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 Building Division of the Land Development Services Department is entrusted with achieving compliance with applicable State laws and adopted building codes in regard to building design and construction within unincorporated Columbia County and the City of Rainier.  

Building codes are in place to protect public health, safety, and general welfare as they relate to the construction and occupancy of buildings and structures.  Our services include plan review, permitting, and inspections.  

Building Safety Program

The Building Division administers the Oregon State Building and Specialty Codes Program with county amendments to protect the safety of buildings and occupants within the unincorporated portions of the county as well as contract cities.

Building Staff conduct plans examinations, field inspections, code enforcement, and provides code education, including:

  • electrical plans examination and inspection for the entire County except the City of Vernonia and the City of Clatskanie
  • plans examination, field inspection and code enforcement services within the cities of Rainier and Prescott
  • plumbing plans examination and supplemental field inspection within the City of St. Helens and Scappoose


Apply for electrical, mechanical, and plumbing permits online through the State of Oregon's ePermitting system.

e-Permitting online→

Applicable Codes

Oregon Building Codes and Standards

Helpful Links

Dig Safely-Its The Law-Call 811 Before You Dig

Construction Contractor Board

Permits Protect→    Information you need to do building and remodeling projects correctly the first time and protect the safety and value of your home.  

Oregon State Building Codes Division

Technology Fee added to program fees (June 2022):
General Information
Phone Numbers
Emergencies: Dial 911
445 Port Avenue
St. Helens,

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.