Know Before You Build

If you want to construct a building or make changes to your property, you will likely need approval from the City. The development process includes three general components: land use, public infrastructure, and building permits.

Larger projects such as subdivisions and major commercial developments will usually involve all three components, while smaller projects such as single-family homes, remodels, and sewer repairs may only involve one.

Land use approvals and zoning information

If you want to change how you use your property or you are looking to buy property, you should:

You should talk to a City planner before starting your project or purchasing property.

Public infrastructure improvements

Many developments require the construction of public infrastructure (i.e., streets, sewer mains, storm drains, water mains, or fire service connections). These projects usually include plan reviews, improvement agreements, construction permits, and inspections. Before designing your project, you should speak to Public Works Development Services about your project  to determine what public infrastructure improvements are required.

Building permit process

The building permit process protects public safety by ensuring that construction projects meet safety standards set by the State and the City.

Building permits

Building permits are required for alarm, electrical, mechanical, plumbing, structural, and fire systems. 

Projects that require building permits usually require reviews from several departments within the City, and each department must approve the plans before permits are issued. 

Projects may also require land use approvals or public infrastructure improvements before plans can be approved. Once the plans review process is complete and a building permit is issued, inspections will be required.

Public Works permits

Public Works permits are required for driveways, sidewalks, storm drain lines, sewer lines, water lines, water meters, grading, and site development in the floodplain. Before starting your project, contact Public Works Development Services to get information about permit requirements.

Contact us

Permit Application Center
General Questions
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Permit/License Processing
8:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.

Plans Intake
9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 320
Salem OR 97301
Mail payments to:
PO Box 3405
Portland OR 97208