Portland - Solar Access Developer Guidelines

December 19, 2023


Purpose: In 2002 Portland created guidelines to encourage variation in the width of lots to maximize solar access for single-dwelling detached development and minimize shade on adjacent properties.

Inclusion: The following applies to lots for single dwelling detached developments created as part of a land division in all zones. Where it is not practicable to meet both the approval criteria of chapter 33 and the standards and approval criteria of other chapters in the 600’s, the regulations of the other chapters supersede the approval criteria of this chapter.

Solar Access Approval Criteria:

All the following must be met:

A. On streets that are within 30 degrees of a true east-west axis, see Figure 639-1, the narrowest lots should be:

  • Interior lots on the south side of the street. See Figure 639-2; and
  • Corner lots on the north side of the street. See Figure 639-3.

B. On streets that are within 30 degrees of a true north-south axis, the widest lots should be interior lots on the east or west side of the street. See Figure 639-4

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: Local
Category: Regulatory Policy
State: Oregon
Incentive Type: Solar/Wind Access Policy
Web Site: https://www.portland.gov/sites/default/files/code/33.639-solar-access.pdf
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar - Passive
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Thermal Electric
  • Solar Photovoltaics


Name: Ord. Nos. 175965 and 176333
Date Enacted: 07/01/2002
Effective Date: 07/01/2002


Name: Development Services
Organization: City of Portland
Portland OR
Phone: (503) 823-7300
Email: bds@portlandoregon.gov

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.