The Hermiston City Council approved an agreement with Umatilla County Monday night which is expected to improve service for people who build outside of city limits.
The agreement is part of a larger plan by Umatilla County to assume building code administration from the state of Oregon. Umatilla County would then contract with the cities of Pendleton and Hermiston to use their existing Building Departments to provide the service on the county’s behalf.
Building code administration and plan reviews in the un-incorporated portions of Umatilla County, and many of the smaller cities, are currently done by the Oregon State Building Codes Division. A request by Umatilla County to assume the responsibility from the state, which was filed in September, cites an expectation that moving the process to the local level will speed up the development process and result in a more responsive service for the customer.
If the county’s request is approved by the state, the city of Hermiston would begin administering building codes and plan reviews on July 1, 2014 in the “Urban” portion of the city’s Urban Growth Boundary. The city of Hermiston already handles zoning administration in this area of the UGB on behalf of the county, and it is expected that assuming building codes will create a “one-stop” approach for people building in those areas.
A map of the new area covered by the Hermiston Building Department can be viewed here.