In April, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly (who oversees the Bureau of Development Services) named Rebecca Esau as interim director replacing Paul Scarlett. HBA viewed this as a positive first step toward improvement for a bureau that has been plagued by a lack of timeliness and certainty in the process. On October 25, Commissioner Eudaly officially announced that Esau would be the permanent director. In her email to bureau staff, Eudaly praised Esau’s work as interim director, and highlighted some of the accomplishments of the bureau so far this year, including:
- Handling record-breaking workload, including permitting more than $502.4 million in apartment and condo development.
- Taking steps to resolve bottlenecks in the bureau and in connection to other city bureaus.
- Supporting development of more accessory dwelling units on the properties of existing homes to help lessen the city’s housing crisis.
HBA staff and members of our Portland Builders & Urban Development Council worked closely with the City of Portland bureaus and staff to identify a new interim director earlier this year and looks forward to continued work with Director Esau and the Commissioner’s office.