Columbia County Courthouse

230 Strand Street, St. Helens, OR 97051 • Phone: (503) 397-7210 • Toll Free: (888) 397-7210

Columbia County

Planning Applications and Guides



Before completing and submitting applications, contact the Planner On Duty at (503) 397-1501 ext. 3 to determine if a Pre-Application Conference is required and to determine the correct type of application for what you want to do.



Appeal of Land Use Decision


To Appeal a Land Use Decision by the Planning Director or Planning Commission


To obtain a permit for a use that is not allowed outright but is listed as allowable with certain conditions required

Forest Dwelling

To obtain approval for a dwelling on forest or mixed farm forest zoned land.

Home Occupation

To obtain approval for a home occupation in conjunction with single family dwelling

Other Uses

To obtain approval for all other uses listed as conditional uses in a particular zone.

Comprehensive Plan Text Amendment

To change the written text of the Comprehensive Plan

(meet with Planner)

Comprehensive Plan Map Amendment

To change the Plan Map designation of one or more properties

Design Review

Pre-application Conference Required

To obtain approval of the lot site layout & placement of improvements, including building(s), landscaping, parking, storm water piping & retention

Determination of Similar Use

To obtain approval of a use that is not allowed in the Zone but may be similar with the Allowed Uses of the Zone

Extension Request

To obtain added time of the approval period before construction begins of an approved application

Home Occupation Permit

(See Conditional Use Permit-Home Occupation)

Lot of Record Determination

To obtain a determination that a property was legally created, is separately developable and can be bought and sold separately

Lot Line Adjustment

Marijuana Land Use Application

To obtain approval to move a property boundary between two legal lots of record

Non-Conforming Use

To establish that an existing use, which may not be allowed in the zoning district, was lawfully established prior to the County zoning regulation of the property


To divide a property into three or less parcels

Pre-application Conference To schedule a meeting with County staff and other development agencies to discuss the review process, application requirements, development criteria, considerations and standards related to an applicant's intended development.

Road Naming Request

To obtain approval for a name of a new road or to change the name of an existing road

Rural Address Assignment

To obtain a 5 digit number for a house or commercial use to be used as the address

Sign Permit Application

Application for a Sign Permit required prior to the installation of signs with the exception real estate, and signs for essential services in compliance with requirements of Section 1300 of the Zoning Code.


Template Test

To divide a property into 4 or more lots

To request an evaluation to determine if a forest template dwelling is allowed on a forest zoned parcel.

Temporary Use Permit

To obtain approval to temporarily use a property or to site a structure for a specific purpose not normally allowed in the Zone

VARIANCE To obtain approval to vary from the standards of the zoning or subdivison and partitioning ordinance as applied to a specific property.
Zoning Variance To obtain approval to vary zoning district standards as applied to a specific property.

Subdivision-Partition Variance

To obtain approval to vary subdivision or partition standards as applied to a specific property.

Zoning Text Amendment

To change the written text of the Zoning Ordinance(meet with Planner)

Zoning Map Amendment

To change the zoning designation of one or more properties

Public Records Disclosure

Under Oregon law, information you provide to the County is a matter of public record that is subject to disclosure unless an exemption from disclosure is authorized by law.  You are responsible for knowing the law governing public records.  Requests for nondisclosure must be in writing.  You bear the burden of proving that an exemption authorized by law prevents disclosure.  The County will not disclose such information unless required by law.  Persons concerned with personal safety are directed to ORS 192.445(1) and Oregon Administrative Rules (OAR) 137-004-0800.  Persons concerned with personal privacy are directed to ORS 192.502(2).