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City Manager's Office

Posted on: December 4, 2020

City Releases Implementation Information for Recently Passed Citizen Initiative Referendum Ordinance

NEWS ALERT

The City of Portland today released implementation information for the five citizen initiative ordinances that were passed by Portland voters at the November 3 election. 

The City’s implementation plan follows the letter of the ordinances (known as Questions A, B, C, D, and F) as written and prepares City staff to administer new and applicable mandates, processes, and programs on December 6, 2020, when all but one of the new ordinances go into effect.

The public now has access to all necessary information to understand and implement the language in each of the ordinances on the City’s website. The information summarizes the impact of each new ordinance and provides lists of frequently asked questions that the City anticipates members of the public will want to know. 

The City Manager has the responsibility for implementing and enforcing city ordinances, including voter approved citizen initiative ordinances. 

“I’m proud of the hard work done by City staff to process the letter of the ordinances as written by the petitioners, and take the necessary steps to ensure implementation can begin by the time they go into effect,” said City Manager Jon Jennings. “We understand the public has a lot of questions regarding what these new ordinances mean for them, and I’m thankful for their patience as we worked through a vast amount of language. We hope the easy to understand guidance and FAQ documents that were published today are helpful. We’ll make sure to update any additional FAQs as necessary.”   

Of note, the following administrative action items are underway and expect to be completed as soon as possible:

  • Due to the volume of new data the City is required to collect from landlords annually, rental registration for 2021 will be delayed until the City launches an online platform to better collect, process, and evaluate all data related to rentals. We are currently in development of this platform, and anticipate that it will be available to landlords beginning in early 2021. Although collection of rental registration data will be delayed, new fees established in the Rent Control Ordinance will be effective immediately.
    • Given the delay in landlords’ ability to register this year, the City will waive late payment penalties for registrations submitted after February 1, 2021, but before April 1, 2021. Registrations submitted after April 1, 2021 will remain subject to late fees.
    • While collection of rental registration data will be delayed, new fees established in the Rent Control Ordinance will be effective immediately. 
  • Public notices soliciting applications for the Rent Board will be issued by the City Clerk the week of December 7, 2020 and remain active until December 28, 2020. Applicants will be considered and selected by the Council’s Nominating Committee, and then referred to the full Council for approval. Given that time frame, the City expects the Rent Board to be established by February 2021. Starting December 6, the City’s Housing Safety Office will receive and investigate complaints that fall within their jurisdiction.

City Manager Jennings concluded, “the City of Portland is the only entity authorized to enforce or implement the recently passed citizen initiated ordinances. Any interim actions taken by any outside groups do not have governmental authority, and are not sanctioned by the City nor enforceable.”


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