Temporarily located at 445 Port Avenue (the Port Business Center in St. Helens), our department is open for in-person services, including dropping off applications and picking up permits. Setting appointments with the Planning Division is recommended but not required.

The Planning Division is responsible for reviewing all development proposals within Columbia County's jurisdiction. 

If you own property in Columbia County or are considering purchasing or developing property, contact us first and we will assist you in navigating the land use process by providing information related to zoning, permitting, dividing land, general land development, structure placement, and if your property contains environmental constraints such as floodplain, wetlands or other sensitive habitat areas.   

Recent Projects


May 3, 2021, Planning Commission Public Meeting Video
Board of Commissioners Staff Report with Attachments for June 30, 2021, Public Hearing

PORT WESTWARD - Post Acknowledgement Plan Amendment (LUBA Remand)

Board of Commissioners Staff Report - November 9, 2020
Board of Commissioners Supplemental Staff Report with Attachments for July 14, 2021, Public Meeting

Current Planning Program

  • Provides land use consultations about how to develop property and delivers technical planning information to the general public 
  • Processes land use applications including public notifications and zoning ordinance analysis
  • Reviews building permit applications for zoning compliance 
  • Provides staff support to the County Planning Commission and the Board of County Commissioners on planning and zoning issues
  • Manages special planning and grant-funded projects.

Long Range Planning Program

  • Develops, maintains, and implements the Columbia County Comprehensive Plan and Zoning maps
  • Administers, maintains, and processes amendments to the Zoning Code and Subdivision Ordinance
  • Coordinates all plans and studies concerning land use activity within the county's planning boundaries
  • Conducts major updates to the county Comprehensive Plan
  • Coordinates with other public agencies regarding environmental issues such as floodplains, wetlands, and wildlife habitat

Codes, Ordinances, and Other Relevant Land Use Documents

Helpful Information 

Other Resources

Technology Fee added to program fees (June 2022): 
Land Development Services Quick Links
General Information
Phone Numbers
Fax: 503-366-3902
Emergencies: Dial 911
445 Port Avenue
St. Helens,

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:00
We are available by phone and email, or by appointment only.