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Community Development

  • The Mission of the Community Development Department

    “Excellence in customer service by providing courteous, timely and professional service to the citizens of Polk County through innovation in administration of planning, building and environmental health regulations and policies in order to protect the health and safety of the citizens of the County.”

    The Community Development Department is divided into the following three divisions and two programs.

    The Planning Division is responsible for managing the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and administering the County’s zoning regulations and long range land use planning. The Planning Director is Austin McGuigan. He is assisted by Assistant Planner Sidney Mulder, and Assistant Planner Autumn Hillebrand.


  • Unusually heavy rainfall in Polk County in January 2012 led to flooding which resulted in damage to homes and businesses.

  • We are currently receiving reports that some homes are experiencing flooding in their basements.

  • If you are a licensed contractor, you are now able to purchase limited Electrical, Mechanical and Plumbing Permits that do not require a plan review through the State of Oregon's online ePermitting website. For more information, please visit the Polk County ePermitting Information webpage or contact Community Development at (503) 623-9237.  

  • Polk and Lincoln Counties are facing increasing water demand and increasingly scarce water supplies. Both counties have been working collaboratively to explore whether a storage reservoir on the South Fork Siletz River at the site of the historic town of Valsetz could meet water demands projected for 2050 for water providers and agricultural users. This potential storage facility would be located near the coastal mountain divide. Impounded water would be diverted to the west to serve Lincoln County and to the east to serve Polk County. There also is the potential to serve the greater regional area including Benton, Marion and Yamhill County citizens. The South Fork Siletz River and the Luckiamute River would be used to convey water to withdrawal points located lower in each basin.

    The purpose of this study is to conduct an appraisal level assessment of potential environmental effects and benefits of the Valsetz water storage project. The assessment focuses on three storage concept alternatives determined by dam height and reservoir storage. This analysis serves as a preliminary, concept-level review of the resources that may be affected if a project were developed. This initial investigation relies on existing information, an extremely limited amount of field data and some preliminary modeling and analysis. This is a first step in understanding potential effects in the area that would be inundated by a project and the Siletz and Luckiamute Rivers. Further investigation and technical studies will be required to definitively evaluate the magnitude and type of impacts and feasibility of project development.

  • Getting to Know Your Septic System

    Septic systems dispose of household sewage, or wastewater, generated from several sources, including sinks, toilet use, bathing, washing machines, and other cleaning activities.

  • View the new code change in the 2008 Oregon Residential Specialty Code and the new