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Permits being granted via video; remote citizen participation urged during public meetings

Cities throughout the region are exploring creative ways to communicate with the public during this challenging time.

As an example, Oregon City has transitioned to video permitting inspections during its COVID-19 closure. In an effort to protect the safety and health of community members and employees during the coronavirus public health crisis, the city has closed offices to the public and continues to provide services behind closed doors.

You don't have to touch the parking meters in downtown Oregon City, potentially spreading COVID-19 on these surfaces, as the city suspended meter fees starting this week. City officials said this is an effort to support restaurant pickup and delivery services, as restaurant dining is now banned under Gov. Kate Brown's orders to slow down the spread of COVID-19.

City officials will continue to enforce time limits in all zones, disabled parking, 10-foot clearance zones around fire hydrants, loading zones and other "no parking" zones to promote safety 

During this public health crisis, Brown has ordered that people maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. That means there's only room for two people at a time in the cab of Oregon City's Municipal Elevator, which runs from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. from downtown to the top of Singer Hill. Although the elevator operator typically presses the buttons from inside, this employee in now stationed outside the public-operated cab to keep an eye on the public resource, answer questions and regularly wipe down the buttons with sanitizer.

Oregon City's 6:45 p.m. April 1 meeting of city commissioners is still scheduled to be held. Digital participation is encouraged, although City Hall will open to the public for the meeting.

Interested parties are encouraged to watch the meetings live on local cable TV channel 28, the City's YouTube channel or live at

Citizens are strongly encouraged to relay concerns and comments via email until noon on the day of the meeting to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Phone calls from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at 503-496-1505 will be relayed to elected officials or appropriate staff members. Citizens can sign up to be called during the meeting to provide over-the-phone testimony. You can also mail comments to be included in the public record on any topic being considered to P.O. Box 3040, Oregon City, OR 97045.

PMG PHOTO: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - You no longer have to plug a meter to park in downtown Oregon City, although officers still will be checking for illegal parking in disabled zones.Although the city hall is closed, it will open to the public about 15 minutes prior to the beginning of public meetings and will close promptly when the meeting ends. If you are sick or have been exposed to anyone who is sick, please do not attend in person.

Projects that require permitting and inspections, such as building a porch or installing a water heater, can now be done via Skype or Facetime video conferencing. City officials ask that construction documents be submitted to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and further questions be directed to 503-722-3789.

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