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Frequently Asked Questions About CPOs

Who can join?
Everyone who lives, owns property or has a business in the unincorporated parts of the County can be a member of a CPO. Since land use planning within a city is the responsibility of the city, individuals who live inside city limits can be involved in their city’s citizen involvement program.

How do I find my CPO?
This website can help or call Citizen Involvement at (503) 655-8552. Additionally, land use notices sent by the Planning Division will identify the CPO for that area.

What do CPOs have to do with land use?
The state of Oregon established Statewide Planning Goals in the 1970s. Goal 1 is Citizen Involvement, meaning that citizens need the opportunity to be involved in the land use planning process. Clackamas County adopted a citizen participation policy in 1973, which established the Community Planning Organizations (CPOs). The CPO program is how Clackamas County satisfies the goals and objectives of Goal 1. The original purpose of CPOs was to involve citizens in the land use planning process. While CPOs still meet to discuss land use planning, many have expanded their purpose to include other matters of importance to their communities.

Who is in the CPO?
CPOs are run by citizen volunteers – your neighbors and friends who care about the livability and growth issues in their communities. Clackamas County recognizes CPOs as a source to provide local citizen input into planning decisions and other local issues. All citizens are encouraged to participate in their local CPO.

Why is a CPO sent a copy of my application?
CPOs provide valuable insight on issues directly affecting the growth and livability of neighborhoods throughout the county. Planning staff and commissioners seriously consider CPO recommendations before making a decision on your application.

Is a CPO notified if I want to remodel my house?
Not usually. CPOs are only notified if the remodel is part of a land use decision, such as developments in floodplains or near principal rivers. Generally, most remodeling projects only involve permits such as building, electrical, plumbing or septic permits, which are not considered land use decisions.

When will the CPO discuss my land use application?
The CPO will discuss your application at a publicized meeting or due to time constraints, some CPOs have appointed subcommittees to review the applications. We recommend that you call the contact person for the CPO to find out how applications are handled.

Can I attend the CPO meeting?
Absolutely. In fact, we encourage all applicants to attend the CPO meet-ing. Contact the Chairperson to find out when your application will be discussed.

What if I cannot attend the CPO meeting?Will that affect my application?
The CPO will discuss your application at a meeting whether or not you can attend. CPOs are advisory, so their recommendation is based on the information they receive.

What if I don’t agree with the CPO decision?
It’s OK if you do not agree with the CPO decision. You could always address the CPO’s comments to the staff planner who is assigned to your project or present it publicly if your application requires a hearing.

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