font-family:Calibri'> Cooperative Library Services


(Effective upon boundary
change; no annexation necessary)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Education



style='mso-bookmark:OLE_LINK10'>Northwest
Regional Education Service District,
style='mso-bookmark:OLE_LINK10'> style='font-family:Calibri'>Portland style='mso-bookmark:OLE_LINK10'> style='font-family:Calibri'> Community College,

Beaverton w:st="on">School District
style='font-family:Calibri'>



Northwest Regional
Education Service District, Portland
Community College,

Beaverton w:st="on">School District


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Historical Museum



style='font-family:Calibri'>Oregon style='font-family:Calibri'> Historical Society


( w:st="on">Multnomah County
local option levy currently in effect)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Washington style='font-family:Calibri'> County
Museum
style='font-family:Calibri'> (No annexation necessary; no local option levy)



style='font-family:Calibri'>Soil & Water Conservation



West Multnomah Soil
& Water Conservation District



West Multnomah Soil
& Water Conservation District


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Regional Services



style='font-family:Calibri'>Port style='font-family:Calibri'> of Portland style='font-family:Calibri'>


Metro



style='font-family:Calibri'>Port style='font-family:Calibri'> of Portland style='font-family:Calibri'>


Metro


 




Notes:           



style='font-family:Calibri'>1. Shaded cells indicate boundary change that will
occur 30 days after declaration from the Governor or after service district
annexations. The Washington w:st="on">County Board of Commissioners may consider, in an
action soon after the boundary change occurs, annexation of all properties in
Area 93 to some or all of the districts that would typically serve urban
unincorporated neighborhoods in Washington
County
. Annexation to
other service districts would typically happen in conjunction with development.



style='font-family:Calibri'> 



style='font-family:Calibri'>2. As soon as the boundary changes, the Washington
County Sheriff’s Office will provide primary police protection to Area 93, as
it does for all areas outside of cities countywide. Upon annexation to the
Enhanced Sheriff’s Patrol District, the w:st="on">Washington County
Sheriff’s Office will provide an increased level of law enforcement service –
approximately double that provided in rural areas -- for Area 93.



 



(Revised May 3)



 








Q.
What impact would developing Area 93 have on traffic in adjacent neighborhoods?

A. Some increase in traffic is anticipated from new residential development in Area 93, primarily on Laidlaw, Thompson and Saltzman roads. Bringing Area 93 into Washington County allows the county to collect taxes and system development charges that will be used to improve these and other Washington County roads experiencing increased traffic.

Q.
What is “Area 93”?

A. In 2002, regional and local governments in the region made a collective commitment to add more than 20,000 acres to the urban growth boundary (UGB), providing land sufficient to support 20 years of anticipated population and job growth, as required by Oregon law. “Area 93” was one of several areas included in the 2002 UGB expansion to serve growth on the region’s west side—others included North Bethany, portions of River Terrace (West Bull Mountain), and portions of South Hillsboro.

Area 93 is located in Multnomah County, approximately 2.5 miles north of the U.S. High¬way 26/Oregon 217 interchange. It is approximately 160 acres in size. Due to existing roads and natural features, the land area available for development is less than half that amount. Area 93 is isolated from other urbanized areas in Multnomah County by a rural reserve area approximately one-half mile in width. It is contiguous to urbanized Washington County on two sides. Click here for a printable map

Q.
What is Area 93’s current status?

A. The 2002 UGB decision to allow development of Area 93 by the regional and local governments was made to reduce growth pressure on farm and forestland elsewhere. Since then Multnomah County and the City of Portland completed a significant amount of preliminary planning for Area 93, but unlike other 2002 west side UGB expan¬sion areas this area has not been able to move beyond the planning stage. The challenge has been determining how to provide and pay for essential urban services such as water, sewer, parks, roads, and police protection. The preferred solution to advance development of Area 93 involves transferring it into Washington County. (Revised Feb. 26)

Q.
What is the Future Development 20-Acre District (FD-20)?

A. Future Development 20-Acre District (FD-20) is a Washington County urban land use designation applied to unincorporated urban lands added to the Urban Growth Boundary after 1998. It is an interim designation that will remain in effect until Washington County completes its comprehensive planning for future urban development of the area. The intent of the FD-20 designation is to encourage and retain limited interim land uses, until the planning process is complete, at which time final land use designations will be applied to accommodate urban development.
See also:

Q.
What kind of development is anticipated for Area 93?

A. Development is anticipated to be primarily residential, at densities consistent with the existing urban development in adjacent Washington County. If Area 93 is transferred to Washington County, it will be subject to the appropriate environmental standards and rules currently applied by Metro, Washington County, and Clean Water Services to protect stream corridors, water quality and wildlife habitat.

Q.
When will the community planning process start to identify permanent land use designations?

A. Phase 1: Project Initiation
Activities in this phase include:
• Develop a detailed project scope and task list
• Review, select and contract with selected consultants
• Develop a Public Involvement Plan
• Form separate or combined Community Advisory and Technical Advisory Committees
• Initiate project website
• Convene the first community-wide project introduction event

Phase 2: Preferred Concept Plan Alternative
• Assess existing conditions
• Develop concept plan alternatives
• Identify a preferred draft concept plan

Phase 3: Finalize Area 93 Concept Plan
• Builds upon Preferred Draft Concept Plan through continued community, stakeholder and jurisdictional partners’ review
• Feedback will be incorporated in a final concept plan

Phase 4: Adopt Comprehensive Plan Changes based on the Final Concept Plan
• Public hearings before the Planning Commission and Board
• Final result will be adoption of the Area 93 Concept Plan, including the application of final urban land use designations that will allow urban development

Q.
Who would pay the planning and infrastructure costs of development? Who would pay for urban services as the area develops?

A. Washington County’s objective is to make this change of jurisdiction as close to revenue-neutral for its existing taxpayers as possible. Existing Washington County resi¬dents should not have to pay for public improvements needed in Area 93—those who benefit should pay for them.

Changing the county boundary will allow Washington County to plan for what will primarily be residential development in Area 93. Once the Washington County Board of Commissioners adopts these land use plans, property owners would be required to annex into several Washington County service districts as a condition of development (listed in the table below). Property taxes will increase as these additional services are provided to the property.

In addition, new revenue may be necessary to combine with development fees and taxes to pay the cost of new roads and other infrastructure specifically benefiting Area 93. A clear picture of future property tax costs is expected when Washington County conducts the planning process for this new urban area.

Potential revenue tools to pay for Area 93 planning and urban services include: Metro’s Community Planning and Development Grants; development fees; systems development charges for transportation, parks, water and sewer systems; construction excise taxes for schools; and increased property taxes collected as the area develops. (This will include specific property tax levies for urban levels of road maintenance and police protection.)

Q.
Who would provide urban and other services as Area 93 develops?

A. xmlns:o="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"
xmlns:w="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:word"
xmlns:dt="uuid:C2F41010-65B3-11d1-A29F-00AA00C14882"
xmlns:st1="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"
xmlns="http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40">






href="Area%2093%20FAQ%20Question%209%20-%20050313_files/filelist.xml">
9
name="PlaceName"/>
name="PlaceType"/>
name="place"/>
name="State"/>









style='font-size:14.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Calibri'>9. Who
would provide urban and other services as Area 93 develops?



style='font-size:14.0pt;mso-bidi-font-size:12.0pt;font-family:Calibri'> 



style='border-collapse:collapse;border:none;mso-border-alt:solid windowtext .5pt;
mso-yfti-tbllook:480;mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;mso-border-insideh:
.5pt solid windowtext;mso-border-insidev:.5pt solid windowtext'>




























































style='mso-yfti-irow:12 !msorm'>















style='font-family:Calibri'>Type of Service



style='font-family:Calibri'>Current Service Provider



style='font-family:Calibri'>Future Service Provider1



style='font-family:Calibri'>Basic County
Functions


(public health, jail,
elections, assessment and taxation, etc.)



style='font-family:Calibri'>Multnomah style='font-family:Calibri'> County style='font-family:Calibri'>



style='font-family:Calibri'>Washington style='font-family:Calibri'> County style='font-family:Calibri'>


(Effective upon boundary
change)



style='font-family:Calibri'>Police



Multnomah County
Sheriff’s Office



Washington County Sheriff’s
Office (Effective upon boundary change)

Enhanced Sheriff’s Patrol District (Annexation necessary) 2


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Fire & Rescue



style='font-family:Calibri'>Tualatin style='font-family:Calibri'> Valley style='font-family:Calibri'> Fire & Rescue



style='font-family:Calibri'>Tualatin style='font-family:Calibri'> Valley style='font-family:Calibri'> Fire & Rescue


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Public Transportation



TriMet



TriMet


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Drinking Water



Combination of Tualatin
Valley Water District and private wells


 



Tualatin Valley Water
District


(Annexations necessary)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Storm & Sanitary Sewer



Private septic systems



Clean Water Services


(Annexation necessary)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Neighborhood Street Maintenance



 



Washington County Urban
Road Maintenance District (Annexation necessary)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Neighborhood Street Lighting



 



Service District for
Lighting


(Annexation necessary)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Parks & Recreation



 



Tualatin Hills Park
& Recreation District (Annexation necessary)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Library



Multnomah County Library
District



style='font-family:Calibri'>Washington style='font-family:Calibri'> County style='font-family:Calibri'> Cooperative Library Services


(Effective upon boundary
change; no annexation necessary)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Education



style='mso-bookmark:OLE_LINK10'>Northwest
Regional Education Service District,
style='mso-bookmark:OLE_LINK10'> style='font-family:Calibri'>Portland style='mso-bookmark:OLE_LINK10'> style='font-family:Calibri'> Community College,

Beaverton w:st="on">School District
style='font-family:Calibri'>



Northwest Regional
Education Service District, Portland
Community College,

Beaverton w:st="on">School District


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Historical Museum



style='font-family:Calibri'>Oregon style='font-family:Calibri'> Historical Society


( w:st="on">Multnomah County
local option levy currently in effect)


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Washington style='font-family:Calibri'> County
Museum
style='font-family:Calibri'> (No annexation necessary; no local option levy)



style='font-family:Calibri'>Soil & Water Conservation



West Multnomah Soil
& Water Conservation District



West Multnomah Soil
& Water Conservation District


 



style='font-family:Calibri'>Regional Services



style='font-family:Calibri'>Port style='font-family:Calibri'> of Portland style='font-family:Calibri'>


Metro



style='font-family:Calibri'>Port style='font-family:Calibri'> of Portland style='font-family:Calibri'>


Metro


 




Notes:           



style='font-family:Calibri'>1. Shaded cells indicate boundary change that will
occur 30 days after declaration from the Governor or after service district
annexations. The Washington w:st="on">County Board of Commissioners may consider, in an
action soon after the boundary change occurs, annexation of all properties in
Area 93 to some or all of the districts that would typically serve urban
unincorporated neighborhoods in Washington
County
. Annexation to
other service districts would typically happen in conjunction with development.



style='font-family:Calibri'> 



style='font-family:Calibri'>2. As soon as the boundary changes, the Washington
County Sheriff’s Office will provide primary police protection to Area 93, as
it does for all areas outside of cities countywide. Upon annexation to the
Enhanced Sheriff’s Patrol District, the w:st="on">Washington County
Sheriff’s Office will provide an increased level of law enforcement service –
approximately double that provided in rural areas -- for Area 93.



 



(Revised May 3)



 









See also:

Q.
Who would provide urban and other services as Area 93 develops?

A. Urban and other services would be provided by a wide range of Service Providers. These include:
Education
Drinking Water
Storm & Sanitary Sewer
Fire Portection
Law Enforcement
Street Maintenance
Parks and Recreation
Library

For a full list of service providers, please click here.

Q.
Why change the county boundary for Area 93?

A. Area 93 landowners, Metro, and Multnomah and Washington counties have worked co¬operatively to find a solution that delivers on the region’s 2002 commitment to facilitate residential development in this area. In this unique situation, moving the county boundary to bring Area 93 into Washington County is necessary because:
• Public services essential to developing Area 93 cannot be provided in a timely and cost-effective manner by the City of Portland or Multnomah County,
• Those services are available in Washington County, and
• Revenue-raising tools are already in place in Washington County to ensure that those directly benefitting from development pay for the Area 93 infrastructure costs.

Q.
Will existing uses that don’t meet FD-20 standards be “grandfathered”?

A. Generally most existing uses could remain. However, this may vary depending on your specific situation. You may contact Senior Planner Suzanne Savin (503-846-3963) with questions on this issue.

Q.
Will I be able to develop my property once the FD-20 designation is applied to it?

A. As noted, the FD-20 District has a 20-acre minimum lot size. Therefore, no division of land less than 20 acres in size will be allowed, and development of property within Area 93 will be limited to uses allowed in the FD-20 District until Washington County’s comprehensive planning for urbanization of the area is complete. The natural resource areas previously identified by Multnomah County will remain in effect as well. As a result of Washington County’s urban comprehensive planning for Area 93, the natural resource designations may change.

Bethany

Q.
How will the new development needs and impacts be paid for?

A. Preparing formerly rural land for urban development requires an investment in urban infrastructure improvements in order to adequately provide urban services. In addition, there will be impacts to existing infrastructure (such as roads) caused by future residents of North Bethany. Planning for new urban areas at this scale is unprecedented in Washington County, and the current structure to pay for new growth needs is designed to address incremental improvements. For North Bethany, a new approach is necessary. The planning work is being coordinated with a team of financial consultants to develop a funding plan that will address necessary costs. The Board of Commissioners has said they will only consider a land use plan for North Bethany if it comes with a companion funding plan for their consideration.

Q.
Is "North Bethany" different than "Bethany'?

A. Since the subject 800-acre area of land located north of Bethany was brought into the Metro Urban Growth Boundary in 2002, it has been commonly referred to as North Bethany as a way to distinguish it from the already developed urban area. Ultimately, the comprehensive plan for North Bethany will be integrated with the county's existing Bethany Community Plan. While the comprehensive plan update will respond primarily to the new expansion area, the planning effort will take a comprehensive look at the larger vicinity. The planning vision is for North Bethany to be integrated with the existing Bethany Community.

Q.
When can construction of urban development start?

A. Urban scale development may begin after the Board of County Commissioners adopts ordinances reflecting changes to the Washington County Comprehensive Plan, and after the Board comes to agreement on infrastructure financing. The county anticipates adoption in the fall of 2010, at which time property owners may submit development applications.

Q.
Why do we conduct concept and comprehensive/community planning?

A. 1. To meet various applicable state, regional, county and community planning objectives.
2. To identify necessary urban infrastructure requirements, and
3. To ensure that provisions for such infrastructure to serve the greater North Bethany area are fully in place before development begins.

Building

Q.
Are plans for residential sprinkler permits required to be stamped by a registered architect or engineer?

A. No, if the dwelling units are three or less.

Q.
Are state codes applied consistently by local agencies?

A. Yes. Washington County staff regularly meets with other Building Officials across the region and state to ensure all jurisdictions interpret codes and regulations consistently.

Q.
Are you improving the review process?

A. Yes. In 2009 we began an overhaul of our review process to improve our services. Improvements we have made include reducing our timeline for completing reviews, creating engineering fire, life, and safety review guidelines, and improved communication with customers.

Q.
Do I have to have an architect or may I draw plans myself?

A. No, You may draw them yourself, please see our Residential Plan Review Checklist under Applications/Forms/Residential for a listing of what needs to be included in the plans.

Q.
Do I need a permit for a deck if it is ground level?

A. No, but please remember to check with the Current Planning division to see what the setback requirements are from the property line. Their phone number is 503-846-8761.

Q.
Do I need engineering for a free-standing sign?

A. Yes, if the height of the sign is greater than 6 feet from the bottom of the supporting footing to the top of the sign.

Q.
Do I need to get a permit to move a wall in a commercial building?

A. Yes. The movement of walls may result in the change of a path of egress or a reduction of the integrity of a fire rated wall or corridor, and therefore is required to be permitted.

Q.
Does staff redesign or re-engineer projects?

A. No. Staff is clearly directed by state statute to not provide design assistance. Staff identifies items that do not meet codes. If a customer believes staff is redesigning projects, please bring it to the attention of the Building Official.

Q.
Does Washington County issue permits for work done in Hillsboro?

A. No, work done within the city limits of Hillsboro is permitted through City of Hillsboro.

Q.
How long does plan review take?

A. We have a self-imposed commitment to complete initial plan review of residential structures within 10 working days of submittal and to complete the initial review of commericla structures within 20 working days of submittal. Plan review staff has succussfully met these commitments 90% or more of the time. Approval is granted once plans are deemed complete. Washington County's Plan Review process and turnaround commitments are very efficient compared to other departments of similar size.

Q.
Must jurisdictions review plans? Why not just accept the design professional's submitted plan?

A. Jurisdictions are required by the state to enforce the state building codes. Plan review staff are trained and certified by the state in a wide array of state codes. Staff works closely with the design community to ensure that buildings are safe by seeing that they meet the state's minimum code standards.

Q.
What happens if there is a difference of opinion about code requirements?

A. When staff identifies items on plans that they believe do not comply with code, staff provides the relevant governing code citation. Since our engineering review guidelines allow for interpretations by design engineer, if there is a conflict in opinion that is not absolutely clear in the code, staff will defer to the design engineer's determinations.

Q.
What information needs to be shown on my plans?

A. Foundation Plan, Floor Plans, At least 2 complete cross sections in opposing directions, Roof plan, 4 Elevation views, Energy Compliance

Q.
What is the role of the plan review staff?

A. Plan review staff is an integral part of the building plan review process. Unlike the design professionals who submit the plans, plan reviewers are only concerned with compliance requirements of the codes - their job is to ensure that submitted plans meet the state's adopted minimum code standards.

Q.
What size shed can I put up in my backyard without a permit?

A. Anything under 200 sq feet and no taller than 10 feet in height from the finished floor level to the average height of the roof. Please check with Current Planning on the setbacks required for the building.

Q.
Why does Building Services review building plans?

A. State codes have been developed and adopted to ensure that our built environment is safe. These codes establish the minimum acceptable standards. All jurisdictions in Oregon are required to enforce provisions of the state building codes. These include structural, electrical, plumbing, and mechanical codes. We review all plans for new building, building additions and remodeling projects that require building permits.

Q.
Why have professional engineers review the work of other professional engineers?

A. A jurisdiction's engineering reviewers are the building code experts and their work is conted on by the design community. While the design community is knowledgeable about building codes, they aren't necessarily experts, and it isn't their focus. Within the last 20 years there have been significant structural engineering code changes related to soils, landslides, earthquakes, wind, material capacity, as well as others. As a result, engineering requirements ahve become much more complex.

Business

Q.
Do I need a Business License to conduct a business in my home?

A. The Short answer is no. Washington County does not issue business licenses. However, there is a required Home Occupation Land Use Review to ensure that the establishment of a business within a home does not negatively impact the surrounding area. More information can be found on the "Home Occupation" link on the Development Application Forms provided to the left.

Construction

Q.
How can I find out more detailed information about an upcoming project in my neighborhood?

A. Capital Project Management holds public meetings to inform residents about upcoming projects in their neighborhoods. All residents effected by the project, will be invited. These meetings are usually an informal affair where you can ask questions one-on-one with a staff person, review maps, and talk to right of way personnel.

Q.
How early in the morning and late at night can road construction occur?

A. Our specifications state "No construction shall be performed within 300 meters (984 feet) of an occupied dwelling unit on Sundays, legal holidays, and between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. on other days, without approval of the Engineer." There are also other requirements for specific activities such as pile driving and rock crushing operations.

Q.
When will construction start?

A. Once the construction contract is awarded, Capital Project Management will send letters to all residents within the project limits notifying them that they have 30 days to remove any personal belongings from the County's right-of-way. The project will begin soon after the 30 days has elapsed.

Q.
Who do I call if my windshield is chipped by a rock while following a construction truck?

A. Contact our Capital Project Management office (503) 846-7800. It's helpful if you can tell us where and when the incident took place and the name of the company or business listed on the construction truck (if known).

Construction Plans

Q.
How do I get a set of plans for upcoming construction projects?

A. Once a project is advertised for bid, plans can be found on the state's Oregon Procurement Information Network (ORPIN) or you can call Capital Projects at (503) 846-7800. You may also come to our office at 1400 Walnut Street in Hillsboro, Oregon (check in with the second floor receptionist) and review them here, or purchase your own set for a nominal fee.
See also:

Q.
How do I obtain a plan holders list for a project that is out for bid?

A. A plan holders list can be obtained by logging on to ORPIN @ Http://orpin.oregon.gov. Go to the project page that is out for bid and look in the "attachements" folder. The plan holders list is updated twice a day. If you need more information about loging on to ORPIN call (503)846-7800.

Fees

Q.
What if I can't afford to file an application?

A. There are fee waivers available for those who have economic hardships. The Fee Waiver policy can be located within the Fee Policies link of the Fee section.

Q.
Why are land use applications so expensive?

A. The Current Planning Division is a fee supported division. This means that the division is funded through the fees it collects from development applications, and is not funded through the tax based general fund. As a result, the fees for applications pay for everything involved with processing the application which includes, but is not limited to staff's time researching materials, drafting the report, visiting the property, office materials, electricity, etc.

Maps

Q.
01. What is the map and tax lot number for my property?

A. Go to our Intermap site and follow the instructions.


See also:

Mechanical

Q.
Can I get a permit for a roof top unit replacement over the counter?

A. Permits for smaller units are frequently issued over the counter, with appropriate documentation. If the unit weighs over 400 pounds, engineering will be required to ensure that the supporting structure has the strength to accommodate the loading.

Minor Betterments

Q.
How do I know how a particular candidate ranks?

A. The minor betterment candidate list is not sorted by priority. Each year, the Minor Betterment Committee reviews the entire candidate list and selects projects based on a number of factors that influence the selection process. However,eligible candidates stay on the list until the project is built or the situation prompting the improvement is mitigated.
See also:

Q.
How do minor betterment candidates make it on the list?

A. Anyone can submit a proposal to have a location added to the list. An easy-to-use form is available online but submissions can also be turned using e-mail, fax, regular mail, or even a phone call.
See also:

Q.
What are some examples of typical minor betterment projects?

A. Short pieces of sidewalk or patch construction that usually connect existing facilities, ADA ramp construction, minor road widenings and sight distance improvements are the most common types of projects built.
See also:

Q.
Who determines the scope of each project?

A. Staff from the County's Operations and Mainenance Division performs an initial project scoping that includes what work to perform and what the estimated cost may be. If the candidate is selected by the committee for further review, a more detailed analysis is performed by the engineering staff to provide an in-depth assessment of the work to be performed.
See also:

Noise

Q.
What do I do about excessive dust and noise created by the construction in my neighborhood?

A. Call Capital Project Management (503)846-7800 and register your complaint. Our field inspectors will be notified and will take action to resolve the problem.

Paving

Q.
How can rural residents get their gravel road paved?

A. With over 250 miles of gravel roads in Washington County’s road maintenance inventory, the county cannot fund the cost of paving them all. Outside funding is needed to pay for this work. Assuming your road is not on the gravel road upgrade list where the county covers the cost, the neighborhood or a group must pay for it. Here are some specific issues and questions that should be considered.

First, as an alternative, you can elect to have a dust abatement product applied. This is a relatively low cost treatment that is usually done by a contractor. Last year’s costs (2009) were about $1 per running foot for an average 18- to 20-foot-wide road. The durability or life expectancy of the product, usually lignin sulfonate, is affected by rain after it is applied and the amount of traffic using the road. Under ideal conditions, dust abatement may last the entire season.

If dust abatement won’t work or if the annual cost just doesn’t make good economic sense, you may want to consider a paving project. Paving can be either a chip seal or hot-mix, it can be done through a local improvement district or as a cooperative project, and it can be done by or through the county or by you acquiring a right-of-way permit and hiring an approved contractor.

A local improvement district (LID) is the method most commonly used to pave a gravel road. Washington County adopted the LID process in Chapter 3.20 of the Washington County Code. It is petition based (the county prepares the petition, the neighborhood representative is responsible for gathering the signatures) and it requires a total of five Board of Commissioners meetings to finalize a project. The advantage of an LID is that, while it only takes a majority of the benefiting parties to approve the project, everyone pays their fair share. Another very attractive advantage is that payment can be made over a ten-year period. The disadvantage is that it is a long process; the petition needs to be completed by December for the project to be considered for the following summer’s work program. It also costs a little more for the establishment of the LID. Finally, it may tend to alienate the neighbors who don’t want the project but are forced to participate.

A cooperative project is much simpler and less time consuming than an LID. It is typically used when there is one or just a few individuals that are interested in a project. It requires that the estimated cost of the work be collected and deposited in an account with Washington County prior to any work starting. Commitments of this type typically need to be made to the county by March in order for us to get it on our work program for construction that year.

The next choice is the surfacing material. In most cases, a chip seal (also known as a bituminous surface treatment or as an oil mat) is the preferred alternative. It is comprised of three layers of closely controlled amounts of oil and rock. While not classified as a structural component, it is common in the county, especially on low volume (less than 300 to 400 vehicles per day) and light use (few trucks). Last year’s costs (2011) were $15.00 per square yard, or about $150,000 per mile, with preparation costs separate.

An asphalt concrete (hot mix) surface provides a higher level of service than a chip seal, usually has a better look, and is approximately two to three times as costly. It may be considered as a better choice by the neighborhood or may be required because of the amount of traffic anticipated.

Finally, the neighborhood can elect to have the county do the work (chip seal); hire their own contractor to apply a chip seal, subject to county construction standards; have the county add their paving onto the annual county overlay contract; or hire their own contractor working according to the county specifications.

So, there are four sets of choices to be made:

1. LID or COOP
2. Chip seal or hot mix asphalt
3. County or Contract
4. County management or the neighborhood acts as a "prime
  contractor."

For 80 to 90 percent of these types of projects undertaken in Washington County, the work is done as an LID, a chip seal is applied, with Washington County doing the work and serving as the prime contractor.

Hopefully, this summary of what you need to know and consider if you are thinking about having your gravel road upgraded has been helpful to you.

If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss a particular project, please contact Victoria Saager, Management Analyst II, at victoria_saager@co.washington.or.us or at (503) 846-7616.
See also:

Q.
How do you choose which roads to pave?

A. Our engineers look for certain conditions on the road surface before deciding what to do and when to do it. Loss of aggregate, certain types of cracking and other signs of stress are good indicators of what’s going on beneath the pavement, as well as the surface condition. We use sophisticated computer software that considers each road’s condition, prior maintenance history, and traffic loads to help us evaluate the most cost-effective treatment.

Then, of course, we look at available funding, other projects in the area that might impact the road, and throw in a good dose of common sense. Since there are always more roads to pave than money to pave them, we wind up with a solid list of worthy candidates every year.

Q.
My neighborhood street is in worse shape than my neighbor’s street, but you paved his and didn’t do anything to mine! Why?

A. We spend a large portion of our budget on preventive maintenance. This makes good economic sense because a dollar spent on road maintenance today can save $5 on future maintenance costs. Most likely your street is already beyond the "quick fix" stage and will require more extensive (and expensive) repairs. We’ll get to it, but it may be another year or so. We do keep a "wish list" though, so don’t be shy - give us a call or e-mail us!

Q.
My rural local road is in terrible shape but instead of fixing it you paved the main road that had nothing wrong with it! Why?

A. Many years ago the Board of County Commissioners recognized that we do not receive sufficient revenue to meet the needs of our entire transportation system, so they set up a priority ranking system. The strategy is to maintain the heavily traveled roads that most of us use every day to move people and freight from one part of the county to another. Local neighborhood roads are given the lowest priority for repair.

The main roads carry heavy loads - trucks, busses and thousands of cars every day. Without regular maintenance they quickly deteriorate, affecting residents, emergency service providers and commerce. On the other hand local roads are used primarily by adjacent residents. Even when these roads fall into disrepair, they rarely present a safety issue and have minimal impact on the overall health of the transportation system.

Q.
What is a Chip Seal?

A. Chip sealing is a preventive maintenance treatment that preserves the road surface and extends the life of the road. During the chip seal process, layers of emulsified asphalt and rock chips are placed on the road. A final layer of sand fills in voids and provides a smoother road surface. Bicyclists are advised to avoid roads during and immediately after chip sealing. After a few months the surface looks very similar to a paved hot mix asphalt surface.

See also:

Q.
What is a machine patch?

A. A new layer of asphalt is placed on sections of the road, perhaps leaving some gaps depending on condition. First a layer of liquid asphalt or tack coat is sprayed on the road. Next, fabric may be placed on any badly broken areas for added strength. Finally hot asphaltic concrete is applied, raked and rolled to a prescribed density. Work moves quickly and you can drive on the new asphalt as soon as the rolling is complete. The work must be done when the ground is dry and reasonably warm.

Q.
What is a Slurry Seal?

A. A thin mix of liquid asphalt and fine aggregate is placed on the street as a preventive maintenance measure. If needed, the street will be patched and cracks sealed in the weeks prior to seal coat application. When the slurry seal is applied it may be brown, but gradually dries to black. You can drive on it after it solidifies in 4 to 6 hours. The work must be done during warm, dry weather.

Q.
What is an asphalt overlay?

A. A new layer of asphalt is placed on the road, making it look brand new. First a layer of liquid asphalt or tack coat is sprayed on the road. Next, fabric may be placed on any badly broken areas for added strength. Finally hot asphaltic concrete is applied, raked and rolled to a prescribed density. Work moves quickly and you can drive on the new asphalt as soon as the rolling is complete. The work must be done when the ground is dry and reasonably warm.

Q.
Why are you paving local roads in the urban areas of the county, but not the rural areas?

A. A. In 1994 voters in the unincorporated areas of the county voted to fund a special taxing district, the Urban Road Maintenance District (URMD), with property taxes. URMD receives $2.1 million annually to provide paving and other routine road maintenance on neighborhood streets. Prior to URMD funding many Washington County neighborhood streets were full of potholes. Since 1994 the condition of these roads significantly improved, and we’re now focusing our efforts on preventative maintenance.

Permit

Q.
Do I need a permit to cut down a tree?

A. Permits to cut down a tree are required when the tree is located within the Urban Growth Boundary and is within an area designated as a Significant Natural Resource. Permits are also required to cut down trees if preservation of a tree(s) was required as a condition of approval of from a previous land use approval.

Q.
Do I need a permit to drive an over-weight or over-sized load on a county road?

A. A. Yes. You need a Transportation Permit to drive an over-weight or over-sized load on any county road. Give us a call at (503) 846-7623 and we’ll help you plan your route to avoid weight-limited bridges and roads, and get you to your destination safely with minimal damage to the road.

Q.
Do I need a permit to work in the right-of-way?

A. A: Yes. Depending on what you want to do, you will probably need to obtain a Right-of-Way Permit or a Utility Permit. You may also need a permit if you are doing work that blocks the road or limits access to adjacent properties. Examples of work that typically require a permit are adding or repairing a driveway, sidewalk, storm drain, sewer line, or water line. Call (503) 846-7623 or e-mail lutops@co.washington.or.us to request a permit application.
See also:

Planning

Q.
How are issue topics brought to the planning process?

A. Citizen input, often via the Citizen Participation Organizations (CPO’s) and their leadership group, the Committee for Citizen Involvement (CCI)

State and regional requirements for coordination and compliance

Board of Commissioners’ and Planning Commission input

Staff input, especially county Land Development staff who are charged with implementing the long range community plans

Q.
How does the Planning Division organize its work?

A. Community Planning
The Community Planning Program is responsible for the preparation, maintenance and periodic update of the county’s Comprehensive Plan. They monitor the plan and keep it in conformance with state and regional requirements; they also address community issues identified by the Board of Commissioners. Responsibilities include direct involvement with individual citizens, community organizations, cities and affected county and state agencies. Additionally, this program helps coordinate the county’s involvement in state, regional and county-wide planning activities.

Transportation Planning
The Transportation section’s primary responsibility is preparing and periodically updating the long-range (20-year) county transportation plan. Other major duties include working with Metro and ODOT on regional transportation issues and initiatives, travel forecasting, oversight and coordination of the countywide Traffic Impact Fee (TIF) program, bicycle and pedestrian planning, and planning support for other LUT divisions. They also staff monthly Washington County Coordinating Committee meetings, a regular forum for local elected officials to discuss transportation issues. Transportation planning activities include considerable involvement and discussion with county interest groups and residents in general.

Economic and Demographic Information Services
This program provides technical support for long-range planning and transportation projects. Activities include population and employment forecasting, growth analysis, data support for travel demand modeling, and management of population, employment, housing and development related information to support public facility and service programs throughout the county. They are also responsible for the ongoing coordination of Planning’s Geographic Information System (GIS).

Q.
What are Issue Papers?

A. The Long Range Planning Division often prepares issue papers for the Board of Commissioners or the Planning Commission about issues raised at public hearings, or to address specific topics for the work program or other issues identified by the Board. Planning staff begins work by doing research and preparing papers that set forth the pertinent history, regulations, and a range of options. These may take a number of months to draft. The papers are then presented to the Board of Commissioners for their deliberation.

Issue papers are provided to the public for review and comment when they have been sent to the Planning Commission or the Board. Often the CPOs take this opportunity to study the papers and offer their insights to the Commissioners. These comments may be offered in writing or in person at regularly scheduled Board meetings, in the oral communications at the beginning and end of the meetings.

Q.
What are Land Use Ordinances?

A. A Land Use Ordinance adopts, amends or repeals provisions of the county’s Comprehensive Plan, including the Community Development Code, the Transportation Plan and land use designations. An ordinance is filed when the Board of Commissioners directs staff to file the ordinance to address a specific issue. Afterwards, the Planning Commission must have at least one public hearing and make a recommendation to the Board.

The Board will then hold at least one public hearing before taking action on the ordinance. If the Board decides to make changes, the Board must hold at least two additional public hearings about the revised ordinance. A land use ordinance does not include such subjects as financing public improvements, road engineering and utility standards, building codes, development fees, sewer or septic regulations or nuisance control.

The ordinance hearing season is from March 1 to October 31 of each calendar year. No proposed land use ordinance may be adopted on or after November 1. If a final decision on a land use ordinance has not been reached by October 31, the ordinance is deemed rejected unless the Board continues it to a specific date on or after March 1 of the subsequent year.

Citizens who want to receive descriptions of all proposed land use ordinances during a calendar year may subscribe to a mailing list for a small fee.

Q.
What are Quasi-Judicial Plan Amendments?

A. Quasi-Judicial Plan Amendments usually involve requests to amend the comprehensive plan map and land use designation for a specific parcel. Quasi-judicial plan amendments differ from legislative plan amendments (i.e., land use ordinances) in that they involve a limited number of parcels; legislative map amendments affect a large number of parcels or all parcels of land similarly designated.

Amendments can involve a change to either the Rural/Natural Resource Plan or urban Community Plans. Quasi-judicial plan amendments are processed through a Type III procedure (public hearing before the Planning Commission and sometimes the Board of Commissioners). They are subject to the rules and procedures in ORS 197.763 for public notice and hearing procedures. In most cases the Planning Commission is the final decision maker. In cases where a plan amendment requires an exception to statewide Planning Goals or involves a map change affecting the EFU (Exclusive Farm Use), EFC (Exclusive Forest and Conservation) or AF-20 (Agriculture and Forestry 20 acre) Districts, the Planning Commission makes recommendations to the Board of Commissioners rather than making a final decision. In these cases, two hearings are required, one before the Planning Commission and one before the Board.

The first step in the quasi-judicial plan amendment process is to talk with a county planner about the process and potential issues. This information can easily be provided over the telephone. If a person then decides to submit an application, the planner will schedule a pre-application conference. During the pre-application conference, the planner will provide more detailed information about potential issues and review criteria to be addressed, an estimate of application costs, written handouts and application forms, and a written summary of the topics discussed.

There are two application deadlines each year, February 15 and August 15. Complete applications received by February 15 will be placed on the Planning Commission’s summer hearing schedule; those received by August 15 will usually be scheduled for a fall or winter hearing. An application cannot be scheduled for a hearing until it is deemed complete and accepted by the county.

As of January 2006, an initial deposit of $2,100 must be submitted with the application. This payment is a deposit towards the cost of processing the application. The applicant will be required to sign a contract and agree to pay the full cost of processing the application.

Q.
What is the Long Range Planning Work Program?

A. Each year after considering Plan update requirements and issues brought forward by the above parties, the Planning Division prepares a draft work program for approval by the Board of Commissioners. The draft work program describes and prioritizes potential planning projects and land use ordinances as well as other planning activities for the year. Often the program contains issue papers that provide background information, facts and staff recommendations on various topics.

The draft work program is then distributed to the Planning Commission, CPOs, CCI and other interested parties for consideration and comments. It is also posted on Long Range Planning’s Web page. After considering the proposed work program, available staff resources and public comments, a final work program is approved by the Board.

Q.
Who is responsible for long range planning in Washington County?

A. The Board of County Commissioners, five elected officials who are the county’s ultimate decision making body for planning policy. Their decisions must be consistent with regional and statewide planning goals.

The Planning Commission, nine members appointed by the Board of County Commissioners for four-year terms. The Planning Commission advises the Board on legislative planning and development issues such as the adoption, revision or repeal of any Comprehensive Plan or implementing Ordinance or Code. For certain types of plan amendments, the Planning Commission makes the final land use decisions for the county. Planning Commission decisions can be appealed to the Board of Commissioners.

The Department of Land Use and Transportation’s (LUT) Planning Division, organized into community and transportation planning groups and cartography/GIS specialists

Adopted planning policies are ultimately implemented via the Community Development Code, administered by the county’s Current Planning Services Division of LUT. LUT’s Engineering, Operations and Capital Project Management Divisions also carry out policies.

Plumbing

Q.
Can I disconnect my kitchen sink and bath/shower and use the water to water my garden?

A. No, Oregon does not have a code that would allow for this. Gray water must be treated either through a public system or a Health department approved septic system.

Q.
Can I do my own plumbing work on my one-or-two family dwelling?

A. Yes, as the owner of a one-or-two family dwelling, you can either hire a licensed plumbing contractor or do the plumbing work yourself without a license. A friend, neighbor, tenant, general contractor or other person cannot legally do the plumbing work unless he or she is a licensed plumber working on behalf of a licensed plumbing contractor.

All materials (pipe, pipe fittings, fixtures and other devices used in plumbing systems) must be listed and approved for their specific uses. This is especially important when installing materials that come into contact with drinking water.

If you hire a plumbing contractor, ask for his or her business registration and ask for the license number of any journeyman plumber performing work. Plumbing contractors must also be registered with the Construction Contractors Board.

Q.
Can I use rain water collected from my roof to water my garden or flush my toilets?

A. Yes, Appendix M of the Plumbing Code allows for potable and non-potable use of rain water on commercial and residential properties.

Q.
When do I need a permit for plumbing work?

A. When replacing water heaters and underground piping; alter piping inside a wall or ceiling, or beneath a floor, and for plumbing in all new installations.

Emergency repair, alteration or replacement of freeze-damaged or leaking concealed piping, if new piping exceeds 5 feet.

Remodel or add on to your one-or-two family dwelling when existing plumbing is to be relocated. This includes installation of building sewers, water service and exterior drains.

Q.
When is a plumbing permit not required?

A. When a property owner does "ordinary minor repairs" to plumbing systems on his or her own property, which means repair, replacement, or maintenance of existing accessible fixtures, parts, and appliances and their related water and drain attachments. Do not alter the complete existing plumbing system without a permit.

Q.
Where can I find the Plumbing Code?

A. At your local library or see the Plumbing Code link below.
See also:

Reserves

Q.
Does creation of an urban reserve guarantee that the urban growth boundary will expand there?

A. No. Urban reserves will be the areas that are selected first for urban growth boundary expansions if and when they happen over the next 40 to 50 years, but it will be up to the Metro Council – now and in the future – to determine when, where or how the urban growth boundary gets expanded. Land that will be included in urban reserves will not be developed with urban zoning until it is brought into the urban growth boundary.

Q.
How can I get involved with this effort?

A. Metro and the three counties are coordinating public outreach efforts to engage citizens throughout the region in the study of urban and rural reserve areas and to advise the Reserves Steering Committee—and the Metro Council and three county commissions—on which areas are best suited to accommodate future growth and which areas should be protected for farmland, natural area preservation, forestry or other rural needs.
See also:

Q.
How much land is needed for urban and rural reserves?

A. That has not yet been determined. A forecast of population and employment over the next 50 years, illustrating a range of possible outcomes, has been prepared by Metro that will help inform this work. This work will also attempt to assess how much population and employment growth can be accommodated within the existing UGB, which will also determine how much land may be needed for urban reserves. With regard to rural reserves, it is not so much a question of how much land is needed as it is in identifying which agricultural areas, forest lands and natural areas are the most valuable and should be excluded from urban development.

Q.
How will this process deal with the transportation needs this much population growth will demand?

A. The Urban and Rural Reserves process won’t directly address the need. During analysis of the study area for potential reserves, one of the many factors to be considered is proximity to infrastructure. The Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) analysis is also underway with the same timeframe. The intent is to match transportation needs through the RTP with reserves designation. Also occurring at the same time is funding analysis – how will needed changes be paid for – and a process to set some benchmarks to monitor progress and adjust programs as necessary. These four processes are going on under the “Making the Greatest Places” planning efforts led by Metro.

Q.
If my land is included in a rural reserve, does that change what I can do with my land?

A. No. Lands that are brought into rural reserves will not have additional restrictions or limitations placed on them beyond those that already exist. The same rural zoning and development restrictions will apply. A rural reserve designation will exclude land from being brought into the UGB over the next 40 to 50 years.

Q.
Is South Hillsboro (or any other specific area) likely to be an urban reserve? Is Sauvie Island (or any other specific area) likely to be a rural reserve?

A. It is premature to suggest which areas will be included as which types of reserves. We’re just getting started on determining the scope of the broader regional area to study for urban and rural reserves. Reserve study areas have not been defined yet, and no agreements have been made between Metro and the counties to designate any specific area as a particular type of reserve. The findings of the Shape of the Region study will serve as a foundation for a regional conversation about which areas are best suited for which types of reserves.

Q.
Once an area is designated as an urban reserve is it immediately brought into the Urban Growth Boundary?

A. No. Designation as an urban reserve means that land will be the first area considered for UGB inclusion when and if growth in the immediate area requires more land. Metro will continue to evaluate future 20-year land supplies to accommodate near-term growth every five years. If your land is designated urban reserve, its inclusion might be considered in the next scheduled UGB growth or it might be 20, 30 or 40 years out, or it might not ever be brought in. So much depends on the growth in your area.
See also:

Q.
Over the past several years, there have been a variety of studies done by different local, regional, and state agencies. Are these studies being incorporated into the reserves designation process?

A. Much of the work done in the last several years is being incorporated. For instance, the Shape of the Region study done in 2006 – 2007 helped increase awareness of the agricultural community’s value to the region – it is one of many reasons rural reserves are being designated – to protect valuable agricultural lands. Many of the cities within the Metro region are updating their comprehensive plans – those updates help provide information into how much growth each city can or would like to accommodate. A number of economic analysis are occurring for the same reason. Other studies important to the reserves process include: natural resource protections (streams, rivers, corridors, etc.); regional and local transportation plans; costs and availability of infrastructure to deliver services; and population and employment growth forecasts.

All of these studies contribute valuable input to determine what areas need protection from urban growth (rural reserves) and what areas could logically and efficiently accommodate more growth. An additional important study being conducted will identify growth capacity within the current Urban Growth Boundary.

Q.
There are a variety of opinions on the accuracy of the population projections that are the basis of the designation process. Are there good reasons to believe these projections are accurate?

A. The projections are as accurate as any 40 – 50 year projection can be. Considering how different the region looks today than 1960, it is hard to believe any projection will be spot on. However, in preparing the projections, five distinctly different approaches were used that resulted in a range. That range, of 3.5 to 4.1 million people in 2060 (up from approximately 2.5 million now) is a guideline for region wide growth.

Q.
There is much interest in providing local farm goods to local markets. How will small farms be considered? Will they be forced to change if they are designated one type of reserve or another?

A. No. Land uses remain the same for all property owners regardless of being designated one reserve or the other. A primary intent is to provide long-term certainty so that farms within rural reserves will remain agriculture-oriented for the next 40 – 50 years. Current farm use on lands designated urban reserves can continue farming. Once an urban reserve is considered for inclusion into the Urban Growth Boundary, the value of the land may provide property owners with additional choices regarding future use.

Q.
There were several open houses held last summer and earlier this spring. Were those our only chance to provide input into this process?

A. No. The open houses addressed the first two key questions in the process. 1) Was the proposed study area (green area on the maps) the appropriate area to begin reserves analysis? 2) Are the proposed Candidate Urban and Rural Reserve areas the appropriate areas for further analysis? Public input informed the decision-making process to properly identify the study area and candidate reserves areas. Now that the study area and candidate reserves areas have been agreed to, technical staff from Metro and the counties will begin applying state-mandated criteria. Once the technical staff has moved forward with initial analysis, the public will be asked for their review and comment again inlcuding a Public Hearing August 20, 2009. Beyond those opportunities, each additional phase of the project will incorporate multiple ways for the community to weigh-in. All four of the participating jurisdictions have dedicated websites to provide current information.

Each jurisdiction has multiple advisory committees working on the project, all of which are open to the community and all have opportunity for public comment.

See also:

Q.
What are urban and rural reserves?

A. Urban reserves will be areas outside of the current Metro urban growth boundary (UGB) that will be designated to accommodate future expansions of the UGB over the next 40 to 50 years. These areas, before coming into the UGB, will need to provide for public facilities and services in a cost-effective manner.

Rural reserves will be areas outside of the current Metro UGB that will be excluded from UGB expansions and provide long-term protection for agriculture, forestry or important natural landscape features that limit urban development or help define appropriate natural boundaries of urbanization.

Q.
What factors are considered when creating urban reserves?

A. When identifying and selecting lands for designation as urban reserves, these and other factors will be considered:

•Can the land be developed at urban densities in a way that makes efficient use of existing and future public and private infrastructure investments?
•Does the land include sufficient development capacity to support a healthy economy?
•Can the land be served efficiently and cost-effectively with public schools and other urban-level public facilities and services by appropriate and financially capable service providers?
•Can the land be designed to be walkable and served with a well-connected system of streets, bikeways, recreation trails and public transit by appropriate service providers?
•Can the area be designed to preserve and enhance natural ecological systems?
•Does the area include sufficient land suitable for a range of needed housing types?
•Can the area be developed in a way that preserves important natural landscape features included in urban reserves?
•Can the area be designed to avoid or minimize adverse effects on farm and forest practices, and avoid or minimize adverse effects on important natural landscape features, on nearby land including land designated as rural reserves?

Q.
What happens if in the end, Metro and the three counties don’t agree on designations?

A. If consensus is not reached, Metro will revert to the existing UGB growth approach.

Q.
Where can I find more information about this effort?

A. More information about urban and rural reserves can be found online at www.oregonmetro.gov/reserves
www.co.washington.or.us/reserves
www2.co.multnomah.or.us/reserves
www.clackamas.us/transportation/planning/reserves.htm

See also:

Q.
Who makes the decisions to designate urban and rural reserves?

A. Urban and rural reserves will be designated through agreements between the Metro Council and the county commissions of Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties. A Reserves Steering Committee, consisting of representatives of local cities, neighboring communities, business groups, developers, farmers, land use advocates, environmental organizations and others, is advising the three counties and Metro on the development of the reserve areas along with public input received through various events and forums.

Q.
Why are urban and rural reserves necessary?

A. The Metro Council is required to consider expansion of the UGB every five years to meet the anticipated land need for housing and jobs over the next 20 years. Without urban and rural reserves, the Metro Council must primarily consider the types and quality of soil in surrounding areas when determining where and how to expand the UGB, without considering whether that new land can provide for the public services and amenities that are essential to creating vibrant communities. Establishing urban reserves will help identify, before the UGB gets moved, which areas can best sustain vibrant communities. Without rural reserves, there are no long-term protections available for valuable agriculture, forest land and natural areas to prevent urban development of these areas.

Q.
Why are we looking at growth only in the Metro region and not encouraging growth to locate in other areas of the state?

A. The Urban and Rural Reserves process addresses growth within Metro’s jurisdiction. Newcomers to the area can’t be redirected to other regions. The three-county area is expected to increase substantially in the next 20+ years. Other counties also are expecting tremendous growth pressures. Other planning processes such as the Big Look are considering growth-related issues state wide. In addition many cities and counties are revising their comprehensive plans to accommodate change. The urban and rural reserves process is only one of many planning efforts underway to address growth.

Q.
Why are we only looking at growth in the Metro region, why limit considerations to just the three counties? Why aren’t Columbia, Marion, Yamhill and Clark County, Washington as well as surrounding cities involved in these discussions?

A. Metro has jurisdiction for growth and transportation management within Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties only. Recognizing that surrounding counties and communities, including Clark County in Washington, will also be impacted by future growth, those jurisdictions are kept informed through a variety of inter-governmental and inter-jurisdictional communications.

Q.
Why should urban and rural reserve designations last only 40 to 50 years? Shouldn’t some rural reserves be permanent?

A. While providing long-term certainty for landowners, local governments, businesses and citizens is important in land use planning, land uses can change significantly over several decades and in ways that we cannot predict now. Establishing a 40- to 50-year rural reserve provides sufficient long-term protection for today’s landowners while giving flexibility to future generations to continue the reserve designations or modify them to meet changing needs.

Roads

Q.
How can I get my road repaired?

A. Call (503) 846-ROAD (846-7623). We take requests for road surface, drainage, bridge and vegetation maintenance. We also repair traffic signs, signals, pavement markings and street lights. Give us a call and if we can fix it, we will. If not, we’ll tell you why. You can also reach us by FAX at (503) 846-7620, email lutops@co.washington.or.us, or letter at 1400 SW Walnut Street, MS 51, Hillsboro, OR 97123.
See also:

Q.
What can I do about dust on my gravel road?

A. A dust abatement permit is issued to residents of Washington County who want to have a private company apply liquid dust control on the road adjacent to their property. There is no charge for the permit; however, you must pay a private company to apply the dust abatement treatment. Washington County requires a permit so that the condition of the road and the maintenance schedule can be checked prior to dust abatement treatment.

DO NOT PUT USED MOTOR OIL ON THE ROAD. State and federal authorities regulate the types of products that can be used on the road to prevent environmental damage. Violation can result in substantial fines.

For more information about abatement call (503) 846-7623 or e-mail lutops@co.washington.or.us.
See also:

Q.
What is "Adopt-a-Road"?

A. Adopt-a-Road is a volunteer program for citizens who want to help keep Washington County clean by picking up litter along county roads. There are currently over 100 businesses, organizations and families who participate in this popular program.

Interested? We ask you to make a two-year commitment to keep a one-mile stretch of road clean by scheduling a clean-up event at least twice a year. In return we install two signs with your group’s name on "your" adopted road. We provide all supplies, including safety equipment and trash bags. We also pick up and dispose of the bagged trash when you’re done.

Give us a call at 503-846-ROAD (846-7623) and we’ll send you some additional information.
See also:

Q.
Where do I pick up Adopt-a-Road equipment?

A. 1400 SE Walnut Street, Hillsboro (behind Winco). The warehouse entrance is on the east side of the facility...right there! Please call 503-846-ROAD (846-7623) if you have questions.

Structures

Q.
How high can I build a fence?

A. Fences can be build along the sides and rear of the property up to 6 ft in height without a building permit. Any height above that requires a permit and the Building Division determines the maximum height. 

Q.
My neighbor has built a structure without a permit, does this mean I can as well?

A. Most Development requires a land use decision, a building permit, or both. If you know your neighbor is constructing a building without a permit they may be in violation of the Development Code. If this is the case the County requests that you file a Code Compliance Complaint so the violation can be brought into compliance.

Survey

Q.
02. How do I find out why a survey crew is working in my neighborhood or on my land?

A. If possible, contact the crew and ask them what they are doing and who they are working for. You may have to get their company phone number and call their supervisor for more information. You can also try to get a company name off of the vehicle they are driving. New survey monuments are required to be marked with caps that include the surveyor’s registration number or corporate name on them. If you find such a monument, you can call the Oregon State Board of Examiners for Engineers and Surveyors at (503) 362-2666, and they can provide you with information on how to contact the surveyor or the company. Your neighbors could be another source of information. The County Surveyor’s Office crews use clearly marked trucks and use yellow and orange ribbon marked "WASHINGTON COUNTY SURVEYOR". You can get information regarding a County survey crew by calling (503) 846-7933 or (503) 846-7891.

Q.
03. How can I find out if a survey exists for my property?

A. The Washington County Surveyor's Office has a research website called iSpirits, where you can search for surveys, plats and other records. You can also come into our office and our staff will assist you in your research (155 N. First Avenue, Ste 350, Hillsboro, OR 97124).


See also:

Q.
04. Will the County survey my property for me?

A. The County does not perform survey work for private parties. If you want your property surveyed, you must hire a private land surveyor.

Q.
05. How do I locate a licensed Professional Land Surveyor?

A. The yellow pages of the phone book have a listing under "Surveyors-land." The County Surveyor’s Office cannot make recommendations.

You may find the brochure “A Guide to Selecting an Oregon Land Surveyor,” published by the Professional Land Surveyors of Oregon helpful.


See also:

Q.
06. What is a Record of Survey?

A. A record of survey (ROS) is a document that is filed in the survey records at the County Surveyor’s Office. Only a Professional Land Surveyor may prepare and file a ROS. Generally that survey represents the Professional Land Surveyor’s opinion of the location of one or more property boundaries.

Since 1947, Oregon law has required that surveys be filed with the County Surveyor when a registered professional land surveyor establishes or reestablishes a boundary monument. A surveyor may choose to file a survey for informational purposes even if it is not required.

Many surveys were filed prior to the legal requirement to do so. The Washington County Surveyor’s office dates back to 1856 and the documents archived there date back to that date as well.

Q.
07. What is the significance of the county’s acceptance of a Record of Survey for placement in the survey records?

A. Today the County Surveyor is required by law to file any survey performed by a Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) if it meets the minimum requirements set out in Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 209.250. In addition to the checklist of items in the law the County Surveyor’s Office will point out any obvious errors or omissions but the law requires that the survey be filed and indexed into the records whether the County Surveyor agrees with the resolution of the boundaries, or not.

The survey standards and requirements have changed over the years and today’s legal requirements reference a checklist of required items such as the surveyor’s seal and signature, the date of the survey, scale of the drawing, and other informational items.

The county’s acceptance of a survey for filing does not mean the county agrees with the boundaries resolved on the survey. The significance of placing it in the records is limited to the fact that the survey document meets the minimum legal requirements for a survey map.

Once a survey is filed into the County Surveyor’s records, it falls under the state archiving schedule for permanent retention. There is no provision for removing a survey from the records.

Q.
08. Is a record of survey proof of the location of the boundary lines?

A. A record of survey is evidence of the location of the boundaries of a specific piece of property, in the opinion of the surveyor preparing the survey.

A Professional Land Surveyor has specialized training, experience, and skills that that have been rigorously examined in order to qualify them to be licensed by the State of Oregon.

The surveyor uses information from deeds, prior surveys, and physical evidence found on the ground in conjunction with laws, rules, and other standards of practice in order to make their conclusions.

An accurate boundary survey, in which boundary lines are identified by a licensed surveyor, is usually an effective means by which property owners can resolve common boundaries.

Q.
09. Why do the surveys in my neighborhood show different widths for the public roadway in front of my property?

A. Private surveyors work on the limited budget provided by a client that needs a property boundary survey. There are times when the resources available for research and field work are limited so the surveyor may show the road as traveled and use the width as shown on other surveys or on the county assessor’s tax map.

However, tax maps and records of survey do not fix the legal location or width of a public road. A survey that notes that the road shown is “as traveled” and makes no attempt to justify the width shown should not be relied upon with regard to the legal location and width of the road. A survey that shows the controlling elements used in locating a road and citing the records relied upon in stating the road location and width may be strong evidence, but a survey still reflects the opinion of the surveyor.

If you hire a surveyor to determine the location and width of the roadway adjacent to your property, be sure that he or she understands the desired scope of work. It is important to hire a surveyor that is knowledgeable in route surveying and the laws applicable to our public rights of way. The County Surveyor’s office will work with your surveyor to provide the best available information regarding county road locations. By law, we are not able to provide advice or surveying services to private surveyors or the public.

The county does conduct surveys that focus explicitly on the correct location and width of the road based on the best available evidence in the field and pertinent documents. These surveys are generally performed only when: 1) a future road improvement is being considered; 2) when it is not possible to accurately establish the legal location and width of an existing road based on available survey monuments and documentation; or 3) when the “as traveled” location of an existing road differs from the location described in the available records.

Q.
10. What if I disagree with the Surveyor?

A. If the survey in question is a modern survey and the surveyor is still available, talking directly to him or her may be the most expeditious way to handle the situation.

There may be instances where ambiguous deed language, a lack of records, or conflicting records, in combination with the actions of current or previous owners may result in more than one reasonable interpretation of a boundary.

If you meet with the surveyor and after you present your information, and he or she explains their method of arriving at the boundary, and there is still a difference of opinion, you may have to hire your own surveyor for a second opinion. Seeking a second professional opinion is common in many instances where you are dealing with other professionals such as doctors.

If there are proposed solutions that may involve filing new deeds in which there may be the appearance of a property line being adjusted, you should check with your local planning authority to determine if you need a permit for a property line adjustment (PLA).

If the boundary dispute can not be resolved by the land owners and their Land Surveyors, you may have to consider legal action in court. The court can authoritatively fix the location of a disputed boundary line. In some instances that decision may be further appealed but in the end it is resolved in the court system.

Q.
11. What is an easement?

A. An easement is an interest in the land of another.

An example could be in a case where you live in a rural area and it would be more convenient or shorter for your neighbor to cross your land than to drive a more circuitous route to access his property. You could grant the neighbor an ingress-egress easement over a driveway to be constructed on your property. You would own the land under the driveway but the neighbor would have the right to use it for the specific purpose granted.

Q.
12. What is the definition of a “public road right-of-way”?

A. Generally, in Washington County, a public roadway is in the form of an easement for road purposes. The easement is over someone’s land and is subject to the use of the public. The county generally has jurisdiction over the public’s use of the right of way, including requiring permits for activities in the roadway. That means the county can regulate the use of the roadway subject to the public easement but the county does not own the property under it.

The county does not maintain public dedicated roadways, if they are located outside of the county’s Urban Road Maintenance District, except in certain emergencies. (See ORS 368.031)

Q.
13. What is a “County Road”? How is a county road different from a public road?

A. In some situations it is in the public interest for the county to accept a roadway into the county road system. This is done by an action at the Board of County Commissioners. A County Road Number is assigned and records of the proceedings are filed in the County Surveyor’s Office.

The primary advantage of establishing a public road as a county road has to do with the funding for maintenance. Road Funds (gas tax revenues) may be spent to maintain a county road without declaring an emergency or going through a Board of Commissioners action to allocate the funds. 

Q.
14. Who owns the property lying in the right of way?

A. When a road is dedicated as a public road or established as a county road the underlying ownership remains with whoever the rightful owner is.

The county, as a corporate body, may own property. It is rare that this is the case in a roadway. If the county owns property that is intended to be used for roadway purposes, the county usually dedicates the road to the public in order to create the easement for a public road.

Q.
15. What is a road vacation?

A. A vacation of the roadway is an action in which the public’s right to use the property for road purposes is extinguished. The property is no longer burdened by the public’s right to use it for road purposes.

The County Assessor’s office will incorporate the area back into the appropriate account, or accounts, for tax purposes. This is often the abutting tax lot(s) because the owner(s) of the abutting property always held the underlying ownership of the road and now, after the road vacation, the property is once again taxable.

Q.
16. What is “County Road Legalization”?

A. The county uses the legalization process as defined in Oregon Revised Statutes 368.201 through 368.221 when there is doubt as to the location and/or width of a county road. This may occur due to omission or defect in the original action establishing the county road or when the location of the road cannot be accurately determined due to loss of the original survey, defective surveys, or numerous alterations of the pertinent records.

The legalization process may also be used when the traveled roadway does not conform to the surveyed location and it has been in its present location for more than 10 years. Typically, the roads subject to these actions have been in their present location for many decades.

The legalization process finalizes and fixes the location of the public right of way and can act to automatically supersede other records that may show the right of way in another location.

Legalization is in the public interest because it clarifies conflicting records and creates a known, easily locatable, right of way boundary along the frontage of the abutting properties.

Q.
17. Generally how is the width of a county road determined? Particularly, how is the width determined for a proposed legalization action?

A. Current law requires that all orders or resolutions accepting a road as a county road must state the right of way width. For new roads, the width is typically set based on current county road standards.

When legalizing a county road, the width stated in the original documents establishing the road is used. In some cases the original documents do not state a width. In those cases the road may be legalized according to the state laws governing the width of county roads at the time the road was originally established or to a width conforming to the current county road standards for a road of that functional classification (functional classifications are established in the county’s Transportation System Plan —typical roadway classifications are Arterial, Collector, and Local roads.


See also:

Q.
18. How will I know if the county is contemplating legalizing the roadway adjacent to my house?

A. The need to legalize a roadway usually becomes apparent when the county is attempting to locate the right of way on a portion of or all of a county-maintained road. When the need for a legalization action has been indentified, the Board of County Commissioners sets a time and date for a public hearing and directs that all affected property owners be notified of the hearing.

If you own or rent property along a road that may be the subject of these proceedings, you will receive personal notice in the mail, and there will be postings in conspicuous locations in the area of the roadway. The mailed notice will include contact information for the County Surveyor’s Office in case of questions.

Q.
19. What is an engineering location survey?

A. When it becomes apparent that a county roadway needs significant repair or other improvements and funding has been identified to support that effort, the first step is to create a topographic map of the existing conditions at that site. As part of that survey work, the road right of way, or limits of the public easement, must be located.

This engineering location survey becomes the basis for designing improvements that may be required due to failure of the existing road surface, safety concerns, or lack of capacity of the existing facility.

Q.
20. How will I know if the county is conducting a location survey in anticipation of significant road improvements?

A. When a county capital project has been funded and a location survey has been requested, the Capital Project Coordinator or Manager will provide personal notification by mail to those property owners and occupants of properties that may be affected by the project.

If the county is hiring a private surveying firm to do the work there may be additional notification from the consultant survey firm.

The engineering staff may not be able to answer all your questions about a project at this stage because they need to review the topographic data from the survey in order to make finial design decisions.

Q.
21. What are public land corners?

A. Public land corners are defined in Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 209.005 as a section corner, one-quarter section corner, Donation Land Claim corner, meander corner, witness corner or any other corner established by the General Land Office or its successor.

These public land corner monuments provide the basis and control for the legal descriptions of all the real property in Oregon and other states that are designated as public land survey system states. The legal description for your property makes reference to the Township Range and Section where the property is located. The tax lot number mapped on the tax maps by the County Assessors Office is based on this system.

The public land survey system was implemented prior to land being conveyed from the federal government to private ownership. Generally all the government land corners were monumented at one time by the federal government and now the County Surveyor is tasked with locating and protecting those monuments.

Many of the original monuments were wooden posts, stones, or other physical objects that were available at the time. Today we are systematically marking these locations with brass or aluminum caps set in concrete or other permanent markers.

Q.
22. Who is responsible for the restoration and maintenance of the monuments at the public land corner lo-cations?

A. Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 209.070 requires that the County Surveyor establish, reestablish, and maintain all public land survey corners.

Q.
23. How many public land corners are in Washington County?

A. There are approximately 3,400 public land corners. The County Surveyor’s Office has an active work program to restore and maintain the monuments at these corner locations.

Q.
24. What is the legal status of corners that are established or reestablished by the County Surveyor?

A. Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 209.070(5) states that “When so established or reestablished such corner monuments shall be recognized as the legal and permanent corners.”

Q.
25. How is the restoration and maintenance of these survey monuments funded?

A. Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS) 203.148 authorizes counties to establish a “Public Land Corner Preservation Fund.” This fund is supported by a fee on recording documents associated with conveying real property. The fee is collected by the County Clerk and placed in a fund to be used to pay expenses incurred and authorized by the County Surveyor in the establishment and maintenance of public land corners.

Q.
26. Who should I contact if I find a public land corner monument that may be subject to destruction or disturbance?

A. Contact the Survey Supervisor in charge of the Public Land Corner work group at (503) 846-7891 or contact the County Surveyor directly at (503) 846-3405.

If you are engaged in construction work and need to have a monument referenced or replaced, call before you disturb it. Contact the County Surveyor’s Office as soon as the need becomes apparent.

Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 209.140(1) provides that the County Surveyor may charge a fee in an amount that will reimburse the county for the work performed. Our policy is to waive that fee, and do the work with public land corner preservation funds when we get timely notification and can work cooperatively with the person or agency causing the disturbance in order to mitigate the costs.

Traffic Safety

Q.
How can I get a speed zone changed?

A. Some speeds are set by Oregon Revised Statutes and can only be changed by legislation. Examples of statutory speeds are 55 mph basic rule on most rural and unposted roadways, 25 mph on residential streets, or 20 mph in business districts. To change a speed limit not designated by state statute a traffic engineering investigation must be performed. Citizens may request the city or county change a posted speed.

If the city or county agrees that the speed for a particular street or highway should be changed, it can make a request to ODOT’s Traffic-Roadway Section for a review and investigation. The Region traffic engineering staff conducts the investigation using procedures in accordance with nationally accepted traffic engineering standards. Factors taken into consideration are accident history, roadside culture, traffic volumes, and roadway alignment, width and surface.

A major factor in establishing speed zones is consideration of the 85th percentile speed. This is the speed at or below which 85 percent of the vehicles are traveling. This is used as an indication of the speed most drivers feel is reasonable and safe.

When the investigation is complete, a report with photographs detailing the existing conditions and proposed changes is prepared. The report is sent to the city or county for review. If the city or county agrees with the recommendation, the new speed zone is established.

If ODOT and the local road authority cannot reach agreement on the setting of a speed zone, the speed zone request is referred to the Speed Zone Review Panel. The panel is comprised of representatives of the Oregon Transportation Safety Committee, the Oregon State Police, the Association of Oregon Counties, the League of Oregon Cities, and the Department of Transportation. The panel hears ODOT’s recommendations and testimony from the local road authority and makes the final decision. It is the responsibility of the road authority to install new speed zone signs.

Q.
How do I get a traffic signal installed?

A. A. Traffic signals are installed based on intersection safety rankings. Additional investigation for a specific concern can be requested using our online service request form.

Q.
How long does my child need to be in a car seat?

A. Child Restraint Law: Child passengers must be restrained in approved child safety seats until they weigh 40 pounds. Infants must ride rear facing until they reach both one year of age AND 20 pounds.

Booster Seat Law: Children over 40 pounds OR who have reached the upper weight limit of their car seat's harness system, must use a booster seat until they are 4'9" tall OR age 8. The booster seat requirement does not apply when the rear seat of the vehicle is equipped only with lap belts, provided the child is secured by the lap belt.

Safety Belts: A child taller than 4'9" OR age 8 or older must be properly secured with the vehicle's safety belt. The child is properly secured if the lap belt is positioned low across the thighs and the shoulder belt is positioned over the collarbone and away from the neck.

Failure to properly use safety belts or child restraints is a Class D traffic violation with a $110.00 fine - ORS 811.210 and ORS 815.055; effective January 1, 2012.

See also:

Q.
Is it legal for people to walk down the rural roads in Washington County that do not have sidewalks and force traffic to stop and go around them?

A. Yes, it is legal for pedestrians to walk on rural roads, however, they are required by law to yield to vehicles. You'll find the information you're looking for on the State of Oregon's Bicycle & Pedestrian Program Laws and Regulations page at: http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/HWY/BIKEPED/laws_regs.shtml

Enforcement of vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian laws on rural Washington County roads is the responsibility of the Sheriff's Office. You can submit an online Traffic Complaint form at: http://www.co.washington.or.us/Sheriff/FightingCrime/Patrols/online-traffic-complaint-form.cfm

Q.
What are the bicycle helmet laws for Oregon?

A. Effective on July 1, 1994, any youth under age 16 riding a bike or when a passenger on a bike in any public place (streets, roads, sidewalks, parks, etc.) must wear bicycle helmets labeled ANSI and/or Snell approved.

Bike helmets save lives and have been shown to reduce serious head injuries by as much as 85%.

You could get a ticket and a $25 fine. If you are under age 12, your parent or guardian could get a ticket. If you are over 12, either you or your parent can get a ticket.

See also:

Q.
Who do I contact if I have a specific traffic safety concern in my neighborhood that may involve adding new signs or street striping?

A. To request a service or report a road-related problem, call 503-846-ROAD (846-7623), e-mail us, or submit the online service request form.

To report a hazardous road condition outside of normal business hours, call the Washington County 911 non-emergency response number: 503-629-0111.

Related: Sheriff's Office Traffic Complaints (patrol enforcement request)

Utilities

Q.
Who do you "Call Before You Dig?"

A. If you plan to dig, contact the Oregon Utility Notification Center (OUNC) toll free at (800) 332-2344. This is an invaluable free service to prevent accidents related to buried utility lines and facilities. The OUNC notifies member utilities operating in the proposed excavation area to locate and mark their underground facilities.

West Bull Mountain

Q.
Are there regulatory alternatives to prevent tree cutting? Particularly concerned about Heritage Oak cluster?

A. Tree removal remains under the jurisdiction of the Oregon Department of Forestry and current regulations allow tree cutting with certain restrictions.

Q.
Can the process be weighted in favor of property owners versus developers?

A. All stakeholder input is treated equally.

Q.
Has a park provider been identified for the West Bull Mountain area?

A. Discussions with park providers continue.

Q.
Is the West Bull Mountain area subject to annexation by the City of Tigard? Doesn't there need to be a physical connection?

A. Service providers (water, parks) have not yet been identified. At this time it is not know what, if any, role cities will have in West Bull Mountain.

Q.
Is the West Bull Mountain project on schedule for completion by October, 2009?

A. The West Bull Mountain project continues to move forward with timeline adjustments made as necessary.
See also:

Q.
Once ordinances are adopted, when might development begin?

A. Development can begin 30 days after the ordinance being adopted. Economic factors will play an important role in determining when development might begin. "Urban" services, such as water, are needed in order for development to occur.

Q.
What is the status of the finance plan?

A. Work on the finance plan continues.

Zoning

Q.
The use I want is not allowed, can I change my land use zone?

A. Applications for zone changes are handled by the Long Range Planning Division as a Type IV Plan Amendment application.