City Releases Implementation Information for Passed Citizen Initiative Referendum


People First Portland Citizen Initiatives on November 3rd Ballot.  Question E Did Not Pass by a Narrow Margin, Following a Recount.

The city of Portland today released implementation information for the five citizen initiative ordinances that were passed by Portland voters in the November 3 election.  The city’s implementation plan follows the letter of the ordinances (known as 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.

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 penalities 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 Jon Jennings said:  “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,” according to a press release issued by the city today.