Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Appling for a BDS permit online

Have you tried purchasing a building permit online from Portland's Bureau of Development Services? Not every permit is eligible for this type of transaction, but as I understand it, any permit available as an "over-the-counter" building permit can be purchased and managed online (I think the over-the-counter designation goes to permits that don't require a plan review of some sort). Here is a link to the Permits Online page:

I tried this out yesterday with a small project on my house, and it worked pretty nicely for us. On Tuesday morning (between feeding my 4 year old and starting a load of laundry) I pulled an over-the-counter plumbing permit for a rain drain. It cost $100, and it was immediately issued. Eight hours later the ground was trenched and the piping was in place, so I went back online to request an inspection (while sauteing the onions for the dinner dish). At 7:30 am on Wednesday morning the inspector left me a message saying he'd arrive between 9:30 and 11:30 am. He arrived at 9:26 am, took about 6 minutes, and we were approved to finish. While the $100 seems like a high tax on this job, the process was relatively painless and efficient.