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Building Permit Process for Residential One- and Two-Family Dwellings and Accessory Structures

This guide will help make the building permit application process the best, quickest and most "user friendly" service possible.

In order to provide a timely but comprehensive code compliance review, complete construction plans and specifications are needed. Incomplete plans and specifications delay permit processing. Please see One- and Two-Family Dwelling Building Permit Application Checklist for a list of requirements.

Public Service Representatives review submittal plans for completeness at the time of permit application. A Building Department Public Service Representative will complete a Residential Plan Submittal Checklist for the permit applicant.

See also Commonly Asked Question about Obtaining Permits on the web site of the Oregon Department of Consumer & Business Services.

What Are the Minimum Requirements for a Buildable Lot?

  • A legally created lot;
  • The property is properly zoned for the proposed land use;
  • Access to or frontage on a public or private street;
  • Direct access to a sanitary sewer or an approved on-site sewage disposal system;
  • A connection to a storm sewer, natural drainage way or the capacity for on-site storm water disposal;
  • Potable water on or accessible to the site. The State of Oregon regulates wells. Please contact:
  • Clackamas County Water Master
    Oregon Department of Water Resources
    Phone 503-722-1410

  • Permits for structures such as garages or pole buildings are issued only as an accessory structure to the primary use within the zoning district and can only be issued if the primary use exists or is applied for at the same time.

What is the Procedure for Plan Submittal?

  • Complete a Building Permit Application
  • Have two copies of complete building plans and two plot plans no larger than 11 x 17"
  • Submit this information in person at:

    Clackamas County
    Department of Transportation & Development
    150 Beavercreek Road
    Oregon City OR 97045
    Phone: 503-742-4400

    Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday at the second floor Permits Lobby.
  • A Public Information Coordinator will provide a routing slip indicating the applicant's arrival time and the stations where Public Service Representatives review the building permit application, plot plans and building plans. The order in which the Public Service Representative reviews the application at each station is based on this arrival time - first come, first serve.
  • Station 1-Permits. A permit number is assigned to you application request. This is also the permit number when the application is approved. At this station a designated contact person is assigned to whom questions and correspondence may be addressed. This contact person is notified when the permit is ready to be issued. Fees are paid at this location.
  • Station 2-Planning. Provide two plot plans and the permit application to the Customer Service Representative.
  • Station 3-Soils. If a septic system is required, this station is next. If property is on a sewer system, the appropriate sewer district should be contacted.
  • Station 4-Building. At this station a Customer Service Representative reviews the two sets of plans and specifications for completeness. A One- and Two-Family Dwelling Building Permit Application Checklist is completed and provided to the applicant.
  • Other Divisions from which required approvals may be needed.
    • Engineering
      If adding or changing a driveway entrance to a county, local, public or state road or Highway you will need to contact: Engineering - Phone 503-742-4691
    • Erosion Control.
      For construction in the urban area or in the Tualatin River Drainage basin, an erosion control plan may be required. The appropriate sewer district should be contacted.

Who Looks at Permit Applications and Why?

Planning Division

  • Verifies that the proposed use and/or building comply with the Zoning and Development Ordinance.
  • Verifies setbacks.
  • Identifies any required land use reviews and/or compliance with Conditions of Approval of previously approved land use applications.
  • Assigns the address if not already assigned.
  • For assistance please contact a Planning Division Public Service Representative:
    Phone 503-742-4500 or 503-742-4501

Soils Division

  • Determines if on-site sewage disposal is required.
  • Verifies and reviews the site's connection to on-site sewage disposal.
  • Ensures buildings are not sited on a drainfield.
  • Verifies setbacks to drainfield/septic tank.
  • Septic permit and feasibility studies.
  • Grading/Fill Permits
  • For assistance please contact: Soils Permit Specialist
    Phone 503-742-4740

Sewer District

  • Approves connection to sewer
  • Verifies location of house in relationship to sewer lines
  • Calculates appropriate sewer connection fees
  • For assistance please contact: Permit Technician 503-742-4574

Building Codes Division

  • Review for building code compliance to ensure that minimum building standards are met for your own safety and for the safety of future property owners and occupants.
  • For assistance please contact a Public Service Representative 503-742-4739

Driveways-Engineering Division

  • Verifies access to county roads.
  • Establishes appropriate sight distance requirements and construction access locations.
  • May issue encroachment permit for new or revised accesses.
  • For assistance please contact a Permits Specialist at 503-742-4691

Erosion Control

  • Administered by the sewer district.
  • Approves erosion control plan.
  • Accesses appropriate fees for erosion control plan.
  • Inspects implementation of erosion control plan.
  • For assistance please contact a Permit Technician at 503-742-4574

Completing the Review Process

  • Plans are reviewed and required corrections are noted on check-sheets that are faxed or mailed separately by each division performing a review.
  • Please respond promptly to each request for additional information, clarification or corrections. Further review is not possible without this additional information.
    If redrawn plans are required, provide two complete sets. Plans may be mailed to the plans examiner or delivered to a public service representative at:

    Clackamas County
    Department of Transportation & Development
    150 Beavercreek Road
    Oregon City OR 97045

    Label all submittals with the seven-digit building permit application number B 0 _ _ _ _ 0 4, the building site address, the name of the plans examiner, and your name and phone number.
  • Instead of providing complete revised plans it is possible in some cases for the applicant to make simple corrections in blue or black ink on the two sets of drawings with approval of the plans examiner.
  • The designated contact person will be notified when your permit is approved by all divisions and is ready to be picked up. The applicant will be given one set of plans and a building permit card.
  • The other plan stays in your permit file.
  • All permits except the septic permit must be issued at the same time. Be sure the appropriate contractors sign the plumbing permit application and electrical permit application. Homeowners doing their own work may sign the plumbing, electrical and building permit applications.
  • Septic permits may be issued with the building permit or issued at another time. The permit must be signed by the property owner or the licensed septic system contractor doing the work
  • All remaining fees will be paid at this time.

How to Check on the Progress of a Permit Application:

Contact a Permit Specialist
Between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.,
Monday through Friday

Clackamas County
Department of Transportation & Development
150 Beavercreek Road
Oregon City OR 97045
Phone: 503-742-4400

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