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Model Development Code for Small Cities

Three people look at a mural in downtown Estacada OregonOregon's Model Development Code and User's Guide for Small Cities ("Model Code") has been used widely around the state. The third edition of the Model Code (2012) is a user-friendly, flexible code – a one-stop reference that can be adapted to fit local characteristics and values. It is intended to help small cities integrate land use and transportation planning; plan for smart development; and meet new legal requirements under state land use statutes, administrative rules, and case law. In developing the Model Code, TGM staff worked with a statewide advisory committee consisting of city officials, planning commissioners, state and regional planning agency representatives, land use advocates, and business representatives.

For information on how to use the Model Code, details on the various editions released since 1999, and important notes on things the Model Code does not do, please read Volume I - User Guide.

Model Code Table of Contents

The publication is divided into two volumes: Volume 1 – User Guide and Volume 2 – Model Code. As with most publications, the Table of Contents provides a summary of the Model Code contents and is located in Volume 2. Volume 2 is organized into five Articles, each containing a set of chapters. Each Article is provided below as a separate section with downloadable material. You can also download the entire Volume as a single document.

Download the Complete Volume 2 – Model Code (1.3MB)

Use the Table of Contents for a quick reference for each Article.

Chapter 1.1 - Introduction
Chapter 1.2 - Title, Purpose, and Authority
Chapter 1.3 - Lot of Record and Legal Lot Determination
Chapter 1.4 - Non-Conforming Situations
Chapter 1.5 - Code Interpretations
Chapter 1.6 - Enforcement

Article 1
Article 1

Chapter 2.1 - Establishment of Zoning Districts
Chapter 2.2 - Zoning District Regulations
Chapter 2.3 - Special Use Standards
Chapter 2.4 - Overlay Zones [and Specific Area Plan Regulations]

Article 2
Article 2

Article 2 includes code graphics. Please see the User's Guide for information on how to use these files.

2.2.080. A Building Height Measurement

The DLCD Natural Hazards Program maintains a Model Flood Damage Prevention Ordinance that is designed to be included in Article 2. Please contact the Natural Hazards Program for assistance.

Chapter 3.1 - Design Standards Administration
Chapter 3.2 - Building Orientation and Design
Chapter 3.3 - Access and Circulation
Chapter 3.4 - Landscaping, Fences and Walls, [Outdoor Lighting]
Chapter 3.5 - Parking and Loading
[Chapter 3.7 - Signs]

Article 3
Article 3

Article 3 includes code graphics. Please see the User's Guide for information on how to use these files.

Chapter 4.1 - General Review Procedures
Chapter 4.2 - Site Design Review
Chapter 4.3 - Land Divisions and Property Line Adjustments
Chapter 4.4 - Conditional Use Permits
Chapter 4.5 - Modifications to Approved Plans and Conditions
Chapter 4.6 - Amendments to Zoning Map or Code
Chapter 4.7 - Adjustments and Variances
Chapter 4.8 - Master Planned Developments

Article 4
Article 4

Chapter 5.1 - Definitions

Article 5
Article 5

Additional Code Modules

The Model Code has been designed to work with additional code modules covering a variety of code topics. These modules will be developed as time and resources permit. Currently available modules are listed below.

Transportation Demand Management (TDM) Module (2013): This module is embedded in a guide for local governments interested in learning more about TDM. The guide includes background information about TDM, a step-by-step approach for implementing a TDM program, and model code language.

Guidance for cities implementing development code for Accessory Dwelling Units, as required by Senate Bill 1051 (2017) and House Bill 2001 (2019).


Laura Buhl
Land Use & Transportation Planner
Phone: 971-375-3552