Volunteer (non-paid) position on the Development Review Advisory Committee

City of Portland, Oregon
February 12, 2021
Portland, OR
Job Type


The Position

This is a volunteer, non-paid, non-employment position.
Purposes and roles of the Bureau of Development Services
The Bureau of Development Services is what many people think of as the Building Department. This bureau administers and enforces regulations that affect development proposals, from office towers to kitchen remodels. For the most part, the Bureau doesn't write the regulations, it just administers and enforces them. For example, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability writes the City's zoning code, and the Bureau of Development Services administers and enforces these zoning regulations.

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 Development Review Advisory Committee advises the Bureau of Development Services and its partner bureaus on development review, permitting and enforcement work.

Purposes and roles of the Development Review Advisory Committee
The Development Review Advisory Committee (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 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.

Terms and time commitment

  • The committee meets on the third Thursday of each month, from 8 to 10 a.m., traditionally in Room 2500 at 1900 SW 4th Avenue. However, due to current public health restrictions, all meetings are held online via Zoom. All meetings of the committee are open to the public.
  • Members serve a term of three years, with the possibility of renewing for a second three-year term.
  • 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.

For more information
For more information about the Development Review Advisory Committee, please its website.

To Qualify

To be eligible to serve on the DRAC, members must live, play, worship, 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.

The City of Portland is actively seeking individuals who have experience with or can share the perspectives of seven distinct stakeholder groups relevant to the committee's work:

  • Historic preservation
  • Minority construction contractors and development professionals
  • Small businesses
  • Neighborhood Coalition Land Use Committees
  • Home Remodelers
  • Land Use Planning Professionals
  • Low-income Housing Developers

Desired attributes
The Bureau of Development Services 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 becoming available. It is critically important to have people of color at the table, providing their advice and feedback on the new ways the bureau 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 seven 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 seven 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.

You are encouraged, but not required, to attach your resume on your application.

The Recruitment Process

To talk with someone about this opportunity or to receive assistance completing the application, please contact the committee's staff liaison, Mark Fetters, at mark.fetters@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-6351.

February 11, 2021, 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm

This open house is designed to provide an opportunity for interested persons to ask questions of staff from the Bureau of Development Services and learn more about DRAC and its work. Attendance at this open house is not required to be considered for an appointment to the committee.

Additional Information

Volunteer EthicsPeople 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.
To talk with someone about this opportunity or to receive assistance completing the application, please contact the committee's staff liaison, Mark Fetters, at mark.fetters@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-6351.Closing Date/Time: 2/26/2021 11:00 PM Pacific

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