Volunteer (Non-Paid) Position – Development Review Advisory Committee

City of Portland, Oregon
September 15, 2023
Portland, OR
Job Type


The Position

The Development Review Advisory Committee (DRAC) advises the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) and other City Bureaus engaged in development review of construction permits. The DRAC fosters a timely, predictable and accountable development review process that implements the City's goals for land use, transportation, housing, economic development, neighborhood livability and the environment. The Committee advocates for and supports the consistent and fair application and implementation of regulations.

The Committee provides public input into the development review process by:

  1. Providing leadership and expertise on issues affecting development;
  2. Providing feedback to City Bureaus, review bodies, and City Council on the impact of potential regulations and administrative rules on the development review process, taking into consideration the full range of City goals and objectives;
  3. Providing recommendations for regulatory, code, and administrative rule changes affecting the development review process;
  4. Monitoring the application and enforcement of regulations for their effectiveness in achieving the City's development goals;
  5. Recommending customer service, permitting, process, and compliance improvements to Bureaus, Review Bodies, and/or City Council;
  6. Serving as an advisory board to City Bureaus engaged in development review on review processes and procedures;
  7. Providing input to ensure budgets of development review bureaus are adequate to meet service goals and desired system outcomes.

The Bureau of Development Services and the DRAC
As the primary bureau engaged in development review, the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) provides staff support to the DRAC. BDS is what many people think of as the Building Department. BDS administers and enforces regulations that affect development proposals, from office towers to kitchen remodels. For the most part, BDS administers and enforces codes and regulations written by other City Bureaus or agencies.

It is also important to note that several other bureaus are involved in administering and/or enforcing other regulations that affect development. For example, regulations relating to stormwater and sewer management are administered by the Bureau of Environmental Services. Other bureaus involved in development review and permitting include the Bureau of Transportation, the Water Bureau, Portland Fire and Rescue, and Portland Parks and Recreation's Urban Forestry staff. The DRAC advises BDS and these partner bureaus on development review, permitting and enforcement work.

Total number of advisory seats: 17
Number of seats available: 1

To Qualify

To be eligible to serve on the DRAC, members must live, play, worship, go to school, work or do business in the City of Portland.
The DRAC consists of 17 members who represent different aspects of the development community, neighborhoods and other interests. Members are appointed by the Commissioner in Charge of the Bureau of Development Services and confirmed by the City Council.

What We Look For
The City of Portland is actively seeking individuals who have experience with or can share the perspectives of:

  • Public works permit customers

BDS is at a point of significant transformation as the bureau expands the ways it interacts with and provides services to the public, with a shift to more online and remote services. It is critically important to have people of color at the table, providing their advice and feedback on the new ways BDS and its partner bureaus provide information to the public about existing regulations and provide development review, permitting, and enforcement services to the community.
We want people with experience in the areas above, especially people of color, to share their perspectives on this committee. In the past, systems were built by and for white people with access to power and resources. We need systems, processes and services that work for people of color. If you want to help development review, permitting and enforcement better serve communities of color, and you have experience in one of the above stakeholder groups, then we want to see your application:

  • You believe government is better when community is involved
  • You have an interest in effective, equitable development review policies, processes, and outcomes.
  • You are an advocate for racial equity: you want positive and long-lasting outcomes for racial and ethnic communities who have been left out before. You can bring discussion about racial and ethnic communities who need it the most.
  • You believe in the value of public participation in government processes.
  • You can work collaboratively and effectively with people representing diverse interests.
  • You are available to attend all meetings and participate in the discussions.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  1. Availability to regularly attend meetings.
  2. Ability to prepare for meetings on your own time.
  3. Commitment to working with a diversity of people, in terms of age, race, ethnic background, sexual orientation, gender, disability, culture, religion, etc.
  4. Ability to contribute to productive group processes and collective work in a collaborative, multicultural, and/or multilingual setting.
  5. Commitment and experience listening and considering other perspectives which may be different from your own.
  6. Knowledge and experience supporting and/or advancing equitable outcomes.

Terms of Service and Time Commitment

  • Members serve a term of three years, with the possibility of renewing for a second three-year term.
  • The committee meets on the third Thursday of each month, from 8 to 10 a.m., traditionally in City offices at 1900 SW 4th Avenue. However, meetings are currently held online via Zoom. All meetings of the committee are open to the public.
  • Members are expected to attend and participate in meetings consistently. Members are expected to prepare for meetings on their own time and arrive ready to discuss meeting materials and agenda items. Meeting materials for review are typically sent two to three days in advance.
  • The DRAC establishes regular and ad hoc subcommittees to work in-depth on particular areas of interest. Subcommittees meet outside of the full DRAC meeting. Participation in subcommittees is voluntary and optional for DRAC members.

We Remove Barriers
Let us know if there are barriers to your participation. Parking validation will be provided for members when in-person Committee meetings resume.

Volunteer Ethics
People who join this committee will become what we call "Public Officials," which means that while you serve you must behave fair and ethically. We will provide training on this once you are accepted. Part of following Public Officials Ethics laws means you must tell the group when you or a relative may financially benefit (or avoid fees) by your recommendations. This is called a "Conflict of Interest." If you tell us about potential Conflicts of Interest that does not mean you cannot serve, in fact, many committees have potential members with Conflicts of Interest. We appreciate your ethical inclusion of possible Conflicts of Interest on the form included in the application.

The Recruitment Process

Applications are due by 11:59pm on Sunday, October 15, 2023
To talk with someone about this opportunity or to receive assistance completing the application, please contact the DRAC Liaison, Mark Fetters, at mark.fetters@portlandoregon.gov or (503) 823-6351.

Voluntary & Confidential Demographic Information
The City is committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity. Completing the demographic information on the application is voluntary, but we encourage you to provide that information. The City uses this information to help ensure that advisory body appointments represent a broad cross-section of community. Your information will not be used during the recruitment nor the selection process. State and federal law prohibit use of this information to discriminate against you. Questions about this may be sent to AdvisoryBodies@Portlandoregon.gov
General Questions
For general questions about the Advisory Bodies program, the volunteer recruitment process, or other upcoming advisory body opportunities please email AdvisoryBodies@Portlandoregon.gov.

We Encourage You to Apply We welcome you to browse our website at portland.gov/bds to learn more about the Bureau of Development Services. More information about the Development Review Advisory Committee can be found online at portland.gov/bds/drac .

Do you have questions or need more information? Contact the DRAC Liaison, Mark Fetters, at mark.fetters@portlandoregon.gov or (503) 823-6351.

Additional Information

Meeting Location
Currently, many advisory bodies are meeting remotely due to COVID-19. In the future, meetings could: 1) be conducted fully remotely, or 2) be conducted remotely and in person (hybrid model). As the situation evolves, the exact meeting location may change based upon leadership direction and approval.Closing Date/Time: 10/15/2023 11:59 PM Pacific

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